Apple increases megapixels from 8MP to 12MP for new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

New camera on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

September 9, 2015, Apple media event introducing the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

As a video creator and photographer, the latest iPhone cameras have always been a curiosity. Today, Apple revealed several new upgrades to its product lines including the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. While there are several compelling feature upgrades as well as the operating system iOS 9, this post will focus on the new iSight camera only.

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have a 12MP iSight camera which means 50% more pixels than the previous version with 8MP. The now older iPhone 6 actually has very impressive camera technology with only 8MP, considering that other makers had already been offering 12MP or 16MP for the last few years. But the iPhone sensor technology has always been superior and has certainly been a comparable camera in terms of picture quality.  The number of pixels alone is not the determining factor for great photography and video quality. However, a 12MP camera will improve the iSight camera even more. 12MP consequently also means that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have 50% more focus pixels, which means that autofocus will work significantly better.

12MP and the new iSight iPhone 6s and 6s Plus camera

The iSight camera on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sports 12MP

The older iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have also been capturing crisp photos even in low light, and the raw images of the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus do an even better job in low light. Even in mixed lighting conditions the camera has an incredible exposure range. For example, if you take a photo of a person next to a window with lots of natural light in a room that is filled with artificial lights (e.g. ceiling lights, lamps.) Artificial light tends to produce a slight red tinge while natural light can have a slight blue tinge in the photo or video. Mixing the two is usually not a good idea. But the new 12MP iSight camera does a really nice job of color balancing.

Finally, the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can shoot not only in HD but in 4K. On a much larger screen 4K video will have a much more detailed and smoother picture. Will you be able to tell the difference on an iPhone? No you won’t. If you plan to edit the iPhone 4K video footage on your computer, you would be able to scale and zoom the footage significantly without loosing any resolution which can be very helpful when the final video is shown in 1080 HD on a TV sized monitor or large desktop monitor. Most current playback methods (YouTube, most TVs, tablets, smartphones) will see no difference in the resolution and clarity when comparing 1080 vs 4K. 4K video will no doubt play a role in the future for consumers and filmmakers. But if you plan to shoot your next documentary on an iPhone for the big screen then the 4K capability will be an excellent upgrade – just make sure you have plenty of memory and disk space on your iPhone 🙂

If you are planning on upgrading from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 6s – I would say it is not a significant leap forward by any means. However, if you are upgrading from an iPhone 5s or older you will be fascinated with the improved video and photo quality.