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Delivering Soon: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

re: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
re: Apple Watch

See also: Reader Comments: iPhone 15 Protective Cases

My 8-year-old iPhone 7 Plus is on its 3rd battery and really needs a 4th, its cameras are sucky, etc. I got my money’s worth. But I’ve ordered the iPhone 15 Pro Max, due for delivery in a few days.

The iPhone 7 Plus has performed like a champ in spite of dozens of hard drops including at high speed from my bicycle, saved by the NuGuard KX case, sadly no longer available. I don’t know how I’ll protect the new phone; Apple’s shitty cases offer poor protection vs the KX case, being much more about form than function.

Finally an iPhone feature set that delivers some actual value.

OMG, with AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, it’s $1899 plus tax = over $2000. That’s why I have an 8-year-old phone till now! But if I think of it as a camera and emergency device then it seems less bad.

What sells me on the iPhone 15 Pro Max (delivering to me on Sept 22) are the following:

  • Major camera upgrades over my iPhone 7 Plus including image stabilization even for up to 5X telephoto, faster lenses, larger sensors, superior computational photography, “equivalent of 7 camera lenses”, etc.
  • Super-fast USB-C on the Pro Max, to replace troglodyte Lightning cable (cables that fail far too often, ultra-slow speed, etc). Faster charging too.
  • Brighter screen, which no small thing outdoors. Also, the always on display and just generally superior colors and contrast vs 7Plus.
  • Emergency SOS feature without cell coverage. Yes, this actually matters—SPOT just charged me my annual $200 fee and so I canceled and saved that money. I nearly always am hiking alone in remote areas, often late in the season where being incapacitated means death overnight. Better than sawing off my arm, or freezing at 11K feet.

Phones like the iPhone 15 mean that hardly anyone has a reason to buy a real camera. But that was always true—we just didn’t have camera phones yet. But in truth, an iPhone vs a real camera are two very different things, suited for very different purposes. For most people, the threshold is far exceeded by having the iPhone since all they do is look at small images on iPhone or iPad and maybe a small computer screen—problem solved, max convenience, camera always there.

As for pictures, the designers are office-bound morons in one way at least: info about a taken picture shows all kinds of useless crap, failing to display altitude and GPS coordinates, which are the single most useful metrics for pictures on my hikes, which rarely have zero or poor cell coverage. GPS you can get from place name on a useless non-map (no cell coverage), but altitude is not shown. And having to do extra work for that is ridiculous.

Apparently the new iPhone can shoot video or still photos directly to an external SSD. Video pros may find that very useful but I would never use that for stills, even for RAW—I bought the 1TB phone and it’s awkward at best.


f9 @ 1/20 sec electronic shutter focus stack 4 frames, ISO 100; 2023-08-30 18:53:41
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF20-35mmF4 R WR @ 27.3mm equiv (33.1mm)
ENV: Greenstone Lake, altitude 10200 ft / 3109 m, 68°F / 20°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, WB 5500°K tint 20, push 0.66 stops, +100 Shadows, -100 Highlights, saturation -10, +30 Dehaze, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10, USM {8,50,0}, SmartSharpen{25,0.7,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening, +10 Vibrance

[low-res image for bot]
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