iPhone 6 Plus iSight Camera

Having had the iPhone 6 plus for a few weeks now, I have had a good chance to test the 8 megapixel iSight camera’s capabilities.

Specifications:

Focal length: 4.15mm

Maximum aperture: F 2.2

Sensor size: 1/3″

Crop Factor 7.21x

Effective focal length of camera: 30mm

ISO range: 32 to 500

Shutter speed: down to 1/4 secs

To maintain steady images, the rule we use is 1/focal length of camera, which in this instance is 1/30 secs. But with the Optical Image stabiliser of the iPhone 6 plus, it will be possible to go to lower shutter speeds. In fact, it can shoot down to 1/4 secs  to boost the image while using lower ISOs.

The images below were taken when we went Christmas shopping in the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe. The camera did not need to go higher than ISO 64.

Christmas tree F2.2 ISO 32 1/40
Christmas tree F2.2 ISO 32 1/40 secs
Snowman decoration F2.2 ISO 64 1/33s
Snowman decoration F2.2 ISO 64 1/33 secs
Indoor decoration F2.2 ISO 40 1/17
Indoor decoration F2.2 ISO 40 1/17 secs
Indoor decoration (straight up shot) F2.2 ISO 50 1/30s
Indoor decoration (straight up shot) F2.2 ISO 50 1/30 secs
Indoor decoration F2.2 ISO 32 1/15
Indoor decoration F2.2 ISO 32 1/15 secs
Shops in Eden F2.2 ISO  40 1/30s
Shops in Eden F2.2 ISO 40 1/30 secs
Outdoor decoration F2.2 ISO 50 1/30
Outdoor decoration F2.2 ISO 50 1/30 secs

The camera does work very well, and certainly produces images which are much better than previous generations of smartphone cameras. No wonder it received the highest rating by DXO for smartphone sensor.

Next I did a test of the sensor capability at very low light (only light coming from a window which is more than 5 metres away on a cloudy day). As can be seen, the optical image stabilisation works to 3-stops, allowing handheld shooting at 1/4 secs. This is great for shooting static subjects, which will apply to many shooting situations.

Shot in dark room F2.2 ISO 500 1/4 secs
Shot in dark room F2.2 ISO 500 1/4 secs
100% crop
100% crop of above

But I would not use the on-camera LED light for subject illumination, as it is very harsh and too direct – I would use this only as a flashlight. Instead, I would use the Nova Bluetooth flash for off-camera lighting. My Nova Flash was not syncing with my iPhone for a while, but it seems to be working again. So here is an image taken with the Nova Flash.

Taken with Nova Flash
Taken with Nova Flash

But as mentioned in my review, using the Nova flash does not preserve the exif data of the photo, which is a shame.

Boon