Google’s new Pixel phones are here, as is their annual camera performance speculation round. Pixel cameras have been in a strange spot for a few years. the Pixel 2 in 2017 was an incredible leap forward for smartphone photography, but features like Night Sight, 3 and 4 were mostly developments in the same type of hardware and software, doing what sometimes felt like subjective stings more than clear improvements in image quality. It is in Google’s interest that they still remain one of the best phone cameras you can buy.
It is impossible to really judge the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G, which share the same front and rear cameras, until we can try them for ourselves. However, from what Google has said so far, these seem to be just as evolving upgrades.
First, Google still uses the same basic 12.2 megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor as the latest Pixel phones. Google said The lip in an update that this sequel helps the Pixel camera team improve algorithms from generation to generation and that there was no market share that would be better suited to the company’s needs.
The importance of the sensor itself has been underestimated by Marc Levoy, the former Google engineer who led the team working on much of the Pixel camera software, including innovative features such as HDR +. Last month in one interview with Lip editor Nilay Patel“Because of the reduced efficiencies due to the laws of physics, I do not know that basic sensors are so important,” Levoy said, noting that higher resolution parts rely on the input decoder from much smaller pixels.
These high-resolution phone camera sensors are also much larger than Google has been using for the past four years, and I have to wonder what the Pixel team could achieve with a 12-megapixel sensor the same size as the Parts 48 megapixel or 64 megapixels that are common in phones today. Levoy recently left Google for Adobe, so Google has decided how long it can rely on the same hardware-software pipeline.
That said, we still have to wait for some improvements to the basic image quality of the Pixel 5. In the announcement video, product manager Soniya Jobanputra said that HDR +, the fundamental technology behind Pixel computing, has received a ‘serious upgrade’. »On new phones, combining Google algorithms with techniques such as exposure bracketing. There are also new features such as the ability to capture Night Sight portraits in low light, as well as a portrait editing tool with AI technology. We’ll have to see how the results turn out and if Google manages to make another general upgrade from the old sensor.
This does not mean that nothing has changed with the material. For the first time, Google includes a transatlantic lens, which replaces the Pixel 4 telephoto lens. Google says The lip This is because Pixel phones as the Pixel 3 have Super Res Zoom capability to improve the resolution of digital zoom shots, while infrared lenses can capture completely new perspectives. This is… precisely because I thought the Pixel 4 should have included an ultrawide instead of a telephoto lens a year ago, but I’m at least happy that Google is making the right choice now.
(Although I will continue to point out that many phones include both lenses.)
A perennial drawback with Pixel cameras is the video recording, which is never as impressive as the quality of the still image. The iPhone in particular does a much better job of capturing smooth shots with balanced exposure. This year, Google introduces three new ways to stabilize Pixel videos called Locked, Active and Cinematic Pan. Google also says The lip that the Pixel team spent a lot of time optimizing the video recording capabilities based on the comments, so we will look into it with interest when we have the phones in hand.
What we can say now is that Google continues to give great credence to its software team to keep Pixel pedestrian hardware at the front of the package, even at the front. technically impressive competition from Huawei. And so far, this belief has not been replaced. Even the The $ 349 Pixel 4A is a fantastic camera phone that fits the Pixel 4 and easily maintains its own versus much more expensive devices today, so expectations for the Pixel 5 should still be high. Stay tuned The lip to learn how to withstand control.