iPhone 17 Pro Max Likely to Get Three 48MP Cameras For Improved Zoom

Close up look of the back camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max
In Short
  • Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for zoom functionality.
  • The iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor, which is expected to be used in 2024 iPhone 16 Pro models.
  • At the time, it's uncertain if the upgraded Tetraprism camera will be exclusive to the iPhone 17 Pro Max.

With the launch of the iPhone 15, Apple made a surprising transition to the 48MP wide camera sensor on the vanilla models. The upcoming iPhone 16 models are likely to arrive with a similar camera setup, with Pro models featuring Tetraprism telephoto lenses. Interestingly, Apple is planning something huge with the iPhone 17 Series that will surely please photography enthusiasts. According to Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, next year’s iPhone 17 Pro Max will mark its entry with an upgraded 48MP Tetraprism camera with enhanced zoom functionality.

In his latest note, Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that the key specification change would be a 1/2.6″ 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1″ 12MP sensor, which is likely to be used in 2024 iPhone 16 Pro models.

iPhone-15-Pro-Max

The upcoming iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max are expected to feature Tetraprism telephoto lenses. In the iPhone 15 series, this technology is limited to the maxed-out Pro Max model. The iPhone 15 Pro has a 12MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max rocks an upgraded 5x telephoto lens. The iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will feature at least 5x optical zoom and at least 25x digital zoom.

At the moment, Kuo is uncertain about whether the upgraded Tetraprism camera will be exclusive to the iPhone 17 Pro Max. Kuo also mentioned that the enhanced Tetraprism camera needs newly designed prisms with a shorter form factor to decrease the camera’s height.

This recent report from Kuo corroborates Jeff Pu’s earlier claims, where he mentioned that the upgraded 48MP telephoto lens on the iPhone 17 Pro Max will be optimized for use with Apple Vision Pro. The current iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max can shoot spatial video for Vision Pro. When you record videos on your iPhone in landscape mode, the 48MP primary and 12MP ultrawide lenses work together to record spatial video with added depth.

If the rumors and predictions turn out to be legit, The iPhone 17 Pro Max would become the first iPhone model to have an advanced rear camera system entirely made up of 48MP lenses. For reference, the current iPhone 15 Pro models have 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 12MP telephoto lenses.

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