iPhone 15 camera predictions: rumored sensor sizes and zoom ranges

iPhone 15 camera predictions: rumored sensor sizes and zoom ranges

iPhone 14 Pro Max on a yellow background

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Apple is expected to lift the lid on its iPhone 15 line this September, with the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (which may yet be called the iPhone 15 Ultra) set to replace the iPhone 14 and its siblings as the company’s best iPhones.

We’ve already detailed our iPhone 15 specs, iPhone 15 design and iPhone 15 price predictions elsewhere on TechRadar, but what of the phones’ respective camera arrays?

In this article, we break down all the iPhone 15 camera rumors we’ve heard so far, with dedicated sections for the standard iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.


iPhone 15 camera

iPhone 14 on a blue background

The iPhone 15’s camera arrangement could look the same as its predecessor’s (above) (Image credit: Future / Apple)

Just like the iPhone 14, the iPhone 15 is expected to get a dual-sensor camera setup, though rumors indicate that the iPhone 15 will inherit the 48MP main sensor boasted by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, rather than the 12MP main sensor used by its predecessor.

Suffice to say, this is great news for fans of Apple’s standard iPhones. While the iPhone 14’s cameras are adequate enough for general photography tasks, they’re essentially unchanged from the iPhone 13 (save for the upgraded imaging pipeline powering them). 

The iPhone 15, then, could give existing iPhone owners a tangible – and long-awaited – reason to upgrade vanilla models, even if we don’t expect to see any improvements over the iPhone 14’s measly 5x digital zoom.

On the selfie-snapping front, the iPhone 14’s 12MP selfie camera is expected to remain in place on the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 Pro camera

A closeup on the iPhone 14 Pro series' triple camera system, the device depicted is the Deep Purple colorways

A closeup on the iPhone 14 Pro’s triple camera system (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro isn’t expected to stray too far from its predecessor’s (admittedly excellent) triple-sensor setup, which comprises the following three lenses:  

  • 48MP wide (24mm f/2.8)
  • 12MP ultrawide (13mm f/2.2)
  • 12MP telephoto (77mm f/2.8) w/ 3x optical zoom

A periscope camera is the only real upgrade that’s been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro, but we suspect that this technology – and indeed a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens – will be reserved for the photography-focused Ultra iPhone, whenever it does end up arriving.

In fact, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the iPhone 16 Pro will be getting a larger display in order to house an Ultra-style periscope lens, so we’re not expecting to see one included on this year’s Pro device.

The main difference between the iPhone 15 Pro’s cameras and the iPhone 14 Pro’s, then, will probably be the quality of sensors used. According to leaks, the iPhone 15 Pro is expected to sport new Sony-produced sensors that capture more light. Otherwise, the phone’s main upgrades seem likely to come in the design department (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given the strength of the iPhone 14 Pro’s cameras). 

iPhone 15 Pro Max camera

The iPhone 14 Pro Max (front) and iPhone 14 Pro (back) in black on a blue background

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is rumored to improve upon its predecessor’s triple-sensor setup in a few keys ways. However, because of the confusion over whether Apple will be debuting an iPhone 15 Ultra this year, we’re not certain about what those improvements will be, exactly. 

As with the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts the following three rear lenses:

  • 48MP wide (24mm f/2.8)
  • 12MP ultrawide (13mm f/2.2)
  • 12MP telephoto (77mm f/2.8) w/ 3x optical zoom

As mentioned for the iPhone 15 Pro, a periscope camera was rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has since predicted that the iPhone 16 Pro will be the first to get a periscope lens, owing to its potentially larger display. 

There’s still a chance that the iPhone 15 Pro Max – being larger than its standard Pro sibling – could get a periscope camera in 2023, but all the rumors point towards such a lens being a marquee feature of Apple’s first Ultra iPhone.

Similarly, before rumors of its existence subsided, we heard that the iPhone 15 Ultra could be getting a telephoto camera with a variable zoom lens, of the sort rumored to feature on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Variable optical zoom cameras are exceptionally rare among today’s smartphones – the Sony Xperia 1 IV uses one, but it’s only capable of zooming between 3.5x and 5.2x – so again, this feature could be reserved for Apple’s first Ultra iPhone, whenever that arrives.

And lastly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might have a dual-lens front-facing camera, improving upon its predecessor’s single 12MP front-facing TrueDepth camera.

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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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