The iPhone 14 range is already shaping up to be one of Apple’s most exciting launches, but new information suggests that the 2022 flagship will receive one of the biggest iPhone updates in years.
According to a report by MacRumors, next year’s flagship iPhone 14 lineup will come with an all-new 48-megapixel main camera. That’s a four-fold increase in total pixels that’s sure to surprise current iPhone 13 owners. The new sensor is expected to appear in a triple-camera setup alongside 12-megapixel ultra-wide and telephoto modules.
This latest information comes from industry analyst Jeff Pu, in a research note with Haitong International Securities, and corroborates information leaked by respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who earlier hinted at an iPhone 14 with a 48-megapixel camera capable of record 8K video.
Jeff Pu has had mixed success with leaks in the past, scoring 53.3% on Appletrack. Ming-Chi Kuo, on the other hand, has been shown to be more reliable with a score of 75.9% at the same leak tracking site. However, the fact that two insiders pointed to the same information improves my confidence in the rumor.
Why upgrade to 48 megapixels?
A switch to a 48-megapixel camera sensor would bring the iPhone in line with major Android flagships, where sensor resolutions of 50-megapixel or higher are common.
In addition to 8K video, higher resolution sensors can significantly improve image sharpness and digital zoom capabilities. A significant example is Google’s Pixel 6, which improves on the Pixel 5 by upgrading the main camera from 12 megapixels to 50 megapixels, resulting in what Dxomark calls a “huge leap in image quality.” A similar jump in the quality of the iPhone could see it achieving camera performance at a level similar to the best from Xiaomi or Huawei, which currently dominate Dxomark tests.
However, it is worth noting that an increase in resolution to 48 megapixels is unlikely to result in 48 megapixel jpeg images by default. In smartphones, higher-resolution sensors often cluster pixels to form larger virtual ones (known as pixel binning), resulting in 12-megapixel images, albeit of higher quality. A full resolution option is also often available, but there is no guarantee that Apple will implement such a feature in the default camera app.
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