DxOMark Mobile Report: Apple iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 is one half of Apple's brand new duo of high-end smartphones. It shares most of its specification with the iPhone 6 Plus but at 4.7 inches comes with a smaller screen (versus the Plus version's 5.5 inches) and has to make do without an optical image stabilization system in the camera module that, like in the predecessor 5S, captures its images on a 1/3-inch 8MP sensor and through a F2.2 maximum aperture lens. However, among other improvements there is now a phase detection AF system and an 8x slow-motion video mode at 720p resolution.
With a DxOMark Mobile score of 82 the Apple iPhone 6 takes the number one spot in the DxOMark smartphone rankings and shares it with its sister model iPhone 6 Plus. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3 are following in positions three and four respectively.
The DxOMark team reports the iPhone 6 shows "very good overall exposure, impressive autofocus performance in both low and bright light, good color rendering and nice detail preservation outdoors and indoors". The engineers were also impressed with the new device's flash behavior which resulted in "good exposure, stable white balance, good color rendering, low noise level and good detail preservation."
On the downside there is "luminance noise visible in low light conditions and color quantification, ghosting and fringing noticeable on HDR pictures."
In the iPhone 6's video mode "autofocus is very fast, accurate and repeatable" and at the time of testing the iPhone 6 AF is the best on a smartphone ever tested by the DxOMark Mobile team. The testers also found that "in good lighting condition videos are very well stabilized, color is very nice in all tested light conditions and the noise grain is pleasantly fine". However, during testing also "some cases of exposure instabilities" were observed.
Color, Exposure and Contrast
The DxOMark team found that the Apple iPhone 6 images show "very good overall exposure, good detail preservation in dark areas even in difficult outdoor conditions, stable white balance with a slight yellow cast" and nice colors outdoors.
On the downside "skin colors are not accurate under tungsten light" and there is a "slight color shading noticeable with some indoor light sources."
Overall DxOMark awarded the Apple iPhone 6 scores of:
- 4.6 out of 5 for Exposure
- 4.5 out of 5 for White Balance accuracy
- 3.8 out of 5 for Color shading in low light*
- 4.2 out of 5 for Color shading in bright light*
- 2.5 out of 5 for Color Rendering in low light
- 4.5 out of 5 for Color Rendering in bright light
*Color Shading is the nasty habit cellphone cameras have of rendering different areas of the frame with different color shifts, resulting in pictures with, for example, pinkish centers and greenish corners.
Noise and Details
DxOMark's engineers reported that on the Apple iPhone 6 images show "nice detail preservation in bright light", that "detail is still visible in low light conditions" and that noise is finely grained with low chroma noise levels. However, "luminance noise is noticeable in low light".
Texture acutance is a way of measuring the ability of a camera to capture images that preserve fine details, particularly the kind of low contrast detail (such as fine foliage, hair or fur) that can be blurred away by noise reduction or obliterated by excessive sharpening.
Sharpness is an important part of the quality of an image, but while it's easy to look at an image and decide visually whether it's sharp or not, the objective measurement of sharpness is less straightforward.
An image can be defined as "sharp" if edges are sharp and if fine details are visible. In-camera processing means that it's possible to have one of these (sharp edges) but not the other (fine details). Conventional MTF measurements tell us how sharp an edge is, but have drawbacks when it comes to measuring fine detail preservation. Image processing algorithms can detect edges and enhance their sharpness, but they can also find homogeneous areas and smooth them out to reduce noise.
Texture acutance, on the other hand, can qualify sharpness in terms of preservation of fine details, without being fooled by edge enhancement algorithms.
At first sight, the images from these two cameras may appear equally sharp. A sharpness measurement on edges will indeed confirm this impression, and will even show that the second camera is sharper. But a closer examination of low contrasted textures shows that the first camera has better preservation of fine details than the second. The purpose of the texture acutance measurement is to qualify this difference.
Visual noise is a value designed to assess the noise in an image as perceived by the human visual system, depending on the viewing condition (size of image, size of screen or print, viewing distance). The measurements have no units and can be simply viewed as the weighted average of noise standard deviation for each channel in the CIE L*a*b* color space. The lower the measurement, the less noise in the image.
Noise and Detail Perceptual scoring
- Texture (bright light): 4.5 out of 5
- Texture (low light): 3.6 out of 5
- Noise (bright light): 3.9 out of 5
- Noise (low light) 3.1 out of 5
Phone cameras, like entry-level compact cameras, tend to suffer from artifacts such as sharpening halos, color fringing, vignetting (shading) and distortion, which can have an impact on the visual appeal of the end result. DxOMark engineers measure and analyze a range of artifacts. Their findings after testing the Apple iPhone 6 are shown below:
- Color quantification visible in HDR mode
- Ghosting and color fringing noticeable in high dynamic range scenes
- Slight moiré pattern in some images
- Sharpness 4.2 out of 5
- Color fringing 3.0 out of 5
- Ringing center 3.1%
- Ringing corner 0.9%
- Max geometric distortion -0.3%
- Luminance shading 19.5%
Distortion and Chromatic Aberrations
DxOMark also tests autofocus accuracy and reliability by measuring how much the acutance - or sharpness - varies with each shot over a series of 30 exposures (defocusing then using the autofocus for each one). As with other tests these results are dependent on the viewing conditions (a little bit out of focus matters a lot less with a small web image than a full 8MP shot viewed at 100%). Using the 8MP equivalent setting, the Apple iPhone 6 is the best device tested so far. The overall score is 97/100 in bright light and 92/100 in low light.
