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What's new with the Pixel 8's camera?

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Google just announced the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. These are the newest and most powerful phones from Google, and they come with new upgraded cameras along with new features and Android 14. What’s new with the Pixel 8’s camera? Well, there are some notable differences between this year’s phone and last year’s. Here’s a rundown of the differences.

Before we get started, if you’re looking for more information about the Pixel Watch 2, we have coverage of that device as well. It’s the latest premium smartwatch from Google and it brings some new and advanced features. Check out Android Headlines for information on it.

What’s new with the Pixel 8’s camera?

As with every year, Google brought some notable improvements to the camera package. In this piece, we’re going to be talking about the regular Pixel 8, not the Pro. However, we do have a piece on what’s new with the Pixel 8 Pro’s Camera. Google improved the camera in two different areas; the hardware and software.

Some of the software features are more Google Photos features rather than camera features, but these are going to remain exclusive to the Pixel 8 for some time, so they’re a package deal for now. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Hardware

When it comes to the hardware, Google didn’t go back to the drawing board with the cameras. The hardware is similar to last year’s phone in several ways, as Google mainly worked on improving the performance of the camera hardware.

Main camera

Starting off with the main camera, the Pixel 8 will have a 50MP camera just like the Pixel 7 has. The camera on the Pixel 7 has an aperture of f/1.85. The Pixel 8’s main camera is about 9% wider at f/1.68. This will let in a bit more light while most likely blurring the background a bit more.

Other factors like the sensor size and pixel size are the same. We’re still looking at a 1/1.31-inch sensor with 1.2µm pixels. We’re not sure what the field of view is for the Pixel 7’s camera, but the Pixel 8’s camera has an 82° field of view.

One of the main differences between this year’s and last year’s cameras is the amount of light they can let in. According to Google, the Pixel 8’s camera can let in 21% more light than the Pixel 7’s camera. This should lend greatly to the low-light performance. Pixel phones are already great at low light, so this will only make it that much better.

Ultrawide camera

As for the ultrawide camera, the story is similar. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 8 both have the same resolution for their ultrawide cameras. They’re both sporting a 12MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and 1.25µm pixels.

The Pixel 8’s ultrawide camera will take a slightly wider shot because of the wider field of view. It’s 125.8° compared to 114° from last year. We’re not sure that’s going to make the biggest difference in the photography, but there could be some change.

The main difference between these cameras is the addition of autofocus for the Pixel 8’s camera. With the autofocus, the Pixel 8 has a macro mode. This will allow you to take pictures of small objects up close. It’s a nice upgrade over last year’s camera.

Software

Now, let’s talk about the software powering the camera experience. Google has some new and interesting goodies for Pixel 8 users. These features will be available on both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Audio Magic Eraser

This is a new feature for the video function. When you take a video, the AI will analyze the background noise and actually separate each source into layers. Then, you’ll be able to adjust the levels of the layer or get rid of them altogether. It will let you eliminate background noise.

Magic Editor

Starting off with a very useful one, the Magic Editor builds on what Google brought with the Magic Eraser. It’s a tool to touch up your photo if you can’t get the perfect shot the first time.

The thing about Magic Editor is that it uses generative AI to reconstruct parts of the image where necessary. If you took a picture where the subject wasn’t centered, the AI will be able to move the subject and reconstruct the part of the image where it was.

Magic Editor will also enhance parts of the image. Say, if you take a picture where the sky is a bit dull, the app will actually add more pronounced clouds to the image.

Lastly, the tool will boost the color and contrast of the image in order to make a more pleasing picture.

Face Replace

This one is a useful feature, but it has a very specific use case. This happens a lot; you’re trying to get a group of people to all be smiling and looking at the camera. However, you’re likely going to have to take multiple shots just to get the right one.

Well, if you have to take multiple shots, the app will analyze the faces in each of the shots. Then, on the shot that you want to keep, Google Photos will give you the option to replace the faces in the final image with ones from previous images.

Say, one person is smiling in one picture, but they’re not in the second one. Well, Google Photos will cut the smiling face from the first one and paste it into the second one. Obviously, it uses some powerful AI processing to make this work.

Is this enough to make you upgrade?

So, the camera package on the Pixel 8 is largely unchanged from what we had with the Pixel 7. The sensors are all the same resolution with only slight differences to the tech.

The Pixel 8 will be able to capture brighter images because the main sensor is 21% more sensitive to light, so that’s a plus. Also, it brings a macro mode with the ultrawide camera. If these are features that you really need, then you should look into getting this phone. You’ll be getting one of the most powerful camera experiences on the market.

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