iPhone 15 Pro likely to have the biggest camera upgrade we’ve seen in years

iPhone 13 Pro
An iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

Big changes look to be coming to the iPhone range, with the design rumored to be getting an overhaul for the iPhone 14 Pro, while with the iPhone 15 Pro we could see a huge improvement to the cameras.

Specifically, the iPhone 15 Pro could have a periscope camera. That’s a camera design that allows for much longer-range zoom than smartphones are otherwise capable of, going from the 3x optical zoom of the iPhone 13 Pro to potentially up to 10x or beyond.

This claim comes from Jeff Pu (via MacRumors), an analyst with a middling track record for Apple leaks. As such, we’d take this with a pinch of salt, but Pu isn’t the only person to have made this claim. Previously both Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a good track record) and The Elec (a South Korean tech news site) have said the same.

None of these sources have said which iPhone 15 models will have this feature, just that at least one will, but if any do it would be the Pro handsets – so the iPhone 15 Pro Max and likely also the iPhone 15 Pro. It’s the sort of feature that Apple probably wouldn’t bring to its cheaper models until a while later, if at all.

Pu doesn’t say anything else here, but periscope cameras have been a long time coming to the iPhone, as a number of Android phones – such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra – already have one, with optical zoom ranges of up to 10x.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera lets you get closer to distant subjects (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Analysis: a big zoom is a big upgrade

While a 10x zoom camera isn't a must-have feature for most people, it does allow you to take decent-quality photos of things that you can’t get close to, such as details high up on a building, a boat out at sea, or a skittish animal that you have to keep your distance from.

Arguably a 2x or 3x zoom would be more frequently used (and that sort of zoom level would likely be offered in addition to 10x), but it's hard to beat the wow factor of a long-range zoom – and for some users it would be a major selling point.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.