Which iPhone Has the Best Camera & How Does Yours Compare?

What to Know

  • Each iPhone camera lens has a specific purpose and a different focal length.
  • An iPhone with three cameras has Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto lenses on the back of the phone.
  • The Pro models of the iPhone 15 have the best iPhone cameras.

The newer iPhones have three lenses on the back and a camera on the front. Each lens serves a different purpose for your various shots. Let's figure out which lenses your iPhone has and how they stack up to Apple's best iPhone cameras. 

Jump To:

Which Camera Lens Does Every iPhone Model Have?

The best way to figure out the specs of your iPhone camera is by checking out Apple's Compare iPhone models page. Here you can compare up to three models that are newer than the iPhone SE (1st generation). Just pick your model from your drop-down menu and scroll down to Camera. Here is an example:

Which Camera Lens Does Every iPhone Model Have?

For quick reference, the Pro models of the iPhone 15, 14, 13, 12, and 11 each have three rear-facing cameras. These are the Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto lenses. To learn more about the iPhone Camera app, sign up for our free Tip of the Day Newsletter.

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Apple's regular and mini or Plus versions of the iPhone 15, 14, 13, 12, and 11 have two rear-facing camera lenses. These are the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses. The Wide lens is sometimes called the Main lens, the iPhone telephoto lens is sometimes called the zoom or telescopic lens, and the Ultra Wide lens is also known as the Macro or fish eye lens.

The higher-end models of the iPhone X, 8, and 7 also have two rear-facing camera lenses. All other iPhones just have one rear-facing camera. Of course, all models since the 2010 iPhone 4 also have a front-facing camera, often called the selfie camera.

There are many differences between the lenses on the various models of iPhones 15, 14, 13, 12, and 11, such as the highest digital and optical zoom. You can see them all in detail on Apple's Compare iPhone models page.

iPhone 15 Pro & iPhone 15 Pro Max: Which Lens Is Which?

Taking a look at the physical features of the iPhone 15 Pro cameras can help you understand the lenses better. On top, you’ll find the Telephoto lens, with the regular Wide lens right underneath it and the Ultra Wide lens on the right of the two.

The Telephoto lens has a higher zoom and can take close-up photos of your subject, which is useful for Portrait mode photos. The Ultra Wide lens can take Macro photos and is zoomed out wider than the regular Wide lens. The Wide lens is the standard iPhone lens that has no optical zoom and shows the subject the way you see it with your eyes. 

Here are the iPhone 15 camera specs for the Pro Models:

Phone 15 Pro cameras

Image from Apple: https://www.apple.com/iphone-15-pro/specs/

You will also notice two other circles, one above the Ultra Wide lens and one below. The white circle above the Ultra Wide lens is your flash. You can turn your flash on and off via the Camera app. It also doubles as a flashlight, which you can turn on by tapping the flashlight icon on your Lock screen and in your Control Center. The black circle is LiDAR.

The front camera of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max isn't quite as impressive as the rear lenses but shouldn't be forgotten. It has a TrueDepth Camera, IR Camera, and IR Projector. IR stands for infrared, and together, these take quality Night mode selfies and improve Face ID and Memoji features. They work similarly to the rear camera's LiDAR sensor. You can read more about LiDAR here.

I hope this helps you understand iPhone lenses better and identify the lenses on your iPhone! I also hope that you found Apple's website useful to compare iPhone models, their lenses, and the camera specs. Next, learn more about the difference between Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto lens for iPhone.

FAQ

  • Which iPhone has best camera? The Pro models of the iPhone 15 have the best cameras. Whenever a new iPhone is released, you can expect the Pro Max model to have the best camera than the other new phones and older models.
  • Can you buy iPhone camera attachments? Yes! Third-party companies such as Sandmarc and Moment sell attachable lenses, filters, etc. I have tried Sandmarc filters and Moment lenses and loved using them to enhance my photos. I especially liked Moment's telephoto or "zoom lens" for iPhone.
  • What is the difference between Pro and Pro Max? When it comes to iPhone cameras, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has better digital and optical zoom.
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.