iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max tipped for big camera upgrades

Apple's most expensive iPhones are set to get important camera upgrades

Apple iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: Future)
Quick Summary

The iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max phones are tipped for big camera improvements.

Both are said to be getting 48-megapixel ultra-wide cameras – a huge improvement on current models.

Apple's annual iPhone upgrades usually mean improvements to the cameras, with the biggest upgrades in the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max. And it looks like 2024 is going to follow that pattern, with significant camera improvements in both the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max.

The latest report, leaked on Chinese social network Weibo, says that the Pro Max is going to get a larger sensor for its main camera. And both the Pro and the Pro Max will get 48-megapixel ultra-wide cameras, four times the resolution of the current ones.

What would the iPhone 16 camera upgrades actually deliver?

One of the key benefits from the bigger sensor and better cameras is that they would enable your iPhone 16 to capture more light – and that means clearer images in a wider range of lighting conditions, especially in places with less favourable lighting.

Pretty much any camera can take great shots under blue skies, but lower lighting levels are much more challenging. The more light you can capture in those conditions, the better the results will be – so with better ultra-wide cameras you should end up with much better pictures when you're shooting in the 0.5x mode. You should also be able to shoot ProRAW at 48MP using the ultra-wide camera.

This isn't the first time new ultra-wide cameras have been rumoured for the iPhone 16 Pro Max: as MacRumors reports, a leaker with a reasonably good track record said earlier this year that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max would be the first iPhones to pack two 48MP sensors.

At the risk of sounding like a razor blade company, do you know what's better than two 48MP sensors? That's right: three 48MP sensors. And that's the prediction for the iPhone 17, whose Pro and Pro Max models have been tipped for a similar upgrade in 2025. That would upgrade the remaining 12MP camera, the telephoto, to the same 48MP resolution.

If Apple sticks with its current hardware strategy, you can expect the cameras from the Pro and Pro Max models to appear in the standard and Plus iPhone models within a year or two; the policy is clearly Pro-first when it comes to the best tech, as it helps Apple differentiate its premium models and upsell from the less profitable ones.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).