Tag Archives: Apple iPhone 6S plus

Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Low Light & Night Camera Shootout – Be Surprised

This is my final part of my camera shootout / comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera. This is the part that surprised me the most. The photos were taken just before light disappeared and then at night. All shots were on a tripod.

For these tests I used the best apps on iOS to help the Apple iPhone 6S. Sadly not a single third party app on android works yet with the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge camera. 

iPhone 6S – ISO 200 1/4s – Default Camera App 


Same shot but using LowLightMode+ on ProCamera+ for iOS which combines upto 64 exposures into 1. 


ProCamera+ makes a huge difference, so now it’s time to try Nightcap Pro for iOS. See below. Nightcap Pro does a great job too. 


Ok so now over to the Samsung Galaxy S7. First shot below is in auto. It chooses an ISO 1250 and a shutter of 1/10s. However, I imagine it’s done multiple exposures as the noise level seems low. 


 So now to using the Pro mode in the S7 Edge. Shot below is ISO 100 and a 2s exposure. 


So same ISO 100 but now 4s in Pro Mode for the Samsung S7 Edge. 


So let’s go back to the iPhone 6S Plus. It’s a lot darker now. 

The default iPhone camera app picks ISO 160 and 1/4s exposure for the shot below. It’s really dark now and the default camera app shows it that way. 


So next I tried ProCamera+ for the same shot. See below. And it does a much better job. 


So it’s only fair to now try Nightcap Pro for iOS for the same shot again. This was a 22s exposure. 


Ok so that was the iPhone.  Now let’s switch back to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Below is auto mode. Now remember it was getting darker all the time so the S7 always had the short straw. In full auto it was too dark so I just used Pro Mode. Shots are in order of exposures at 100 ISO. First 1s, then 2s and finally 4s. 


And now 2s. See below. 


And finally 4s. See below. 


Ok let’s try some light trails. First up iPhone 6S Plus using Nightcap Pro. Light trails cannot be done using the iOS default camera app. 


And now let’s try with the Samsung Galaxy S7 using Pro Mode. See below. 


Right let’s try a night shot with strew lamps. First up the iPhone 6S Plus. Using the default camera app, ISO 1,600 and a 1/4s exposure is selected. Shot below. 


Let’s try ProCamera+. Shot below. As you can see it does a better job in its lowlight+ mode. 


And finally on the iPhone I used Nightcap Pro. Shot below. 


So let’s switch back to the S7 Edge. In auto mode it choose ISO 1,600 and 1/7s. Shot below. 


I didn’t use Pro Mode as it started to rain so I had to abort. But I don’t like the yellow effect from the S7 auto shot. Also when zooming in the details were not as good as those from the iPhone. 

So which phone is your winner and why? 

Apple iPhone 6S vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Camera Shootout – Part 1 

The million dollar question. Just how good is the camera on the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge? If you want to read my first impressions, that comes tomorrow. 

And how does it compare to the Apple iPhone 6S Plus?

So for part 1 of my camera comparison, all shots were hand held. Each shot is the first shot except in a few cases where I needed a second shot for the red berries. It was a dull rainy day with mist. 

At the end of the article, I have provided a link to the originals. You will notice that despite both phones having 12mp cameras the file size of each photo is a lot larger on the S7 Edge. 

The sequence is iPhone 6S Plus first then the S7 Edge photo. 

So below is the shot from the iPhone. 

 Next up the same shot from the S7 Edge. 
The differences between these two shots are minimal and most people would be content with either although the S7 is brighter. 

So let’s start again with another shot from the iPhone. 

And now the same shot from the S7 Edge. The S7 looks more saturated but again is brighter and has more detail. 

Back to the iPhone. A close up of a tap. Looks ok. 


Well it looks ok until you see the shot from the S7 Edge. To emphasise the level of detail I have included a crop as well from the S7 Edge. 

And now for the crop from the S7 Edge of the tap. 


Ok let’s go back to the iPhone. Some red berries. I had to take several shots to get the one below. 

So how did the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge perform? Much better. 

And to emphasise the difference in quality I took a crop from the iPhone. See below. 

So now let’s look at the crop from the S7 Edge. See below. So much better. I couldn’t dream of getting anything close like this shot below from the iPhone despite my best efforts. 

Another photo from the iPhone 6S Plus. Looks like a reasonable shot. 

And now from the S7 Edge. See below. Again the level of detail from the S7 is better. 

Remember these are real life photos, not staged shots. These are photos you could end up taking. 

So back to the iPhone 6S Plus. Again the photo looks good but it’s not on par with the S7 Edge. 

