iPhone 6 Camera Improvements with video tests

September 25, 2014

The iPhone 6 camera has several improvements over the iPhone 5S, it’s predecessor. Apple, like other phone manufacturers, is known for upgrading its camera every year when a new iPhone device is launched. Making improvements of the camera is very important due to the fact, that the most popular apps are photo related.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both offer significant improvements result in better image quality and better AF performance, speed and features overall. In the next iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 5S camera specs comparison table, you’ll be able to see the improvements which were made to the sensor and lens design.

iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 PlusiPhone 5S
Rear Camera Sensor1/3.0" (4.89 x 3.67 mm)
8 megapixels
3264x2448 pixel resolution
1.5 micron pixels
1/3.0" (4.89 x 3.67 mm)
8 megapixels
3264x2448 pixel resolution
1.5 micron pixels
Lens29mm equivalent
f/2.2 maximum aperture

Five-element lens
Hybrid IR filter
Sapphire crystal lens cover
29.7mm equivalent
f/2.2 maximum aperture

Five-element lens
Hybrid IR filter
Sapphire crystal lens cover

* iPhone 5 rear camera has 31mm equivalent focal length
Burst Mode10 fps + AF10 fps + AF
TimelapseYesNo (available via update to iOS 8 or a dedicated app)
Optical Image StabilizationiPhone 6 Plus: Yes (using a built-in gyroscope)
iPhone 6: No
Face DetectionYes Improved! (faster and more accurate)Yes
Video StabilizationYes Improved! (built-in cinematic video stabilization)Yes, basic
AutofocusYes Improved!

Has a new built-in cinematic video stabilization that further stabilizes video shooting while moving (e.g. shooting while walking)

Hybrid AF - Added on-sensor phase-detection AF sensors ("Focus Pixels") with contrast-detection AF, which dramatically improve AF speed, especially when shooting moving subjects, even in burst mode.
Basic video stabilization

Contrast detection AF only
FlashDual LED True Tone FlashDual LED True Tone Flash

(two LED lights with different color tones, one warm, other cold - mix the two to get a true-to-life color rendering under various type of lighting that have different color temperatures)
Video1080p 60 fps / 30 fps
720p 120fps / 240fps (slow-mo)

+ Continuous AF in video (Taking advantage of the phase-detection pixels)

+ an option to apply slow-mo to portion of the video and output as a new or apply to a portion of an existing video.
1080p 30 fps
720p 120fps (slow-mo)

No continuous AF during video recording

It’s a big upgrade but we haven’t seen any true innovation which we expect from Apple. Apple added improved Face Detection, improved video stabilization, added newly developed sensor with phase-detection pixels to significantly improve the subject tracking performance for both stills and videos, added timelapse, 240 frames per second slo-mo recording from the previous 120 fps, new burst mode for selfie shooting, added the ability to control the exposure manually (not 100% automatic as before) and 1080p60 (progressive) video recording with continuous autofocus.

iPhone 6 sensor size comparison

iPhone 6 sensor size comparison

Certainly a very respectable additions and updated to both the iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 plus camera hardware and software. Above all that, the iPhone 6 Plus is the first iPhone to offer a built-in optical image stabilization mechanism, which vastly improves the quality of your videos, and you’ll get less shaky videos.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera improvements have been given warm welcome from the community and the image. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both have conquered the top position on DxO Lab test in the DxOMark Mobile category for both stills and videos. The iPhone 6 Plus got a slightly advantage of 1 score to stills and the iPhone 6 got 1 point higher than the 6 Plus for videos (don’t know why exactly, see the test here). So the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pushed the Samsung Galaxy S5 to the third place and Xperia Z3 to the forth place. By the way, the iPhone 5S is in the 8th place for the total score. DxOMark praised the AF speed, accurate light metering, color reproduction and stabilization.

Check out this test done by TechSource, comparing the iPhone 6 versus iPhone 5S side by side, so you can see which camera produces the best image quality and how they compare in daylight and low-light as well.

Here’s another iPhone 6 Plus vs. iPhone 5S camera test done by Ty Moss YouTube user, check it out! (both stills and videos)

So the iPhone 6 was certainly  improved over the iPhone 5S.

>> Also check out the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus size comparison here

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