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9 iPhone camera comparison: How does the iPhone 6s camera compare to every iPhone generation?

In the past eight years, each new advancement in iPhone camera technology has made dramatic improvements to image quality. The new 12-megapixel iPhone 6s iSight camera is no exception. With 50% more megapixels than the last four iPhone 8-megapixel models, the iPhone 6s boasts a number of key improvements including: improved auto-focus, local tone-mapping, noise reduction, and colour separation, with that fancy “deep trench isolation” technology Apple is raving about.

In this follow-up post to my previous iPhone comparisons, I present a 9 iPhone comparison from all iPhone versions taken with Camera+ including: the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and the new iPhone 6s, in a variety of real-life situations to test each iPhone camera’s capabilities.

The first comparison is a macro of pencil crayons to examine the increase in detail with the new 12MP iPhone 6s. The original iPhone and 3G are fixed focus so they are unable to focus on closely placed objects resulting in blurry, pixelated images. Autofocus was added to the iPhone 3Gs which improves the quality of the image slightly. There is a noticeable improvement in the details and sharpness of the image with the 5MP iPhone 4 and the 8MP iPhone 4s, but we only begin to see the details in the pencil crayon tips with the iPhone 5 and 5s due to addition of the five-element lens which increased the sharpness of images. The iPhone 6 is a brighter image thanks to the local tone-mapping algorithm added to this version, but the clear winner is the iPhone 6s. The addition of detection autofocus and deep trench isolation gives this iPhone camera faster, more accurate focusing and clearer, less noisy images. The detail and colour separation in the iPhone 6s image is dramatic.


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