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iPhone 16 Pro might level up its camera with this Pro Max-exclusive feature

iPhone 16 Pro may get a hand-me-down from the iPhone 15 Pro Max
By

Published onSeptember 18, 2023

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 5
TL;DR
  • An Apple analyst claims the iPhone 16 Pro will get a “tetraprism” zoom lens.
  • Apple announced the tetraprism zoom lens as an exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
  • The new lens will bring the Pro and Pro Max closer in line with each other.

It’s not uncommon for Apple to give its Pro models a feature — like Dynamic Island — and have it go to the base and Plus models a year later. It’s a little less common, however, for a Pro Max-exclusive feature to trickle down to the Pro model. But it looks like that could be the case with the “tetraprism” zoom lens in the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

During Apple’s “Wonderlust” event, the company announced that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would get what Apple calls a tetraprism zoom lens. This zoom lens is designed to mimic the results you would get from a 120mm lens of a full-frame camera and is being used for the Pro Max’s 5x telephoto camera.

Here’s how Apple’s Misha Scepanovic describes how the lens works:

120-millimeter lenses are typically long, so instead we created an innovative tetraprism design, built right into iPhone. The light rays are reflected four times through the glass structure, allowing the light to travel for longer in a much smaller design. This creates enough separation between the lens and the sensor to enable the longer focal length.

According to Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this lens won’t stay a Pro Max exclusive for long. Kuo states that both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature tetraprism telephoto cameras.

If the iPhone 16 Pro does get a tetraprism telephoto lens, the handset will be that much closer to the Pro Max next year. But nothing says Apple won’t just find another way to help differentiate the Pro Max from the Pro. The iPhone 15 series is available for pre-order now, but won’t hit store shelves until September 22.