One of the main improvements to come with Apple’s newest iPhone is its camera.
The iPhone 6S comes with a 12-megapixel camera compared to the 8-megapixel camera on the iPhone 6, which means it should be able to take higher quality images. Apple has been using an 8-megapixel camera on the iPhone since the iPhone 4S launched in 2011.
The Galaxy S6, however, has a higher megapixel count than both iPhones at 16 megapixels.
To see how noticeable these differences are in everyday use, I tested the camera on each phone by capturing the same image, at the same time, under the same circumstances.
(Note: Each phone was set to auto, and none of the images have been edited. For the purposes of this test, we used an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, and Galaxy S6 Edge. The iPhone 6 Plus’ camera is the same as that of the iPhone 6, except the iPhone 6 Plus offers optical image stabilisation, which means it keeps the camera more stable if your hands shake while shooting the image. The Galaxy S6 Edge’s camera is exactly the same as that of the Galaxy S6.)
This is that same photo taken with the iPhone 6 Plus. It looks nearly identical to the one taken with the iPhone 6S. When I zoomed in, I noticed that the detail on the building above the Ann Taylor sign was a bit clearer in the iPhone 6S' photo, but not in a way that's really noticeable unless you're looking for it.
Now here's the Galaxy S6's version. It looks noticeably different -- the overall photo itself seems brighter. In terms of detail it's about the same as the images taken with the iPhone.
Again, here's that same photo taken with the iPhone 6 Plus. It looks exactly the same, but when I zoomed in further I noticed this was a little more grainy than the photo taken with the iPhone 6S.
This image was shot on the Galaxy S6. There's isn't much of a change in terms of colour or detail, but it does look a little smoother than the previous photos. When I zoomed in closely on all three images, it was this photo and the one taken with the iPhone 6S that seemed the clearest.
Here's a photo of a few flowers shot on the iPhone 6S. The colour is vibrant and bold, and when I zoomed in I noticed again that it was more detailed than the image taken with the iPhone 6 Plus.
Here's the iPhone 6 Plus' image. To the naked eye, it looks just like the previous photo. There's no noticeable difference in colour accuracy either.
Now here's the Galaxy S6's image. You'll notice the green colouring in the leaves look brighter, while the photos taken on the iPhone show a deeper green.
The different shades of green are even more evident in this set of photos. Here's the image taken on the iPhone 6S.
Just like in the previous image set, this photo taken with the Galaxy S6 shows a different shade of green.
Here's an image of a subway stop taken on the iPhone 6S. Of all three photos in this set, this one had the richest colour.
Now here's that same photo shot on the iPhone 6 Plus. Notice how the green and blue colours are a bit more washed out here.
Here's the Galaxy S6's version. You'll notice both the green colour of the station and the blue Wi-Fi sign at the bottom are slightly brighter here than in the images taken with the iPhone.
The iPhone 6S has the best front-facing camera I've ever used on a smartphone. It uses the screen as a flash when you snap the photo.
Now here's that same photo taken with the iPhone 6 Plus, which doesn't have any flash. It's really grainy.
Now here's the Galaxy S6's version. It's smoother than the image taken with the iPhone 6 Plus, but it doesn't compare to the one shot with an iPhone 6S.
Here's a photo of my coworker Steven Tweedie taken in a dim room in our office. It's clear and detailed, but a little dark.
Now here's the Galaxy S6's image. This image has the best lighting in the bunch, but it's not quite as detailed and the colour is a bit exaggerated.
Again, here's that same photo on the iPhone 6 Plus. You can't really notice the difference here, but when I zoomed in I noticed the building's bricks in the background were much more detailed in the iPhone 6S' photo. They were grainy and blurry when I zoomed in on the iPhone 6 Plus' image.
The Galaxy S6's image is brighter and just as detailed as the image taken with the iPhone 6S. But, it's a little blown out. While this photo may look nicer because it's less dim, it's not true to the actual scene. The photos taken on the iPhone were more realistic.
In general, the iPhone 6S' camera appears to be a minor improvement over that of the iPhone 6. The new iPhone can capture photos with richer detail and bolder colours in some circumstances, but in most instances I didn't really notice a difference. The camera on the Galaxy S6 captures brighter images, but sometimes it causes the image to be blown out.
There's one area where the iPhone 6S clearly wins, and that's with the front facing camera. The flash makes a big difference, and it allows you to capture images with the front camera at a level of detail that you couldn't get in the past.