Below is the S7 Edge photo. I have noticed with this shot that it’s heavily sharpened probably too much for my liking. This could be resolved shooting in raw and then post processing it yourself. 

And finally, just to highlight the quality from the S7 Edge again. My dog Tiggy was moving around at home in lowish lighting. Here’s a crop of her face. 

I have to say that based on my preliminary tests, if you want a camera that takes good photos in all conditions, the S7 Edge really does a great job. 

Not only that, it’s focus speed is near instant. This means kids and pets will be so much easier to snap in focus quality shots. 

I have plenty more content on the S7 Edge, it’s camera , audio and more. I will also be pitting it against the LG G5. 

And one last thing. Remember there’s more to a phone than just its camera 🙂

Apple iPhone 6S Plus – A Mysterious Bug

So here’s the story. I have a 128gb iPhone 6S Plus. This enables me to store a selection of my photos, 4K video and games. 

It also allows me to hold around 30gb of my music on the device. 

So last night I decided to chill out and listen to a few tunes and at the same time test a few bespoke music apps. 

These third party apps were showing that I only had 9 songs installed. WTF. Where had 4,000 songs disappeared to?

So by connecting my iPhone to iTunes, it starting to automatically add again the songs that had just vanished.

If anyone knows why this happened here then please leave a reply in the comments.

Apple iCloud – Some Extra Balance

Yesterday, I posted an article cursing iCloud Photos and iTunes Match. I thought it only fair to add some balance of my views, covering the rest of Apple’s iCloud services plus to offer some feedback from your own experiences.

Firstly, with regards to using iCloud for anything else, I have no qualms. It all works rather smoothly and that is a reassuring position. So that includes contacts, calendar, notes, reminders, pages and all the third party apps using iCloud.

Most of the feedback agreed with the previous paragraph. With regards to iCloud Photos the opinions varied from, “its a life saver and works really well for me” and “it seems for large libraries it can be problematic”. If it works for you, then it is one less service to worry about as iCloud is tightly integrated into iOS 9.

So despite one month of issues, I now have a smooth iPhone 6S Plus and really am enjoying using it.

FINALLY – Apple iCloud Photos & Photo Syncing – One Month later and Resolved

I had a plan, a master plan to use all Apple’s Cloud services with my new iPhone 6S Plus. It was an ill conceived plan as I realise now, but the light at the end of the tunnel finally arrived at 10pm last night.

Back tracking, my saga using iCloud Photos and iTunes Match has not been a fun affair and it most certainly just didn’t work. Since receiving my 6S Plus on 25th September I have had nothing but a nightmare experience with iCloud Photos and iTunes Match.

I have several Apple support incident numbers and have lost many an hour of my spare time with the support staff at Apple. Apple have remote accessed by MacBook Pro so many times too.

I had decided last week to permanently not use iCloud Photos sync, and a few weeks before that, unravelled the mess iTunes Match had created. Well actually Apple support resolved the chaos caused by iTunes Match. I do think part of the problem is my 0.5mbit upload speed being too slow for Apple’s servers but I can’t be the only person with a slowish upload speed in the world. Anyway, I still had My Photostream and iCloud Photo Sharing enabled but finally relented and turned these off after updating to iOS 9.1 on Wednesday.

Yesterday and Saturday, I took some photos. Cut a long story short, my iPhone 6S Plus would not import photos into the mac using a lightning cable. The Photos app would register the iPhone but show grey outline boxes instead of the pictures, and then the iPhone would disappear from Photos, yet remain showing as connected in iTunes. So 3 hours on the phone to a senior Apple support person, various tests done to eliminate what was causing the problem, and it turns out it was my iPhone that was the culprit. So I wisely insisted to the Apple support guy that I did a manual back up of my iPhone to iTunes on my MacBook. Note if you use homekit and the health app, YOU MUST ENCRYPT your backup to save this data. In fact, even though I use iCloud Backup, it is worth doing a manual backup to iTunes on your mac once a week as the backup to your mac is more comprehensive and can save the health and home kit data, whereas iCloud Backup doesn’t save the health and home kit data. (the backup most be encrypted to save this data).

The phone was put in to recovery mode, a new firmware was downloaded and installed. The phone was then restored as a new phone, a few camera shots taken, then tested to see if sync worked, and it did. Good news. Hard reset phone and started again, this time restoring from the backup on my MacBook. This took 12 hours to complete. BUT the iTunes restore is pure genius. Everything is reinstated, including app data in full with just a few passwords in some apps and Viewranger GPS needed the maps redownloaded. Other than that it was restored perfectly.

