KEY FUNCTIONALITY ALL UP IN YOUR FACE! WHOSE OPTICS ARE OPTIMUM? WHO IS THE INSTAGRAM KING?
iPhone 6 The iPhone’s camera is the most popular in the world, if you go on social media uploads, and has come a long way from the fairly feeble offering on Apple’s first few handsets. Its success is largely a function of the simplicity with which it operates.
The eight-meg sensor and f/2.2-aperture lens are much the same as on the iPhone 5S, but Focus Pixels (see left) lend more rapid focus for stills and video alike. It’s not perfect, as you’ll still need to tap the screen to encourage a focus on close-up objects, but it’s generally slick. Another handy upgrade is Auto HDR, which analyses scenes to decide if they’ll benefit from multiple exposures.
The other big change is to the slow-mo option, which can now record at 240 frames per second, enabling you to capture really smooth video of people running, cats playing and things falling off things. We know what you like to shoot.
The new f/2.2 aperture and HDR shooting on the 1.2-meg front cam means that’s pretty good too.
Galaxy Alpha As good as the iPhone’s camera is, there are more megapixels behind the Alpha’s optics, and it’s arguably more adept overall.
The 12-meg sensor yields excellent pics, with a real-time HDR option, and while you’ve got more settings to play with to help you get a better shot, you can just use it as a point-and-shoot and still get pretty strong results. The range of post-shot tweaks is really strong too.
The iPhone 6’s Auto HDR mode is a nice touch, but Samsung bats that back with Real Time HDR, letting you see what the snap will look like, rather than having to guess at the improvements.
The 4K video shooting available on the Alpha is largely wasted on its 720p screen, but if you have a means of playing it back at full resolution, it might sway you in this phone’s direction. Finally, though, the experience of viewing video and stills is largely similar on both phones, but with the Alpha’s Super AMOLED display everything pops and fizzes just that little bit more.
Well it’s more of a draw really, as in day-to-day shooting there’s so little to choose between the two cameras. But if you put a gun to our heads and made us choose, we’d go for Samsung’s snapper. Known among camera buffs as ‘phase detection’, Apple has, typically, rebranded its cam’s killer feature as Focus Pixels. It enables faster autofocus by working out how far away objects are rather than just working out the difference in light and dark. On video, it reduces the need to constantly jab at the screen when you or your subjects move.