iPhone 16 Pro: Four new camera features coming this year

The iPhone 16 Pro lineup will offer new features like larger displays, a dedicated capture button, and more. We also expect several notable improvements to the camera hardware of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Here are four things to look forward to this year…

New camera features in iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max

Improved ultra-wide camera

According to multiple reports, both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will get a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera this year. This would be a huge improvement over the current 12MP ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 15 Pro.

The change should mean that the iPhone 16 Pro's ultra-wide camera is much better in most shooting situations, but especially in low-light environments. Images will also provide more detail and enhanced colours, while the increased resolution will also provide additional flexibility in editing and post-processing.

The 48MP ultra-wide camera in the iPhone 16 Pro could also mean big improvements for spatial video recording. This feature relies on a combination of the main and ultra-wide lenses, and with the new 48MP ultra-wide lens, it is possible that the iPhone 16 Pro will be able to record 4K spatial video. Currently, the iPhone 15 Pro can only record spatial video at 1080p.

Extended optical zoom

Currently, the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses a new 4D camera design that unlocks the capabilities of 5x optical zoom and 25x digital zoom. With the iPhone 16 lineup, Apple will expand the upgraded quad camera to the smaller iPhone 16 Pro as well. This means that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will offer at least 5x optical zoom and 25x digital zoom.

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There's another development worth keeping in mind: One vague rumor suggested that the iPhone 16 Pro Max would feature something called an “ultra-long periscope telephoto array.” This would enable greater than 5x optical zoom, but so far the rumors have not been confirmed outside of this one source from last year.

Anti-reflective coating

One issue that every iPhone camera user is probably well aware of is lens flare when shooting in bright light environments. This issue causes unexpected internal reflections and lens flare to appear on images. It's a hardware issue that affects most cameras on the market, but Apple reportedly has a solution to work on the iPhone 16 Pro.

According to rumours, Apple is testing a new “Atomic Layer Deposition” (or ALD) lens coating technology for the iPhone 16 Pro. This anti-reflective coating can be applied to the iPhone 16 Pro camera lenses to reduce the effects of internal reflections.

If these rumors pan out, it means you'll see fewer unexpected artifacts in iPhone 16 Pro photos — especially those taken in bright lighting situations.

Main camera upgrade

Use the iPhone 15's 48MP camera

Finally, the iPhone 16 Pro will reportedly use Sony's new main camera sensor with an upgraded design for better low-light performance.

Sony's latest stacked sensor technology separates photodiodes and pixel transistors, which are typically combined in a single layer. This allows the photodiodes themselves – the part that actually captures the light – to be much larger for the same overall pixel size. Sony claims that this sensor captures twice the amount of light compared to existing camera sensors.

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Capturing more light and removing more noise means better photos across the board for iPhone users.

However, one thing that is not clear is whether Sony's next-generation sensor will be used in the two iPhone 16 Pro models. At least one rumor on Weibo said that only the iPhone 16 Pro Max would use the upgraded stacked camera sensors.

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The iPhone 16 lineup is currently expected to be announced in September. What iPhone 16 Pro camera improvements are you looking forward to seeing the most this year? Are you planning to upgrade? Let us know in the comments.

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