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Even while the iPhone’s optical zoom can only go up to a maximum of three times right now, there are rumors that might alter this year. There is a widespread consensus that Apple will equip the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro Max with a so-called “periscope lens” that will enable up to two times the amount of optical zoom.

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Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for Apple, said in July 2022 that the high-end iPhone 15 Pro Max will include a periscope lens that would allow 5-6x optical magnification and be unique to that model. When using the back camera to take pictures, the periscope technology would be integrated into the telephoto lens. This would make it possible to achieve a zoom factor of up to 6x without any blurriness or degradation in image quality.

When using a periscope lens, the light that is absorbed by the image sensor is twisted, or “folded,” which enables a wider distance to be placed between the camera modules of a smartphone while still maintaining its compact form. This technology enables a higher optical zoom and is already employed by several Android companies, including Samsung, Google, and Huawei. For example, smartphones such as the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra provide between 5x and 10x optical zoom.

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A camera update for the iPhone that included a 5-6x optical zoom would be a major improvement. Kuo predicted that the periscope lens will continue to be exclusive to the iPhone 16 Pro Max the following year, which means that the technology would only be accessible on the most costly model of the iPhone for at least the next two generations of handsets. The iPhone 15 Pro Max was released in September of this year. September is likely to be the month in which Apple will announce the iPhone 15 range. For additional insights, check our guide regarding iPhone periscope lens rumors.

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