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It has once again been rumored that next year's iPhone 14 Pro models will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel primary camera (the "Wide" lens), compared to a 12-megapixel Wide lens on iPhone 13 Pro models, but it is not as simple as it might sound.

iPhone-14-Mock-Roundup-2.5.jpg

In a research note earlier this year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said iPhone 14 Pro models may support both 48-megapixel and 12-megapixel output, which would likely be achieved with a process known as pixel binning. Already in use on some Android smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra, pixel binning merges data from multiple smaller pixels on the camera's image sensor into one "super-pixel" for improved low-light sensitivity.

Pixel binning is beneficial because simply increasing a smartphone camera's megapixels while maintaining the same camera sensor size results in smaller pixels, which generally capture less light, leading to lower-quality low-light photos. Pixel binning would allow iPhone 14 Pro models to shoot high-resolution 48-megapixel photos in bright conditions and 12-megapixel photos in low-light conditions that are still of high quality.

On the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the device shoots 12-megapixel photos by default, with a toggle available in the camera app for shooting 108-megapixel photos. This is ideal for most users, as high-resolution photos have large file sizes that can use up lots of storage space. A single 108-megapixel photo shot with the Galaxy S21 Ultra can have a 16MB file size, for example, compared to the average 12-megapixel photo being around 2-3MB.

CNET's Stephen Shankland wrote a helpful explainer that goes into more detail on the technical aspects of pixel binning earlier this year.

Kuo expects the iPhone 14 Pro's new 48-megapixel Wide lens to support 8K video recording, up from 4K currently, and he said these high-resolution videos would be suitable for viewing on Apple's rumored AR/VR headset expected to launch next year.

Kuo ultimately believes that the camera quality of the iPhone 14 Pro models will "elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level."

Article Link: How the iPhone 14 Pro's Upgraded 48-Megapixel Camera is Expected to Work
 
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e1me5

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2013
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For sure it will be a quad bayer sensor and I am sure Apple will invent some new magic processes, but for these sensor sizes, a lower number of bigger pixels is better than a higher number of smaller ones for low light photography. Plus having more pixels in a quad bayer arrangement doesn't produce a sharper image. https://www.gsmarena.com/quad_bayer_sensors_explained-news-37459.php
 

javisan

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2006
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Chicago, IL
I find it extremely funny how this article portrays pixel binning as an amazing advancement in photography when real photo/video professionals and enthusiasts absolutely hate the usage of pixel binning in the real professional cameras. in a real camera pixel binning would be a massive CON/limitation (it is a workaround for poor image sensor/processor performance) and now it appears there will be a drive to make it a PRO when used in smartphones.
 

Rafterman

Contributor
Apr 23, 2010
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May...would...expects...believes. I know this is MacRumors, but damn, this is all a stretch.
 

iPadified

macrumors 68000
Apr 25, 2017
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I find it extremely funny how this article portrays pixel binning as an amazing advancement in photography when real photo/video professionals and enthusiasts absolutely hate the usage of pixel binning in the real professional cameras. in a real camera pixel binning would be a massive CON/limitation (it is a workaround for poor image sensor/processor performance) and now it appears there will be a drive to make it a PRO when used in smartphones.
Hardly, it is a method to detect anything at the expense of resolution.
 
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Morgenland

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May 28, 2009
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8K video recording - it's silly. It consumes infinite storage, is time-consuming to process even on fast computers, and I don't know anyone who would enjoy it on an 8K projector.

'More is better' - many people actually think that and mindlessly grab such possible 'advantages'.
Filmmakers will -sorry Apple- never make movies with an iPhone, of course. That's not possible, the lens is just too limited.

These days I reactivated my system camera, after a long time I was shooting only with iPhone. OK, such cameras are just infinitely better. Why put in 8K and 48MP now, just because other stupid companies are leading the way? Apple, please stay reasonable. Private image archives will reach TBs over the decades.

