List the strengths of the iPhone that make it one of the best phones to own and you’ll probably put the cameras at the top of that list. So naturally, there’s a lot of focus on what Apple plans to do with the iPhone 14 cameras when its new phones arrive in the fall.
Not that Apple told us anything – the company is notoriously mum on unannounced products. But leakers, analysts and other Apple watchers aren’t so circumspect. A fair number of iPhone 14 camera rumors have surfaced ahead of the likely fall launch date, giving us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the new models.
As with many iPhone 14 rumours, it looks like the biggest changes are coming to the iPhone 14 Pro models, highlighted by a big improvement to the main camera on Apple’s high-end phones. . But you can also expect improvements for the standard iPhone 14 that should once again make these handsets contenders for the title of best camera phone.
Note that the rumors at this point are largely focused on camera hardware, as that’s the kind of information Apple analysts can glean from the company’s supply chain. Software enhancements, like the Cinematic Mode added by Apple as part of the iPhone 13 release last year, are expected to leak closer to the iPhone 14 release date, if past iPhone rumors are continuing.
That said, here’s a closer look at the biggest supposed changes to the iPhone 14’s cameras and what those changes might mean for your mobile photos and videos.
1. A bigger main camera for the iPhone 14 Pro
The biggest camera change coming to the iPhone 14 lineup is easily to the main camera of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Pro phones are both expected to use 48MP sensors for their main wide camera. It would be a big improvement over the 12MP cameras of the current iPhone 13 Pro models. And really, that would mark a significant shift for Apple overall, as the company has been using a 12MP camera as the main lens on the iPhone since 2015.
Most Apple watchers expect this change to be limited to the Pro models, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max (or the iPhone 14 Plus, if you believe the rumor of a different name for Apple’s cheaper 6.7-inch handset) turning to the same 12MP sensors as before. In fact, a look at the iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro rumors suggests that most of the big changes are coming to Apple’s Pro phones.
Increasing the megapixel count on the iPhone 14 Pro’s main cameras would allow the phone to capture higher resolution photos with more detail. It would also give photo professionals more work and manipulation when editing photos, possibly signaling a more feature-rich pro mode for the iPhone 14 Pro’s Camera app.
But there are other implications for a 48MP main camera besides resolution. For example, Apple could turn to pixel grouping, in which pixels are combined. In darker environments, this allows the combined pixel to capture more light and reduce noise. The end result would be better low-light photography, but at the expense of resolution.
Another key thing about a 48MP sensor as the iPhone 14 Pro’s main camera – this would pave the way for Apple’s Pro phones to capture 8K video. Currently, the iPhone 13 Pro exceeds 4K video recording at 60 fps. A higher resolution sensor removes hardware limitations on capturing 8K video and would allow the next iPhone to match the video recording capabilities of some Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22.
There’s another implication for Apple to move towards a 48MP primary sensor that goes beyond photo capabilities. Apple would need to increase the size of the camera lens to accommodate the larger sensor. That means a wider and thicker camera bump on the iPhone 14 Pro models – a change that has apparently leaked schematics for the next phone.
2. Improved front cameras for all iPhone 14 models
The iPhone 14 isn’t frozen when it comes to camera changes, but the biggest rumor is about the upcoming phone’s front-facing camera. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says all four iPhone 14 models will get an upgraded selfie camera, improving on the 12MP TrueDepth camera that debuted with the iPhone 11 lineup.
Specifically, Kuo predicts that the aperture of the iPhone 14’s front camera will grow from f/2.2 to f/1.9. This should let in more light and create sharper images when taking selfies or initiating FaceTime chats. Speaking of FaceTime improvements, Kuo also thinks the front camera will get built-in autofocus, which should lead to sharper video during calls.
Additionally, the new front camera is designed to feature a 6-element lens, an improvement over the 5-element lens used by current iPhones. As we learned when the iPhone 12 upgraded from a 7-element lens to a 6-element lens, the more elements, the better the image quality. Specifically, the additional element can correct image distortion and aberrations for a better overall shot.
3. No periscope-type zoom lens
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but a big iPhone 14 camera rumor is about a feature that’s not come to the Pro models. Early rumors had suggested that Apple might be turning to a periscope-style telephoto lens in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This design would pave the way for Apple to increase the optical zoom on its phones, positioning the iPhone to better compete with Samsung flagships on this front.
Right now, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is the undisputed zoom king, thanks to two telephoto lenses that offer 3x and 10x optical zooms respectively. With the help of software, these lenses can also support 100x Space Zoom for ridiculously close shots. (You’ll need to place the S22 Ultra on a tripod to reduce any blurring from handling the phone.) The iPhone 13 Pro, with its 3x zoom, struggles to keep up. Just watch these Galaxy S22 Ultra zooms in action.
A periscope-style lens is still on the way for future iPhones, but not for the iPhone 14 Pro. Kuo expects it to arrive next year, and other iPhone leaks now support that claim, especially with news from Apple’s supply chain that the final design of the iPhone 14 Pro does not include a periscope lens.
4. Autofocus for the iPhone 14 ultra-wide camera
Here’s an older rumor that doesn’t get much attention these days, but as far as we know, it’s still on the table for a potential iPhone 14 camera upgrade. wide of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max could add autofocus.
If true, this would reflect a feature added by Apple to the ultra-wide lenses of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. It could also pave the way for the standard iPhone 14 to adopt the macro mode that the ultra-wide lenses of Apple’s Pro models currently support.
This rumor actually dates back to before the release of the iPhone 13 when Ming-Chi Kuo – yes, him again – informed the world about the autofocus feature directed at the iPhone’s ultra-wide camera. 13 pro. At the time, Kuo said the feature would be added to Apple’s other phones next with the iPhone 14. The first part of that prediction came true last fall; let’s see if the second part holds up this year.