iPhone 16 Pro Max’s ultra wide camera could get 48MP sensor

The ultra wide camera on the iPhone 16 Pros could go from twelve to 48 megapixels for even better macro shots and clearer low-light photos.

iPhone 14 Pro Max standing upright, showing off its rear cameras
Apple’s ultra wide lens could get a resolution boost| Image: Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash

A 48-megapixel sensor debuted on the primary rear lens (Apple calls it “wide”) of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu said in a research note seen by MacRumors that Apple will add the same sensor to the iPhone 16 Pros’ ultra wide lens.

The ultra wide lens on all current iPhones uses a twelve-megapixel sensor. Assuming Pu’s right, you’ll be able to take 48-megapixel ProRAW photos in 0.5× mode.

iPhone 16 Pros might get a 48MP ultra wide camera

The current 48-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 14 Pros defaults to pixel binning mode. This combines four pixels into one, resulting in better low-light performance. The same technology could significantly improve low-light photography performed with the ultra wide lens, which is notorious for capturing the least light.

iOS uses the ultra wide lens for macro photography due to its minimum focus distance of 7.8 inches  (about twenty centimeters) on the iPhone 14 Pros or 5.9 inches (15 cm) on the iPhone 13 Pros. Increased light sensitivity through pixel binning should therefore improve macro photography on the iPhone 16 Pros.

Power users can choose to disable pixel binning and instead shoot native 48-megapixel images in Apple’s ProRAW format, which enables more control during the editing process and brings four times more pixels to print photos at large sizes.

These aren’t the only suspected improvements coming to the 2024 iPhones: Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the whole iPhone 16 lineup will get a periscope lens said to debut on the iPhone 15 Pros.

Moreover, displays on the iPhone 16 Pros are expected to grow from 6.1 inches to around 6.3 inches diagonally on the iPhone 16 Pro and from 6.7 to 6.9 inches on the iPhone 16 Pro Max, according to a display analyst. And if you ask Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, he’ll tell you that solid-state buttons could appear on the iPhone 16 Pros.

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