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Cameras Compared:

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Galaxy S7 vs. iPhone 6S Plus

We had our own professional photographer put Apple’s best iPhone camera ever to the test in a Bay Area shootout versus last year’s iPhone — and the Samsung Galaxy S7.

iPhone 7 Plus versus:

iPhone 6S Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

Technical note: These images are compressed for the Web (like all online photos), and we shot with default modes on all the phones for a fair comparison. Compression affects a number of aspects of photos -- you would see different results from from RAW images and uncompressed JPEGs.

T

he iPhone 7 Plus gets a new camera, and this one is a big deal. Actually, it's two big deals: two 12-megapixel cameras on the back, one wide-angle and one telephoto. Our very own professional, CNET Senior Photographer James Martin spent six days with the iPhone 7 Plus and its cameras. He worked in and around San Francisco, taking shots with the new phone, plus the current leading phone cameras on the market: 2015's iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7 so that you can compare the results yourself -- just drag the slider to compare the cameras. After all, a picture's worth a thousand words.

Technical note: These images are compressed for the Web (like all online photos), and we shot with default modes on all the phones for a fair comparison. Compression affects a number of aspects of photos -- you would see different results from from RAW images and uncompressed JPEGs.

Tip: Click the red button and drag to the left or right to compare photos on each camera.

Update, September 13, 10 a.m. PT: Corrected mislabelling of images.

iPhone 7 Plus vs. iPhone 6S Plus

01 As my friend Sayda stands along Grant Street in North Beach, we see a great example of iPhone 7 Plus’ portrait capabilities.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

02 Sayda stands against a bright red mural in the same North Beach neighborhood.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

03 A detailed view of a flower in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

04 Looking up through the spiral staircase of the Mechanics Institute Library in San Francisco. This challenging image which the phones balance a heavily backlit rear with detail in the shadows.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

05 The Golden Gate Bridge in the fog as seen from Fort Point in San Francisco.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

06 Golden Gate Park, outside the De Young Museum in San Francisco, California.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

07 Dolores Park in the Mission District, with downtown San Francisco in the distance.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

08 A colorful mural along Balmy Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

09 The downtown San Francisco skyline, as seen from the roof of the CBS Interactive building.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

10 Dave’s Double Cheeseburger at lunch at Garaje in San Francisco’s SoMA district.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

11 Construction at 5x zoom in downtown San Francisco.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

12 A colorful Sunshine Daydream painted van parked along 20th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

13 A detailed view of a flower in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

14 A colorful mural along Balmy Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

15 A view of downtown San Francisco from Tank Hill at max zoom.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

16 The same view, without zoom, from the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

17 James Turrell’s Three Gems in the Osher Sculpture Garden at San Francisco’s De Young Museum.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

18 Looking down into the artisan food marketplace in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

19 A couple sits on a bench in front of the De Young Museum.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S7

01 As my friend Sayda stands along Grant Street in North Beach, we see a great example of iPhone 7 Plus’ portrait capabilities.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

02 Sayda stands against a bright red mural in the same North Beach neighborhood.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

03 A detailed view of a flower in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

04 Looking up through the spiral staircase of the Mechanics Institute Library in San Francisco. This challenging image which the phones balance a heavily backlit rear with detail in the shadows.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

05 The Golden Gate Bridge in the fog as seen from Fort Point in San Francisco.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

06 Golden Gate Park, outside the De Young Museum in San Francisco, California.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

07 Dolores Park in the Mission District, with downtown San Francisco in the distance.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

08 A colorful mural along Balmy Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

09 The downtown San Francisco skyline, as seen from the roof of the CBS Interactive building.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

10 Dave’s Double Cheeseburger at lunch at Garaje in San Francisco’s SoMA district.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

11 Construction at 5x zoom in downtown San Francisco.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

12 A colorful Sunshine Daydream painted van parked along 20th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

13 A detailed view of a flower in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

14 A colorful mural along Balmy Alley in San Francisco’s Mission District.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

15 A view of downtown San Francisco from Tank Hill at max zoom.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

16 The same view, without zoom, from the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

17 James Turrell’s Three Gems in the Osher Sculpture Garden at the De Young.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

18 Looking down into the artisan food marketplace in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

19 A couple sits on a bench in front of the De Young Museum.

iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7

iPhone 7 Plus review: The photographer's phone

Full Review