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Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: Best iPhone camera tested ever

Monday December 21 2015

Mobile Review
DxOMark Mobile
84

Overview

With its iPhone 6s Plus, Apple delivers once again superb camera performance, without compromising on the form factor, in one of the slimmest smartphone on the market. Compared to its previous version, the iSight camera of the latest iPhone manages to improve image quality while packing in more pixels without increasing the size of its sensor.

In spite of the larger body the iPhone 6s Plus adopts a similar but not identical camera module with the same size 1/3” type sensor. The module differs with an optical image stabilizer for stills and video.

From our combination of lab and real world tests the iPhone 6s Plus realized a DxOMark score of 84 points. Not only is it that an improvement on the iPhone 6s, it is in fact the best performing Apple iPhone ever!

Photos

For photos, the 6S Plus brings an interesting addition of detail.

Like its sibling, the iPhone 6s Plus achieved a great balance of performance, with strong results for exposure and contrast, autofocus, control of artifacts, and color, helping it achieve an impressive Mobile Photo score of 84 points.

Apple_iPhone_6S_Plus__Photo

The finest detail ever achieved by an iPhone

The iPhone 6s Plus has a very good level of detail in bright light and has low levels of chroma noise. Chroma noise is successfully removed, even if some luminance noise remains visible. This fine-grained noise is also visible in daylight scenes in uniform areas such as skies.

Outdoors__003

In this scene detail is high, and noise is barely visible in areas of uniform color

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Compared to the previous Apple smartphones, the new iPhone 6S Plus succeed in providing more fine details in bright light condition (See above) but also in lowlight

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Exposure and Color: Great HDR and vivid colors

From our tests, images from the iPhone 6s Plus are well-exposed and have plenty of detail visible in well-lit outdoor scenes. All in one, the iPhone 6S Plus provides very well-balanced images for almost all typical scenes

Like its sibling, we noticed occasional exposure inaccuracies between two successive captures in auto HDR mode, and with extremely low-light levels (5 lux), the iPhone 6s Plus has a tendency to underexpose.

In our outdoor tests, white balance was generally reliable and colors are very attractive.

Outdoors__920

An outdoor scene under good lighting results in good exposure as well as accurate white balance with pleasant-looking colors

Exposure

Autofocus: Fast and reliable

Autofocus was also very fast and mostly accurate under all our test conditions. There were some exceptions, however: just like its sibling, autofocus was less reliable in our low-light tests.

Well-balanced shot with flash

Flash performance largely mirrors the iPhone 6s. The light was centered and exposure and color rendering were accurate, even if its illumination is slightly less uniform than that of competitors. When mixed with tungsten lighting, a slight pink cast was noticeable but not unpleasant.

 

Video

The best stabilization available on an iPhone

In the video tests, the iPhone 6s Plus achieved a Mobile Video score of 82 points, up two points on the iPhone 6 and 6s and three points above the iPhone 6 Plus.

The 6S Plus model was strong, with fast, smooth and accurate autofocus. Stabilization was efficient in good lighting, and remained so in low light, albeit with some noticeable shake at times.

It also did well in regulating exposure and white balance, resulting in images with good color rendering and saturation, but with slight color shading visible under indoor fluorescent lighting conditions. Imaging performance was slightly less convincing in low light, displaying higher temporal and spatial noise.

Looking at the comparison with the latest Apple iPhone camera, the 6s Plus brings a really nice improvement for video stabilization.

Apple Iphone Video score comparison

What’s remarkable about the performance? Well, where rivals have adopted a larger sensor, Apple has continued to make good use of the smaller size 1/3” type sensor, albeit with the much-publicized newer sensor tech. The iPhone6s Plus is a sensational performer !

Photo

DxOMark Mobile Photo
84
Exposure and contrast
90
Color
83
Autofocus
91
Texture
78
Noise
80
Artifacts
86
Flash
83

Pros

- Very good exposure overall

- Fast and generally accurate autofocus under all test conditions

- Reliable and pleasant white balance under most conditions

- Good detail preservation in bright light

Cons

- Some luminance noise visible, especially in low light

- Some color inaccuracies and color shading visible with indoor lighting

- Occasional blue-sky saturation and other artifacts

- With flash, chroma noise and visible reduction of illumination in corners

Video

DxOMark Mobile Video
82
Exposure and contrast
81
Color
85
Autofocus
88
Texture
82
Noise
79
Artifacts
80
Stabilization
77

Pros

- Fast, accurate and smooth autofocus

- Effective stabilization under all test conditions

- Good overall exposure and white balance

Cons

- Noise noticeable in low-light conditions, especially in image corners

- Some vibration noticeable at times

- Color shading visible under all conditions