A new investor note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (as quoted by 9to5Mac) suggests that Apple will be upgrading the resolution of the main camera on next year’s iPhone 14 to 48MP. In addition, Kuo suggests the iPhone 15 in 2023 will finally ship with a periscope telephoto lens for much sharper zoom quality.
When Apple announced the iPhone 13 series, it was clear we’d have to wait at least another year for a higher-resolution iPhone camera since all of the device’s rear sensors clocked in at 12MP. For the iPhone 14, however, Kuo believes Apple will offer a 48MP main camera across the lineup. It isn’t clear what resolution the ultra-wide and telephoto sensors will ship with.
Typically, high-resolution cameras like the rumored 48MP one on the iPhone 14 don’t actually produce 48MP photos out of the box. Companies will usually use pixel binning to capture the detail the 48MP can collect and create a higher-quality, lower-resolution image. In this case, that lower resolution would likely sit at 12MP. There’s a chance Apple will let you flick a switch to enable 48MP photography, but that likely wouldn’t be the default setting since it would eat up a lot of your storage.
What might be a more exciting addition to the iPhone is the periscope lens which has been in devices from companies like Samsung and Huawei in the past. The lens would use a reflective mirror or prism to draw light to the sensor and allow for a much sharper image when zoomed in, so you could achieve things like 5x or even 10x optical zoom without losing any quality.
Zoom quality seems to be the only thing Apple has failed to master on the iPhone. Standard photographs are terrific, ultra-wide shots are great, and 3x photos taken with the iPhone 13 Pro series are high-quality. However, it’s only 3x with up to 10x digital zoom. It’s clear the iPhone could use a little love in the zoom department, and it’s a bit unfortunate we’ll need to wait until 2023 (at least according to Kuo) for that to happen.
There’s still a ton leaking out about the iPhone 14 which is expected to be one of the bigger upgrades we’ve seen in recent years. It’s rumored to ship with a new design, a hole-punch cutout instead of a notch on some models, no Mini model, and even faster performance. I’ve got a roundup of some of the more recent leaks here.