Disable Live Photos on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to improve low-light image quality


One of the key new camera features on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is Live Photos, which allows the new iPhones to snap photos a 3-second short video with every photo they take. 

Apple says Live Photos allow one to revisit the moment when the photo was shot, and the initial response to the feature has been extremely positive as well. Live Photos are enabled by default, so there really is no additional work required before you can start shooting them.

However, as it turns out, keeping Live Photos enabled leads to an impact in the low-light camera performance of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Since the new iPhones continuously record at 12fps with Live Photos enabled, they cannot keep their shutter speed open for a long time or increase their ISO levels, which is needed for the sensor to absorb more light in poorly lit conditions. This leads to the new iPhones performing worse in low-light situations when compared to their predecessor.

To disable Live Photos follow these steps:

  • Launch the Camera app from the Home screen.
  • Tap on the Live Photos icon at the top to disable it. When disabled the Live Photos icon will be white.
iPhone 6s - 3D Touch - Live Photos

You can also check our post on how to take and view Live Photos for more details.

Don’t expect your new iPhone to suddenly start taking DSLR-like photos in low-light with this option disabled though. Even though the new iPhones come with a new sensor and other improvements, they still feature an F/2.2 aperture, which greatly limits the amount of light it can absorb under low light conditions.

Are you impressed with iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 Plus’ 12-MP camera?

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