iPhone 6s and 6s Plus takes huge quality leap with highest ever 12MP camera

The last three iPhone models have all stayed at eight megapixels, despite other improvements.

iPhone 6s camera

Apple has completely changed the camera on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, giving it much higher resolution and 4K video.

The new iSight camera has a 12-megapixel sensor. The new iPhones will also be Apple's first devices to go beyond 1080p video with Ultra HD 4K.

The last three iPhone models have all stayed at eight megapixels, despite other improvements. However, the company clearly felt the need to counter rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S6, which has an excellent 16-megapixel camera.

Apple's Phil Schiller said, "The goal was to add pixels without degrading quality," so the sensor has not only 50 percent more pixels, but also 50 percent more focus pixels.

Meanwhile, Apple said it's doing 4K video by capturing every frame discretely at a full eight megapixels – as opposed to capturing the differences between frames.

That should result in video that doesn't break up when the shooter or subject is moving.

For selfie junkies, the front-facing camera has been stepped up to five megapixels, a big jump from the iPhone 6's 1.2-megapixel camera.

Apple also brings a "flash" to the front camera, through a feature that Apple calls the "Retina flash." When you take a picture, the display lights up to triple the brightness, providing enough brightness for your face at arm's length.

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