Mobile Photographers: Is the 6 camera worth an upgrade from my 5C?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CE3, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. CE3, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

    CE3 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I own a 16GB 5C and other than some occasional voice muffling issues I've been happy with the phone.

    I do a lot of photography, so my main reason for getting the 5C was to give myself a decent mobile option and I've gotten great results with it.

    To those of you who've upgraded from this model to the 6, as well from the 5 or 5S, would you say the camera improvements in the 6 are worth the upgrade? After doing some more research last night, with the exception of the 6's new digital stabilization for video (which is very good), I'm not convinced the camera is that much of an upgrade.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    My iPhone 5 camera was rarely used when I travelled. But on a recent trip I found that I was using my iPhone 6+ camera about equally with my Canon 6D and Sony RX-100. For me:

    1) the larger size was easier to hold
    2) the larger screen made it easier to quickly set the shot
    3) the larger screen was a bit better setting up the shot in adverse light conditions (I.E. when the sun was shining directly on the screen)
    4) Low light shots were phenomenal, easily the equivalent of my 6D and RX100. Can't compare with the 5 since I just didn't use it.

    I've appended 2 shots below. The performance shot is from the Hanoi opera house. It is cropped! I didn't expect being able to take pictures so didn't take my other cameras. Turns out everyone was taking pictures. I was close enough to the stage that the lack of a zoom didn't preclude taking the shot. Even videos came out oK.
     

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  3. Itsedstech macrumors 6502a

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  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    I went from a 5 to a 6 and don't see huge differences. The biggest improvement is in low light.
     
  5. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #5
    I find the 6 only slightly better than even the 4s. I also got great pics with that phone.

    On a side note I hate it when photo apps use the term iphoneographer.
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #6
    I'm a professional photographer and I preferred the 5S and 5C camera to the 6.

    Yes, the 6 got some improvements but they are far outweighed by its absolutely horrendous image processing chip. Basically, Apple decided that no iPhone photo would ever be allowed to have any ISO noise and it has to be killed at all costs.

    That 'cost' is mushy oil-painting-like distortions that appear whenever you have anything less than great lighting. You'll see it on cloudy days, even. The iPhone used to be a good low-light camera but not anymore.

    This camera is like 2 steps forward, 5 steps back.

    I'm praying that they wise up for the 6S and undo this mistake. A little grain never killed anyone and even if you don't love grain it's vastly preferable to this mess.

    The iPhone 6 is a better phone in many other ways so I put up with this. I'm not going back to a 5 model. But since you're specifically talking about upgrading for the camera I'd have to say don't.
     
  7. CE3, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thanks for the input guys. I think I'm leaning more towards not upgrading now. I was pretty much set on the 6 until I started digging further last night. Maybe I'll just wait to see what Apple has to offer in the fall.

    I'm actually surprised by the Galaxy S6 shots and video I've been seeing. The S6 camera seems to have some white balance problems and the optical stabilization isn't as good as the iPhone 6's digital stabilization, but the S6 images look noticeably sharper. I definitely prefer iOS to android, though.
     
  8. Ron20 macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2015
    #8
    i am comparing from my galaxy s4, didnt have a ip5...

    but i noticed that my 6+ takes better pictures all around plus the slow-mo video is fantastic but it needs a bright room to see the video well.. (i have used it on my dog many of times and finally got the shot i was wanting of him catching the ball while jumping.. (plus some waterfall slow-mo's)

    one thing i do notice with the 6+ is the close up focus is a little bad.. seems to take awhile to get a clear pic.. maybe its just me. but galaxy would have won.

    i am uploading some pics (some might be the same but this is what i did with my 6+ i am not the best photographer but i am good enough..

    all iphone 6+ photos.
    [​IMG]
    have a slightly better pic (angle) but this will work.. not bad
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    should have ben slightly darker but still looks cool.
    [​IMG]

    galaxy s4 pics
    [​IMG]
    (my dog is fine by the way.)
    [​IMG]

    but really both phones did good in certain conditions the ios seems slightly better, to me. i have yet to take a side by side pic of the same pic,

    may not be useful but somebody might see difference..
    i havent done anything to the photos, just what you see is what you get.

