Photographer takes iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Iceland, details major enhancements over iPhone 5s

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Photographer Austin Mann on Wednesday posted an in-depth look at the camera hardware and software suite offered with Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, taking the handsets to Iceland in a shootout against last year's iPhone 5s.


Image cropped for space. | Source: Austin Mann


While a number of reviews have noted improvements with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cameras, none have taken the handsets into the field for extensive real-world testing. Mann, in partnership with The Verge, did just that by trekking through the rugged landscapes of Iceland to offer a unique perspective on Apple's new iSight enhancements.

More of a showcase than a review, Mann's post does well to capture the promise of Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus hardware when put in the hands of a professional.

Mann brought along both new handsets, as well as a reference iPhone 5s, and many of the shots were taken using a special dual-iPhone rig that allowed for side-by-side comparisons. Overall, the new iPhone 6 hardware is a major improvement over the outgoing model in light capturing ability, resolution and color accuracy.

The photographer made special note of phase detection autofocus, which Apple has branded "Focus Pixels," saying the technology will allow iPhone 6 owners to shoot in totally different ways. Aside from super fast constant focusing for still photos and video, users have expanded capabilities in shooting dark scenes.

In a video comparison highlighting the difference in autofocus speed between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s, Mann set both to focus on a rock before throwing it into the sea. Before the rock splashed down, the iPhone 6 had already refocused on the water. By comparison, the iPhone 5s never refocused.

On software, Mann says the features included with iOS 8 allow for greater manual control over image taking, pointing out that the new on-screen exposure control feature can help frame dramatic shots.

Also tested are the new iPhones' 240fps Slo-Mo mode, time lapse mode, panoramic imaging and optical image stabilization.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I thought my 5 took pretty good shots, can't wait to see what the 6 can do.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Beautiful.

    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?

    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...
  • Reply 3 of 22

    This is another great real world test of the iPhone 6 camera :

     

    http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/17/life-is-tough/

  • Reply 4 of 22
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Beautiful.



    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?



    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...



    Marketing, and when Greenland was initially settled it wasn't so much (at least along the coast) sort of a tragic story as the later residents dealt with increasing cold and less and less ability to grow food. Why the later Inuit peoples who relied on the sea for food were successful in the transition.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    gtr wrote: »
    Beautiful.

    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?

    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...
    It's meant to trick. In olden days Iceland did not want invasion, and Greenland wants people to head to it.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Beautiful.



    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?



    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...

    I see a big conspiracy here. God? Or Historians?

    // I never believe what history says. It was written 90% wrong.

  • Reply 7 of 22
    gtr wrote: »
    Beautiful.

    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?

    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...

    To fool people into going to one and not the other.
  • Reply 8 of 22

    This is great. Especially the the one posted here even tho it's Edited w/ Photos App & Snapseed.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    gtr wrote: »
    Beautiful.

    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?

    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...

    Don't worry. Greenland's ice is melting away rapidly.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post

    Don't worry. Greenland's ice is melting away rapidly.



    Since when?

  • Reply 11 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Beautiful.

     

     

    Absolutely. Looks like a great piece of hardware considering the form factor. Really impressive improvements in the comparison shots.

     

    Not quite magical results yet, but very impressive from a phone, and substantial improvement. Nice work on that one, Apple.

  • Reply 12 of 22
    Awesome! Check out the 8 min video they made together with The Verge:

    [VIDEO]http://player.vimeo.com/video/106385065[/VIDEO]

    And a 12 sec clip with the iPhone in an underwater case:
    [VIDEO]http://player.vimeo.com/video/106339108?wmode=opaque&api=1[/VIDEO]
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Kudos to Apple for staying with 8 MP. I don't hear any complaints about that this year, which means the megapixel race is finally over!
  • Reply 15 of 22
    gtr wrote: »
    Beautiful.

    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?

    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...

    The first Icelanders didn't want more immigrants to their newfound green island so they named it Iceland and named the icy land (Greenland) so further immigrants would flock to the green land instead :-)
  • Reply 16 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Beautiful.



    But why is Iceland full of green while Greenland is full of ice?



    Whoever's running this planet has a lot to answer for...



    If you had ever heard Slartibardfast give an interview, you would know why.

  • Reply 17 of 22
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    cnocbui wrote: »

    If you had ever heard Slartibardfast give an interview, you would know why.

    He did some wonderful work.

    Especially with all the fjords.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Oh please...

    Every year Apple trots out some "photographer" to tout the improvements in the new iPhone's camera, but the truth is even an average point and shoot for a couple of hundred bucks can cream an iPhone for picture quality...and always will!

    The fact that this guy already has a fully edited movie shot in Iceland using the new models proves he received pre-release iPhones directly from Apple for testing and that makes his video nothing more than a biased Apple advert masquerading as some sort of test or review.

    No real photographer would be could dead pretending that a phone is a serious camera like the Apple photographers do every year. Unless that is they were serious sell-outs.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see the camera that people have with them always and "the world's most popular camera" get better. I agree that the best camera is the one you have with you. But it's a phone people...let's have some perspective and not get caught up in the hype machine that is Apple.

    iPhones are great for taking snaps to upload to the interwebs or for sharing with friends when you don't actually care about picture quality. For anything else, get a dedicated camera!
  • Reply 20 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,379moderator
    s.metcalf wrote: »
    Every year Apple trots out some "photographer" to tout the improvements in the new iPhone's camera, but the truth is even an average point and shoot for a couple of hundred bucks can cream an iPhone for picture quality...and always will!

    They did the National Geographic photos and Burberry show last year to show off the 5s camera. One thing they still didn't address with the iPhone 6 is shallow depth of field or at least refocusing. There's also the problem that in bright daylight, you can't see what you're pointing a phone camera at, unlike cameras with viewfinders (that's one thing Sony's wireless lens could add that they haven't yet). Then there's optical zoom. I think that the iPhone will keep displacing point and shoot cameras though. There's a review of one here with videos and photos:

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_LF1/

    The iPhone 6 photos easily look as good as those, they've done a good job cleaning up the noisy skies that the older models had:

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/18/6339583/iphone-6-and-6-plus-camera-test-iceland

    David Pogue strapped the 6+ to a bike along with a 5s and the stabilization easily rivals the above point and shoot handheld video:

    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/when-apple-unveiled-the-iphone-6-last-week-it-97685451544.html

    I wonder if phase detection samples could be stored to help with refocusing in post.

    For serious photography and video, a mobile phone isn't as good as dedicated equipment but IMO point and shoot cameras will be replaced almost entirely with phone cameras:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/03/06/more-doom-and-gloom-camera-sales-dropped-badly-in-2013-2014-off-to-bad-star

    Compact cameras dropped 45% between 2012-2013.
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