Cell Phones

Can an iphone 6s resonably replace your camera and Video camera?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 27th, 2016 7:43 am
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2002
3704 posts

Can an iphone 6s resonably replace your camera and Video camera?

Can I use an Iphone 6S for all my family photo and video camera needs? Or is it better to buy a stand alone of each?

I never had anything fancier than a point and click, so I'm not asking to compare against a DSLR.

Thanks for any advice
5 replies
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
21002 posts
Against a point and shoot? For simple stuff like birthday parties, etc. yes for many if not most people.

It won't compare against a high end P&S camera and definitely not against a good dSLR, but it is good enough for family shots. I own several dSLRs and thousands of dollars of lenses, and the two pictures of my kids I gave my mom in frames for Xmas were taken by my iPhone 7 Plus.

Note that the 7 Plus has a superior camera to the 6s, but the 6s is decent enough. My wife has the 6s. She NEVER uses a P&S or a dSLR.

For my usage, I carry my iPhone with me 99.9% of the time, a P&S 1% of the time, and a dSLR 5% of the time. If I am going to bring a separate camera, I figure I may as well bring my best, which is a dSLR.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2008
1367 posts
North Vancouver, BC
Yes, for selfies. No, for indoor shoots.

Sunny day outdoor photos will look pretty good.
Sr. Member
Oct 1, 2009
630 posts
West coast
If majority of your need are simple pictures or videos, then yes but i would go for the 6s plus variant because of it's ois capabilities. Apple wasn't dumb enough to include it before as people were still buying it
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35815 posts
East Gwillimbury
Cameras on cell phones should only be used if the subject is no more than 2 metres.

The problem is the cell phones camera have fixed lenses. Anything beyond 2 metres should be taken with a camera for the best quality.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1423 posts
There are two important Qs to answer:

1. What do you take photos of. A recent iphone (5s+, certainly a 6s) is pretty darn good at taking well-lit snapshots or brief videos of individuals and groups of people, of representing "here I am and it's neat", and actually better than most P&S at taking broad landscape shots in panorama mode. It will be be noticeably worse than most P&S in situations you would want to zoom in, e.g. to photograph wildlife or nature close up, family doing sports by the lake, dearest daughter at the Christmas concert. As someone else has said, it will be worse than a good P&S for dim-light photography, but it might be decent comparable to a small, cheap P&S.

2. What do you do with your photos. An iphone will be easier than a P&S if you primarily share your photos on facebook and as electronic messages (of whatever type) with friends, that they see on their handheld device anyway. The above quality differences will appear really only if you (or Aunt Maud) likes to look at the pictures full-screen on a large monitor. And most definitely (compared to a good P&S) if you post-process your photos and print them on paper and hang them.

The above arises as a result of 4 technical differences

A. An iphone has a small sensor (1/3" across approx) while good P&S have sensors 3X as big. Sensor size matters more than number of pixels for image quality in challenging situations, e.g. low light.
B. An iphone has a fixed focal length lens, while most P&S have a zoom lens. On an iphone, when you zoom in, you're faking it by cropping to fewer pixels rather than changing the optics.
C. On the other hand, the iphone lens is quite fast (f/2.2 for the 6S). Cheap P&S may have significantly slower lenses, especially on the telephoto end (f/6.3 or worse). Good P&S might have a lens that is f/2 or f/1.8 on the wide end and say f/2.8 or f/3.5 on the telephoto lens. These specs interact with the small sensor size issue in a nontrivial way but drive a lot of what I wrote above.
D. Camera makers vary a lot in the quality and user-friendliness of their camera software. Apple has a pretty polished product in this regard, but with limited user controls compared to a good P&S. However, their landscape/panorama stitching mode is much better than in most P&S.

I have an iPhone SE, a Canon G7X P&S, and a Canon 70D DSLR with several lenses. Each has its uses. The iPhone SE is gradually pushing into territory I would have used the G7X for 2 years ago, but there is still a difference.


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