So after 12 hours restoring, a quick test taking some photos, tried a sync with the cable, and it didn’t work. Grrrrrrr.

Then I had a thought. I noticed there were photos in the camera roll and this would have been different to the iPhone setup as a new iPhone, and maybe something had corrupted the camera roll, so I deleted all these 60 photos. Took a new shot, tried to sync and voila it worked. And repeated the test and it continued to work. So what this meant was the wiping my phone, spending 12 hours restoring was not necessary. All I had needed to do was to have deleted the photos in the camera roll. I put this corruption down to iCloud Photos and My Photostream doing something it shouldn’t.

Oh well, it now just works now!

If I do get any more issues, I will either just use Photosync app to wirelessly transfer photos or ask Apple to look at replacing my iPhone for another. I don’t wont to spoil the enjoyment of the iPhone any more with support calls etc, as it really is superb to use. My advice, just don’t use iCloud Photos. For my sanity, I am now using Google Photos as a backup solution.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus – Panoramic and Sun Shots

Yesterday around 5.30pm and slightly onwards I took a few photos with my iPhone 6S Plus, one of which was shot directly into the sun.

First up in a panoramic shot which is one of the iPhone’s strengths. Hard to believe but nearly all day it was heavy rain and thick fog. And then around 4pm it all cleared to reveal below. Mind you it was cold with a north west bitter wind too. To reveal the full size version, click on photo and select original.

Beautiful but cold - Dartmoor at 6pm Today

And now for the sun shot.

Beautiful sunset on Dartmoor tonight

Apple iPhone 6S Plus – Extreme Low Light – Photography Special Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my iPhone 6S Plus Photography special. To recap on Part 1 click here – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/12/apple-iphone-6s-plus-photography-special-video-and-photos-part-1/

Over the last few weeks I have been exploring several camera apps that all claim to help or add something to the photography experience when taking photos. The apps I tested were the default Apple camera app, Slow Shutter, Camera+, Camera Vortex and Nightcap Pro. The 6S Plus was on a tripod for all these night shots. Camera Vortex and Slow Shutter did a terrible job, so I have omitted their photos.

The setting was my local church which has been photographed by most of my smartphones and if you want to see loads of photos of the church was a multitude of angles head over to my flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100 . The Church is called the Church of St Michaels and All Angels. The time of day was passed dusk and the last shots were taken inside the graveyard in near pitch black. I will add commentary on each shot and also at the end I have linked to low light shots from the LG G4 and Honor 6+ that I took.

The developer of Nightcap Pro, Chris Wood, has been extremely helpful trying to help me extract the best from his app. He also gave some interesting insight into the new iPhones –

“The iPhone​ 6s / 6s Plus cameras are a solid upgrade except in very low light where they perform slightly worse than the 6 / 6 Plus and even the older 5s. The smaller pixels mean higher resolution but since they’re smaller, there’s less area for light to hit which means it doesn’t receive as much light. Apple have done a great job in compensating for that with better technology, though. However, the camera is also limited to just 1/3 second exposures, which is 50% less than the 6 / 6 Plus which go to 1/2 second, so the end result is slightly worse performance.”

You'll see why I got in touch with the developer of Nightcap Pro as his app was the best by far for creating a usable low night shot of the church.

First let's take a look at what the default camera app can achieve.

Flash first. Shutter was 1/17, with ISO 2000.

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

HDR on, no flash, shutter 1/17 , ISO 2000.

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

Auto mode, no HDR, no flash, shutter 1/4, ISO 640. A less noisy shot and the best of the 3 from the Apple default camera app.

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

Using Nightcap Pro, the shot below was taken in pitch black conditions. Using long exposure mode for around 20 seconds. ISO is showing as 3,200, but you wouldn’t know it.

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light Camera Test - Pitch Dark - Nightcap Pro - Long Exposure

So with Camera+ using full manual settings, this was the best shot possible at 1/4 second shutter speed and ISO 1250. A noisy shot.
iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

So Nightcap Pro did a really good job. It also has other modes, so I was experimenting with some light trails as per the two shots below. Unfortunately, I live in a rural village, which means no traffic. After 3 hours only 2 cars drove through, hence why there is only 2 photos using this mode!

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

Nightcap Pro also has a mode to brighten up dark shots. Photo as below. There are many other features of Nightcap Pro, but the long and short of it, is that it takes brilliant night shots that are way better than the default camera app and many other third party iOS camera apps too.

iPhone 6S Plus Low Light camera test - full review at http://gavinsgadgets.com

To see how my LG G4 in manual mode coped with darkness at the same church click here – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/05/17/lg-g4-the-review/ . About half way down the review is shots taken at various shutter exposures.

