Digging into iPhone 15 Pro’s pro-grade camera features Understanding the jargon

Digging into iPhone 15 Pro's pro-grade camera features Understanding the jargon

Apple event

Apple’s new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max stole the show at Tuesday’s launch event with its array of professional camera features. However, the amount of information dropped in such a short space of time may have left many people’s heads spinning.

Now that we have a moment to breathe, let’s dive back into those features and explore their significance. In particular, let’s focus our attention on the information dump on a single slide. This slide introduces several key concepts and acronyms that are worth understanding.

First up is “focal length,” which refers to how wide the camera lens can capture an image. A smaller number indicates a wider capture. In the case of the new iPhone, the lens is not technically a 24 millimeter lens, but rather a 24 millimeter-equivalent lens.

Next, we have “2.44 µm” (micron), which denotes the size of the pixels on the sensor. The term “quad-pixel” describes how four pixels are grouped to act as a larger 2.44 micron pixel.

Each 2×2 grouping of pixels is assigned a single color, with two green bundles and one blue and red bundle. This configuration accounts for the human eye’s sensitivity to the color green.

“100% focus pixels” refers to the use of all pixels for focusing purposes. In the past, only a subset of pixels was used, but using all pixels is now common in high-end sensors.

Aperture, measured by f-stop numbers, determines the amount of light that the lens allows onto the sensor.

Then we have “OIS,” which stands for Optical Image Stabilization. This technique compensates for camera movement by shifting either the lens or sensor while capturing the shot.

Two terms that may sound familiar are “RAW” and “ProRAW.” RAW is akin to a digital negative, saving the unprocessed data captured by the sensor. RAW files have more detail but require editing before being printed or shared on social media. Meanwhile, ProRAW is an Apple file format that uses the industry-standard digital negative (DNG) format, allowing the file to be edited in high-end tools like Adobe Lightroom.

Moving on to video, let’s tackle ProRes, a video codec developed by Apple. ProRes compresses videos while maintaining a visually lossless image quality, making editing much easier and better. However, this compression results in huge file sizes. To address this, the iPhone 15 Pro supports recording to external drives, providing ample storage space beyond what’s available on the device.

We also encounter “Log encoding” and “LUTs.” Log encoding captures video with a flat, muted color profile, preserving details in highlights and shadows. The iPhone 15 Pro is the first smartphone to support the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES). However, working with Log-formatted footage and LUTs requires professional tools like Adobe Premier Pro.

With this terminology demystified, we hope you now feel more empowered and inspired to explore the creative and technical aspects of photography and videography. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max open up a world of possibilities for capturing stunning images and videos.


In summary, Apple’s latest iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, introduced an array of professional camera features during their launch event. While the event may have overwhelmed some with an influx of technical terms and acronyms, taking the time to digest and understand these concepts can enhance our photographic and videographic endeavors.

The focal length determines the width of the lens’s captured image. Meanwhile, pixel size and configuration play a crucial role in producing detailed and vibrant images. The use of all pixels for focusing ensures sharper images, while aperture controls the amount of light that enters the lens. Optical Image Stabilization compensates for camera movement, providing smoother shots.

Understanding file formats like RAW and ProRAW allows us to capture and edit photos with greater flexibility, while ProRes video compression simplifies the editing process without noticeable visual quality loss. The integration of Log encoding and LUTs enables advanced color correction and grading, resulting in professional-looking videos.

Although the technicalities may seem daunting, they ultimately expand our creative possibilities and equip us with tools to capture and share remarkable visual content. With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, anyone can step into the world of professional-grade photography and videography.