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With every new addition to the iPhone line, Apple pushes the boundaries of handheld photography and mobile filmmaking. This year, the tech giant released the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus. Both models boast a 12-megapixel camera, powered by an A9 processor chip. These specs sound great on paper, but how does it stack up to previous iPhone models?

iPhone6S Versus Siblings

Lisa Bettany, cofounder of Camera+ and MagiCam, brought out the whole iPhone family and put them all to the test for an in depth review of the 6S camera. The comprehensive side-by-side comparison shows exactly where Apple engineers made improvements to the device. Below are some of the highlights from the study:

1. Daylight


2. Portrait


3. Low-light


4. Macro


5. Backlit


Credits: Photographs by Lisa Bettany

“The improved sensor, software updates and new A9 processor on the iPhone 6s has made this camera the best yet,” wrote Bettany. “There is an apparent increase in the speed of auto focus and improvements to colour accuracy, details and sharpness, especially in low light.”

It is important to consider that the iPhone 6S Plus includes Optical Image Stabilization, while the 6S does not. Both devices support a five-megapixel selfie shooter with True Tone Retina Flash. Live Photos is also a new camera option that users can dive into. The feature is used to capture 1.5 seconds of action before a photo is taken – like a gif – but better because it also records sound when a 3D Touch gesture is applied.

4K Videos on the iPhone6S

In addition to extremely sharp photos, the iPhone 6S is also equipped to handle 4K videos at 30 fps, with the stunning ability to capture 63-megapixel panoramic shots. This is the first Apple smartphone with this video-capturing option. We’ve only heard about the feature in reviews, but now we get a chance to actually see it applied in a professional setting.

RYOT, a media firm that specializes in a wide range of engaging global content, created a short film in 4K using the mobile device. David Darg, co-founder of the group, mentioned that his crew was able to get their hands on the smartphone and use it for a company project. Wasting no time, they took a handful of iPhone 6Ss to the slums of Jalouzi. There the team covered a local citizen’s quest to turn the town around through reviving art projects.

Check out this clip for a preview of the crew’s experience with the handheld devices:

“Believing that color has the power to transform his community, he’s helping to paint everywhere – on houses, on buses and the entire hillside,” said the film’s description. “Armed with brushes of bright blues, pastel pinks and sunshine yellows, he’s helping to mobilize citizens of all ages, determined to turn the gray town into a rainbow full of color to lead the way to a brighter Haiti.”

Titled “The Painter of Jalouzi,” RYOT used special cases and attachments to capture the short film. At one point during the shoot, a sketchy smartphone rig was tied on a DJI Phantom drone and released carefully from the side of a cliff.

The iPhone 6S model is living up to the hype and proving to the world that it’s equipped with the best camera a smartphone could possibly have.

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