As another point of reference is the super night mode from my Honor 6+. See here for shot of same church again using the super night mode – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/05/13/honor-6-the-review/

So in summary extreme low light is difficult on the iPhone 6S Plus unless you have Nightcap Pro ( https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/nightcap-pro/id754105884?mt=8 ) . I can only hope that as the 12mp rear camera is new, Apple will release software update to improve its results.

What do you think?

Apple iPhone 6S Plus – Photography Special – Video and Photos – Part 1

Today I will be looking at some photography options with the iPhone 6S Plus that I have achieved so far. I will also list the apps I use as well. Many of these apps are available on android too. All the photos shown are available to view full size if you click on the photo. Where possible, when I have mentioned any accessories I have made them active links to Amazon.

First up is the problem you get when shooting buildings and the walls aren’t straight. Now the best solution for this is something like Adobe Lightroom 6. See how the walls of the church are slightly warped.

Straightening the building using iOS -

Now using an app called SKRWT, you can fix this and make it look a lot better.

Straightening the building using iOS -

Now what about shooting in RAW format. The default camera app on the iPhone does not permit this. But I use Camera+ which has so many features both from shooting to editing, it really is a great app. It also has 3D Touch enabled. So below is a macro shot in RAW. Note the file size is up to 7 x larger than normal shots. If you view the full size version of the berries the amount of detail is huge.

Wow Red berry fruit #rawformat #unedited #iphone6splus #macro

Again using Camera+ macro mode you can get really close up. So the flower shot first, then the macro.

Pink Pink Macro Flowers #macro #unedited #iphone6splus

Pink Pink Macro Flowers #macro #unedited #iphone6splus

What about using something like an Olloclip lens attachment for macro. This is what you get. Notice the bokek.

Wild Thing #macro #unedited #setof4 #iphone6splus

The Olloclip 4 in 1 does wide, fisheye and 2 levels of macro. I also have the Olloclip Macro Pro kit. Whilst these lenses are fun, the quality is poor. They are best used for macro if anything at all. First you can’t use a case or screen protector, and the photos goes soft on the edges. But they are great fun. Below was a photo taken in fisheye mode and then straightened using SKRWT. More info , click here Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens

Exeter High Street - Fish Eye #olloclip #iphone6splus

The Olloclip softens the photos too much in wide mode on the edges. FYI the version for the iPhone 6/6 Plus according to Olloclip works with the new 6S and 6S Plus. Details on Amazon Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens

My recommendation is to use Camera+ for macros with a small tripod. For wide shots use the standard pano mode. You can get photos like this. For this shot below I only took half a panorama as it was not necessary to move across the whole screen. Sometimes 3 or 4 frames are just enough.

Believer Forest #panoramic #iphone6splus

However, sometimes the full panoramic is ideal and this is where the iPhone works really well.

Stunning Panorama over Dartmoor #iPhone6SPlus

In terms of apps, I use the default Photos app. The editing is non destructive. From within the Photos app editing I can access my following apps – afterlight, adobe photoshop express, camera+ and diptic. Also in the Photos app I can import a photo into VSCO Cam or use an app called ViewExif to view the exif details. So apart from the apps mentioned I also have installed Slow Shutter, Flickr, Playmemories, Photogene, Color Splash Pro, Snapseed, Nightcap Pro, Cameratamo, Phoster, Camera360 and Waterlogue.

I do use Live Photos and really like it. Sadly at the moment, I can’t share this with any of apps or services other than within the Apple eco system. I hope this changes soon. However, I do turn it off when I know the shot will make no difference with Live Photos enabled. But it does make moving through the camera roll a bit exciting.

iMovie is used to finish off videos and add photos if needed.Talking about video the video capture is absolutely stunning. 4K, 1080p and other modes like timelapse work so well. I have created a few videos. Ignore the iMovie editing on the timelapse video at the start, that was my fault cutting a frame too agressively at the very beginning. So first up a 4K recorded clip, in 1080p and then a timelapse.

First up time lapse mode. For the 360 degree movement I use Veho VCC-360
on my tripod. My phone is attached to the Veho using a ShoulderPod S1 Grip

Then 4K video with a sweep at the end of the view from the summit of Staple Tor. This had no post processing in iMovie.

The best accessory I have used with all my phones is the ShoulderPod S1 Grip as this is the most rock solid way to attach your phone to a tripod!

Anyway that is all for Part 1. If you have any tips or apps or any accessories you like using please leave a comment.