Above - DOF with Focus app. on iPhone
Pull focus on an iPhone 7+ using iPhocus app.
Did you realise that an iPhone can do either of these things? With stills Apple have a portrait mode on the 7+ that creates a software bokeh. However it is dependent on being the right distance away from the subject and is somewhat limited. The Focus app. however allows some other options. It does have focus peaking, which I believe is currently the only smartphone app. that has this (though I may be wrong) and which allows precise manual focusing. As you can see from the examples above there is genuine bokeh here from the 7+ wide angle lens. And no it's not a Leica prime bokeh but it's not that bad either. With the small sensor on the iPhone it works best on close up subjects, but for me and what I shoot it's very useful.
The iPhocus app. is for video. Unfortunately not with 4K support as yet. it enables pull focus via an on screen slider. As you can see from the sample above, it's pretty effective. And this all illustrates the difference between smartphone and 'proper' cameras. It is a completely different approach and while to a certain extent apps. like these are copying / emulating what conventional cameras can do, the method of delivery of features like this is entirely different. There is a whole world of app. developers out there and we can choose what we want to use and add it to our phones at a very small cost.
Finally these examples were produced using this.
This is my Manfrotto Video tripod and while some may think it looks a bit silly, it actually works very well. The screen on the iPhone is clear and bright and it made me wonder just how an iPad Pro would work on a tripod, with that huge screen giving a pretty good idea of what the footage would look like on TV or even Movie Theatre screens.
Currently I'm seeing just how far I can 'stretch' my iPhone and discovering just what it's like for serious stills and video capture. As I'm sure you will agree, the results are pretty impressive, depending on how you create images and footage. Now for obvious reasons, birders and sports photographers aren't going to be embracing any of this, because it simple won't work for them. But for those of us who shoot landscape, location, nature and travel images, there is a lot to be said for the lightness, size and yes value for money (since they have so many other uses) of using smartphones.
The iPhone 7+ is odds on to be my camera of the year 2017, though it may yet be challenged by the next model which comes out in the Autumn. And ever since I bought it the 7+ has been my most used camera. Add in the results that I will be getting from the two Zeiss Exolens I've just bought (The W/A and the Macro, which from initial testing look pretty good) and the possibilities they offer and I suspect I'll be using my iPhone 7+ even more in the future.
Finally, one of the main reasons that using an iPhone is so appealing for me is the lack of attention people give to me. Below is a video I shot at a local shopping centre and is for sale on a stock site (click on image for link). As you can see nobody pays any attention to me or even notices that I'm capturing video.
Now this is an editorial video, which means there are strict limitations on it's use, however as a means of shooting 'street photography' to my mind it can't be beat.
I'll leave you with this link below (click on the image), which shows what an iPhone in the hands of a very talented photographer can achieve.