iPhone 15 Pro camera update rumors

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Next year’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are rumored to feature a number of different camera updates, due in part to Apple’s apparent goal of further differentiating these models from the non-Pro models. A new report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today, however, says that one of those rumored camera updates may not come to fruition after all…

iPhone 15 Pro camera updates

In a post on Twitter today, Kuo said that he predicts the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max won’t feature a new “8P,” or eight plastic lenses, rear-facing camera. This is despite earlier reporting to the contrary from other sources.

“8P” here is a reference to the number of elements in the lens, giving the iPhone 15 Pro one extra optical element compared to iPhone 14 Pro. There are pros and cons to adding elements to a lens, but when a manufacturer takes an existing lens design and adds elements, this is generally done to reduce distortion, which is especially important in wide-angle lenses.

Despite the fact that the iPhone 15 Pro models may not get this new camera upgrade, there’s still a bigger change in the works for the iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular: a new periscope lens. This new periscope lens will reportedly be exclusive to the larger-screen version of the iPhone 15 Pro, which may be called the iPhone 15 Ultra next year.

For those unfamiliar, periscope lenses rely on a prism that reflects light to multiple internal lenses at 90 degrees to the camera sensor. This allows the length of the lens to be much longer than a telephoto lens, which results in a much better optical zoom. The telephoto lens on the iPhone 13 Pro models only offers 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom.

For comparison’s sake, the Galaxy S22 Ultra from Samsung already has a periscope lens that enables 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. One rumor has said Apple may opt for a 5x optical zoom. More specific details for Apple’s implementation of a periscope lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max are unclear, but ideally, it will bring the iPhone much closer to what’s already offered by Samsung’s flagships.

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