Apple iPhone 13 to get camera upgrades: new lens and sensor in the works

The iPhone 13 Max will feature a new wide-angle lens and sensor, according to Apple analysts

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 13 will see small but significant upgrades to its rear camera array compared to the iPhone 12, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The biggest change is likely to be on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which will see a new wide-angle lens, produced by a new optical firm, with a wider aperture.

This new lens, produced by Sunny Optical, is due to have a wider f/1.5 aperture than the current f/1.6, providing more light and shallower focusing. The iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are all expected to retain the current wide-angle lens used on the iPhone 12.

All models will also benefit from an upgrade to the ultra-wide-angle lens, with apertures likely to shift from f/2.4 to f/1.8 across all models. There is no news so far on the f/2.2 4x telephoto lens, or the f/2.0 5x telephoto lens on the Pro Max. 

MacRumors, which first ran the news, also quoted Apple analyst Ross Young, who predicts that we will see a larger sensor on one or more of the new iPhones. The iPhone 12 Pro Max features a larger sensor on its wide-angle lens (thought to be around 1/2.0”) and increasing the physical size of the sensor is a more effective way to improve image quality than increasing the number of pixels. Xiaomi recently included the largest phone sensor to date in its Mi 11 Ultra, at 1/1.12”, which is close to a Super 16mm frame.

When space is at a premium, increasing the aperture of the lenses is a more efficient way to get more light and therefore better image quality. However, we can hope that at least the iPhone 13 Pro Max will continue to enlarge its sensors.

With WWDC now just a few months away and the next iPhone launch expected to follow its normal September timing this year, more information is likely to appear. We’ll keep you updated!

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.