A Periscope Lens on iPhone 15 Pro? What Would That Mean?

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We’re only a few days away from the official announcement of the iPhone 15 lineup, and with all the hype around Apple’s new phone, we’ve also gotten a lot of rumors to get us even more excited.

One of the biggest rumors that’s been making the rounds for a while points out that Apple is likely to implement a new periscope lens to the iPhone’s camera system.

While getting new things to play around with sounds great, what does this new lens mean for the camera, and how will it help you take better pictures? Keep reading to find out. 

What’s the New Periscope Lens All About?

You’ve probably heard of a periscope lens before, but what does it actually mean? 

Well, a periscope lens is a type of lens that cameras use to get a greater optical zoom. With regular cameras, you can see how photographers use special long lenses that they attach to their cameras to take great pictures at long distances.

Obviously, smartphones can’t do that, which limits their options when it comes to zooming in on an object. 

So what Apple and other smartphone companies have worked on instead is the periscope lens.

This means that the lenses smartphones use are placed at a 90° angle inside the phone. So, instead of going through the thickness of the phone, the lenses go across its length or width. 

Besides the lens, the smartphone also has a prism or mirror that reflects the light through the lenses.

The result? Up to 10x optical zoom without the need for any extra equipment. 

For most of us, this sounds really technical, and it almost feels like magic when you see how it works. To better illustrate the point, check out this video from Samsung. 

In layman’s terms, Apple will use a prism and change the angle of the lenses to let you zoom in on objects without losing quality.

How Will the iPhone 15 Pro’s Periscope Lens Work?

As we’ve mentioned before, Apple isn’t the first to use periscope lenses on its smartphones. Samsung is perhaps the most popular example that shows the power of optical zoom on a phone — the Galaxy S23 Ultra packs in a periscope lens that gets it up to 10x — but Oppo and Huawei beat Samsung to the punch in 2019.

While these push all the way to 10x, other smartphones like the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro have 4x and 5x optical zooms, respectively.

According to the rumors, Apple is aiming for somewhere in between these smartphones, with the consensus that you should be able to get up to 6x optical zoom. That’s twice what the iPhone 14 Pro is capable of, it’s still great for taking high-quality pictures while zooming in on a subject.

The Periscope Lens Might Be Exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. It seems Apple won’t use a periscope across all iPhone 15 models. While it’s not surprising that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus won’t get it, as the standard models have never had a third telephoto lens to begin with, it seems that the regular iPhone 15 Pro could miss out too.

Instead, rumor has it that Apple will make the periscope lens exclusive to the new iPhone 15 Pro Max. If that’s true, you’ll need to spend quite a bit of money to try it out.

And we do mean quite a bit of money because there are other rumors that say Apple will increase the price of its Pro models this year.

Depending on who you believe, the iPhone 15 Pro Max could cost between $100 and $200 more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. That means you could need to shell out as much as $1,299 instead of the $1,099 we’ve become used to.

While this is more likely to make the iPhone 15 Pro Max actually stand out and compel people to buy it, that’s not necessarily the reason Apple is only bringing it to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Rumor has it there’s simply not enough room for it in the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, which might be why next year’s iPhone 16 Pro models are expected to grow bigger.

Still, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the company is betting on the periscope to be the major selling point for the iPhone 15 Pro Max and is confident that, despite this possible price increase, it’ll be the best-selling iPhone of the lineup

Get Ready to Take Better Pictures Than Ever

Despite the possible price increase, it seems the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be a best-seller as soon as it comes out, and it’ll all be thanks to the new periscope lens. 

If you’re a professional photographer or just love taking pictures, this new feature will be a must-have for you. 

Fortunately, you still have a couple of days before Apple reveals the new iPhone 15 lineup on September 12.

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