iPhone 6s Camera Performance No Improvement over iPhone 6, Lab Tests Reveal

iphone 6s Scores

The iPhone 6s camera upgrade didn’t quite impress the French guys at DxOMark, a firm that specializes in optics and image processing. After testing the iPhone 6s unit’s camera, they gave a score of 82, matching that of the iPhone 6 from a year ago (via CNET).

During the DxOMark tests they measured exposure and contrast, colour, autofocus, texture, noise, artifacts, and flash, before issuing the verdict: It’s on a par with the iPhone 6, which, by the way, has an 8 MP rear camera sensor. The final score of 82 points puts this year’s 4.7-inch model in 10th place behind the top-ranked Sony Xperia Z5 with 87 points, the #2 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with 86, and #3 Google Nexus 6P with 84.


Overall results for Exposure and Contrast, Color and Autofocus match those of both the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge -the previous best performer in our Mobile database, which are two of strongest performers measured in those categories to date.

From our tests, images are generally well-exposed and for the most part colors are vivid and pleasing outdoors. However, there are occasional differences in exposure noticeable between consecutive captures in very bright outdoor scenes, typically due to the inconsistent activation of the HDR mode. There is also a slight but consistent underexposure in extremely low light levels (5 lux); the result however is still quite usable and an improvement over the iPhone 6. White balance is reliable though inevitably some inaccuracies were noticeable at times, with a slight yellow cast visible in some outdoor scenes. Although this cast was present in captures from the iPhone 6 the cast was slightly stronger and more noticeable on the 6s.

DxOMark doesn’t mince words when summarizing the shortcomings of the iPhone 6s: “Apple’s technology is unable to keep noise at competitive levels; in fact, noise level is much higher than what can be found on the current leaders of our database,” they write.

It is worth noting that the iPhone 6 Plus received the same 82 score, but from DxOMark’s perspective, you may be disappointed if you upgrade to this year’s model; and, by the way, this is what the majority of the reviews say. However, it’s important to note that this firm analyzed only the camera of the new model, so consider it only if you are looking to replace the camera you are using on a daily basis.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Warren Liebmann

    DXO reviews cannot be trusted. They have an agenda and are very biased with flawed testing methadology.

  • Normand

    Consumers Report also noted that the camera was no better, than the iphone 6 based

    on their tests, and they also noted a 2 hour shorter difference in the battery life

    of the iphone 6S vs iphone 6.

    It seems the iphone 6S series should be skipped and maybe wait to upgrade

    next year with iphone 7.

    I hope it is much better. I will wait.

  • T33BS

    That would explain my underwhelming experience with the 6S+’s camera so far. Seems noisy and low-light pictures are more difficult than the 6+ was. Weak sauce.

  • jay

    Thought so nothing new. Disappointed that Apple didn’t add live photo to the iPhone 6