Video Mode

The iPhone video UI is very clean, with the video button and stills shutter button the only controls. At the top the recording time is displayed.

Like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the 6s Plus is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 or 60 fps. In slow-motion mode you can either capture 1080p footage at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps and finally there is now also a 4K video setting which has been around on high-end Android and Windows devices for quite some time. 

The video user interface hasn't changed from the previous generation and remains extremely simple. After you switch the mode dial to video the controls are very limited. You can switch to the front camera and turn on the video light but there is no control over video resolution or frame rates in the app itself. You'll have to go to the iPhone settings app to access those. After recording has started a shutter button appears in the bottom right corner. Pressing it captures a still image during video recording. Stills are limited to 7MP in size and the 16:9 aspect ratio of the video footage though.

As before, the angle of view in video mode is a little narrower in video mode than in still image mode, indicating that in addition to optical image stabilization the iPhone 6s Plus camera is likely using digital stabilization as well.

Video resolution can be selected in the iPhone Settings app.

Video Sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

This video was taken hand-held in bright light. The footage shows smooth motion, with good exposure, pleasant color and decent detail. The image stabilization system does an impressive job at keeping things steady and the autofocus is very stable. Sound quality is good as well and overall in these conditions the iPhone video mode performs well.

Video Sample 2: 1080p video in low light

The next clip was recorded hand-held in a dimly lit church. At full-size view you can see a slight loss of fine detail and some grain creeping in, but overall luminance noise is well under control. Exposure is again very good but the light shining through the windows in the background causes some highlight clipping and color fringing. That said, stabilization is working well again and the iPhone works nicely in this situation as well.

Video Sample 3: 1080p video at night

This clip was recorded hand-held at night. Again, stabilization works well and the panning is very smooth. On the downside, the camera refocuses a couple of times and noise becomes much more intrusive in these light conditions. 

Video Sample 4: 4K video

This 4K clip was recorded hand-held in bright light. When viewed at full size the image looks a touch soft but the extra detail compared to the 1080p footage is clearly noticeable and there are fewer compression artifacts than in the 4K output of most smartphone cameras. If you've got a 4K screen or simply want to future-proof your videos 4K is a great option on the 6s Plus.

Video Sample 5: slow motion video at 240 fps

Like its predecessor the iPhone 6s Plus offers 720p video at 240 fps which, when played back at 30 fps, translates into an 8x slow motion effect. Alternatively you can record 1080p footage at 120 fps. After capture in the gallery app you can adjust where the video transitions from normal speed to slow-motion and back again which makes for a very neat effect. 

Unfortunately, as before viewing the slow-motion video on other devices isn't easy as you can't simply move the video file to your computer or onto a USB-stick to plug into your TV. Simply copying the .mov video file to a PC or Mac gives you a video that plays at 120 fps or 240 fps — i.e., it will look like any other video, except maybe a bit smoother. To play it back in slow motion you have to edit it in a capable editing software on your computer. 

After recording a slow-motion video you can adjust the part of the video that actually plays in slow-mo by moving the sliders under the frame strip.

The easiest way of sharing a slow-motion video is to do so directly from the app. You can post your video to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook, save it to Google Drive or email it. However, the shared files might use a higher compression rate than the ones on your device. The iPhone slow-motion mode is great to experiment with and can make for wonderful results, but we really wish Apple would make it easier to share them.