Video Quality

At a high level, video recording seems to be mostly similar. Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 continue to rely on EIS for video stabilization, both seem to use somewhat similar optics and sensors, and both can only shoot 1080p video. However, the details are really where we see improvements in the iPhone 6. For starters, the iPhone 6 now has 1080p60 video support, which is definitely helpful for improving spatial resolution and general performance. There's also 720p240 slow motion video, which is an addition to the 720p120 video that we saw in the iPhone 5s.

Video Encode Settings (Approx.)
  iPhone 5s iPhone 6
1080p30 17 Mbps High Profile H.264 17 Mbps High Profile H.264
1080p60 - 27 Mbps High Profile H.264
720p120 27 Mbps High Profile H.264 31 Mbps High Profile H.264
720p240 - 42 Mbps High Profile H.264

As you can see, there's really not a massive difference in encoding bitrate, at least for the standard video record settings. However, even casual examination shows just how big a difference there is when comparing video from the iPhone 5s to video from the iPhone 6.

While the YouTube compression is likely to make it hard to see whether the iPhone 6 really has better video quality, when viewed at full resolution with Quicktime it seems that there is some level of improvement, but this could be due to the smaller field of view that is used when compared to the iPhone 5s. This tighter FOV also seems to be part of the reason why the stabilization is more effective than before. At various points in the video, it's quite obvious that the iPhone 6 is also benefiting greatly from PDAF as we see seamless transitions throughout the video and consistently better focus while the iPhone 5s is locked from the start and would require multiple taps to refocus the video.

1080p60 brings significant improvements to temporal quality, as capturing fast motion is noticeably more fluid when compared to 1080p30. Video stabilization is also retained, which makes 1080p60 an easy choice when capturing fast-moving objects.

As with the iPhone 5s, the original video on NAND is saved to play back at either 120 or 240 fps, but on the phone and when uploaded to social media the slow motion versions play back certain parts at 30 fps. As far as I can tell, there's relatively little difference in the image quality between the two modes, but this advantage is unlikely to hold when in lower light situations as the frame rate inherently caps the exposure time.

Camera: Still Image Performance Audio Quality


View All Comments

  • Parhel - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Inevitably stop working? If you really have that many cable failures maybe it's the Radio Shack cables that are the problem? I've never heard of one of them failing. Maybe try Monoprice. They have a line with metal housing on the connectors and they're cheaper than the Apple ones. Reply
  • mrochester - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I just use the ones that come in the box with the iPad or iPhone. Cost = free :) Reply
  • GerryS - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I've never had a cable failure with any Apple cable, except those I abused (and even most of those are going strong 2-3 years later). If your wife's cables are failing predictably, it has something to do with how it's being used. That's not to say she's mis-using it - it may simply be that her use involves additional strain. Perhaps she uses a car mount or other device that kinks the cable at the end? Reply
  • shm224 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    in my experience, both micro usb and lightning crap out after some use. The only difference is that it cost on average 4-5 times as much to replace a Apple cable. Reply
  • GerryS - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Actually, I've never had a problem with the 30-pin connector (I believe they replaced it mostly for size reasons), nor with microUSB. I'm somewhat unconvinced there's a strong argument for Apple not to use microUSB. There may be one, but I've not heard it. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    How is the lightning connector defective? Personally I love it. It has no pins to break like a USB connector, does not have to be inserted in one specific direction, and works quite well overall. Reply
  • mrochester - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I don't think Apple are interested in the low end. Apple's strategy is to make fewer devices, but more profit from each one. It seems to be the best strategy. Reply
  • WinterCharm - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    They bend after applying 70 lbs of force. Thats a LOT.

    Can you bend them by hand? sure

    But it's not possible to bend them unless you were TRYING to damage them. Ie, during normal use they shouldn't bend.
  • GerryS - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Agreed. I feel certain I could also bend my laptop screen if I wanted. I don't want. Reply
  • bigstrudel - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    The only people that don't like the Lightning connector also don't own any Apple devices that use one. Reply

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