In the world of smartphones, we’ve reached a point where all phones look quite similar. They all have a piece of glass on the top with a camera cutout, a frosted back with a triple lens camera module, and a shiny frame that holds everything in place.
Even the features inside all flagship phones are also the same: 120 hertz panel, super fast chip, a bright display. There’s really not much that manufacturers can change. This is why the biggest focus of every manufacturer every year has been the one thing that they can change: the camera.
We’ve seen some crazy innovations lately with 200 megapixel sensors, large one-inch sensor sizes, variable apertures, and so much more. It seems like Apple will be doing the same with the iPhone 15. Here are the four biggest camera changes to expect.
1. One Inch Sensor
According to a reliable source, the iPhone 15 Pro Max would feature Sony’s new IMX 903 sensor with a size of 1 over 1.14 inches. That is almost a one-inch sensor. A one-inch sensor is what you would normally find in a compact digital camera like the Sony RX100, a camera capable of some incredible results.
This doesn’t mean that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would be as good as the Sony RX100 as the sensor would still be a bit smaller than one inch and the optics won’t be as good. But it should be a very good improvement over the iPhone 14 Pro Max in terms of low light performance and depth of field.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra, a phone that has a one-inch sensor from Sony, is pretty impressive. You get notably more depth of field compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the low light performance is also substantially better.
So, you should expect something similar as what we could currently see from the Xiaomi 13 Ultra on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. In fact, the results could even be better than the IMX 989 as the IMX 903 would actually be more expensive to manufacture despite being smaller in size. The reason for this is its dual layer technology which should significantly improve the low light performance.
2. Periscope Module
The second big camera upgrade to expect is a periscope module which would be exclusive to the Pro Max model. A periscope module simply allows you to have a high level of optical zoom, usually over 5x, which is something that you simply cannot do with a traditional smartphone zoom lens which maxes out at about 3.5x. According to sources, it will have either a 5x or a 6X optical zoom lens.
This may seem quite disappointing especially if you take a look at Samsung that features a 10x optical zoom module. But as long as Apple uses a high resolution module here like 48 megapixels or so, they will be able to achieve a very similar result to Samsung.
3. Camera Exclusivity
The standard iPhone 15 would now use the same sensor as the iPhone 14 Pro. This has been the case since the iPhone 13 where the base model used the sensor from the previous Pro Models.
One advantage of that 14 megapixel sensor would be the ability to get 2x zoom using sensor crop which would be a huge gain for non-pro iPhones as those do not have any Zoom module at all.
4. The iPhone 15 Pro
The iPhone 15 Pro is in a really weird spot with the regular model now getting the same 48 megapixel module as the 14 Pro and the 15 Pro Max now getting an even bigger sensor.
As of right now, it seems like it mightbe the case where the 15 Pro would actually stick with the same 14 Pro camera and therefore the same one as on the iPhone 15. However, it would come with some of the extra features like macro mode, better Ultra wide, Pro raw, and ProRes video.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is set to bring some significant camera upgrades this year, with a larger dual stack sensor and a periscope module. This makes it a compelling choice for those who prioritize camera performance in their smartphones.
On the other hand, the standard iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro are also expected to see improvements in their camera systems, making the entire iPhone 15 lineup a promising one for photography enthusiasts.
However, the division of the Pro lineup could be a point of contention for some users. It could be due to the internal space required for those camera changes or it could simply be a move by Apple to make more money.
Regardless, the camera upgrades this year are exciting and it will be interesting to see how they perform in real-world scenarios.
Stay tuned for more updates on everything coming with Apple in the next few months. The World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is very close, so expect some updates on that as well.