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Apple’s huge iPhone 13 camera upgrade might’ve just leaked

Published Feb 3rd, 2021 7:31AM EST
iPhone 13 Specs
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • The iPhone 13 will reportedly feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera that will benefit low-light photography.
  • According to Barclays analysts, the hardware upgrade is a camera with an f/1.8 aperture that would allow more light to pass through the lens.
  • A previous report said the iPhone 13 Pro models would get the upgrade, but the new research note indicates all iPhone 13 versions would get the same Ultra Wide camera.

The camera is one of the most important and practical features of a smartphone, whether you’re using it to capture memories or remember information. Many phones are used for professional photo and video capture, thanks to the sophisticated upgrades the camera received in recent years. The phone in your pocket might support 4K video recording, optical image stabilization tech, significantly improved optical zoom, and low-light photography. The latter has been the highlight of the most recent camera wars. Google’s Pixel challenged its rivals with amazing low-light computational photography, and everyone caught up, offering better and better night modes on their phone. Apple is one of them, and the iPhone 13 is already rumored to deliver better low-light photography than its predecessor, thanks to a key camera upgrade.

Every new iPhone outperforms the older model when it comes to camera powers. New lenses and a faster processor are the kind of upgrades that will upgrade the entire camera experience. Therefore, the iPhone 13 is expected to deliver new camera abilities, but a new report gives us actual specifics.

Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O’Malley shared with MacRumors a note to investors that claims all iPhone 13 versions will receive an Ultra Wide camera with a wider f/1.8 aperture.

The current iPhone 12 phones feature an f/2.4 aperture. The new Ultra Wide camera would allow more light to pass through the lens, and the immediate result is better low-light performance.

Image source: Apple Inc.

Both the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras of the iPhone 12 support Night mode, with the Wide camera upgraded this year to allow more light to pass through the lens (f/1.6 aperture).

This isn’t the first time we hear that the iPhone 13’s Ultra Wide camera will be upgraded to an f/1.8 aperture. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said as much a few months ago, but he said that only the Pro models would feature the better Ultra Wide camera. The upgrade will then be expanded to the entire flagship iPhone lineup in the second half of 2022. Kuo said at the time that the new Ultra Wide cameras would feature a 6P (six-element) lens with autofocus. The iPhone 12 models feature a 5P Ultra Wide lens with fixed focus.

The Barclays analysts also said that the iPhone 12 Pro Max Telephoto lens would expand to the iPhone 13 Pro, featuring a 65mm focal length and ƒ/2.2 aperture. This would lead to optical zoom improvements for the iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max do not have identical camera setups, as was initially expected. The latter comes with better optical zoom and a new optical image stabilization technology (sensor shift).

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.