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
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  • michael2k - Thursday, October 02, 2014 - link

    What? It gained an app store, popup notifications, printing, multitasking, search, pull down notifications, pull up settings, folders, multiple homescreens, enhanced notifications (reply, dismiss, widgets), and file sharing. Reply
  • akdj - Friday, October 03, 2014 - link

    Who uses their smartphone to sit and look at the UI? Or. Thats right. You. Can't find any apps that'll work? I'm on my springboard for a second or three. Like you said, pull down, enter the first letter or two of the software/app I'm going to use and click, it's open!
    No more just looking at the 'floating (?) blobs that sit in rows (like Android)non a screen. Designed for teenagers, grandmas, commercial and military pilots. Military operations you're clueless about and 95% of the Fortune 500 companies have deployed iOS.
    And unfortunately for you, if you're NOT an iOS user, I completely 'get it'. I've got both an iPhone 5s and Note 3. Love em both but the Note is a tool for a very specific job I so that uses the SPen to do some amazing stuff that wouldn't be as 'cool' as on graph paper. Other than that, I don't care the app you name, Id it's in parity with iOS, I GUARANTEED iOS runs circles around the Android port. As well the optomized tablet apps are overwhelmingly in favor of iOS, and the biggest challenge with the the Note in different apps I've noticed. They're apps designed for 4.3-4.7" displays and the developers aren't tsking the time to 're-do' their tab apps. They're just blown up leaving a load of white space, sparse UI and pretty lame performance as they're not yet 'coding' to take advantage of multiple core computing. Nearly EVERY app in either environment runs on a single core.
    Mind blowing though you've spent that much time looking at 'blobs' and haven't figured out that IF you TOUCH the 'blob' something really REALLY Cool might just happen!
    Go ahead. You won't break it
    J
    Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Smaller phones tend to be cheaper? The rest cost the same? No, a single part like the display could be cheaper, but there are very real costs to miniaturization.

    Samsung phones not only look cheap because of the plastic, they feel cheap in hand as well. It's not the material--It's what Samsung does with it. Nokia for instance makes some plastic phones that look good and feel great. Samsung comes out with phones that look like band-aids and have fake leather stitching molded into them.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    There you go. Samsung phones are not cheap. You *think* they *feel* cheap. That's your opinion and not based on any fact. Whether a phone is cheap has nothing to do with look or feel.

    And yes, smaller phones ARE cheaper. The iPhone 6 Plus is more expensive to make. The A8 SoC and all other chips are not smaller in the iPhone 6 so there is no additional miniaturization. Only the display and the battery are smaller, and both are cheaper. iFixit teardowns have shown for years that Galaxy S-series are most expensive to make than iPhones.
    Reply
  • mrochester - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Doesn't that mean Apple did a good thing? To make a product like the iPhone for less than it costs Samsung to make their Galaxy devices sounds like a big win to me. Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Of course it is a win for Apple and their shareholders. Not for their customers.
    Of course it is cheaper to put half the RAM, a small display and a small battery.
    Reply
  • bigstrudel - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    RAM has power costs idiot. It's not worth it just so lazy people don't have to close tabs.

    You must've missed the part where they tested that 1800mah battery and it beat up on devices with 50% more juice.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I am not saying the iPhone is a bad device.
    But don't call cheap a phone with more expensive components juste because the shell is in plastic. That's all I am saying.
    Reply
  • mrochester - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I think the expression was relating to the device feeling cheap in the hand, not the actual BOM. Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    @mrochester
    Is this a tech site or a teenager fashion magazine? Why would anyone care about how cheap it feels in the hand as long as it is a good device?
    A metal enclosure with no electronics in it may not feel cheap in the hand but it would be useless. What matters is inside.
    Reply

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