    ----------

    i have had both systems, and prefer my ios to droid's. both are still good though. all though i wish ios had some features my gs4 had..
     
  9. sunking101 macrumors 603

    sunking101

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    Sep 19, 2013
    #9
    I think the S4 pics look better, but then they're not of the same subject matter so it's like comparing apples and oranges.

    I like my 6+ for close-up and low light shots, but otherwise my iPhone 5 took better photos.
     
  10. CE3, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I just found a great link with tons of new S6 photos: http://www.reddit.com/r/s6photography/

    I grabbed a few images that caught my eye, threw them into Photoshop and Camera Raw to see what I could do and got some really nice results. This camera seems prone to blowing out highlights easy, but the images offer quite a bit of detail (and the bokeh is sweet too). I may just go with the S6 and hang onto my 5C as well.
     
  11. recoil80 macrumors 68000

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #11
    Good post.
    I'm not happy with the iPhone 6 camera and in some conditions I find it worse than the iPhone 5 I previously owned.
    Of course when I take a pic with my DSLR I'm much happier with the result and this have to do with lens of course but with the digital processing as well, cause even when I don't take the shot in RAW the JPEG is fine.
    I don't have the RAW option on the iPhone camera app and when I open the JPEG on a large screen I'm really disappointed by the result.

    Of course the best camera is the one you have with you, but the camera is not the main reason while I like iPhone and shouldn't be the reason to buy iPhone 6 if you have 5C.
    The bigger screen, TouchID, Apple pay etc. are a good reason to upgrade but forget the camera.
    If you really want a good camera maybe Lumia is the right phone for you, but you'd have a different OS and an heavier phone.
     
  12. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #12
    When I take pics for convenience, I use the 6 plus. Because it's convenient. When I care about what I'm about to shoot, I use a standalone camera that is optimized for pre-shot control and delivers a raw image that I can improve upon, if necessary.
     
  13. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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  14. clukas macrumors 6502a

    clukas

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    #14
    Thats exactly what Im doing. Not long now.
     
  15. CE3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 26, 2014
    #15
    I love the convenience & portability and I care about what I'm shooting. The iPhone certainly doesn't replace my DSLR, but I can take incredible photos with it, explore unique perspectives that wouldn't be as easy to do with my Canon, and there are lots of ways to enhance images in post processing. Yes, these cameras have their limitations, but the notion that you can't do serious photography with your phones simply isn't true anymore. <-- Not that you're necessarily saying this.. just a point I wanted to make.

    I don't care for the term either.. but I do like this website: http://iphonephotographyschool.com/

    ^lots of helpful tips and inspiration for both iPhone shooters and photographers in general.
     
  16. FieldingMellish, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015

    FieldingMellish Suspended

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    #16
    The term iphonographer is stupid. Which, in that case, I've been a Canonographer, a Fujiographer and an Olympusographer.

    As far as taking serious photos with a phone, it's imperative that you have the right subject and right prevailing light on your side. It's the unforgiving conditions where one is gratified to use the tools found on a regular camera in order to counter it at the moment of capture.
     
  17. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

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    #17
    This has been my experience exactly.

    Do we know for certain the problem coding is at the chip level and not the operating system? Because honestly, if this isn't fixable with an update, I'll be changing phones sooner rather than later. The image processing on the 6 is wretched; shooting in anything other than very bright sunlight seems to produce that horrible Monet effect. I like Monet as an artist; I just don't want every single image I take to look like I'm trying to imitate him!

