- Tetraprism zoom lens replicates the results of a 120mm lens of a full-frame camera.
- Apple announced this new camera design as an iPhone 15 Pro Max exclusive feature.
- The iPhone 15 Pro is limited to the same 3x optical zoom as the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Apple made the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max official at last week’s Wonderlust event. Both these smartphones went on pre-orders on September 15 and will go on sale this Friday. This year, the company introduced a new Tetraprism zoom lens design with up to 5x optical zoom support. It is a welcome improvement but it is exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Now, a new leak has emerged claiming we may see the new zoom lens tech expand to the smaller iPhone Pro model next year.
iPhone 16 Pro to Get Tetraprism Zoom Lens for 5x Optical Zoom
Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst, has shared a new Medium post revealing the Tetraprism zoom lens could expand to the iPhone 16 Pro. It means both iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with the same zoom lens system as we have seen in the past.
Tetraprism is a new zoom lens design that Apple introduced during the iPhone 15 Pro launch keynote. It is designed to emulate the results of a 120mm lens of a full-frame camera. The company added a foldable glass structure below the lens which reflects the light four times. This allows the light to travel a larger distance within the limited and same space. Apple says this creates enough separation between the lens and the sensor to enable the longer focal length.
As a result, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will now be able to utilize up to 5x optical zoom and 25x digital zoom. This is a good upgrade over the 3x optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. However, the latest-generation iPhone 15 Pro is still limited to the same 3x optical zoom as it does not have the new zoom lens design.
Kuo further adds that this new Tetraprism compact camera module is also the reason for the iPhone 15 Pro Max supply issues. Apple is said to have increased the specifications of the new lens system urgently. This has led to its exclusive supplier Largan expanding Tetraprism production lines.
He says if both iPhone 16 Pro models are packed with the Tetraprism lens, it will raise the entry barrier for Apple’s second-largest lens supplier Genius. However, Largan is expected to stay as the exclusive or at least primary lens supplier for the Tetraprism design next year too.
If Apple actually ends up expanding Tetraprism to the iPhone 16 Pro, it will surely bring the two iPhone Pro models closer to parity. We heard rumours in the past that the company wants to differentiate more between the Pro and Pro Max models. These are early days for iPhone 16 series rumours and we should get more clarity with time.