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iPhone 13 camera upgrades: The buzziest rumors photographers will care about most


Alleged renders of the iPhone 13 lineup leaked on Twitter, giving us a glimpse of the new camera bump.


@SonnyDickson

Apple’s new iPhone could be coming soon, but rumors about the iPhone 13 are still flying thick. So far, we’ve heard that the tech giant’s latest iPhone may feature Portrait Mode for video, an improved wide angle, a bigger zoom and more. Although these rumors are enticing, we won’t know the official camera specs until Apple formally reveals the iPhone 13. 

The iPhone 12 Pro Max wowed us with its camera quality, being able to take professional-standard photos with its multiple lens setup. Its superb night mode is a big plus as well, as is Apple’s new ProRaw image format that allows professional shooters more flexibility for editing images in apps such as Adobe Lightroom. Even the cheaper base iPhone 12 can take beautiful pictures and shows Apple’s commitment to providing excellent imaging capabilities across its whole range. 

Read on to find out everything we’ve heard so far about the iPhone 13’s cameras. And we’ve also collected rumors about the iPhone 13’s release date, price, design and colors, and how it might compare to the iPhone 12. Plus, here’s our wishlist of iPhone 13 features and specs.

Read more: iPhone 13 could be completely buttonless. What Apple might do instead


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The iPhone 13 could have ProRes and Portrait Mode for video

The iPhone 13 could feature at least three major new camera and video features. According to a recent report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s latest iPhone could offer the video version of Portrait Mode, a higher quality option to record video called ProRes, and a new filter system to enhance the look and color of pictures. 

Portrait Mode was originally released with the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 just for taking photos. But, if Gurman’s speculation is true, you soon may be able to record videos with a bokeh effect behind your main subject. 

For the rumored ProRes for video, Gurman speculates that its availability may be similar to how Apple’s ProRaw technology is exclusive to the higher-end iPhone 12 models. If that’s the case, ProRes could only be available for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

Improved wide angle

The biggest rumor right now is an improvement to the super-wide-angle lens. At the moment the aperture of the super wide on the iPhone 12 is f2.4, but a report seen by MacRumors suggests that aperture will be f1.8 on the next model. The smaller the aperture number, the more light the lens lets in, resulting in better-looking images, particularly in low light. The report also suggests that this upgrade will be common across all iPhone 13 models, not just the more expensive Pro line.

The night mode is already superb on the iPhone 12 with its regular lens, but as we found out in our test against the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Pixel 5, the iPhone 12 Pro Max doesn’t do well at taking super-wide night shots. Hopefully this boost would let that wide lens keep pace with the others. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

12 Pro Max specs on cheaper phones

The above report also suggested that some of the specs of the current top-end iPhone 12 Pro Max would move down the range onto the regular iPhone 13 and Pro. In particular, the longer 2.5x telephoto zoom. 

It’s also possible that the lidar feature for improved depth sensing — currently only available on the 12 Pro models — would be available on the entire iPhone 13 range.

A larger camera bump

Schematics seen by MacRumors suggest that the camera “bump” that surrounds the lenses on the current iPhone 12 lineup will be thicker. This would allow the lenses to sit flush with the surface, rather than protruding out as they currently do. While this may be purely for aesthetic reasons it may be in part to allow for the wider aperture and sensor-shift stabilization that may be added to the super-wide lens.

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A render of the iPhone 13 vs. the iPhone 12’s camera bumps.


MacRumors

The schematics also suggest that the increase in size will be common on both the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, which may indicate that the two phones will feature an identical camera setup, giving top photography performance, regardless of which size you go for. This would be a welcome change to photographers — myself included — who want the best image quality possible, but would rather have a smaller phone in their pocket.

A newer leak showed renders of all four iPhone 13 models with slight differences to the camera setup. The photo, shared on Twitter by leaker Sonny Dickson, suggests that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini could have its two lenses situated diagonally, rather than one on top of the other.


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No big surprises

There are no credible rumors right now that speak of any drastic changes to the camera, so it’s safe to assume that the overall triple-lens setup will remain much the same. That’s no surprise really; Apple has only just refined its telephoto lens on the 12 Pro Max, so it’s unlikely to replace it straight away with, say, a 10x zoom (despite Samsung’s S21 Ultra kicking the iPhone’s ass at zooming in). That said, an early rumor did suggest that we may see a longer “periscope zoom” on the iPhone, but that this may not appear, if at all, until 2022. 

But we’ll be keeping our eye on the rumor mill and will be updating this article with the most credible reports as they appear.

Read more: 5 tips for better night photos with iPhone 12, Galaxy S21 or other phone cameras





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