Note to marketing: common sense is the real USP.
 

loteq

macrumors member
May 12, 2008
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8k isn’t silly anymore than 4K was silly. It’s less useful vs 4K for basic videos just as 4K was less useful for people who have 1080 sets or low quality internet connections. Where 8k is def useful is in next gen applications for VR where you are able to get very close to a very big screen virtually and have 8k capable headsets which are coming as they mention in the Article. Also, most of you favourite YouTubers shoot in 8k for the editing flexibility. More people would do that as well if it was affordable. Personally. I want the highest res videos I can get of my kids. I love every detail.
 

anthogag

macrumors 68000
Jan 15, 2015
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The goal is excellent pictures with cool editing features. New iPhones have lots of storage. If a picture is 16 mb instead if 2 mb, it isn't an issue.

An issue is iCloud backup. Does Apple consider network traffic efficiency. I often shoot a picture, edit it, use it/share it, then delete the original in the Photos app. Back-up to iCloud could 'wait' based on how I take and use pictures.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,046
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In a research note earlier this year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said iPhone 14 Pro models may support both 48-megapixel and 12-megapixel output, which would likely be achieved with a process known as pixel binning. Already in use on some Android smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra, pixel binning merges data from multiple smaller pixels on the camera's image sensor into one "super-pixel" for improved low-light sensitivity.

Pixel binning is beneficial because simply increasing a smartphone camera's megapixels while maintaining the same camera sensor size results in smaller pixels, which generally capture less light, leading to lower-quality low-light photos. Pixel binning would allow iPhone 14 Pro models to shoot high-resolution 48-megapixel photos in bright conditions and 12-megapixel photos in low-light conditions that are still of high quality.
Pixel binning isn't actually a new concept for iPhones. The iPhone 5 and 5c used 2x2 pixel binning in low light situations before the larger pixels/sensor in the iPhone 5s replaced the need to do this.
 

SDJim

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2017
628
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San Diego, CA
They always depict the new iPhone with a flush camera. Every. Single. Year.

Do we really think that this is going to be the year?? No. We do not.
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
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In my opinion, Apple chose to go this route simply because some of the websites that Rank smartphone cameras give weight to Zoom capability.

I personally am NOT a fan of the change, & am NOT a fan of Pixel Binning !

Have said it before, & will say it again, the image sensor in the 13 Pro Max may be the best Apple "ever" offers !

And it is for that reason that I upgraded from my 11 Pro Max to a 13 Pro Max a few weeks back !

Make NO mistake, Apple does NOT always make the right decision !

Tim Cook is NOT Steve Jobs !
 
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darngooddesign

macrumors G5
Jul 4, 2007
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Atlanta, GA
I find it extremely funny how this article portrays pixel binning as an amazing advancement in photography when real photo/video professionals and enthusiasts absolutely hate the usage of pixel binning in the real professional cameras. in a real camera pixel binning would be a massive CON/limitation (it is a workaround for poor image sensor/processor performance) and now it appears there will be a drive to make it a PRO when used in smartphones.

Camera users dont hate it. Over sampled 4K footage already looks better than 4K footage and its been demonstrated that manually pixel binned files from the A7R look better than regular files from the A7S when it comes to detail and noise reduction.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
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I have had every iPhone since day one! I will no doubt get the 14 Pro Max when it is available.
But to be honest...I am over with the squared edges. Makes hold the phone a chose sometimes.
 
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jz0309

macrumors 604
Sep 25, 2018
6,625
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SoCal
interesting, pixel-binning I'm not sure about as it will be very very processor intensive and the outcome, we will have to see. I'd probably prefer some slight "real" increase in megapixel to ~ 16MP vs 12, for all cameras. Would also be more interested in new/better telephoto capabilities ...
But, it's currently a rumor and we will see what unveils in September
 

FasterQuieter

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2008
690
1,521
Wouldn't it also be useful for zooming? Not sure why this isn't mentioned. All focal lengths between 1x and 3x could be crops of that larger sensor. I say 3x assuming they will still have the telephoto. Image quality will decrease with the crop and drop in binning, but it will likely be better than the upscaled image we get now. Especially in decent light.
 
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