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

  • mrochester - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Because whether it feels cheap in the hand is part of whether it's a good device or not? Apple has proved you can make a top class smartphone and make it feel nice in the hand, so why should Samsung be given the green light for producing the stuff it does? Reply
  • rational_wannabe - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Are you some kind of hippie or do you just hate the superior product. If Apple started charging less it would dilute the brand, but that is something you know nothing about. Secondly it's enough that they have had to give in to market pressure and come out with the enormous iPhone 6 Plus but they now have to eat their margins in order to please plastic lovers like you?
  • rational_wannabe - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Mean to say isn't it enough* Reply
  • danbob999 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I do like superior product. That's why I prefer plastic. Metal has 0 advantage on a phone. Reply
  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Other than throttling performance. Plastic insulates. Metal, aluminum...dissipates. That's why (again, if you read the article) if you read the article the A8's performance delta doesn't fall at all, it keeps chugging at max while the plastics govern the temperature by throttling their load. Sucks wh playing s game, analyzing a spread sheet or manipulating photos/motion or audio Reply
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    To paraphrase your comment: "What Apple has been doing isn't working as well any more so they are changing their product design to better match what they think customers want." In other words, they're making smart business decisions.

    Charging less would dilute the brand? If you mean "Apple would no longer be a boutique product" then I agree with you. It would also increase their market share quite a bit. If iPhones cost $100 less Apple would have a LOT more customers. They don't really want that though. They want to be Boutique, Expensive and regarded as Fashionable.
  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Boutique, Expensive and Fashionable don't often beat their sales (& every other adoption of ANY Electronic in history) each release. 10mil on the first weekend doesn't prive your theory in the least. Rather I think folks will pay a bit more (not that there's a difference. EVERY flagship costs are identical unless you're buying stock Android GB/GB comparison at launch. Last year the Note 3/iPhone 5s 32GB models were $299@ launch) with EVERY release!
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    "Is this a tech site or a teenager fashion magazine?"

    That is, imho, the main difference between an Android fanboi and an Apple fanboi.
  • shm224 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    @kidster3001: or Anandtech and Vanityfair. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    It's not only about tabs you apple faggot. GPU shares some of that RAM, programs and OS updates will only get more advance requiring more resources. Display, CPU/ GPU and cellular modems use up most of the energy with RAM being quite low. Can it add up? Sure but not that large of a jump. Reply

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