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iPhone 6s Plus vs Galaxy Note 5: Camera Comparison [Video]


Today we’re getting into the ultimate camera battle between Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus. These are without a doubt packing the best camera sensors in mobile right now, but which one will take the throne as 2015’s best smartphone camera? We’ll be taking a look at pictures and video from both devices to find out…

On the iPhone 6s Plus we have a 12-megapixel sensor, dual-tone flash, and optical image stabilization, with the ability to shoot up to 4K video at 30 frames per second. With the Galaxy Note 5, we have a setup that was first launched with the Galaxy S6. There’s a 16-megapixel sensor, LED flash, optical image stabilization, and 4K video recording up to 30 frames per second.

As far as camera software goes, I tend to prefer the simplicity of the Camera app in iOS and the streamlined layout, but it definitely lacks some features when compared to Samsung’s Camera app on Android. On the Note 5, there’s a much more intimidating experience for some people, but Samsung has toned things down a lot over the years and there’s even a full on manual mode for photos that can come in pretty handy if you know what you’re doing with things like ISO, shutter speed, and white balance.

Check out our camera comparison video below:

We’re going to break this comparison down into a few simple categories: Daylight photos, low light photos, and 4K video quality. We’ll also go through an optical image stabilization test as well near the end if that interests you. Anyway, enough talking about the cameras, let’s put them to the test. Also, if you’re curious about the skins I’m using, you can find them here. Check out the above video and gallery below for photo and video samples from each device.

iPhone 6s Plus Gallery:

Galaxy Note 5 Gallery:

It’s pretty clear that Samsung sharpens and saturates the Note 5’s photos, but because of this you get something that’s ready to go out of the box. On the iPhone 6s Plus, the pictures are still good, but not nearly as polished. And in my testing, the colors (while saturated more) seemed more accurate on the Note 5 than the iPhone 6s Plus. Daylight photos from the Note 5 just look better overall, but the iPhone 6s Plus kills it low light performance.

Under less than average lighting conditions, the Note 5 pictures tend to fall apart. Apple’s new sensor in the 6s Plus works very well with low light photography. I still think that the Note 5 reproduces colors better, but in terms of quality, the iPhone 6s Plus wins all around in low light.

When it comes to 4K video recording, I have to give the win to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5. They’ve been working on UHD video recording much longer than Apple and it definitely shows. That’s not to say that the footage on the iPhone 6s Plus is bad, it’s just not as crispy. Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus also destroys the Note 5 when it comes to video stabilization. Take a look at the comparison video above to see for yourself though.

Either way, both of these cameras are great to have, but I personally prefer majority of the results from the Note 5. Though if I’m in a low light setting, the iPhone 6s Plus would be good camera to have around. Which camera do you prefer? Let us know with a comment below.

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  1. Mike Callahan - 7 years ago

    is 6s plus camera better than the 6s?

  2. bpmajesty - 7 years ago

    I have come to look forward to Dom’s comparison videos. For the most part, I agree with him in all aspects. Nighttime: iPhones wins. 4K video: Note wins. Imagine stabilization: iPhones kills it. Camera feature set: While iPhone has the simplicity for quickly pulling out of ones pocket and taking a picture without 20 minutes and options, the Note 5 at least *offers* more for advances users, so I’m going to edge it out to Sammy. Theres no contest in the aforementioned categories.

    Whats interesting is the daylight photos. I personally prefer the iPhones warmer hue to the Note’s overly saturated cools. This is the one area that is probably up for debate the most. B/c some will prefer the cooler look over the warmer, while others vice versa. It may be safe to call this year a tie. Just saying…

    • bpmajesty - 7 years ago

      I meant, 20 menus. They seriously need an edit button for WordPress

    • tonywmd23 - 7 years ago

      BTW if you really wanna go pro in settings and stuff while taking the photo, there’re tons of great apps in the app store that lets you do that. Versatility wise, I would’t go so far as to say the iPhone wins but it does not lose.

  3. The first of the two parking lot photos (dark on the right, background sky on the left): Shows perfectly, how far superior the 6Ss dynamic range is.

  4. Rasmussen (@Twitboydk) - 7 years ago

    Agree! Note 5 wins. But man – I just love my iPhone plus :-D

  5. tonywmd23 - 7 years ago

    I’ll ALWAYS use semi-pro photo editors like Darkroom or Snapseed to edit my photos before I post online anyway. In my case, the more true-to-life colors and better dynamic range of photos on 6s plus give me more room for making them look absolutely stunning. With the over-sharpening and already too vibrant colors on Note 5, there’s really less that you can do before you ruin the picture with too much after-touch. I like my 6s plus and still prefers its photo quality. But this might vary vastly between people and there’s no correct answer.

