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The iPhone 16 Pro could feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera with a 48-megapixel sensor, according to a Weibo leaker.

iphone-11-pro-ultra-wide.jpg

The rumor comes from Weibo user "Instant Digital" and suggests that 2024's iPhone 16 Pro models will be the first to feature more than one 48-megapixel sensor, leaving the Telephoto camera as the only rear-facing lens with a 12-megapixel resolution. The Ultra Wide camera's upgrade to a 48-megapixel sensor should allow it to capture more light, resulting in enhanced photos when shooting in 0.5× mode, especially in low-light environments.

The iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro models already have a 48-megapixel Main camera that uses "pixel binning" to merge data from four pixels on the sensor into one "super pixel" for improved low-light capture. With the iPhone 16 Pro models, this technology is expected to expand to the Ultra Wide lens, which is currently a 12-megapixel lens.

This also means that iPhone 16 Pro models should be able to shoot 48-megapixel ProRAW photos in Ultra Wide mode. These photos retain more detail in the image file for more editing flexibility, and can be printed at large sizes.

The Weibo rumor corroborates a forecast from Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu, which said that the iPhone 16 Pro will feature a 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera and support for Wi-Fi 7. In 2025, the iPhone 17 Pro is expected to complete the rear camera array's transition to 48-megapixel sensors, bringing the technology to the Telephoto lens.

Instant Digital has a mixed track record in terms of revealing accurate information about Apple's plans. The source was first to report the iPhone 14's Yellow spring refresh, Spatial Video on the iPhone 15 Pro, and the Apple Watch Series 9's minor hardware update, as well as being the only source of the only rumor claiming that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus would feature frosted back glass. However, they also made claims about several iOS 17 features and the release of a new iPad Air in October 2023 that did not pan out.

Article Link: iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Feature 48MP Ultra Wide Camera
 

phill85

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2010
211
1,187
I’m guessing a larger 1/1.14” main sensor, and the main sensor from the current iPhone 15 that’s 48 MP but smaller, will be used as the ultra wide sensor.
 
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ardent11

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2007
39
8
Sydney
I wonder if this 48MP ultra wide camera will make its way to a new SE model. i could see them keeping the SE as a single camera phone but use the larger resolution to crop in for a “standard” 1x lens effectively giving the SE two cameras with a single lens.
 
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wood1208

macrumors 6502
Aug 30, 2015
365
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I am no expert in photography but isn't higher pixel telephoto lens better since main camera is already higher pixel so to capture picture further away, don't you need telephoto lens with higher pixels.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 601
Jun 9, 2021
4,184
7,711
I have a theory the 48MP ultra wide upgrade is going to be a key feature for spatial video. Cropped to 1X to match same focal length as main camera at 1X. Does that make sense?

I think this is the reason as well.

Can we please look at some better improvements to the iPhone outside of the camera year after year. Is anyone complaining about photo quality still? How about some friggin innovation for goodness sake!

The irony is that they have made this a big deal but Samsung still consistently blows them away every year for several years now. But I do still have complaints about iPhone camera quality, yes. It’s tuned for Instagram selfies. They can still do better.

I am no expert in photography but isn't higher pixel telephoto lens better since main camera is already higher pixel so to capture picture further away, don't you need telephoto lens with higher pixels.

Yes, I don’t understand why they make a big deal about zoom when Samsung’s is night and day better. But I think the above commenter is correct that right now the Vision Pro is the higher priority for them, for better or worse.
 

wyarp

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2011
243
737
Can we please look at some better improvements to the iPhone outside of the camera year after year. Is anyone complaining about photo quality still? How about some friggin innovation for goodness sake!
The camera itself is great. the post-processing of images is HORRIFIC and only got worse over the years. it' particularly noticeable at the time of year if ppl ever dare taking a photo of a Christmas tree and witness the insane amount of over-sharpening, over-contrast and everything else they do to butcher the final picture.
 

PowerButton

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2022
192
267
🤔 Higher megapixels usually equate to more resolution, not the ability to capture more photons.
Though, with processing I can see more megapixels resulting in an overall cleaner image in less than optimal lighting.
 

CalMin

Contributor
Nov 8, 2007
1,658
2,825
You can be sure there is going to be more plumbing in iOS to support the Vision Pro.

This makes sense in terms of market differentiation because photos have been good enough on these devices since the 11 Pro. Yes - I can see that my 15 Pro Max takes better pics than the 11Pro, but they are not meaningfully better in most situations which would force an upgrade for the camera alone. Certainly, they are not meaningfully better enough to make a non-Apple user switch to iOS.

Vision Pro is going to offer something that competitors cannot for at least a couple of years. The idea of getting 3D 4K spatial video - or even Insta360 style 360 degree video on an iPhone would be a compelling reason to pay up for a new device, whereas a better general camera would have me sit out a generation or two.
 
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