Apple’s release cycle for the new iPhone has predictably been around September each year for many years now so it surely won’t be long until the iPhone 15 Pro is here and we need to update our best smartphones for photographers guide.

Following on from last year’s iPhone 14 series (which includes the iPhone 14 Pro), we can expect to see a new iPhone 15 line-up revealed in the coming weeks, with September 12 the expected announcement date.

I anticipate that, just like last year, we will see an iPhone 15 as the “standard” model with two lenses, plus an iPhone 15 Pro as the more advanced model, likely with three lenses. There will probably also be an iPhone 15 Pro Max which includes a bigger screen and which may or may not have the same camera set up as the regular sized “Pro” model. Last year’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shared camera specs, but in previous years there have been slight differences between the two.

We’re already seeing manufacturers announcing and listing cases for sale for the iPhone 15 models that haven’t been officially launched yet. Based on that, the betting is that the device won’t be changing much in terms of shape and size, but there’s a number of things I’d like to see in the new Pro models, which don’t necessarily require any major physical departures.

iPhone 14 Pro sitting next to the iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro are more or less the same size – will the iPhone 15 Pro follow suit? Photo credit: Amy Davies

  1. iPhone 15 Pro: A “Pro” mode for the camera at last?

This is something I’ve been after in an iPhone model for many years. While most Androids – certainly the flagships and mid-range devices – include some kind of Pro or Advanced shooting mode, Apple remains stubbornly resolute in its determination not to include one. This is despite the fact that it’s added things like the ability to shoot in raw format – you’d think a Pro mode would be the natural partner for it.

You can of course get multiple apps which offer this functionality, but I’d love to see it incorporated into the native camera app and give control over a number of settings including shutter speed, white balance and so on. In all honesty, it’s likely I’d hardly ever use it, but having the option there should I need it would be extremely welcome – and I think would be embraced by many others who probably do feel more inclined to shoot in this way than me.

  1. iPhone 15 Pro: How many lenses?

The iPhone 14 Pro’s triple-lens camera setup is pretty good, it’s very good in fact. But just like Oliver Twist, I’m always keen for more. Probably the best smartphone camera of 2023 is the Samsung S23 Ultra, which has four lenses, giving you two different telephoto focal lengths to choose from.

In an ideal world, I’d like to see the same kind of set-up in an iPhone 15 Pro – and an even more ideal world, I’d like this to be in the smaller sized phone, rather than the much larger iPhone 15 Pro Max. Greedy, yes – but I much prefer small flagship phones for general usage.

Sadly, the latest rumours suggest I’m not going to get it in either device, but rather at some point an “iPhone 15 Ultra” will have a periscope lens in it instead. If that’s true, we can but hope that it’s better than the one in the Sony Xperia 1 V which in theory gives you the benefit of a zoom, but in reality is too short at 85-125mm to be particularly useful and what’s more (and worse), it produces low-quality, soft images. Two high-quality telephotos with distinctly different focal lengths would likely be a much better option – the Samsung S23 Ultra for example has a 70mm equivalent, plus a 240mm equivalent for its third and forth lens, which is much more useful.

Close up of iPhone 14 Pro and Samsung S23 cameras

The iPhone 14 Pro has three lenses, the Samsung S23 Ultra has four. What will the iPhone 15 Pro have? It’ll be three, won’t it? Photo credit: Amy Davies.

  1. iPhone 15 Pro: How big will the camera sensor be?

Megapixels, schmegapixels. The Samsung S23 Ultra has a main sensor with a ridiculously high 200 megapixels. The iPhone 14 Pro has 48 megapixels – which is more than enough.

I’d be disappointed if Apple decided to cram more pixels but kept the sensor size the same just in the name of chasing headlines and its biggest Android rival. Who actually needs 200 megapixels? Nobody. But a larger sensor would be better for low light, and that’s genuinely more useful. If they’re not going to give me the extra lens and camera unit that I want, I’d be happy to see instead a larger sensor for the main camera.

  1. iPhone 15 Pro: Better battery life than the iPhone 14 Pro?

Although the battery life of the iPhone 14 Pro isn’t terrible by any means… certainly not compared with older iPhones I’ve used, I’ve found that as time has gone on (I’ve owned it for less than a year) it has got noticeably worse. It’s got to the point where I’ve had to start carrying around with me a power pack if I know I’m going to be using things like Maps and the Camera a lot in a given day.

Therefore, I’d like to see some kind of improvement, again, ideally while keeping the phone the same size – presumably this would be achieved by tweaking of how the phone operates to optimise an existing battery size / type. Speaking of which, it would also be good to see fast battery charging, again, like we see in many Androids – so at least if the battery does die, I can get it back up to full speed quickly. I know, I don’t ask for much.

  1. iPhone 15 Pro: USB-C charging, finally?

Finally, I suppose this is another point which isn’t directly related to what I’d like to see camera-wise, but it is annoying gripe I have none-the-less. If the iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t *finally* bring USB-C connectivity, then I’m going to be vexed. Everything else I use is USB-C, from my Nikon Z7 II to even my other Apple products like the iPad Pro and the MacBook Pro. And, of course, every single one of the Android smartphones I review, plus the aforementioned battery pack I carry around. Why does Apple have to be so stubborn so as to keep the Lightning cable for its iPhone? We’ve got to wait until 2024 for the long-awaited EU mandate that all smartphones, tablets and cameras sold in its territories be shipped with USB Type-C charging port, so sadly it’s just quite possible that we might have to wait until the iPhone 16 Pro for common sense to prevail.

There’s not long to go now until we found out exactly what Apple has in store for us, so stay tuned for the latest updates as and when they happen, as well as of course a full iPhone 15 Pro review just as soon as it’s possible.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Amateur Photographer magazine or Kelsey Media Limited. If you have an opinion you’d like to share on this topic, or any other photography related subject, email:

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