iPhone 6s camera - does it even need 12 MP?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ghanwani, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #1
    Back in the day when P&S cameras were going through megapixel wars, it was a well-accepted that the sensor size affected image quality a whole lot more than megapixels. The average point & shoot sensor size back then was 1/2.5".

    Based on what I can find, it looks like the sensor size for the iPhone 6s is much smaller at 1/3". So, does the 12 megapixels really make any difference in normal use, or does it just waste storage space on the phone (and also wherever else the photos are stored)?

    Is there a way to set the camera to use a lower number of megapixels?
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    Your right that people get hung up on the megapixel number. I have a 24 megapixel DSLR that will outperform a 50 megapixel camera phone. Why? Sensor size.
    I'm pretty sure there is no way to reduce the size of the files on an iPhone.
    But why would you want to. Reducing the number of megapixels will free up storage space, but the photos will look even worse.
    If you ever want to print large photos, the number of megapixels will help tremendously.
     
  3. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    How would it help? The sensor size is so small, that if you blow up the photo, regardless of the number of MP, the picture is going to appear grainy. Again, based on what I see on the net, 8 MP is more than enough for 8" x 10" prints. And if you go larger, regardless of megapixels, there's going to be an increase in graininess.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #4
    I have some pretty nice A3 shots printed from my DSLR. It's only 24 mp. Your right 8mp is enough, but remember digital zoom. If you zoom in your really cutting away part of your image. In other words reducing the number of megapixels.
     
  5. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

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    #5
    My 6 year old point and shoot has far less noise than my iPhone 6. Anything that can be done to improve iPhone camera performance, including reduction of MP, is a benefit.
     
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    The trouble is an iPhone picture looks fine on an iPhone screen. It's when you want to make it bigger, or compare it to a better camera photo, that you see the diffrence in quality.
     
  7. ghanwani thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    With digital zoom, I'm still really capturing the "whole image" on the tiny sensor and then cropping that. Since the sensor is the limiting factor, I'm not sure how more megapixels would help.

    In other words, the megapixels per sq inch of sensor doesn't stays the same regardless of the digital zoom setting, so I don't see how it would affect image quality by packing more pixels given that you already have "enough" megapixels to begin with.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

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    #8
    24 MP image cropped by 50% is a 12 MP image. Digital zoom works in much the same way.
     
  9. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #9
    I agree with this. Digital zoom aside, it's a waste. Older APS size sensor DSLRs with 8MP could make stunning 8x10s. The lens was often the limiting factor.

    I think 5S photos are for the most part better than 6S photos.
     
  10. adamhenry macrumors 65832

    adamhenry

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    #10
    I've got an old 1D Canon that is only 4MP. It certainly produces better pictures than any iPhone.
     
  11. bushido Suspended

    bushido

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    #11
    as long as Apple insists on using their horrible noise algorithm introduces with the iPhone 6, nothing will change
     
  12. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    #12
    I'm pretty sure the only reason they moved from 8MP on the last 4 iPhones was so they could incorporate 4K video recording. The 8MP sensor in the iPhone 6 wasn't high enough resolution for 4K video, it was just under it. That's my bet. And they managed to do it without going overboard like some of the 16-21MP sensors on phones that are just plain bad in low light. So I'm happy. If I want great photos I'll just use my T3i I've had for almost 5 years.

    On the other hand, for big phone sensors I did own an HTC One M8 for quite some time thought 2014 and it had a 4MP sensor with 2.0 micron pixels at ƒ2.0 and it was a low light beast. Plus it had manual controls so you could sit it in a dock and set the shutter up to 4" and get a daylight photo outside with just moonlight. So that was impressive. The downside was that it had terrible dynamic range and highlights were almost always overexposed/blown out.

    I think Apple's got it right, along with Samsung and the new Nexus 5x/6p sensors from Sony do pretty well too.
     
  13. Vicrooloo macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2015
    #13
    Sensor size is important but you need MP when editing.

    IMO, it wouldn't hurt to have a larger MP offering and then an option in the app to take smaller photos.
     
  14. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    #14
    It is strange that Apple upper to 12 MP after years at 8 MP. I agree that a new sensor was needed to facilitate 4K recording, but I'm surprised Apple didn't go the Nokia route of having a high MP sensor but taking a lower MP picture to improve quality (remember the Nokia 41 MP sensor?) My personal view is that Apple have been wanting to up the MP for a few years, but only this year did they have the deep terrace pixels technology. Unfortunately, the upshot is that the picture quality is essentially the same as the iPhone 6. This is similar to the old P&S megapixel wars where all the improvements in processing technology only just about manage to maintain picture quality next to the shrinking pixel size. IT's a shame as the new 6s technology coupled with an 8 MP sensor would have yielded a nice improvement in quality.
     

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