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I don’t even care that the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a better camera than the iPhone 15 Pro

Published Sep 12th, 2023 9:12PM EDT

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Remember when Apple revealed that the iPhone 14 Pro Max would ship with a better camera than the iPhone 14 Pro, and everyone lost their minds? This time, I don’t find myself sweating it at all.

Today, Apple announced the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. For the second time, the Pro Max is going to get a camera feature that, due to its smaller size, the Pro is not going to be graced with just yet. As Apple explained, the extra space in the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max has enabled it to add a new telephoto lens that is capable of 5x optical zoom at 120 mm. That’s compared to the iPhone 15 Pro, which remains stuck at 3x optical zoom.

Apple says that the additional space in the iPhone 15 Pro Max is currently required due to the size that this new telephoto system needs in order to fit inside the phone.

iPhone 15 Pro features an expansive 3x Telephoto camera, and iPhone 15 Pro Max provides the longest optical zoom ever on iPhone: 5x at 120 mm. Great for close-ups, wildlife photos, and catching the action from further distances, the new Telephoto camera on iPhone 15 Pro Max has an innovative tetraprism design with a combined optical image stabilization and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module, Apple’s most advanced stabilization system yet.

As you can see below, it’s pretty crazy how far we’ve gotten with telephoto lenses in smartphone cameras compared to the kinds of lenses you would need to purchase for a DSLR:

Image source: Apple Inc.

While having even more zoom on my iPhone camera would be nice, I’m not really worried about the fact that — as someone who is going to get the iPhone 15 Pro — I’ll be missing out on that extra zoom. I personally came to the iPhone 14 Pro from the iPhone 13 mini, so I didn’t even have a zoom lens with my previous iPhone. The 3x zoom with the telephoto lens is plenty for me already, so I can’t see the need for even more right now.

If I wanted that extra zoom, I’d also be locking myself into a much larger iPhone — something that I’m not really a fan of. I came from the iPhone 13 mini, okay? I was already bummed to go back to the iPhone 14 Pro when Apple discontinued the mini. It also officially killed it completely today, so I just want to take this one sentence to officially say goodbye to my beloved iPhone mini.

Not only would I need to deal with a much larger iPhone to get that extra zoom — but I’d need to be ready to pay more for it, too. While the iPhone 15 Pro stayed at a starting price of $999 for the 128GB configuration (the one I’ll order), the iPhone 15 Pro Max now starts at $1199, a jump of $100. So, if you want that extra zoom on the telephoto lens, you’re going to pay $100 just for that.

If you’re already a Pro Max fan, I’m sure you’ll be fine paying the extra $100 — especially if that is broken down in a payment plan that ends up costing you an extra few bucks a month. If you’re also an iPhone photographer or videographer, there’s also a good chance you’re already a Max user and will enjoy the extra zoom.

But, for someone like me, I’ll be perfectly happy with my iPhone 15 Pro. Like I said before Apple even announced the iPhone 15 lineup, my biggest reason to upgrade was titanium, anyway. My biggest dilemma will now be choosing between the Natural Titanium and Blue color options, and I am on the struggle bus coming to that decision right now.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.