iPhone 15 Pro Max Expected to Feature 5-6x Optical Zoom [Updated]

While the iPhone currently maxes out at 3x optical zoom, rumors suggest that will change this year. The next-generation iPhone 15 Pro Max is widely expected to feature a so-called "periscope lens" that would allow for up to double the optical zoom.

iPhone 15 Pro Periscope Mock Feature
In July 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a periscope lens would be exclusive to the high-end iPhone 15 Pro Max and enable 5-6x optical zoom. Periscope technology would be built into the Telephoto lens and allow for up to 6x zoom when shooting photos with the rear camera, without any blurriness or reduction in image quality.

With a periscope lens, light absorbed by the image sensor is bent or "folded," allowing for a greater distance between the camera elements within the compact design of a smartphone. This technology allows for increased optical zoom and is already used by some Android brands like Samsung, Google, and Huawei, with phones like the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra offering between 5x and 10x optical zoom.

5-6x optical zoom would be a significant camera upgrade for the iPhone. Following the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Kuo said the periscope lens would remain limited to the iPhone 16 Pro Max next year, meaning that the technology would only be available on the most expensive iPhone model for at least the next two generations of devices.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 15 lineup in September. For more details, read our guide about iPhone periscope lens rumors.

Update: We have confirmed that Kuo still expects the iPhone 15 Pro Max to have around 5x optical zoom, as he first predicted in July 2022.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Realityck Avatar
16 months ago
Only the Pro Max, thats a limitation.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sigmasirrus Avatar
16 months ago
If they made a pro mini I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Idk when they always put the best stuff in the obnoxiously huge phones.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DocMultimedia Avatar
16 months ago
So disappointed that this will only be for the Pro Max and not the Pro. I just can't deal with having something the size of a brick in my pocket. Won't be upgrading in this one. Think I've upgraded every year but one since I bought my first.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
seat_hydrant Avatar
16 months ago
Usually I'd moan at the fact that they restrict high-end features on larger phones cause I think there's a huge customer base who want the top-tier phone in a small package.

But this feature looks like it'll take up so much room in the device, I can't really fault them.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
16 months ago
What, no 100x zoom with moon overlay?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Dee Avatar
16 months ago
I am likely gonna max out my iPhone X and just wait until the iPhone 17 Pro Max in 2025.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)