  6. morganhighley - 7 years ago

    I must be missing something. Color accuracy seems better on the iPhone. Grass does not glow in real life. Using over saturated colors and a cooler color temp is a trick used by TV manufacturers for years in order for their TVs to stand out against competitors on the video wall at Best Buy. Samsung, obviously, is well versed in this and is simply using the same tactics with their phones. Over saturated colors and bluer whites are not impressive to me.

    • Dave Huntley - 7 years ago

      The current trend in all photography seems to be over saturated, over sharp, over exposed and it seems to be an effort to picture the real world better than they actually saw it. So the comparisons here are very subjective, and over saturation, well turn any photo app to vivid and there u go, iphone grass can gain nuclear glow too. Does that mean iphone is worse because it is gentle on post process? I would say thats a gain, not a loss!

  7. Nycko Heimberg - 7 years ago

    Just this for Apple Fans ;-) and the Mobile Rating on the right ….

  8. Alex Martínez - 7 years ago

    Can someone tell me what cover is that iPhone in the picture wearing? I love it!

    • That’s the only reason I clicked on the article! Hoping someone would have asked and answered this question.

      • tonywmd23 - 7 years ago

        These are dbrand skins. Dom has embedded links in the descriptions of many of his videos.

  9. azmkhan - 7 years ago

    Good comparison. I hope you could put the pictures side by side though..!!

  10. cdm283813 - 7 years ago

    After owning my iPhone 6S for a week (coming from a S6) the settings for the video recording is in the worst place Imaginable . The settings should be right there in the camara app. Not tucked away somewhere totally different.
    And something that was not touched on in the video was the slow motion video capture. Still don’t understand why Samsung can’t do 240 fps slow motion. But if I was a serious picture taker I would choose the S6 or LG G4 and possibly the Nexus 6p which is right up there. But for me taking pictures is not as important when compared to the overall experience.
    I’m already looking forward to iPhone 7. The leaks are going to be crazy Q1 2016.

  11. Shan - 7 years ago

    Compare these photos side-by-side. Photos taken on iPhone are realistic unlike Note 5. Photos taken by Note 5 are over exposed photos. iPhone’s camera outperforms Note 5’s camera. period…

  12. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    I don’t care about your comparison, what I care about is my iPhone 6s Plus has the best in every single corner.

  13. dwsolberg - 7 years ago

    Both cameras look great to me. I think the cameras are similar enough that I’d be really surprised if anyone I know would care about the difference.

  14. chuckd05 - 7 years ago

    What is surprising to me that more people do not talk more about the cheaper and very comparable lg g4. I just went from the g4 to the edge 6 plus and what’s interesting is that it carries the sharpness and clarity if the note 5 with significantly warmer colors and far better indoor and low light photos slotting it right between the two. I have examples and comparisons where the note looks better in proper lighting but when situations aren’t ideal I have side by side pictures that make the Samsung look horrendous and very pixelated. Yet I see no mention of the g4 being this superior in this regard. Also the image stabilization is far better in the g4. I think most iPhone users that see the iPhone being better here would have to love the g4 esp due to the less yellow hue then the Samsung gives. I have both cameras and can take pictures to show this and prob should. I have some already. But it should be said outside the edge plus handles bright conditions much better but that makes perfect sense with the g4 strengths.

    But like I said every online review of g4 shows far inferior pictures to that of which I take. Esp when I use raw and manual mode. I’d love to get the g4 in this competition which seems very fairly done.

  15. chuckd05 - 7 years ago

    Really examining these pictures you can see the Samsung has much more detail but does have some shortcomings. I really think the g4 is the best camera phone for an everyday family person looking to take pictures in all environments.

    Overall I think the Samsung edges the i6s here tho however both are Def great

  16. Thank you for your comments. I just switched from iphone 6 to Note5. I´m still comparing, but to be honest, I have the feeling that iphone 6 takes better photos. I purchased a skin, by the way.

  17. arancano - 7 years ago

    It’s clear to me that comments favoring one or the other camera are influenced by overall phone brand preferences. The best way I know to be objective is to ask randomly selected individuals to view the same photo content taken with both the Apple and Samsung phones in question. Disclosure: I have both a Samsung Note 5 and an iPhone 6s. The Samsung I get free from work, the iPhone was my personal purchase.

    I tested over a week’s period with 30 volunteers who did not own either of the two phones in question and the results were as follows:

    Landscape full sun: 21 of 30 preferred Note 5
    Landscape cloudy: 19 of 30 preferred Note 5
    Indoor well lit by sunlight from windows: 16 of 30 preferred Note 5
    Indoor lit by LED lamps: 24 of 30 preferred Samsung Note 5
    Indoor lit by natural low light from windows: 16 of 30 preferred Note 5
    Indoor lit by flash: 25 of 30 preferred Note 5

    I invite you to replicate the test and accept the objective results. Personally, I prefer using the Note 5 because of its ergonomics. But that is a function of hand size, left/right handedness and similar factors.