How to Use Depth of Field (Bokeh Effect) on iPhone 7 Plus

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Depth of Field on the iPhone 7 Plus is a awesome feature meant to mimic professional shots of DSLR cameras. It looks good to us because it is natural to our eyes. Focus on an object or person in the room around you. Notice how their face is in full focus; now use your peripheral vision and notice that everything behind them is slightly blurry and out of focus. Depth of Field, also know as the bokeh effect, on iPhone 7 Plus makes any photo look more professional and crisp. Here’s how to use Depth of Field on iPhone 7 Plus.

Related: What Is HDR and How to Use It on iPhone: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Contents:

What is the Bokeh Effect?

How to Use Depth of Field with iPhone 7 Plus

What If I Don’t Have an iPhone 7 Plus?

What is the Bokeh Effect?

Depth of Field on iPhone 7 Plus uses (actually simulates) the bokeh effect for photos by identifying the object in the photo and blurring the background. Nikon, the camera company, describes bokeh as, “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.” Of course, the iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t have the ability to change its lens like a DSLR camera, which is why Apple has managed to create the effect using software for Depth of Field on iPhone 7 Plus.

How to Use Depth of Field with iPhone 7 Plus

Using Depth of Field on iPhone is as simple as taking any other photograph.

  • Open the Camera app.

  • Where you see Photo, Video, Slo-Mo, etc, slide the menu until you’ve selected Portrait.

  • Above Portrait, you’ll also see the words Depth Effect to indicate that is the feature you’re about to use.

  • Now take your picture as you normally would: tap the white shutter button.

  • When you open your Photos app to view the photo, you’ll see the iPhone has saved both the photo with and without the bokeh (Depth of Field) effect.

That allows you to see the difference and choose which one you like best. I am personally in love with this feature, every photo I take looks better with bokeh. It’s good to note that Depth of Field on iPhone 7 Plus won’t work for every image you take. We’ll know its limitations better once it’s released to the public, but generally speaking, photos with people and objects should have no problem with the bokeh effect (Depth of Field) on iPhone 7 Plus.

What If I Don’t Have an iPhone 7 Plus?

Well, step into my office of apps. Plenty of apps have been mimicking bokeh effect on iPhone for awhile now. Here’s the top three apps to try out if you have an older iPhone but you’re interested in the Depth of Field (bokeh) effect.

*Note: Depth of Field on iPhone 7 Plus is currently in its beta stages, which means it will get better and easier to use over time! 

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.