Tom asked: “The camera on the iPhone 6S, at what point does the camera switch from optical zoom to digital zoom, if it does? And how does that compare to the iPhone 8?”
Tom, the iPhone 6S has no optical zoom, it’s all digital.
In fact, an easy way to tell is by looking at the back of the phone, the only iPhones with optical zoom are the ones with dual cameras in the back.
That means that the iPhone 8 is also all digital, but the iPhone 8 Plus has an optical option.
On the big screen iPhones, the camera app gets a 1x button that turns into 2x when you tap it and zooms the picture in. That’s the telephoto lens, and that’s as far as your optical zoom goes. Anything beyond that is digital again.
On the smaller screen models, you don’t get the option because there’s no telephoto lens, you just get a single wide angle lens and digital-only zoom.
If you’re so inclined, you can buy lenses that clip on to the iPhone and give it either a better zoom or a wider angle depending on which one you clip on. There are plenty of brands and the quality tends to go down if you choose less expensive models, but if you want a real optical zoom, that’s one way to get it.