The new camera features of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 9 Sep 2015


With every new release of iPhone, Apple makes a number of improvements to the camera system of the device to ensure that it delivers better imaging quality than its predecessor. The iPhone 6s is no different in this regard and comes with a 12MP iSight camera.

This is 4MP more than what the previous few iPhones shipped with, but the increase in resolution is not the only highlight of the camera system in the new iPhones. Check out our in-depth rundown of all the new camera features in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus below to find out what other new features they pack.

12MP camera

iPhone 6s

The biggest and easily noticeable change in the camera specifications of the new iPhones, is that they come with a higher resolution and make use of “state-of-the-art” sensor. The increase in resolution also means that images shot from the iPhone 6s will have more detail than previous iPhones.

Despite the increase in resolution, Apple has managed to keep the individual pixel size to 1.22u. While lower than the 1.5u pixel found on the iPhone 6, it is still larger than what is found on other competing smartphones, which will help them in delivering better low-light performance.

Apple has also improved its local tone mapping and included a new image signal processor on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which should greatly help in improving the image quality further.

4K video recording
iPhone 6s 4K video recording

Another highlight of the new iPhones is their ability to record videos in 4K resolution. While Android phones have been able to record videos in 4K resolution since quite sometime, the detail and clarity offered by the 4K resolution videos shot from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will be unmatched.

Videos shot in 4K resolution will have 4x more pixels than Full HD videos, which was the previous maximum resolution that the iPhones recorded video in. Additionally, Apple has also enabled OIS on the iPhone 6s Plus while recording videos this time around, so the handset will be able to take videos with less jerks and shakes in them.

iMovie for iOS

Being able to record 4K videos is just one part of the new camera experience on the new iPhones though. You will also be able to edit them easily in the new iMovie app for iOS and then directly upload them to YouTube in 4K resolution. In fact, the A9 chipset inside the new iPhones is so powerful that you will be able to simultaneously edit two different 4K videos at the same time.

Additionally, you will also be able to shoot 8MP photos while recording 4K videos on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Since the new iPhones also feature three microphones, they should offer better audio quality while recording videos when compared to their predecessor.

Live Photos

iPhone 6s Live Photos

With Live Photos, Apple is making still images a thing of the past. The new 12MP camera on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is able to capture moments right before and after you take a picture with sound, so that you can revisit the moment when you clicked the picture in the future. As Apple puts it, Live Photos helps in converting those frozen instant in time to “unforgettable living memories.” These “memories,” however, will only be 3 seconds long.

Live Photos can also be applied as a lock screen wallpaper on the iPhone 6s where pressing it will replay the moment when you shot the picture. You will also be able to view Live Photos on other Apple devices, including the Apple Watch, without installing any other app. However, it looks like it won’t be possible to share ‘Live Photos’ with other devices, including Android smartphones.

Apple is also working closely with Facebook to add support for Live Photos to the social networking site.

Shooting a ‘Live Photo’ does not require any extra additional effort from the end user. The camera automatically shoots and saves the relevant information. To see the ‘live’ version of a photo on your iPhone 6s, all you need to do is press harder on the screen with the image opened.

5MP FaceTime camera

Apple also gave the front-facing FaceTime camera a huge upgrade on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The increase in resolution — 5MP — puts the FaceTime camera on the new iPhones at par with the front-facing cameras of high-end Android devices. That’s not all though; the FaceTime camera also supports Live Photos, so you can always revisit those crazy moments before you took an epic selfie with your friends.

Retina Flash

To help make your selfies even better, Apple has managed to make the Retina HD display on the new iPhones act as a Retina Flash. Thanks to a custom display chip, the Retina HD display on the new iPhones can flash up to three times brighter to lighten up your selfies when shooting in low-light. It also automatically adjusts to the lighting around you to make sure that your selfies are true to life.

On paper, the cameras on the new iPhones definitely look impressive. Whether they are as impressive in real life or not, is something that will only be known once they are released to the public on September 25.

What do you think about the new 12MP iSight camera and the 5MP FaceTime camera on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus?