iPhone 6 Missing Camera Features

October 1, 2014

iPhone 6 missing features text

With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Apple introduced significant updates to the main camera, including a newly developed sensor, “Focus Pixels” phase detection AF system, optical image stabilization (on the iPhone 6 Plus only), 720p240 slow-mo, 1080p60 (progressive video recording) Time-lapse recording and improved Face detection and video stabilization.

Apple also opened its Camera API for developers to gain access to the camera settings, including the aperture, shutter speed, white balance, exposure compensation ,and ISO sensitivity. This allows apps that give manual control over those parameters for the user.

We can’t deny the fact that all of those are very welcomed features. That said, the are some features that I would have wanted to see on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but maybe they we’’ll be available on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus next here.

Larger Sensor

So what seems to be missing? — well, the first thing that I personally really want to see on the iPhone 7 or would have wanted to see on the iPhone 6 is a larger sensor. Keeping the same resolution would be great as the sensor will use larger pixels. This can significantly improve the high ISO performance of the sensor, the details, the dynamic range and color accuracy.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus rear camera has 1.5 micron pixels, same as the iPhone 5S. The image quality was improved compared to the previous generation sensor due to newer sensor technologies and improved image processing.

Furthermore, with a large sensor and a given same lens optical attributes, we will be able to achieve more prominent defocused background, or in other words, better separation between the subject and its surrounding.

Faster Aperture

f/2.2 aperture is very fast, and this gives the iPhone 6 its supports the phone’s impressive low-light performance. I am probably not the only person who had expected Apple to improve here as well and probably expecting Apple to go with a f/2.0 aperture, which is 0.275 stops faster, yielding x1.21 times more light and promoting better low-light performance.

The HTC One rear facing camera utilize a f/2.0 aperture lens. I am not refering to the front camera, but for the rear camera that is the most advanced of the two and one that people will use most of the time, and the one that has the potential to produce the best looking images in terms of quality.

I just wonder if Apple decides to choose a faster aperture, if it will lead to even more prominent protrusion at the back of the phone.
Higher Sensor Resolution.

I don’t think that the casual iPhone user needs more than 8MP, most people can even be satisfied with much less. It depend what you intend to do with your images. Having a higher resolution allows larger prints and give more cropping freedom for those who love editing their photos in photo editing software, like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

4K Video Recording

Why Apple, why couldn’t you bring Ultra HD (4K) video recording to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s obviously not a performance issue and there are already smartphones with 4K video recording, like the LG G3, OnePlus One, Samsung Galaxy 4, Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and others.

We didn’t ask 8K video recording, just to match what the competition has to offer. Is it a big issue, no. Most people don’t have 4K displays at home because they are still relatively expensive. That said, I would have wanted to be able to capture 4K memories and view them in the future in their fully glory when I could afford such display. Just imagine being able to shoot 4K videos of your new baby and making those video future-proof, being able to watch them in very high resolution together with your kid when he grows up.

For some people a year is to much to way and many people wished that the iPhone 6 had 4K. Hopefully Apple will add it in the iPhone 7

Optical Stabilization on the iPhone 6 (non Plus version)

The optical image stabilization mechanism exists only on the iPhone 6 Plus, not on the iPhone 6 smaller model. This is quite petty, because this feature should be a standard on next-gen premium smartphones, especially on the iPhone 6 which is Apple’s flagship model.

It does exist on the iPhone 6 Plus, which its the larger device (5.5-inch) but not on the smaller version. I personally know a few people who bought the iPhone 6 Plus for the built-in OIS, although they weren’t that excited to carry such large device. Apple, please, just add OIS to both models in the future, problem solved, no headaches.

Manual Focus Physical Dial

This is probably a deluxe feature that I’m wishing for. I love shooting videos with my DSLR and having the option to manual focus using the lens ring. Of course it’s not practical to have a ring on the lens on the iPhone 6.
I personally prefer having it on the left side at the top, so I can hold the iPhone with my two hands while filming video and at the same time use my index finger to easily manual focus.

Having this at part of the UI is not that smooth and convenient as with a physical dial. I tried it in digital camera and I always preferred the physical dial/button than the digital option using the touchscreen user interface. I’m probably an old school, but I really do think that a physical rotating dial is easier to operate and produce smoother focus transitions.

Optical Zoom Lens

I think that a new technology innovation needs to break through that allows optical zoom without sacrificing size. The current options is either to buy a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom that has 10x optical zoom or buy a Nokia phone with PureView technology that uses non destructive digital zoom by utilizing different parts of the sensor to output reduces and larged image, but again, this is not an optical zoom per se.

I’ve read about a lens that has a flexible design that allows changing the field of view and have the image therefore “magnified”. I’ve read about this on dailymail.co.uk website. This is a tiny lens that can be fitted to the camera and provide up to 60x magnification. This lens is referred to as micro lens and it’s made with silicone. So instead of selling it as a separate accessory, why not embedding this technology in new smartphones with digital control over the optical zoom factor?

I’m sure people even won’t mind a small protrusion but to have an optical zoom to enjoy in everyday shooting.

Stereoscopic 3D Capture

This 3D-enabled technology already exists on some smartphones like the HTC EVO 3D, LG Optimus 3D for example. I think people who have 3D-compatible HDTVs would love to have the option to shoot 3D stereoscopic videos.

Those are a few features that I expected to see in the iPhone 6 and some I would want to see in the iPhone 7. It seems companies prefer the improve on the software side which is much cheaper. If I had to choose one important feature that I care about the most, I would choose the optical zoom. To be honest, I don’t mind having a protrusion like on the S4 Zoom on the iPhone 6, but I know that most people wouldn’t touch an iPhone like this.

Which features you expected the iPhone 6 to have and left empty handed? — Share your opinion in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.


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