Faster Auto Focus
Another new feature of the Apple iPhone 7 is its ability to autofocus on subjects faster. Now, traditionally, it used what's called contrast detection autofocus, which it actually had to see contrast within the image in order to get it all lined up and in line and essentially, focus. Well now, it uses a technology called Phase Detection Auto Focus, which traditionally, you'd only be able to find that in DSLRs or Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras. Those are like professional cameras, so, yeah, phase detection in a phone is relatively new, but essentially, to put it really trivially, think about it as if the camera takes two images and lines them up together. So rather than actually looking at contrasts in the image, black and white lines within the actual image itself, it's taking two images and mirroring them together to see the focus, if that makes sense. So what happens is here on the Apple iPhone 7, is that it's doing it a lot more quickly. Okay, Julia, so what's the point? Why do ...
I need it? Well, that's where like shooting your toddler comes in really handy. I have a five-year-old and he is crazy all over the place. Well, phase detection autofocus makes it that much easier to catch him running around. So, we're going to demonstrate this today by using Lacy and her longboard here in the CreativeLive Studios. She's going to whiz past me and we're going to capture it quickly and in focus. So here we are in the garage about to shoot Lacy on her longboard. She's going to be moving pretty quickly. Now, this is not something you'll necessarily see in action as I'm shooting, but you definitely feel it. If you're upgrading from the 4 or 5 or even the 6 to the iPhone 7, you'll notice how much faster it can actually focus. So she's going to whiz by me and I'm going to focus and take the picture really, really quickly and then we'll have a look at it and you'll see that it's maintaining itself pretty sharply. Now keep in mind, this is not perfect, and you still are going to get some image that have like that camera shake kind of feeling to it that aren't fully in focus. But, it's such an improvement over the last iPhone. So let's have a look. Come on, Lacy. Let's hit her, focus, and take the shot. And what you can see is that it actually showed a pretty good focused image. I touched her face to get her in focus. Now you could see her feet are still a little shutter shaken there because she's actually moving, but it does indicate speed, that she's going somewhere, so I don't mind it. But overall, her face is in focus and that's what matters. So let's try it one more time. Go back to camera. Go for it, girl. Hit her, focus, and go, and we have a pretty good image where she's in focus. Again, not totally perfect. She is moving, we are going to get that sense of motion and image, but overall, the ability of it to actually focus on something quickly is incredible. And even more so when a subject is actually coming at you. So, Lacy, why don't you come over here one more time and we'll actually do it with you coming towards me and show you what that does. This is where focus is a huge challenge. When someone's coming at you and this level, it's really hard to focus quickly. So it does take some skill level on your part as a photographer, but if you can focus and hit the button fast enough, you should get a pretty good, quick action going on here. So, go for it, Lacy. Right towards me. Hit her, focus, take the shot. And that's pretty good. Getting her that in focus coming at me is pretty amazing for a phone technology. So, Phase Detection Auto Focus. It's new, it's pretty cool, and it's technology we haven't seen before in phones lately. It's just brand new. Some of the other phones have it as well, but this is it now in the iPhone 7 and it's going to make things a lot easier for shooting fast action, especially for those moms out there. and dads for that matter, who've got running around toddlers who refuse to stop and look at the camera, now you're going to actually be able to take better shots of those early years.