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I just tried the iPhone 7 Plus on the California coast and will never take a high-end camera on vacation again (AAPL)

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melia robinson iphone 7 plus portrait mode

As a part-time photographer and full-time foodie, I always struggle in deciding which camera to take on vacation: my high-end but clunky Canon 5D or the iPhone that slips into my pocket.

That's why the iPhone 7 Plus caught my attention. The camera's marquee feature, called Portrait Mode, blurs the background of photos and creates a sense of depth through software.

On a weekend getaway to Treebones Resort in Big Sur, California, I had the chance to test out the beta version of the iPhone 7 Plus' depth effect. It blew me away. Here's why:

SEE ALSO: Apple just fixed the biggest problem with smartphone cameras

The iPhone 7 Plus takes my favorite part of shooting with a professional-grade camera — depth-of-field effect — and squeezes it into a device that fits in the palm of my hand.

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Portrait Mode uses the phone's two built-in camera lenses, as well as some machine learning, to work out what's in the foreground and what's in the background. That allows it to apply a blur outside the subject.

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Until now, you could achieve this effect, also called "bokeh," by taking the image into Photoshop (which is a pain) or shooting with an expensive piece of glass on a camera that lets you swap lenses. A 50-millimeter lens from Canon costs $349 on Amazon.

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