Pixel 7 and 7 Pro: All new hardware and software for the camera

Almost a day after introducing Google’s new top-of-the-line smartphones, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, it’s worth taking a moment to take stock of the news on the camera side, one area where the Mountain View giant aims to differentiate itself from the competition. As usual, Google’s app is unusual: instead of focusing on crazy hardware specs, There is a lot of focus on software optimization and artificial intelligence assistance. But let’s go in order and check everything, of course considering that all considerations are elementary, they are “hot” and “on paper” – waiting for the actual field test.

October 07

Comparison Specifications

Note: Items in bold are those that have changed, for better or worse, compared to the direct ancestor.

Specifications considerations

by eye It seems that Google has left the main rear camera completely intact, and made more or less significant changes to all the other cameras. In particular, support registration in 4K at 60fps for all cameras, front and rear, while in the previous generation it was a privilege granted only to the main rear. Among the main innovations, the increase in optical zoom on the Pixel 7 Pro telephoto, from 4X to 5X, while the ultra-wide angle, again on the Pixel 7 Pro, increases the field of view (from 114 ° to 125.8 °) and thanks to the focus Autofocus in particular, allows you to enable macro mode. Currently The front camera is the same between the two modelsWhereas in the previous generation, the base Pixel should have been satisfied with a decidedly lower performing unit. Obviously Google has barely reduced the field of view and resolution, but hardly anyone notices any differences.

New functions: it’s all in the “Computer Imaging” key

But as we now know, specific devices, such as sensors and lenses, only tell part of the story in the current mobile imaging sector: What makes the difference is how the raw data collected by the sensors is processed and converted into the final product, whether it’s an image or a video. So there are two other components that play an important role: the hardware that takes care of this processing and the software that controls it. In the case of Google, AI is the cornerstone of both: Since the birth of the Pixel division, the Mountain View giant has relied heavily on its expertise in neural networks and machine learning to stand out and bring more and more amazing features to its smartphones and more.

We can say that the hardware dedicated to image processing is all in the SoC: there is a dedicated co-processor called ISP (Image Signal Processor), but the so-called Tensor core also plays an essential role, which we can define in another way . For details about the new Google Tensor G2, we refer you to our article this morning, below we list 10 features and software improvements that you will have on your new Pixels.

  • Real Tone improvements. Auto focus and balancing algorithms have always struggled with dark-skinned people; Real Tone is the artificial intelligence technology that solves these kinds of problems, and with the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro it has been further improved with the help of partners around the world. Google now says that “Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have the most comprehensive smartphone cameras.”

  • directed framing. It’s a technology designed for the blind and visually impaired that allows you to get an accurate and focused shot in selfies by combining a series of voice suggestions, haptics and high-contrast animations.

  • The image is not blur. In Google Photos, you can also remove blur from photos taken in the past on other devices.

  • Night mode improvements. Google has updated HDR Plus technology with Bracketing and developed new AI models that allow you to take a picture up to half the opening times, thus reducing the possibility of blurred images in the dark.

  • Big improvements in zoom:
    • On the two sensors with adjacent pixels (hence the main sensor and for the Pixel 7 Pro, telephoto), it is possible to take pictures at the original resolution but “zoom in” at the default resolutions (12.5 and 12MP). Various image processing algorithms, including HDR + with correction, are concerned with optimizing definition, reducing background noise and improving the overall shot, thus compensating for the stacking effect. Therefore, images are enlarged by 2X in the case of the main camera, and 10X in the case of the Pixel 7 Pro.

    • Then, Super-Res Zoom relies more and more on the AI ​​and ML systems developed by Google to return shots up to 30X!

    • Finally, AI and ML are also useful even at “intermediate” zoom levels between one lens and another, for example 3X and 4X: instead of relying on a simple digital zoom as happens on most smartphones, the Pixel 7 Pro takes a picture with the main camera in mode 2X Super-Res Zoom and one with 5X telephoto, then combine them to get the result at the desired zoom level.

  • Video improvements. As mentioned earlier, all Pixel 7 and 7 Pro cameras can now record up to 4K resolution at 60 fps; Google has also implemented the third version of the active stabilization algorithm, which combines both optical (if available) and electronic stabilization. Google remembers that it also recently introduced Cinematic Blur, which basically applies the same background blurring techniques as portrait mode in videos. Finally, Google remembers support for the HDR 10 standard, with a color depth of 10 bits per channel (that is, 30 bits in all).

  • Snap integration. On Snapchat, it is possible to take ultra-wide-angle photos both front and back, and in the case of video, the electronic stabilization remains active. As it happens in a limited number of other Android smartphones, the Pixel 7 also takes advantage of dual mode, where it can capture front and rear videos at the same time.

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