iPhone 15 features a new 48-megapixel wide lens, which was previously only available with the iPhone 14 Pro models. To take advantage of the new lens, Apple has implemented a new “HEIF Max” option in the Camera app that lets users take a photo in full 48-megapixel resolution. Interestingly, this option is also coming to the iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 17.
HEIF Max photos coming to iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 17
Until now, users only had three options for taking photos with the iPhone 14 Pro Max: regular 12-megapixel JPEG or HEIF, 12-megapixel ProRAW, and 48-megapixel ProRAW. With iOS 17, both iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 users will find a new option for capturing images, which is HEIF Max.
While being able to capture photos at 48 megapixels isn’t exactly new, users could only do this with the ProRAW format – which is basically an unprocessed image. Although this results in images that look significantly better, a single photo in ProRAW can result in a 75MB file. And that’s where HEIF Max comes in.
With HEIF Max, users can capture photos in 48-megapixel resolution and save them in a compressed file. By comparison, a HEIF Max photo is around 5MB, so it still has more detail than a regular 12-megapixel photo but takes up much less storage than a ProRAW image.
Last year, I wrote about how the iPhone 14 Pro should have the option to take 48MP non-RAW photos because the higher resolution adds more detail to the image, not to mention that Smart HDR is much less aggressive with very high-resolution images. That’s exactly what HEIF Max does in the Camera app.
Apple has also added a cool new shortcut to switch between formats in the Camera app. All you have to do is tap and hold the HEIF Max/RAW button to switch between the options available for your phone. This is available for the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro.
More about the update
Unfortunately, HEIF Max photos are not compatible with Live Photos, so keep that in mind before turning this option on. Still, it’s great to see that Apple has decided to make HEIF Max available to iPhone 14 Pro users as well, rather than keeping it exclusive to the new iPhones.
iOS 17 will be available to download on Monday, September 18. The update is compatible with iPhone XR and later. Developers and beta testers can now download the RC build.
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