When it comes to cameras, hardware changes are minimal in this Pixel generation. There is the same main sensor, although there are improvements in zoom and ultra-wide angle. The latter opens the field of view to 125.8 degrees, and the telephoto lens now has five-time magnification. And before jumping into more detail, here is a bit about Pixel 7 camera sensors:
• Main sensor: 50 MP, f/1.9, 25mm (wide), OIS.
• Telephoto sensor: 48 MP, f/3.5, 120mm (5x zoom), OIS.
• Ultra wide-angle sensor: 2 MP, f/2.2, 125.8.
But, although there are little differences in hardware, the performance of Pixel 7 cameras is way better. Let’s see the main camera features of the new series by Google.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a new 5x telephoto lens, and it's pretty spectacular. Going into detail, it is observed that it is not as sharp as that of some of the Android rivals that are more committed to zoom, but it is a fun, balanced sensor with a process identical to that of the main camera.
But the Pixel's zoom does not end here, and it is that Google's AI has a lot to say. We have a 2x zoom again but this year, the main sensor is cut out to keep the central 12.5 megapixels. Thus, the extra luminosity provided by Pixel Binning is lost but an improvement in detail is achieved by using the sweetest area at the sharpness level of the sensor.
In good light conditions, the 2x zoom sharpness is well below the main sensor, and it is closer to a classic digital zoom than a sensor crop. Similarly, the entire zoom range between 2x and 4.9x (before reaching 5x) combines images from the main sensor and the telephoto lens using a new machine-learning model, blending the sharpest areas for the best shot possible. The summary is that we have a good zoom range from 2x and, when we get to 5X, we take advantage of the telephoto.
What if we go beyond 5x? This is where the Super Res Zoom begins to act, Google's technology to achieve zoom up to 30x with the least loss of quality. The zoom holds up to 10x more than decently. From 15x to 30x it kicks in some pretty aggressive stabilization and noise reduction algorithms.
The zoom range of this phone is logical and complete, and it does not want to compete with other phones to reach 100x or similar. It competes in the most profitable ranges and without a doubt becomes one of the best exponents on the market.
Good ultra-wide angle for Pixel 7 phones, with more information than ever in photography as it is more angular, and with the logical distortion that accompanies this type of sensor. The consistency between the cameras is great and although the main one is the most muscular, the rendering of color, white balance, and even HDR treatment is identical throughout the three sensors of the device.
Finally, Google Photos deserves a few words since it behaves exceptionally well this time around. In this generation, it is capable of bringing blurry photos back to sharpness. It does not work miracles, but it does make those photographs that have not come out completely clear more usable. This novelty works both in new photographs, taken with the Pixel and in any that we have in the gallery.
Other options that only work on the Pixel are both the magic eraser, which automatically selects and removes all people from the photo, and the portrait mode on photos that were not taken with it. If Google detects that a photo can be mapped to have a depth effect, it takes no more than a few seconds to convert a normal photo into one with portrait mode. The Pixel's portrait mode is quite striking, although the competition is ahead of it in image segmentation and depth map creation.
This portrait photography is not easy at all, and the Pixel 7 Pro manages to do it. What it does especially well is photographing objects. Even in photographs where it is quite difficult to create a depth map (either because of distance or the shape of the object itself), the Pixel manages to offer a great portrait.
When night falls, the Google Pixel 7 Pro is still one of the best phones out there. The main drawback here has to do with flashes. To some extent, it is natural to find these types of flashes, but in the Pixel, they are quite exaggerated. We will have to be somewhat careful with the direct incidence of streetlights and other objects that flash since they can be reflected and create this effect.
Night mode is activated automatically and, in this generation, it works faster than ever. It will help us extract extra light in the photographs, although the camera is bright enough not to need it. It is recommended to leave it on for the most extreme situations, although its use is not strictly necessary to get good night shots.
This night mode cannot alter the white balance, leaning quite a bit towards warm. The gain in sharpness isn't much, but it still gives the Pixel its own look when the light falls. The ultra-wide angle suffers a lot when night falls, especially when we get closer to the corners. Here the night mode is practically mandatory to correct the excessive noise that is generated in these areas. It is still a sensor that we can use, but the performance falls compared to the main one, as is usual in all phones.
The telephoto lens, for its part, is still a delight even when night falls. It is clear even in low light, it controls noise well, and it is a sensor that we will want to take advantage of even if the light is not good. Like the wide-angle and ultra-wide sensor, night mode also works automatically with this telephoto lens.
Even portrait mode performs well at night. The cropping is remarkable, again, on objects, and having so many perfectly usable modes when night falls makes this camera one of the most versatile.
The combination of the new Tensor G2 chipset and its AI capabilities with cameras creates fantastic results. Both photos and videos are of the highest quality and some cool features mentioned above can make them even better. Once again, Google has made phones with fantastic camera qualities.