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Camera shootout: How the iPhone 6s compares to the iPhone 6

Christopher Phin | Sept. 30, 2015
With a 12 megapixel back-facing camera, 4K video capabilities, and Live Photos, the iPhone 6s's camera is a significant leap forward from the iPhone 6.

Here’s a selfie shot with the front camera of both iPhones, with the flash of the 6s suppressed:

iphone 6 sample shot 08
Credit: Christopher Phin

iphone 6s sample shot 10
Credit: Christopher Phin

Already, a huge improvement. But let’s turn on the flash—which will trigger the screen to blink brightly when I take the shot: 

iphone 6s sample shot 11 
Credit: Christopher Phin

So much better—in that you can see my face much more clearly—though perhaps a little full-on. You’ll see that I’ve removed my glasses—that’s because that big rectangle of light flashing can bounce off their lenses a bit distractingly, which is not ideal. 

iphone 6s sample shot 12
Credit: Christopher Phin

If, however, I take the kind of selfie people actually take rather than one to test a camera, it all comes together and makes sense. 

iphone 6s sample shot 13
Credit: Christopher Phin

While there is still vast room for improvement with this shot, the flash that seemed too bright at close quarters illuminates the scene pretty well, and provides pleasing catch-lights in my eyes. Compare it to the best the iPhone 6 can do, and you can see that for normal selfies—or at least, more normal selfies taken with friends in clubs rather than alone in small, deserted Norman-era churches—the 6s is a big upgrade.

iphone 6 sample shot 09
Credit: Christopher Phin

And it’s not just in low light situations that the 6s’s hugely improved front-facing camera trounces the 6’s—but there is a caveat. Compare these two selfies, one taken with the 6, one with the 6s: 

iphone 6 sample shot 10
Credit: Christopher Phin

iphone 6s sample shot 14
Credit: Christopher Phin

It’s a sunny day, but the sun is currently behind a cloud, so the light is pretty scattered and flattering. Not only is the picture from the 6s less flat, but the increased resolution means that you can make out the fine pattern of the fabric of my jacket, say, instead of seeing the moiré pattern in the shot from the iPhone 6. 

And then here, in direct sunlight, just an overall more pleasant result from the 6s: 

iphone 6 sample shot 11
Credit: Christopher Phin

iphone 6s sample shot 15 
Credit: Christopher Phin

 

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