ANH photos

Whenever a new iPhone comes out, my first thought is, “Should I upgrade for the camera?”

While I weigh other concerns when upgrading — mainly price and how my old phone is holding up — the most enticing feature of any new phone for me is a camera. 

I’ve been using an iPhone 6s for the past six months or so. It’s a great phone, and I’ve never had any problems with it. And since I had upgraded from an iPhone 5s, and I could easily see a difference in the quality of my photos.

But when the iPhone 8 came out, I wondered if it would be a major upgrade from my current phone — after all, the iPhone 6s is now two years old. 

I decided to spend a few weeks photographing my life with both phones, side-by-side, to decide which camera I like better, then selected a handful of shots that showcased the cameras’ differences.

Take a look at the results:

SEE ALSO: Here’s why Apple’s ‘Portrait Mode’ feature only works on some iPhones and not others

When comparing the specs of the two phones, I noticed a few major differences between the two.

Both phones sport a 12-megapixel rear camera, auto-HDR, have exposure controls, and have a 5X digital zoom.

But the iPhone 6s has an f/2.2 aperture while the iPhone 8 has an f/1.8 aperture. This means the iPhone 8’s camera is able to let in more light, making for better shots in low light and sharper images overall.

The iPhone 8 also has optical image stabilization (OIS), a six-element lens (compared to the iPhone 6s’ five-element lens), wide color capture, and a quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync. 

I primarily focused on testing the phone’s abilities in low light, since that was the biggest change from the iPhone 6s.  

Here’s a bouquet of (faux) flowers that I photographed in a dim room. The 6s had a hard time focusing, and the photo is noisy, meaning it looks grainy. The photo taken with the iPhone 8, however, is much brighter. The camera did a nice job auto-focusing on the yellow flower while blurring out everything in the background, known as a bokeh effect.

Here’s a good test of how the phones handle color. I noticed over the course of my tests that in bright, natural light, the photos looked virtually the same in terms of color. Here, both cameras did a great job focusing on the subject while blurring the background, and the colors are vibrant. But if you look closer, the photo taken on the 8 is just a bit sharper.

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