Why is the iPhone 15 Pro Max camera limited to 5X optical zoom? Know amazing reason
Despite the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra offering a 10X optical zoom, the iPhone 15 Pro Max opted for a 5x zoom capability. Now, Apple's VP of camera software engineering explains the reason.
Tomorrow, September 22, the iPhone 15 lineup will go on sale after having been launched on September 12. However, the chances of you being able to grab an iPhone 15 Pro Max are quite low unless you were able to pre-book it since the model has officially sold out and only a limited supply is available for retail stores. Part of this popularity is the new 120mm tetraprism lens that adds a 5x optical zoom capability to the smartphone. However, many have been questioning why Apple did not extend it to 10x optical zoom like its rival Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Finally, the company has responded to the queries and given an explanation.
Numerama conducted an interview with Jon McCormack, Apple's vice president of camera software engineering. The French interview was translated to English by a MacRumors report. Following are the excerpts from it, which dive into the reasoning for sticking out with 5x optical zoom.
Why is the iPhone 15 Pro Max limited to 5x zoom?
In the interview, McCormack said, “The 5x zoom is something that we can stabilize incredibly well. If you look at the 10x zoom unless you have the steadiest hands in the world or a tripod, it's really difficult to use”.
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Even during the Apple event on September 12, the company made claims about the new camera system's stabilization, calling it the company's most advanced camera stabilization system yet. Apple attributed it to a combination of optical image stabilization and an autofocus 3D sensor-shift module.
Another reason was given by Maxime Veron, Apple's senior director of iPhone product marketing. He explained that the 5x optical zoom allowed the lens to open at an aperture of f/2.8 which helps in "excellent light management". On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 Ultra's telephoto lens has an aperture of f/4.9. A lower aperture will allow more light to be captured and click more detailed images. It also helps in night photography.
Apart from the optical zoom lens, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is also equipped with a new titanium frame, a new Action button that can be programmed for a variety of use cases, a USB-C connector port, and more.