Google's Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are all about smarts and imaging

19 October 2021
Impressive new cameras and a super powerful custom-built Tensor chipset.

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  • WPE

Really disappointed that the Pixel 6 pro STILL uses 2x Digital zoom for portraits.
Really was expecting this to be optical zoom.

I have a 3aXL currently and the one thing I was looking forward to was increased image quality on portrait mode. But it seems the 6 Pro does no more here than the 3a.

  • Anonymous

I have also seen some base Iso periscope 4x images and they seem to have more noise and noise reduction than one would expect, reminds me of traditional single frame photography. I begin to wonder whether they still use HDR+ for the periscope camera or whether there were issues with the sensor / processor.

  • Anonymous

Now I have seen a 20x zoom image. I downsampled it to 2 megapixels (at 20x, the sensor of the periscope camera uses approximately 2 megapixels in its 48 megapixel mode) , but the image quality at pixel level is bad even after downsampling. This indicates that Google isn't able to leverage the 48 megapixel mode or even ignores it.

  • Anonymous

I have seen a 2x zoom sample image. The 2x digital zoom doesn't seem to be better than the 2x digital zoom of the Pixel 5. Google completely ignores the 50 megapixel mode of the sensor (and likely also ignores the 48 megapixel mode of the periscope camera).

  • Anonymous

Google's official specs say that the main camera has a Quad Bayer sensor, but they don't say that the tele camera has a Quad Bayer sensor. This is very misleading, if the tele camera does have a Quad Bayer sensor.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 21 Oct 2021I heard from two reviewers that the Pixel 6 Pro often refus... moreIf that's really the case, this would be totally crazy.
4x digital zoom always looks terrible (I have a Pixel 3a), the effective resolution would be only 0.78 megapixels!
The periscope camera does capture 118% more(!!) light per time from distant objects than the main camera because the periscope camera has a larger entrance pupil diameter (5.43mm vs 3.68mm).
The only reason why it would make sense to use digital zoom is read noise:
The periscope camera leads to 17.5 times as many pixels per object, this leads to more read noise. But read noise is only extremely relevant in a completely dark room and even in bad light conditions there are often areas that are bright and don't suffer from read noise.
Using digital zoom instead of the periscope camera is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

I heard from two reviewers that the Pixel 6 Pro often refuses to choose the periscope camera and uses digital zoom instead. If that's the case, then Google has really failed.

  • Carbonize

YUKI93, 20 Oct 2021With more and more people buying reputable third-party fast... moreThey haven't chosen to stop providing chargers they were ordered to stop providing them.

I wish one of these had a headphone jack, will not buy one without it. Removing headphone jack is the single most unreasonable trend that is catching up rapidly.

Kiluwastrife, 20 Oct 2021I find it difficult to accept that more and more phone actu... moreWith more and more people buying reputable third-party fast chargers, I can see why smartphone brands decided not to include a charger in the box as it will only create more e-waste. Fairphone definitely got the whole thing right all along before Apple stepped in and turned it into an environmental sustainability hype.

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021Phone has fixed aperture. Camera can change lenses and us... more"Phones will never replace 📷 professionally."

Phones were never meant to replace professionals cameras. But they have indeed replaced point and shoot consumers cameras.
My mirrorless camera is collecting dust since the past two years.

  • Joldy

Isn't it time that we ditched the name "cellphone" or "smartphone." No reviews these days talk about the telephone function of the device.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021Phone has fixed aperture. Camera can change lenses and us... moreWhat's really important is the image processing and the exposure algorithms. I am sure that certain smartphones would still produce wrong details (oversharpening, machine learning zoom) even if they used a medium format sensor because this has nothing to do with the sensor.
What's great is that smartphone jpgs usually have far fewer blown out highlights than large cameras because smartphone cameras expose for the highlights and boost the shadows.
Plastic lenses are not bad at all, they are often great. Actually, there are many glass lenses, which suffer from soft edges, chromatic aberration or extreme field curvature.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021That's not correct. A long answer is necessary, but I ... morePhone has fixed aperture.
Camera can change lenses and use a much brighter one.
Also, crappy plastic lenses are not as translucid as glass.
Also, do not have all elements to do with optical issues (some lenses have up to 14 elements, many of them with different shaper and purposes).

Even if you check a jpeg from any 📷, there is no need to abuse sharpening like phones do to fool people.

Not even Sharp R6 can outperform 1" cameras.

Canon APSC at f4 is FF f6,5.
While pixel is FF 6,84.

Phones will never replace 📷 professionally.
Do not forget 📷 are ILC, phones are not.

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021As it seems that they don't leverage the full resoluti... moreI hope that Google's 360° Photo Sphere mode lets you capture high resolution wide angle images with the periscope camera. But I doubt it because the Pixel 4 didn't support this.

iGod, 20 Oct 20212x ARM Cortex-X1 cores at 2.802 GHz 2x ARM Cortex-A76 core... moreThey made it extremely clear..

They developed extremely heavy machine learning algorithms... Which more than any other mobile OEM on the planet is using that amount of power for

They even said it took them years to implement for their video editing it's that "context" part of the chipset

  • Anonymous

As it seems that they don't leverage the full resolution mode of the sensor, I think that it would have been better, if they chose a sensor with more than 12.5 megapixels. 16 - 24 megapixels would have been nice and would also improve the 1.52x digital zoom portrait mode images, which only have an effective resolution of 5.4 megapixels. 12.5 megapixels won't really capture more detail at base Iso than 12.2 megapixels.

big bezzels again

  • OSMo

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021DSLR means mirror, not pro camera. No, phones can not m... moreMan modern phones are getting closer to get a 1' sensors. Some phones already have 1 inch sensors. having 1/1.13 sensor is still great. And with computational photography and hopefully liquid lenses and moving lens stacks in near future can easily replace a lot of pro grade workflows with heavy cameras. Yes, in terms of video, it might take some more years to get a good video as compared to proper cinema camera but all things are moving in right direction for now

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 20 Oct 2021DSLR means mirror, not pro camera. No, phones can not m... moreThat's not correct. A long answer is necessary, but I don't want to write a long answer. So, the short answer is: The main camera of the Pixel 6 is equivalent to Canon Aps-c + 15mm f/4 lens regarding light per time. So it actually captures approximately as much light per time as a Canon Aps-c camera + kit lens. And when it combines multiple frames, it does capture even more light. Furthermore, the tone mapping is very important for the jpgs.
A huge issue is that some smartphone cameras produce large details that don't exist (machine learning).