- Last Active
- unconfirmed, member
charlesn said:Even after a lifetime of of photography as a prosumer hobby to the point of having a home color darkroom, I'm finding it hard to understand what's going on with lenses in Apple's latest Pro cameras. I assumed, for example, that the new Pro Max tetraprism lens was handling the optical zoom range not available in the regular Pro: 3.1x to 5x. Nope! A professional camera review of the lens that I read this weekend noted that the new lens only does 5x. Everything from 3.1x to 4.9x is handled on the main camera sensor. Which means what, exactly? A crop? Apple isn't helping things by claiming that its three lens set-up is actually seven lenses. A true zoom lens covers all of the focal lengths within its range optically and uses the full sensor size within the camera regardless of the focal length you're using. In theory, the 3 lenses in the new Pro Max set up can cover all focal lengths from 13mm to 120mm. But how much of that range is achieved through the use of true zoom optics and how much is achieved through cropping of the full image on the sensor? To go back to my earlier example: how is the main camera handling 3.1x to 4.9x if not by cropping, since the main camera does not have that optical range?
When shooting FHD (1920x1080, 2 MP) video on a 48 MP sensor, the lossless digital zoom actually yields more information up to twice the focal length. Sensor zoom is used from 3.1x - 5x and again from 5.1x - 10x or 12x, and digital zoom beyond that.
Of course, the range for sensor zoom is less for UHD video and none for 12 MP photos shot on the 120 mm camera's 12 MP sensor. But shooting 24 MP photos on the wide camera's 48 MP sensor yields lossless sensor zooming up to 4x. I think the bad spot is shooting photos between 4.1x - 5x as it's just cropping and enhancing the 4x photo until 4.9x. Even in that range, with sufficient light, the upscaling is slight enough that pixelation will be minimal in the final result.
Feel free to correct anything I said.
Damn, this is THE legendary Peter Cohen on Apple Insider! I've been reading the rumor sites since they started decades ago. From MacOSRumors to AppleInsider. I also used to read David's articles on MacCentral and MacWorld (still haven't gotten around to deleting my MacCentral bookmark).
Back in '98, the founders of MacOSRumors and AppleInsider and I used to be in the #Macintosh IRC channel and all met up at one of the MacWorld parties in San Francisco.
Never did I expect AppleInsider to grow its reputation to the point of attracting established journalists.