Apple introduces new iPhones with 12MP camera, Live Photos and ‘Deep Trench Isolation’ technology

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 3:06 PM EDT

Canon and Nikon could announce a merger today and still it wouldn’t be the top headline. Why? Because, Apple has announced the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the newest additions to its successful smartphone lineup.

Apple’s keynote has just ended, confirming the much-rumored improvements to the camera hardware. Below we have a rundown of the camera-related upgrades talked about during the three hour presentation. 

As anticipated by tech writers, analysts and pundits, Apple’s new iPhones include a brand new 12-megapixel sensor that packs in 50% more pixels and brand new tech to improve resolution without sacrificing overall image quality. To do this, Apple has included two new technologies in its iSight camera sensor.

The first of these is the decision to move the color filter that has traditionally been slightly above the pixels to directly on top of the pixels, making for more accurate color. The second technology is the use of ‘Deep Trench Isolation’, a technology that puts small, light-proof dividers between the pixels to prevent light from bleeding onto nearby pixels, which can lead to inaccurate colors. 

The front-facing FaceTime camera has also received an upgrade, boosting its resolution to 5-megapixels. 

If video is what you’re interested, Apple hasn’t disappointed. The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will feature 4K video capabilities, packing in a whopping 8-million pixels per frame.

Also announced is Live Photos, a new feature that will automatically capture one second before and after you capture a photo and play it back as a sort of mini-movie. The feature is turned on by default in the form of a new icon on the Camera app’s top bar, but can be turned off if you please. All images captured with this mode are captured and can be exported like any other image.

In addition to new hardware, Apple has made a handful of software updates to better make use of the camera’s new imaging capabilities.

The most notable is a new software-based flash that will make the iPhone’s screen flash 3X brighter than normal to act as a flash when taking selfies, a feature Snapchat has had for some time. As with the rear-facing flash, the screen flash will use true-tone technology to match the color balance with your environment.

The new iPhones will be available for pre-order on September 12th and available on September 25th. Pricing follows the same structure as the previous models, meaning the iPhone 6s is available for in 16GB ($199), 64GB ($299), and 128GB ($399). The iPhone 6s Plus is available inn 16GB ($299), 64GB ($399), and 128GB ($499).