iPhone 14 camera: what to expect

Apple’s iPhone 14 series is but a few months away and, naturally, there are leaks abound on what we should expect. From quirky design choices to the iPhone 14 colors, we are slowly getting a clearer and clearer picture of what to expect.

Speaking of pictures, we also have a few juicy leads to go on when it comes to the cameras of the upcoming iPhone 14 models. For the first time in a while, we are expecting a jump in resolution, and for another consecutive year, we are bracing for a bigger camera bump to accommodate more tech inside.
Let’s go into further detail!

iPhone 14 camera upgrades: what we expect

The rumor mill is heavy with leaks about a new, 48 MP main sensor for the iPhone 14 cameras. This would, in theory, allow for the new iPhones to finally shoot in 8K video. Not that there are a lot of consumer devices out there that are currently able to play footage in the super-high resolution, but Android phones have been able to do this for a couple of years now. If Apple wants its iPhones to continue to be highly regarded as portable video cameras, it will probably want to get on that sooner, rather than later.

As a side effect, Apple may once again achieve great low-light performance by binning the 48 megapixels in groups of 4 to make 12 MP photos with awesome dynamic range and boosted shadows.

The new i-notch will also, supposedly, house an upgraded selfie camera with a wider aperture than before and auto-focus, instead of fixed focus. 

How many cameras will the iPhone 14 have?

As before, we expect Apple to implement the tried and true formula of two cameras on the non-Pro models, triple cameras with an extra LiDAR on the Pro models.

So, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max (alleged name) will have two cameras — main wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will have the main wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle and a telephoto camera for portraits and optical zoom. Right now, there is no reason to believe that the telephoto will be different from before, so 3x zoom it is.

iPhone 14 camera upgrades

48 megapixel sensors

For years now, Apple has stuck to a 12 MP main camera sensor on its iPhones. The sensor itself did grow in size, which would allow all of those pixels to be slightly larger with each upgrade, culminating with the iPhone 13 series’ camera, which really is pretty amazing at collecting light and capturing vibrant colors.

However, analysts and pundits agree that the iPhone 14 series will take a major leap here — the cameras are expected to be outfitted with a new, 48 MP sensor. And, remember, we are talking about the main camera here — the one that is shared across all iPhones in a line. So, that upgrade should, if history teaches us, come to all four expected iPhone 14 models.
This rumor is contested by some who claim that Apple will stick to the same 12 MP sensors from the iPhone 13 for yet another generation. And that is not hard to believe if we look at how uninterested Apple is in the overall specs war that is going on in the tech circles.

8K video recording

But it’s about more than a simple resolution bump. A 48 MP sensor will remove the physical limitation for iPhones to be able to shoot videos in 8K — something that competitor Samsung has had on its devices since the Galaxy S20 two years ago. iPhones are currently considered to be the king in video quality among their smartphone peers, and Apple probably does not want to let that reputation slip. Therefore, Cupertino is probably getting ready to make that upgrade.

Better Night Mode

Of course, having more pixels on a sensor inevitably means that they would be smaller, thus raising concerns about light-collecting capabilities. Leaks say the iPhone 14 sensor will be 1/1.3-inches big and have slightly smaller 1.25µm pixels, compared to iPhone 13 1.9µm pixels. However, don’t be alarmed just yet. It is very, very probable that — for photos and lower-res videos — Apple would utilize the “pixel binning” method. Basically, clumping the pixels together in groups of 4, each small group acting like one “very big pixel”. This means we would still get 12 MP photos with stellar dynamic range and nighttime performance.

Selfie camera with auto-focus

Another big upgrade will, reportedly, come to the selfie cameras of the iPhone 14 models. For the first time ever, Apple will introduce an auto-focusing front camera with a wider aperture of F1.9. A wide aperture allows for more light to come in, but it also introduces more blur in objects that are out of focus, which in turn demands for an auto-focus. In comparison, the iPhone 13 series have fixed-focus front cameras with an aperture of F2.2.

As for resolution of the front-facing sensors, we still don’t have the information.

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