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

  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    I'm thinking you've NEVER used an iOS device in your lifetime. What s ridiculous comment. I use both and I'm a happy 'customer'. Half the RAM? Try a third. My Note 3 has 3GB. Cold boot to a fresh screen, within thirty seconds she's using 2.1-2.3GB of RAM. And my Note is a business tool without a bunch of apps, side loads or 'leaks' in software. Funny thing, happy customers make for healthy sales. VERY HAPPY People break RECORDS with each subsequent release
    ...which, in turn, you're correct. Makes happy stock holders. Breaking records year after year isn't because they're using 'cheap' components or 'holding back'. It would've been MORE profitable to maintian the same pricing scheme without the 128GB (only industry OEM offering this much storage at these read and write speeds) & WITH 2GB of RAM. Significantly cheaper. But there's a solid reason and Apple's engineers are s bit more intelligent than you Mr. danBob. Sorry, the truth hurts but these dudes blew minds releasing the first 64bit SoC. First to utilize the A8 instruction set and they're designing low level graphic (Metal) programming to eliminate overhead of GL-ES. A 4MB buffer on the SoC and incredible optimization to its own OS.
    Keep in mind ..,the development community is signficantly more active on iOS and they're making 85-90% of the defelopment 'money!' iOS users 'buy' apps. Spend money and enjoy their experience. Small display? 4;7" has been deemed perfect by MANY! And 5.5" is RIGHT there with. The largest available. Battery? Did you read the review? It's the Best of the Best. Period.

    Before commenting, a suggestion. READ the article, review or 'book' before looking 'silly' in public!
  • Hemlocke - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Simple BOM breakdowns are not actually indicative of "less/more expensive." Apple's economies of scale are the envy of the tech world, and buying in great quantities and using SKUs across multiple lines brings the prices down for components. However, this takes a tremendous amount of capital, money that is spent fa in advance of receiving your goods, and generally your returns have to be enough to offset the money all of that capital is not making invested in some money-making vehicle.

    In mobile, basically two companies sell enough phones and tablets to do that, Apple and Samsung. Samsung sells more devices, but that is across many lines each year, with almost no common components. Thus, they aren't able to leverage economies of scale in the same manner as Apple, who makes two main lines each year (The newest iPhone and iPad), with secondary sales on the previous models, which still employ the internals introduced the previous year.

    tl;dr: Samsung BOM is not the same as Apple BOM.
  • danbob999 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Actually Samsung shares a lot of components between different phones. And they do have economies of scale on the same level as Apple. This is not enough to explain why Apple phones are cheaper to make according to iFixit estimates. Reply
  • cupholder - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Still a cheaper phone. Quit deluding yourself. Reply
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Yea their phones are so cheap that they are the best selling smartphones in the world. Go away hater. Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    You do know that they are actually NOT the best selling smartphones in the world... right..? Reply
  • Hemlocke - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure he meant the iPhone, which is the best-selling smartphone in the world, generation after generation. Reply
  • kirito - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I like to see your comment once samsung would release an all aluminum phone. so many excuses. Reply
  • kirito - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I like to see your comment once samsung would release an all aluminum phone. so many excuses. Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    They have. It's the Galaxy Alpha. I don't like this phone. I hope Samsung goes back to plastic. Reply

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