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iPhone 15 Pro Max tipped to receive periscope lens — prepare for big optical zoom upgrade

iPhone 13 mini
(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Apple is rumored to introduce a long-awaited periscope camera lens to the iPhone, which will greatly increase its optical zoom capabilities. However, it may be a while before it arrives, as it's tipped to be an exclusive iPhone 15 Pro Max feature.

According to oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Pro Max model of the 2023 iPhone lineup is set to receive a periscope lens. Its main specifications include a 1/3-inch image sensor with 12-megapixel resolution, f/2.8 aperture, and sensor-shift support, along with up to 6x optical zoom. 

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Compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max's telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom and a disappointing 15x digital zoom, this will be a vast improvement. However, if the improved zoom 6x capabilities are to be believed, it still won't be able to match Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's 10x optical zoom. Still, Apple may finally rival the extent of Samsung's Galaxy camera capabilities.

While the iPhone 15 Pro Max may be the only one to be equipped with a periscope lens, the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models are predicted to be fitted with similar specifications. Clearly, this is set to be a defining feature for upcoming Pro models, as there's no word if the standard models will receive significant camera upgrades.

According to previous reports, the iPhone 14 Pro is rumored to upgrade its main camera (opens in new tab) sensor to a 48MP shooter, which would be a massive resolution jump over the 12MP of the iPhone 13 Pro

This could result in a 35% increase in the sensor size and a 10% increase in the lens diameter, and it's warmly welcomed because you can only go so far with improving the software before you need to update the hardware.

Will these rumored upgrades further increase the cost of Apple's range of iPhone Pro models? Possibly, but only time will tell if a periscope lens ends up landing on the iPhone. In the meantime, check out everything we know about the upcoming iPhone 14

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.