    None of the 3rd party apps seem to prevent this issue, but if anyone has found one that does, please post. I had planned on keeping the 6 for three years; I seriously am about ready to toss it after five months and go back to a 5s over this. Hell, my iPhone 4 took better pictures in average lighting situations. (And for the "use an SLR" crowd, not an option anymore, for reasons not worth getting into here. I need a decent camera phone, and I expect "good" results, not SLR & Canon-L quality from one.)

    So to answer the OP, here's another "no" vote. The iPhone 6 camera isn't an improvement over anything else you may have.
     
  18. shifomu macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2014
    #18
    Just to add my two cents, I have an iPhone 6 and I'm in the process of selling to go back to the 5s. Apple have essentially done the one thing I never thought they would do and have truly messed up the software processing of the camera as others have mentioned. It was something I always noticed on pictures from android phones and was so glad iPhones didnt look bad but the iPhone 6 is now no better than other phones on the market. The larger screen and better battery life aren't enough for me to warrant the awful picture quality so I would definitely say no to upgrading, the 5c is a lot nicer to hold too.
     
  19. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #19
    I don't know for sure, but I suspect so because...

    I know that's not proof, but I feel like if it was software at least one of these apps wouldn't be affected, somehow. The fact that they all are makes me suspect the hardware.
     
  20. IrishVixen, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015

    IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

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    #20
    I tend to agree. But I know there was discussion a couple of months back as to whether it was the chip itself or whether it was simply applied at a base level before the images were "passed through" to the third party apps--the hope being that it was simply something Apple theoretically could choose to change or allow the third party apps to toggle off. Unfortunately, I've seen absolutely zero evidence that Apple's tweaked this in any 8.x update. Either it can't be fixed in software, or Apple continues to see nothing wrong.

    Ugh. I just don't have faith at the moment that Apple will fix this with the next hardware update this fall, because apparently someone somewhere with zero photographic experience thought this was a good idea to implement in the first place.

    Edit: just for personal curiosity, I might run a few tests...we still have 2 iPhone 5 units in the house, one still on 7.1.2, one on 8, plus one 6 is on 8.1.2 versus the other on 8.3. Could be interesting to see what happens with a tripod, identical lighting, same app, and similar settings to see if there's a difference between the four phones. But what a pain in the ---! This should never have been necessary.
     
  21. shifomu macrumors member

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    #21
    That would be really interesting to see. I look forward to seeing your results
     
  22. rosario1990 macrumors regular

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    #22
    How much time should I wait for this?
     
  23. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #23
    The 6S will be out this fall. It is only rumors but have heard them several times that Aplle is working on a new camera that will possibly blow the competition away.

    If you can wait, it might be worth it.
     
  24. CE3, Apr 25, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I'm looking into the Lumia 1020 now and I think you're right: this would certainly be the most significant camera upgrade of the three. I might buy one on Ebay for the camera only and save my contract's upgrade discount. The S6 has a great camera, but iOS is a much better fit for me and it's not worth switching to Android.

    +1 If you run the tests, be sure to share your results here, IrishVixen : )
     
  25. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

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    #25
    It'll still be an imperfect test--iPhone 5 versus iPhone 6, which means different cameras. Isn't the 6 camera basically the same as the 5s according to the teardowns? Unfortunately, I don't have a 5s to try.

    Noticed out something else last night though in informal testing; the 6 seems to blow out highlights when set to the same ISO/shutter speed as the 5 that's still on 7.1.2. Since being able to do most manual adjustments came with iOS 8, I used Pure Shot on both cams, let the 5/7.1.2 pick it's own settings, then matched those in full manual mode on the 6. Result was the 6 image was noticeably brighter overall, all whites in the image blown out. And yes, the Monet effect didn't seem present on the 5, though it was a low light ISO 800 crappy handheld shot. Plenty of noise, of course, but details were present and less smoothed.

    Need to wait for a dry day, since I'll do this outside during daylight. But if I can manage it this week, I'll post it. It should be interesting, anyway, even if it's not perfectly matched because it's with a 5 instead of a 5s.
     

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