The arrival of new Google Pixel phones is always a big time to hype up – and with the launch of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, that’s been proven once again.
While the new flagships don’t have as big a headline moment as the Pixel 3’s ‘Night Vision’ launch, they do bring a combination of interesting hardware and software improvements that could put them in our top tier. best camera phones guide.
The basic hardware recipes of both Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are not radically different from their predecessors. Both have the same 50MP primary camera and 12MP ultra-wide camera, with the Pixel 7 Pro bringing an additional 48MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom.
However, Google’s new Tensor G2 processor packs some fantastic computational photography features, including Unblur the photo and a new Cinematic Blur mode that looks suspiciously like Apple Kinematic mode.
So what are the most interesting photo features of the two phones? We’ve listed the ones we’re most looking forward to testing here – from this cheat mod to all our hacks, Photo Unblur…
1. Remove photo blur (Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro)
Fortunately, every one of our photos is clear and never contains errors (well, that’s a lie), but if your library is full of blurry noises, Google’s Photo Unblur trick can be a welcome treat.
Initially only available in the Google Photos app on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro (though it will be coming to other phones soon), Photo Unblur is an evolution of Google’s existing noise reduction and sharpening tools, and should complement Face nicely. The anti-blur trick that came with the Pixel 6 series last year.
Unlike Face Unblur, Photo Unblur is designed to be used backwards on existing photos, not at the moment of capture. While it can’t work wonders on catastrophic snapping incidents, early demonstrations show an impressive ability to rescue shots weakened by slow shutter speeds, focusing problems or slight hand shake. It will also work on photos taken with any camera.
2. Macro Focus (Pixel 7 Pro)
It’s far from the first phone with a dedicated macro mode, but the addition of autofocus to the Pixel 7 Pro’s improved ultra-wide lens is a big deal for fans of Google smartphones.
Our US Mobile Editor Philip Bern explained why macro was the Pixel 7 Pro feature he was most excited about before turning on the phone. And Google has granted his wish with a mode that matches the close-up shots possible in competitors iPhone 14 Pro.
It’s not yet clear what software trick Google has brought to this mode, but it will allow you to focus on objects as close as 3cm. Switching from the main camera to the ultra-wide camera, Macro Focus will also automatically turn on when you get close to the subject.
It’s a mode we can’t wait to spin (watch out, spiders). In the meantime, you can check out some sample shots here Google Photos gallery. (opens in new tab)
3. Improved Super-Res Zoom (Pixel 7 Pro)
Zoom promises to be one of the biggest improvements to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The Pro model now has 5x optical zoom (up from the Pixel 6 Pro’s 4x zoom), but the more interesting upgrade is a software trick available on both models.
Like the iPhone 14 Pro, both phones can crop the 50MP image for an effective 2x zoom at 12.5MP resolution, thanks to some additional noise processing. But a more useful improvement might be the processing that takes place between the Pixel 7 Pro’s native focal lengths.
Previously, these 3x or 4x optical zoom spots were surrounded by fairly rudimentary digital zoom. But Google claims that the Pixel 7 Pro can fill in some extra detail using the 5x telephoto camera, which should produce more consistent results at this zoom range (at least in theory). It’s definitely something we’re looking forward to trying out.
4. Cinematic Blur mode (Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro)
Apple’s movie mode Last year brought background blur to video, the kind you’d find in portrait-mode photos. iPhone 13 Pro. It’s still early days for the technology, but Google has now joined the computing pool party with fake video bokeh.
The problem these modes try to solve is that smartphone cameras have too much depth of field to make videos shot with dedicated cameras look cinematic.
It’s a tough nut to crack, as every frame has to be processed to look like it was taken with a brilliant prime lens – and judging by Google’s demo above, the Pixel 7 series hasn’t made any huge leaps forward.
The subject-to-background drop still feels a bit artificial and heavy, but it can certainly be a useful mode for the odd cut scene. We will remain faithful the best vlog cameras still a little while.
5. Improved Night Vision (Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro)
Google’s Night Vision mode was a revelation when it arrived on the Pixel 3 in 2018. Instead of using the traditional long exposure method to expose dark scenes, it lets you shoot them manually thanks to its instant recompose capability. best bits from burst frames.
The mode has steadily improved over the years, but its problem has always been the motion blur that occurs if anything in your scene dares to move an inch during an explosion sequence. Well, Google promises that if this issue isn’t fixed, it’s at least improved on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
This is because its machine learning techniques allow for noise reduction, which in turn means that each frame can use a shutter speed half as long as the previous one. The result? In theory, there are fewer problems with motion blur marring cityscapes and night portraits.
6. Guide Frame (Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro)
An impressive example of an AI accessibility feature, Guided Frame is designed to help people who are blind or have low vision take selfies more easily on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
When you open the front-facing camera and hold it to your face, the feature’s voice will tell you where to place the phone to frame the shot, guiding you in the right direction before notifying you when the money is taken.
You’ll get prompts like “move your phone a little to the right and up,” while a countdown lets you know when the shot will be taken. Hopefully this will encourage other manufacturers to create equivalent modes.
Google has also beefed up Real Tone in the new Pixels to make sure the skin tone of every subject in your photos is accurate and well exposed. Tested on over 10,000 portraits and improved in partnership with Diversify Photo, the feature is now much improved.
7. Improved selfie camera (Pixel 7)
Photographers may scoff at the selfie camera, but it’s one of the most used lenses on smartphones. The Pixel 7 now has an upgraded version that is a decent step up from its predecessor.
The Pixel 7 now has the same 10.8MP sensor (with f/2.2 aperture) that you’ll find on the Pixel 7 Pro and 6 Pro. This means it has an ultra-wide 20mm focal length, which is handy for squeezing multiple people into the frame. You can also use it to record 4K/60p video.
It still only has fixed focus, but should be a more useful tool when you need a social media mug or a quick video for your YouTube channel.
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