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iPhone 15 Rumors: new Sony sensors to improve Night mode

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Yeah, we know. iPhone 14 only came out two months ago, and Apple’s iPhone 15 event isn’t until September 2023. But that hasn’t stopped Nikkei Asia from publishing a report with some pretty interesting rumors about next year’s model.

Chief among them is the suggestion that Apple will partner with Sony on a “state-of-the-art image sensor” designed to massively improve the low-light performance of the iPhone’s camera. It’s unclear whether this feature might be exclusive to the Pro models, but it’s certainly an area in which Apple could do with some help.

The iPhone’s low-light photography has improved in recent years, with Night Mode doing the heavy lifting in that regard. But despite Apple talking up vast improvements for iPhone 14 Pro, in our own (non-scientific) testing, we found minimal or no differences when compared with iPhone 13 Pro’s night shooting capabilities. Perhaps Sony’s expertise in this area could help Apple take a genuine step forward next time.

The report says that Sony’s sensors are capable of capturing more light by layering up the photodiodes and transistors. In theory, that means crisper images with less tendency to over or underexpose. It could be a great solution for portraits with bright backlighting, in addition to low-light improvements.

There are also rumors that Apple will introduce a “periscope” lens for iPhone 15 Pro, allowing for increased optical zoom without adding the bulk usually needed for a large zoom lens. Optical zoom is superior to digital zoom, as there’s no upscaling after the fact involved. This type of technology is already used in several Android smartphones, and it would be interesting to see Apple’s take on it.

Only ten more months until we find out how accurate these reports are!