Can the Pixel 5K camera marrow still compete using the same aging sensor?

Google’s new Pixel phones are here, as is the annual round of speculation about how their cameras will work. Pixel cameras have been in a weird place for many years; The Pixel 2 in 2017 was an incredible leap for smartphone photography, but features like the Knight Seat, 3 and 4 were developed on seemingly identical hardware and software software formulas, which sometimes seem like subjective tweaks rather than a clear improvement in image quality. . It is to Google’s credit that they still have a very good phone camera that you can buy.

It is impossible to pass real judgment on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G, which share the same front and back cameras, unless we can test them for ourselves. From what Google has said so far, however, they seem to have similar developmental improvements.

For one thing, Google is still using the Sony IMX363 12.2-megapixel primary sensor, just like the last few Pixel phones. Google said Edge In a briefing that this continuity helps its pixel camera team improve the algorithms of pay per generation, and there is no market segment that is more tailored to the needs of the company.

The importance of sensor hardware has been underscored by Mark Levy himself, a former reputable engineer at Google, who led a team working on large portions of Pixel camera software, including progressive features such as HDR +. In an interview last month Edge “Because of the declining returns due to the laws of physics, I don’t know if the basic sensors have a lot of draw,” said Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief.

That high-resolution phone camera my sensor is physically much larger than what Google has been using for the last four years, and I wonder what the Pixel team can achieve with a 12-megapixel sensor of the same size. 48-megapixel or 64-megapixel parts 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 software pipeline.

That said, we should still expect some improvement in the basic image quality of the Pixel 5. In the announcement video, product manager Sonia Jobanputra says that the original technology behind Pixel’s computational photography, HDR +, has received “serious upgrades” in new phones, which have mixed Google’s algorithms with technologies such as exposure brackets. The ability to take night site portraits in low light, as well as new features like AI-powered portrait lighting editing tool. We’ll see how the results turn out, and whether Google has managed to undo the second-generation upgrade from the years-old sensor.

That’s not to say that nothing has changed with the hardware. For the first time, Google is introducing an ultraviolet lens, replacing the Pixel 4’s telephoto. Google says Edge This is because the Pixel 3 to Pixel phone has a super res zoom feature to improve the resolution of digitally zoomed shots, while the ultraviolet lens can get a whole new look. That’s exactly why I thought the Pixel 4 should include Ultravide instead of Telephoto a year ago, but I’m at least glad Google is making the right choice now.

(Although I will continue to point out that many phones have only two lenses.)

The perennial flaw with the pixel camera is their video recording, which has never been as impressive as their image quality. Especially the iPhone does a much better job of getting smooth footage with balanced exposure. This year, Google is introducing three new stabilization modes for pixel video called Led, Active and Cinematic. Google also says Edge That Pixel team spent a lot of time optimizing video recording capabilities based on feedback, so we’ll look at it with interest when we hold the phone in our hands.

What we can say right now is that despite Huawei’s preference for technologically impressive competition, Google will continue to have extraordinary confidence in its software team to keep Pixel’s pedestrian hardware at the front of the pack. And yet, that faith has not been misplaced. The 9 349 Pixel 4 is also a fantastic phone camera that matches the Pixel 4 and easily holds its own against more expensive devices today, so expectations for the Pixel 5 should be even higher. Stay tuned Edge Check it out to find out how it stands.