- Very fast and precise autofocus in both low and bright conditions
- No oscillation when focusing at infinity.
DxOMark scored the Apple iPhone 6 84/100 overall for its flash performance which is one point above the iPhone 5S.
- Good exposure, stable white balance, good color rendering, low noise levels and good detail preservation in flash mode
- Stable white balance when flash is mixed with tungsten light
- Without any other light sources vignetting is visible on flash images
Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Photo: 83 / 100
DxOMark engineers put phone cameras through a similarly grueling set of video tests, and you can read their full findings on the DxOMark website here. Overall DxOMark found the Apple iPhone 6's video performance to be very good, with very fast and precise AF, good color and stabilization. However, exposure was occasionally a little unstable.
- Autofocus is very fast, accurate and repeatable
- In good light videos are very well stabilized.
- Very nice color in all lighting conditions
- Noise is finely grained
- Some exposure instabilities
Overall DxOMark Mobile Score for Video: 80 / 100
DXOMark Image Quality Assessment
With "very good overall exposure, impressive autofocus performance in both low and bright light, good color rendering and nice detail preservation outdoors and indoors" the Apple iPhone 6 takes the number one spot in DxOMark's smartphone ranking. The DxO engineers could not identify any major image quality problems but noticed some luminance noise in in low light and artifacts in HDR mode.
The iPhone 6's performance in video mode is equally impressive, with a very fast and precise AF, good stabilization and and nice colors. However, some exposure instabilities were observed during testing. For a more detailed analysis, visit www.dxomark.com.
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
The new ExaDrive offers a three times higher capacity than the previous largest SSD, a 30TB model by Samsung.
A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. While nothing is confirmed, it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility given the company's recent experience with camera system development.
We were saddened to hear of the death last week of Chuck Westfall, a 35-year veteran of Canon USA, and a legend in the photography industry.
Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of its D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the body, 20/35/85mm F1.8G lenses, an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, two microphones and an extra battery.
Photographers shopping around for Lightroom alternatives have likely encountered Alien Skin's Exposure X3. Here's an overview of its organization and editing controls, and how they differ from the competition.
Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.
The FAA has ordered helicopter pilots and operators to halt certain doors-off flights in the wake of a tragedy that killed five passengers.
Analysts TechInsights have torn down a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to have a closer look at the device's internal components and their cost.
Oppo's new high-end phones bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X, with features like face unlock to a portrait lighting mode.
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and as usual, we booked interviews with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.
The company posted a record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. That represents incredibly healthy year-over-year growth of 24 percent.
In the job posting, the Times' describes this role as "one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism." If you're looking for a high profile job in photojournalism, you could do a lot worse than being Photo Director at The Gray Lady.
According to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors in a bid towards market leadership for image sensors. To reach this goal, Samsung will have to dethrone current market leader Sony... no small task.
In this video, large format photographer Ben Horne shows off the incredible resolving power of 8x10 slide film by pixel peeping a massive 709.6-megapixel drum scan of one of his landscape shots. And you thought 100MP medium format was big...
Photographer Wendy Teal tells the heart-breaking story of a wedding she shot at a hospital on just 24-hours notice. The mother of the bride had been given one week to live, and Wendy responded to the couple's desperate social media plea for someone to capture their special day.
This tiny little plug-and-play VR/AR camera for Android phones uses a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses to offer both 360° video/photo capture and 360° livestreaming at 1440p resolution.
Syrp has announced the Magic Carpet Pro: a slider that offers filmmakers an 'infinitely extendable' range thanks to built-in track levers that let you connect lengths of track without the use of tools.
At CP+ we sat down with executives from several major manufacturers. Among them was Kenji Tanaka, of Sony, who talked to us about the a7 III as well as its plans to attract more pro shooters – without ignoring APS-C and entry-level customers.
How do you shoot macro photography on an 18x24cm large format wet plate camera? You 'connect' two large format cameras together! That's how wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter did it, and you can read about the whole process in this article.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a top-of-the-range 24MP mirrorless camera with in-body stabilization and the company's most advanced array of video capabilities. We've tested the X-T2's big brother extensively to see how it performs.
Motorsports photojournalist Jamey Price recently flew to Canada with Lamborghini for the car company's Winter Accademia 2018, where clients get to drive the latest Lamborghini supercars on snow and ice. Yes... it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
For the Pixel 2 smartphone's Motion Photos feature, Google built on its existing Motion Stills technology by adding advanced stabilization that combines software and hardware capabilities to optimize trimming and stabilization.
This "high-capacity advanced spider tripod" system can handle a maximum load of 65kg / 143lbs thanks to its reinforced design and 8-layered carbon fiber legs.
Photographer William Briscoe captured the beautiful two-for-one timelapse just outside Fairbanks, Alaska on January 31st, braving -31°F (-35°C) temperatures to get the shot.
"After his camera was stolen from his room in the orphanage, he switched to an iPhone for his photography, reasoning that the image quality of a big, heavy camera was less important than the freedom of a cell phone. 'Quality? Screw it, I’d sketch things with a pencil if I could draw,' he wrote in a blog post."