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Are the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus the best camera phones ever?

Apple busted out its iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 plus today and — amongst the talk of larger screen sizes, faster processors and sleeker designs — what has us most excited is the updated camera technology.

The cameras on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus could be the only snappers you’ll ever need, if Apple’s hype and early previews are to be believed. Here’s what we know about the integrated cameras so far.

Iphone 6 camera: All new sensor

Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus use an all-new sensor. Like the one on the iPhone 5S, it’s an 8MP unit, with 1.5-micron pixels and an F/2.2 aperture, but it now lets in 80 per cent more light and comes with phase detection autofocus, like you normally get on DSLR cameras.

According to Apple, the tech uses dedicated pairs of pixels that read light coming in from objects and can tell whether they are in or out of phase, allowing for autofocusing that is twice as fast as the previous-generation phone. Focus changes are now almost imperceptable, both in stills and video modes.

Iphone 6 camera: Best shot mode

With so much digital storage available in the iPhone, it’s often difficult to decide which of your hundreds of thousands of pictures is worth keeping. The camera features of Iphone 6 and 6 Plus aim to make this easier with better smile and blink detection. Hold the shutter button down and it’ll snap continuously, capturing photos either until the memory is exhausted or you lift your finger. Rather than leaving you to select which of those pictures is the best of the bunch, a new best shot mode will now suggest which of your photos looks the best.

Iphone 6 camera: Burst selfies

We’re all used to the burst mode on the main iPhone camera, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will also bring burst mode to the user-facing camera. So now you can snap ten frames per second, pull a bunch of different pouts and duckfaces, then choose the best worst one.

Iphone 6 camera: 240fps slow-motion

The 120fps slow motion feature on the iPhone 5s was jawdropping, allowing users to capture video in slow motion. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus take things to the next level with a 240fps slo-mo mode that lets you slow things down by twice the amount. If Matrix-style bullet time effects are your thing, then you’re going to love this mode – it looks absolutely stunning.

Iphone 6 camera: Single-shot HDR photos

HDR is a handy feature on the iPhone 5s, but it leaves behind multiple versions of a single photo. With iPhone 6, you only get a single shot left behind, so there’s less tidying up to do when you’re finished snapping. 

Iphone 6 camera: Image stabilisation

The cameras in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are almost identical – almost. Where the 6 Plus differs is in its ability to offer impressive image stabilisation. Not only does this promise to improve pictures taken by those with shaky hands or those operating in low light conditions. Some of the low light shots demonstrated by Apple during the iPhone 6 reveal were stunning. Check out the picture of the two girls above to see what we mean.

More impressive is the Cinematic Video Stabilisation mode, which – judging by what we’ve seen so far – delivers incredibly stable video that’s almost in line with what you might expect from a steady-cam system. We’ll have to wait and see whether the video quality is compromised when the filter is active, but from what we’ve seen so far it’s hugely impressive.

Iphone 6 camera: Time Lapse

Both iPhone 6 handsets also offer HDR video, for better picture quality while filming, and time lapse, so you can speed up time. There are existing apps that offer this sort of functionality in the iPhone 5s, of course, but this time around it’s integrated directly into iOS8, so using it is second nature. The results are impressive, too. 

Obviously we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus before we make final judgement on the cameras, but so far we’re impressed. Watch this space for more.

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