There are iPhone models that have one, two, and even three rear cameras and Apple still sells all of these configurations. Since smartphones are the most commonly used devices for taking photos and videos, this is an important detail to know before purchasing an iPhone. So far, no iPhone has four rear cameras, but sometimes there’s another sensor and LED flash that looks similar. It’s not always easy to tell which are the cameras, even when looking at the back.
Any iPhone that has three cameras would include the main camera, which is considered a wide lens, an ultra-wide, and a telephoto lens. Apple‘s very first models to have this large of a zoom range were the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, allowing 0.5x ultra-wide photos that capture one entire side of a room or 2x zoom at the telephoto end for closeups and portrait photos. The iPhone 12 Pro offered the exact same range, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max extended to 2.5x zoom. The iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max reach even further with 3x optical zoom. The bottom line is that only iPhone models that include ‘Pro’ in their name have three cameras.
iPhones With One And Two Cameras
Most other modern iPhones apart from the Pro models have two cameras. These include the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 Plus. Older iPhone models, including the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus also have dual cameras. In fact, the first iPhone with dual cameras was the iPhone 7 Plus, launched back in 2016.
iPhones with a single rear camera include all models in the iPhone SE series, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and all older iPhone models. In the case of dual camera iPhone models, the cameras consist of wide and ultra-wide sensors, while single camera models include only a wide camera.
iPhone Zoom Details
For iPhone models that don’t have a telephoto lens, the only way to zoom is with digital zoom and while that is better than it once was, the photos are usually not the best quality. Rather than sharing a digital zoom picture, it’s better to simply move closer to the subject when that’s possible. Obviously, snapping a photo of a bird in a tree might benefit from some zoom, even if it has to be digital. Without an ultra-wide camera, the only way to capture a larger view is with a panorama. The iPhone has a nice panorama mode that works with a slow pan across the area, and it takes only a brief time for converting this into a very wide view.
If an iPhone has multiple rear cameras, there’s also an option to have some control over the aperture since the iPhone’s telephoto and ultra-wide lenses have smaller apertures than the main cameras. Smaller apertures tend to increase the depth of field, while requiring a slower shutter speed, resulting in more of a scene being in focus at once but moving objects showing more motion blur. iPhone owners with multiple cameras have more control over not only zoom range but several other finer details as well.