This is the iPhone 6s Plus. And this is the iPhone 6s. This one, donned up in a dope-looking Iron Man skin from Slickwraps. The thing about these two new iPhones is that they do look rather similar to their older counterparts—the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But one thing that is very important to a lot of you has changed on the new iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus—that is the camera. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus now have a 12MP camera, up from an 8MP camera on the iPhone 6. It’s promising, a lot more HDR and Dynamic Range, a lot more sharpness. And for the first time ever on any iPhone, 4K UHD video recording. So is the iPhone 6s camera worth all the hype? Let’s find out.
Let me just start off by saying the iPhone’s camera has always been fairly good. But say from the Galaxy Note 4 and above, the iPhone camera has just never really stacked up quite to par. It’s been kind of lacking in detail, obviously in megapixels and resolution, but that’s not really very important. We’re all really talking about good looking photos, good Dynamic Range, sharpness and detail; not really size. But now the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus has a 12MP sensor that does take a lot of great looking photos. Is it the best? Well, let’s go ahead and take a look at them.
The first thing that I’ve noticed about the new iPhone 6s camera is it captures quite a lot of Dynamic Range. A lot of these very dynamic pictures like really bright whites and very bright blue skies. And then you also have the dark surfaces of the ground or trees—they come out very well and it comes out in a very balanced manner. Another thing that I’ve noticed with the iPhone 6s camera is it particularly takes very natural looking photos. Some phones like the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 has a tendency to take cooler looking photos and what I mean by that are the photos tend to be a little more blue hued than what your eyes would actually see if you were looking at the subject.
I have found one kind of fault with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’s camera and that’s the tendency to overexpose. Thankfully, iOS has made it easy to expose that back by clicking and scrolling down on the little sunlight icon next to that focus bar. But it is a little annoying for a camera to automatically overexpose.
The details of the photos are quite fantastic, pretty much up to par to any good camera phone on the market right now. A lot of the detail just looks very beautiful and very crisp. And again, the iPhone does display a lovely trick on your eyes by just making the photos look as natural as possible. So perhaps the quality isn’t quite as good as say the Galaxy Note 5 or the S6. But the colors definitely come out a little bit nicer on the iPhone 6s.
There are a couple of conditions where the iPhone 6s camera doesn’t do very well even in colors. One thing was when I was out with my friend and we were taking photos under a cloud cover of a garden area. The photos came out really, kind of oversaturated. It was really a bunch of colors that definitely did not look like what we were actually looking at and it was really strange to see the iPhone react that way. And the only way to fix that was to adjust the exposure and bring down the saturation.
Macro detail on the new iPhone 6s is also really flipping fantastic. Pretty much up to par to any other phone that I’ve used when taking macro photos. The iPhone 6s can get ridiculously close to the subject and the detail is really quite good. All of these photos of flowers that you’re seeing right now are just fantastic to look at. And again, they look very good even blown up on a computer monitor.
On the other side of the iPhone 6s camera is the 4K UHD video. Basically, I shot as many frames as I possibly could over a few days to kind of simulate how the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus works. The only difference between those two phones in terms of video is obviously OIS on the iPhone 6s Plus. This is actually the first year where the iPhone 6s Plus is using OIS in video mode not only on photo mode. And the result is fairly interesting. OIS is quite severe in extreme. It likes to take away as much shake as possible and sometimes that results in getting a robotic motion, especially when you’re on your slider or tilt-pan. Any minute shake or bounce and it will actually look really strange. The best actual use of OIS on the iPhone 6s Plus comes from handheld. Taking a video of just these flowers and moving the iPhone as much as you can, the video still looks fairly smooth and very watchable.
In terms of getting really good video off a slider or a pan, you basically use the iPhone 6s and again, the video looks very, very good. Dynamic Range is quite high, a lot of good detail. It isn’t quite as sharp as the Note 5 or the S6 but perhaps just more of natural colors that the iPhone reproduces. But overall, the 4K video is really nice. The only thing that I’m concerned of is the size of 4K video. It’s about 375MB per 1 minute of video. And say if you have a 16GB iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, that will be gone very, very quickly.
Another odd thing about 4K video on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is the 4K option is not actually in the camera. It’s in the settings of the camera and you have to turn it on. It’s not on by default. It’s on 1080p by default so if you want 4K and you’re trying to look for it, it’s in your general settings.
So as a whole, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cameras are fairly good. They’re very good, very solid. Really good photos, really good video. I’m not exactly sure if it’s just as good as or better than the Galaxy Note 5. It might even be worse than the Galaxy Note 5 but only one way we can tell here and that is a camera battle between the Galaxy Note 5 and the iPhone 6s Plus.