Apple has made a number of improvements to the iSight camera on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, through both hardware and software, that should make the world’s most popular camera even better. The new features are 1080p HD video at 60 FPS, slo-mo video at 240 FPS, time-lapse videos, continuous autofocus and cinematic video stabilization.
The new and improved iSight camera lets you shoot stunning 1080p HD videos at 60 FPS, which is an impressive amount of frames for such high resolution video. You can also capture more dramatic slow motion videos at 720p and 240 FPS. Then, using iOS 8, create time-lapse videos that speed up what you’ve recorded for a very cool effect.
A more in-depth rundown of all of the new iSight features and capabilities is outlined below.
Focus pixels are enabled through Apple’s new image signal processor. These pixels provide the sensor with more information about your image, leading to better and faster autofocus that can even be seen in preview.
Optical Image Stabilization
Apple has added optical image stabilization exclusively to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus that the company describes as working with the Apple A8 processor, gyroscope and M8 motion coprocessor to measure motion data and provide precise lens movement to compensate for hand shake in lower light.
The fusion of long- and short-exposure images helps to reduce the subject motion, and a unique integration of hardware and software promises to deliver beautiful low-light photos.
The new iSight camera has the ability to recognize faces faster and more accurately, including those far away in the distance or in a crowd. The result is better portrait and group shots, with improved blink and smile detection and a selection of faces in burst mode for capturing your best shots.
This feature enables you to lighten or darken a photo or video in the preview pane with a simple slide. You can go up to four f-stops in either direction.
1080p HD at 60 FPS and Slo-Mo Video at 240 FPS
When you shoot HD video on the iPhone 6, there is an option of recording at 60 frames per second. With faster frame rates, you can capture more action in each second and create sharper images that translate to more true-to-life video. Likewise, there is an option to shoot HD video at 120 fps or 240 fps in 720p in slow motion — full videos or parts.
iOS 8 enables iPhone users to create time-lapse videos that will snap photos at dynamically selected intervals. When they are stitched together, they create these still videos that have a very cool effect. Just set your iPhone where you want to shoot, and swipe to select the time-lapse mode. Tap the record button and film for 30 minutes or even 30 hours.
The new iPhone 6 includes continuous autofocus in video, which is described as an advanced optical feature that makes use of Apple’s new Focus Pixels technology to ensure that shots remain sharp and stay that way while you’re recording — even if subjects or objects move. Faster autofocus means fewer inadvertent focus changes as well.
Cinematic Video Stabilization
You are running down the street with your iPhone in your right hand, trying to record a video of something while you’re on the go. When you play it back later, the entire video is shaky because you were moving. That’s what cinematic video stabilization aims to fix, by keeping your shots steady and as smooth as gliding through the scene on a rig.
FaceTime HD Camera
In addition to the rear-facing iSight camera improvements, Apple has also added a FaceTime HD camera on the front of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that has a larger aperture and all-new sensor technology for capturing 81 percent more light. The front-facing camera also has improved face detection and a new burst mode for taking up to 10 photos per second. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera also features exposure control, HDR video and a timer mode.
Ultimately, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have a myriad of software and hardware improvements to the camera that should make the iSight continue to be the standard that a lot of competitors look up to in terms of cameras. For the past several years, the iPhone has been the world’s most popular camera, even if it is only a smartphone in a traditional sense, and these improvements should help Apple maintain that lead.