iPhone 6s: Finally Gets A Camera Upgrade

By Geoff Harris

5 Reasons Why Photographers Might Be Interested In The iPhone 6s

While new 's' series iPhones are usually seen as fairly minor upgrades, there are some significant changes to the camera features in the new iPhone 6s, more than many pundits and Apple watchers were expecting.

The iPhone is already the world's most popular camera – just to put it into context, it was only released in 2008 – and more and more photographers now use it as a main capture device. Here's a quick run down of five cool iPhone 6s features for photographers...

1) More megapixels


The iPhone 6s now has a 12Mp rear-facing camera, up from 8Mp on the iPhone 6, so there will be an obvious improvement is the already impressive resolution with stills. According to Apple, images now pack 50% more pixels than before and you also get 50% more 'focus pixels,' enabling speedier autofocus.

Apple is also claiming that colours will be clearer, noise reduced and panoramas more defined on the iPhone 6s. Meanwhile the front-facing camera, commonly used for selfies, has been upgraded to 5Mp from 1.2 Mp.

2) 4k video


The iPhone 6s also enables you to shoot videos at 4k, a higher definition format which gives you 8Mp for each frame. So you could theoretically get a reasonably detailed print from a video frame.

Whether you will notice much of a difference in practice when watching a 4k video depends on the output device, but it's a good feature to have nonetheless, and Apple would have been criticised for missing it off.

3) Live Photos

This new feature enables you to take short bursts of moving pictures and sound in a single image, capturing 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 second after you press the shutter button. Pressing down the new 3D Touch screen brings them to life, or you can get a preview of the effect as you move through your photo gallery.

The effect is a bit unnerving at first – a bit like the eyes moving in a painting – but I can see it catching on. Facebook and Instagram have already announced support for Live Photos, and it doesn't seem to adversely affect camera performance.

4) FaceTime flash

iPhone6s-Hand-SafariQuickAction-PR-PRINTYou can also take flash photos when using the FaceTime camera. The iPhone 6s matches ambient light for more accurate flash, by using the backlit Retina display to create a flash that matches the ambient light's colour.

5) Faster performance

Apple claims that Wi-Fi will be twice as fast when using the new phone, although this won't make much difference if you are stuck with a slow work or home connection. Powering the new phone is an A9 processor with embedded M9 motion coprocessor, so you may well see a speed boost when editing still images or video.

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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