iPhone 6 Plus vs. Nikon D800 photos

So every now and then I’ll try and post one of these compare and contrasts where I take the same photo with my iPhone (currently a 6 Plus) and compare it to what I get with my Nikon D800.

It’s not only a fun way to compare photographs but also a way to understand the finer differences on how mobile photography compares to traditional photography—and I’m stretching the meaning of traditional here, by referring to the current era of digital technology…more specifically a dSLR.

While my iPhone is the camera that I carry around at all times, my Nikon is still the camera that I would use for my landscape and travel photography that I would like to cherish and archive.

The Nikon may weigh a little more than my iPhone 6 Plus, but I’ll take that any day for the difference in quality between the two. Difference you say?

For one, my iPhone 6 Plus is an 8mb camera while my Nikon d800 is a 36mb camera. This alone makes a significant difference in picture quality, especially when so much post-processing is done on these images.

Let’s look at some examples:

This is the image that I cam out with for one of my sunset photos by the dock in Toronto. It was captured and fully edited with my iPhone 6 Plus and never left the device anywhere throughout the workflow.


Colonel Sam Smith Park shot and edited with my iPhone 6 Plus
Colonel Sam Smith Park shot and edited with my iPhone 6 Plus


It was a beautiful (and cold!) evening that showed Mother Nature at her best. I brought this image into about 3 different apps to edit the colour, saturation, texture, and so forth. All of this editing will invedibly take a toll on an image as it is constantly saved over and over again in a compressed jpg format. If you look closely, you’ll likely see the loss in detail, grain, and blotchiness that are so common in heavily edited images.

Now, here’s an image that was taken from the same location and the same time, but with my Nikon d800:

Nikon D800, 14mm, 1/400 sec., f/9.0, ISO 800
Nikon D800, 14mm, 1/400 sec., f/9.0, ISO 800

The most obvious of differences is likely the field of view, which is dictated by the lens. I used a 14mm wide angle lens, which is wider than the fixed lens that the iPhone provides, at 29mm (35mm equivalent). The editing is also a little different as I strived for two different feels to the images.

For my iPhone image, I wanted to emphasize the coldness of the landscape by giving it a white-blue overall tone. For the Nikon image, I wanted to emphasize the sunset colours a little more, giving the orange colour on the right more precedence.

If you look at the various trees in the background, the ice formation in the foreground, and the clouds on top, you’ll see that they are clearer on the Nikon d800 version.

Overall I get cleaner and more polished photo out of my Nikon d800 that makes lugging around the camera worth while.

While it’s true that these differences may be more visible when comparing the two side-by-side, I hope they give you a little more appreciation as to what full-sized cameras can provide.

If you liked this compare and contrast posts, please feel free to let me know below and I’ll do some more in the future.

Share this!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top