iPhone 6s Camera Worse than 5s? Pics

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thedatapusher, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. thedatapusher, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015

    thedatapusher macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    So pretty disappointed out of the gate. There is pitting on the corners and sides of the phone ever since I picked it up. That was a major downer. Now I finally started playing with the camera and am not impressed.

    I loved the 5s camera. It took amazing pictures. So I splurged and got myself an iPhone 6s on launch day thinking it would be a major step up in the camera dept.

    I took some pictures of family during the supermoon. It was unbelievable how bad how they came out. I thought it was a fluke. However, I just did some test shots and I can't believe how bad they are. The iPhone 6s side by side to the 5s is washed out, low contrast and the details are non existent. The 5s keeps the details in the image.

    Same OS, same lighting, tried using both autofocus and touch focus. Same results. Notice how on the 6s, you don't even realize there is a pattern in the wood floor or any detail in the jeans.

    Update: thumbnails only - click for normal size

    Update: Apple has replaced the phone with pitting in the corners and sides with no hassle. Defect in manufacturing.

    Update: Using 645 PRO Mk III has led to some much better shots. However low light is still an issue.

    Update: The 645 PRO Mk III and Pure Shot apps are nice but very buggy. They freeze the majority of the time causing lost shots and need for power cycle. There is definitely an issue with the stability of both the 645 PRO Mk III and the Pure Shot apps on the 6s, however the quality is better than the default camera app can produce. If you can handle the freezing and crashing of the app, then it is worth the $4 for more control of the camera. There is still DNR processing on both apps regardless of what it says under the description.
  2. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Try turning Live Photo's off if you have it on. I've heard it reduces the quality of low light photos.
  3. thedatapusher thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2010
    "Live" mode is off.
  4. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Hmm, that's disappointing.. I've found low light to be a touch and go. I did a couple of test shots like yourself of my jeans in a fairly dark room and on one you could clearly see the detail in the jeans but the other looked muddy like a watercolour painting. I'll see if I can grab them now so you know what I'm talking about.
  5. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Also that 6s test shot - what is the gray smudge on the right? Is that in all of your photos?
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Maybe its a defective camera. This thread shows the comparisons between all the iPhones and the 6s is clearly superior in all ways.
  7. lancastor macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    iPhone 5S has 8MP, iPhone 6S has 12MP.

    So iPhone 6S is worse on low light conditions.
  8. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Low light images will not be the "S" series strong point. More pixels on the same size sensor will result in noise in low light and the phone will apply an extra helping of noise reduction which will result in loss of detail.

    In medium to good light my 6S+ produces the best images I have ever got from a phone by far!
  9. spinningfree macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2015
    Megapixels have nothing to do with low light conditions, it's the aperture that makes the biggest difference.

    It looks like the 6S is doing very heavy noise reduction, mainly because of the lighting conditions.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Actually its both, because more pixels are crammed in and the aperture wasn't increased there's less light per pixel.
  11. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Size of the pixels are a major player for ability to collect light.

    A higher density sensor has small pixels, thus more noise.

    That was Apple's entire mantra when they moved to 1.50um pixels with the 5S. Now they've moved backwards.
    This is why my MILC blows iPhone away, with 4.00um pixels.

    Megapixel related to sensor size, density, is the critical factor for low light performance. There are other mitigating technologies. But this is the biggie.
  12. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    OK I've cropped the images so you can see the detail easier. These were taken seconds apart, both on iPhone 6s - the top one had live photos on the bottom one didn't. The problems with the top one look very similar to the problem with your 6s image, although you said live photos were off so live photo's may not be the problem.

    As you can see it just looks out of focus.


  13. roeiz macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2010
    the 6S looks ok here. a bit more light, and some noise reduction.
    so for this specific low light sample, i prefer the 6S.
    it SHOULD be much better, that's true.
  14. spinningfree macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2015
    Hmmm, I always thought the pixels made little difference and it was the size of the sensor / photo sites that mattered. I could be wrong.

