iPhone 16 Pro's Ultra Wide Camera Rumored to Receive Major Upgrade

The iPhone 16 Pro models will be the first to feature more than one 48-megapixel sensor, leaving the Telephoto as the only rear-facing camera with a 12-megapixel resolution, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports.

iphone 11 pro ultra wide
Writing on Medium, Kuo explained that the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌'s Ultra Wide camera will feature a 48-megapixel sensor. The upgrade should allow the camera 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.

Last year, International Securities analyst Jeff Pu claimed that the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ will feature a 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera. Just a few months later, further details about Apple's plan for the new Ultra Wide camera emerged on Chinese social media site Weibo. With Kuo now throwing his weight behind the rumor, the upgrade seems highly likely.

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. Kuo added that the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ is on-track to feature the tetraprism Telephoto camera introduced on the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max. He also said that the ‌iPhone 17‌ lineup will feature an upgraded front-camera camera unit with a 24-megapixel sensor and a six-element lens.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

orderoftheditch Avatar
24 weeks ago
All three rear cameras should use the same 48 MP sensor.
Just because the shot requires using the wide or telephoto doesn’t mean the photo should have to be taken using an inferior 12 MP sensor.
Obviously the iPhone is now so mature adding new features each year gets harder and harder, probably why they are dragging this out. Wide to get 48MP this year and then the telephoto to also get 48MP for the iPhone 17?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wikiverse Avatar
24 weeks ago
The telephoto camera also needs a better sensor, especially on the 5x. I don't want to say the photos are bad, but they're different... from good.

I'd be willing to bet the biggest selling point of this will be Spatial Videos in 4K resolution, and almost no one is going to care. But an upgrade to the Ultra Wide photos is a bonus, so I won't complain.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
24 weeks ago
This is what I hate about modern Apple. You can see the roadmaps are there to drip features down the range and over time. No doubt the reason it's the ultrawide sensor being upgraded first is so it can be dripped down to the non-pro range the next year, when the Pro models will get a telephoto "upgrade". There should be no reason why all phones in the range don't get 48 MP sensors for all the rear cameras this year.

As someone who only ever wanted the Pro for the telephoto lens (not interested in log / proraw, don't want always on screen and can't see much improvement in 120 Hz screens compared to an iPad), I'm now happy to go with the regular iPhone as the 2x sensor crop is fine for me (perfect for portraits).
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vegetassj4 Avatar
24 weeks ago
Rumor has it that the 17 Pro Max has a Super Utra Wide Camera+:

There are even some leaked selfie shots:

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Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rymc02 Avatar
24 weeks ago
Still hoping to see Sony's stacked imx903 on the main sensor next year.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PsykX Avatar
24 weeks ago
One word : FINALLY !

How many people really using that
I LOVE using the Ultra Wide Angle lens.
So that makes at least 1 person ?

I did notice the quality has always been subpar though compared to the Wide Angle. The images are darker.

Here's one of my latest shots so you know I actually use it. I couldn't have done this shot with just the Wide Angle.

Attachment Image
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)