DXOMARK, known for their in-depth camera reviews, has tested the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple’s latest flagship phone manages to snag several top scores, with excellent stabilization, color, and video, but the large gap in the field of view between the main sensor and telephoto lens and a few other drawbacks leave it with a second place overall, with its score of 154.
In video performance, the iPhone 15 Pro Max pulled away with the top spot in almost every subcategory, with the exception of texture and artifacts. Dolby Vision HDR recording at 4k60fps is more than enough for most use cases, and that’s what DXOMARK used for their testing.
“Video exposure and color rendering were very consistent in most conditions and the texture/noise trade-off was the best we have seen to date. The autofocus system also performed well down to low light and video stabilization was among the best in the market.”
While DXOMARK did their testing with Dolby Vision recording, which makes sense for most consumers, some of the biggest upgrades to the video system this generation are the new LOG recording, as well as 4k60FPS ProRes recording to an external SSD, which weren’t tested.
The iPhone’s photo performance saw it take the top spot in terms of exposure, color, and texture, but in DXOMARK’s testing, the autofocus performance and noise pulled it back.
Improved portrait mode options, depth capture, and accurate skin tone rendering allowed it to excel in its “Friends and Family” category while the new 24MP output from the 48MP sensor offers more detail in standard shooting scenarios.
The number one overall spot in DXOMark’s testing remains Huawei’s P60 Pro. That phone offers a 13MP 13mm ultrawide, 48MP 25mm main camera, and 48MP 90mm telephoto. While the telephoto is only a 3.5x optical zoom over the main camera, that allows the phone to switch away from a crop of the main sensor sooner to pick up more detail in the midtelephoto range than the Pro Max could.
At the 2X zoom (about 50mm) in DXOMARK’s testing, the iPhone still managed to retain a fair amount of detail, but cropping in further to an 80mm equivalent shot showed far more significant image degradation.
Once zoomed in past 120mm, the Pro Max is able to switch to its tetraprism telephoto lens, bringing back levels of detail and low-light telephoto performance surpassing that of the P60 Pro and significantly better than the iPhone 14 Pro.
DXOMARK’s testing puts a number to what other reviewers have said – the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s camera system is excellent. Personally, I really value the extra reach the jump from a 3X to 5X telephoto camera has provided, but there are certainly times where the 5X lens might be a bit too much, I can’t “zoom with my feet,” and the 3X-4.9X crop of the main sensor just doesn’t quite live up to expectations. For some, the 3X camera on the iPhone 15 Pro may be the better option for an overall camera system. For me, however, it’s worth the trade-off for the extra reach.
This is just a small bit of what they tested, so check out DXOMARK’s complete write-up on the iPhone 15 Pro Max for the full rundown of where it pulls ahead and where it doesn’t quite stack up to the competition.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.