    Either way, that photo has some major noise reduction applied.
  15. MaciMac100 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2014

    Jump to "Low-light Photos"

    "The 6s shot is noticeably less sharp due to the greater level of noise-reduction applied by the phone.

    This reinforces what I’d long said: that Apple was right to refuse to enter the megapixel race and concentrate instead on quality rather than quantity. The more densely-packed sensor in the higher megapixel camera requires more aggressive noise-reduction to overcome the increased noise – and that is achieved at the expense of detail. So the higher resolution image does, in low-light conditions, end up less detailed than the lower resolution version.

    This is, unfortunately, what happens when people who know nothing about photography simply count pixels and criticize Apple for falling behind. The company refused to play that game for a long time, but I guess this is the point at which it feared it would be panned for remaining with an 8MP camera for a fifth generation (after the iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and 6).

    At a pixel-peeping level, then, the iPhone 6s sensor is actually a retrograde step, sacrificing detail for pixel-count."

    So, is iPhone 6s camera worse than 5s? In low light, I would say yes. It was bad decision to enter megapixel race.
  16. deadsoul macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2015
    Welcome to your new nightmare :D this problem is caused by Apple they implemented a noise reduction algorithm, I have a 5s which takes crisp and better pictures, been waiting for this issue to be solved, unfortunately for Apple this seems to be a "feature" and no one seems to notice or they don't care because they think they have the "best phone ever"...

    Keeping my 5s for another cycle...

    For your reference:
  17. rarebeauty, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

    rarebeauty macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2014
    I may be in the minority, but I think the 6S pics look better in your comparison photos.
  18. NewdestinyX macrumors 65816

    Jul 19, 2007
    Yeah - it's a personal taste thing. In low light - I actually like the 'smoothing' effect. But I totally respect why the photographer enthusiasts and pros want the algorithm to not blur the detail. Totally get it.

    I too regret that Apple had to respond to the megapixel war. People are just so uninformed and believer more is always better. Same thing with the RAM.. Apple knew all along that if they added more RAM - lazy code0writing developers would glut up their code and use more and more RAM still rending your phone laggy after a while. So like there are upsides to more megapixels there are also upsides to more RAM. So I'm not against either of them - but people need to educate themselves enough to know the 'trade offs'. More isn't always automatically 'better' in 'every way'.
  19. phillytim macrumors 65816


    Aug 12, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Wrong. The 6S has a bigger sensor, in order to compensate for the 12megapixels.
  20. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    Actually, no, it doesn't.
  21. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    I hope that the 7 addresses this and has a bigger sensor. I know that it would probably cause the camera to stick out again and the Protruding Camera Patrol would claim how hideous it is, but if we're going to have a protruding camera regardless, I'd rather them make it at least a little bit bigger.
  22. TL24 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2011
    This has been my biggest complaint since iOS 8 was released! They basically changed the noise reduction algorithm and totally F'd the picture quality. I still have pictures taken from my 5S running iOS 7.1.2 that look superior to even my 6S Plus which is sad! I'm not the only to have complained about this, I even create a separate thread about this on here and on the official Apple forums. I highly doubt Apple will revert the changes they've made, it's horrible man and I ***** hate it.
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I have noticed that live photo pictures are more easily out of focus. I hope that we get a software fix. I'm mostly taking pics of my son and, as anyone would imagine, small children don't stay still for a long time. Live Photos are a fun idea, but if the still turns out blurry more often than not, I'd rather just have the clear still shot only.
  24. TommyA6 macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2013
    The sensor is the same size as in 5s/6. Apple needs to increase the aperture or sensor size (or preferably both) for the iPhone 7.
    That's why Galaxy S6 (f1.9) and LG G4 (f1.8) produce better low light photos despite having smaller pixels.
    6 Plus produces the best low light photos of all iPhones (including the 6s plus).
  25. TroyBoy30 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2009
    Atlanta GA
    stop pixel peeping and you wont notice it

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