All the New Camera Features Coming to the Pixel 8 Range, Including the Creepy AI Face Editor

All the New Camera Features Coming to the Pixel 8 Range, Including the Creepy AI Face Editor

The Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro were officially revealed this morning, after months of leaks and weeks of Google teasing the devices. While the Pixel 8 Pro seems to have picked up a bit of a gimmick in the form of the temperature sensor, the cameras have been updated substantially with an upgraded ultrawide lens, new features (in line with the new Tensor G3 chip featured on both devices) Android 14 and a slew of new AI-powered features.

Here’s what’s new about the cameras on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

The Google Pixel 8’s new cameras and photo features

While the cameras on the Google Pixel 8 don’t appear to be that much different to the Pixel 7’s, changes have been made with the Pixel 8 Pro.

The Pixel 8 Pro now features a 50MP wide camera, a 48MP ultrawide camera, a 48MP telephoto camera, and a 10.5MP selfie camera (last year’s Pixel 7 Pro features a 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 48MP telephoto, and 10.8MP selfie).

With the above specs, you’ll notice that the biggest change has come with an upgrade to the ultrawide lens. With this increase in megapixels (the ‘MP’ number), the quality of macro shots should be improved. This will matter when you’re getting close-up shots where you want as much detail as possible, such as photos of pets, flowers, or anything where small details really matter.

Google claims that each camera on the Pro has been upgraded, even if it doesn’t appear so on paper.

“The bigger ultrawide lens delivers even better Macro Focus, the telephoto lens captures 56% more light than Pixel 7 Pro and takes 10x photos at optical quality, and the front-facing camera now has autofocus for the best selfies on a Pixel phone,” Google director for device and services business Rory Charlston wrote on the Google blog.

Additionally, when taking standard photos, Google claims that there’s now 2x the optical quality, mimicking a larger lens by cropping the image down (as noted by Tech Crunch).

New AI photo tools

One of the most visually impressive (or, jarring) features of the Pixel 8 Pro is its ‘Best Take’ feature, which lets you take a snap and adjust the faces in that snap so that they’re facing the camera. Additionally, the new ‘Audio Magic Eraser’ tool allows users to remove bits of background noise from videos, and the new ‘Magic Editor’ gives users AI-enhanced photo editing abilities. These features are available on both Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Better lighting and skin tone capture

On Google’s breakdown of the new camera system, the company claims that both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are now better optimised in low-light environments, with a new ‘dual exposure’ feature that essentially takes two photos at once (one optimised for low-light and the other for high dynamic range) and stitches them together to create a better shot. The company claims that its Real Tone technology, which seeks to accurately show real skin colours in photos, has also been upgraded, specifically in photos where flash is required.

Off-device processing for HDR+

One of the most interesting new features is Google’s off-device processing of videos to create 4K video at 30 frames per second.

“By combining the efficiency of Tensor G3 and the power of our data centers we were able to make HDR+ video a reality,” Google’s lead Pixel camera product manager Isaac Reynolds said.

“When you use Video Boost on Pixel 8 Pro, you’ll still receive a high-quality video right away, but the video will also upload to the cloud where our computational photography models are applied to your entire video. This process also makes Night Sight Video possible for the first time on Pixel, so you can create memories in low-light situations where you couldn’t before. Both features are coming later this year.”

These features are exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro.

Updated camera controls for the Pixel 8 Pro

While Android 14 has brought an updated camera app for switching between photo and video modes, the Pixel 8 Pro has gotten some pro-specific camera tools, such as adjusting white balance, exposure, manual focus adjustment, ISO adjustment, and shadow brightness. There’s some off-device processing going on here with HDR+ that allows the Pixel 8 Pro to take 50MP shots across the zoom range.

Guided frame

For people who are blind or have low-light vision, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro have also been upgraded with a new feature called Guided Frame, which takes on board “a combination of audio cues, high-contrast animations and haptic (tactile) feedback,” to take better shots, according to the Google Blog.

New Pixel 8 Pro camera housing

Aesthetically, users will also notice a change in the camera bar (Google’s signature rear camera layout, which has featured on Pixel devices since the Pixel 6) that makes it look more flush, with a single glass panel running across all three rear lenses instead of having two sectioned off pieces of glass (where the wide and ultrawide cameras share housing, while the telephoto lens sits on its own). As the Pixel 8 doesn’t have a Telephoto lens, its camera bar looks about the same as the Pixel 7’s.

And that’s about it for the new camera features.

Image: Google

At its Made By Google event, Google announced the Pixel 8, Pixel 8 ProPixel Watch 2, and two new colour options for the Pixel Buds. While you’re here, why not check out our daily tech deals, our guide to the best value for money NBN plans, and info on the latest phones from Apple and Samsung. Head to our dedicated Mobile tab for more. Stay tuned for our review of the new Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

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