Google’s Pixel two and Pixel two XL might have experienced teething issues when it comes to their displays, however one place in which they didn’t fail to impress were their cameras. Following in the footsteps of their original Pixel duo that started a year before, the newest 12.2-megapixel detectors in Google’s latest smartphones really are a treat to work with today, but their whole potential isn’t quite exploited yet since there are lots of promised characteristics yet to arrive, waiting to be permitted via future software updates.
Gadgets 360 needed a Hangout session with Brian Rakaowski, VP of Product Management at Google and Timothy Knight, that directs camera growth for Pixel two, to speak specifically about the camera and also making it tick. We are all aware of some of the more publicised issues with all the newest Pixels like the audio issues when recording video and over Bluetooth, odd display flashes, however we have had any issues with the camera too, which we expected to find some clarity on in the Google duo, no puns intended.
The Pixel two does a fantastic job stabilising video however in low light, especially at 4K, the footage tends to have quite noisy. This is mainly since the Pixel 2 tries to brighten up the spectacle as far as possible simply by boosting the ISO, which gives you a brighter scene for certain, but in the expense of noise.
“This is really a tradeoff we think that a lot about. We tried to strike a balance of both,” he states. “If you compared the Pixel two camera to additional mobile cameras, then you will notice that we are brighter. It’s simple to make the noise go away if you only create the image dim. We decided that we rather allow the user view the spectacle more clearly, by making it brighter, even if this means there is some more noise.” Knight additionally states that 1080p video ought to be a bit less noisy in comparison to 4K, since there’s more headroom to perform heavy weight processing, in comparison to 4K.
Another feature that is missing in the Pixel two is 60fps service at 4K, something which the iPhone 8 Plusand iPhone X boast off. “4K in 60[fps], sadly, is not something we are going to bring to Pixel two,” says Knight. “As an example products, we will consider it certainly. However, for Pixel two, 4K 30 and 1080 60 is the video we all intend to encourage.”
If you have looked in the settings of this Pixel two’s camera program, you will notice that enabling manual control for HDR+ gives you a second option in the viewfinder, known as HDR+ improved. When we analyzed the Pixel 2 along with the Pixel two XL, we didn’t actually notice any quality difference between the 2 modes, aside from the fact that it requires a longer time to process the HDR+ improved photo. Turns out, we’re right.
“In the huge majority of instances, there is no difference. From an individual perspective, HDR+ and HDR+ improved will take the exact same photograph,’ explains Knight. ‘In a few conditions, HDR+ improved might take a photograph which has a little more dynamic selection.” The reason the improved manner takes longer to process is since in regular HDR+ manner, Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) is on whereas in the elongated mode, it’s away. Shutter lag is typically the time obtained by the minute you press the camera button, to if the picture is in fact recorded and stored.
We initially assumed that the Pixel two’s Visual Core imaging chip will help speed this process up, after it’s active in the Android 8.1 update, but it does not appear to be the situation. The Visual Core SoC’s primary purpose will be to empower third-party camera programs to utilize the HDR+ attribute.
Finally, the absence of manual controls and RAW file affirms is just another bummer in brand new camera program. This is a place which other Android makers like Samsung and HTC have really mastered through time. Not everyone wants manual controllers but it’s nice to have the option, especially once you would like to shoot some artistic shots, and it’s very helpful in low light. Having this feature would also help restrain the vulnerability in video, for people who prefer to catch the spectacle for what it is instead of brightening things up. He further claims that in doing this, users will be unable to benefit from HDR+, so image quality will endure.
Google might add some amount of manual control in the long run, “but in the present time, do not expect to realize a manual slider anytime soon,” says Knight. It appears that Google is relying heavily on its machine learning to improve photos and create them seem so great as they perform, which might explain why they are not willing to relinquish control over to the consumer. This applies to RAW file service too.
We do not have some updates today but we are looking into it,” says Knight.