First Google Pixel 8 camera leak points to a major update

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google pixel 7 pro camera app

Ryan Haines / Android Authority


  • A leaker has claimed that the Pixel 8 series could get staggered HDR technology.
  • This feature offers higher-quality HDR than is currently available on the Pixel 7’s main camera.
  • This leak also suggests that the Pixel 8 could get a sensor upgrade.

Google phones have long offered an HDR+ photography feature as a hugely successful mode, with the Nexus and Pixel lineup using this multi-frame HDR solution to improve dynamic range and reduce ghosting when taking regular snapshots.

Now, whistleblower and developer Kuba Wojciechowski has uncovered references to 2023 Pixels gaining staggered HDR support. Wojciechowski investigated the Google Camera Go app and discovered references to the feature for 2023 devices.

The tipster also rightly points out that the main Samsung Isocell GN1 sensor used in the pixel 6 Y pixel series 7 Do not offer staggered HDR support. However the Isocell GN2 in fact, it offers this capability, suggesting that a main camera upgrade could be in the cards for the Pixel 8.

How does this compare to Google’s existing technology?

Google’s original HDR+ solution took a series of short exposures. But the company switched to HDR+ with bracketing from Pixel 5 and 4a 5G onwards. This technique sees five short exposures captured before the shutter is pressed and one long exposure when the shutter button is touched.

Stepped HDR, meanwhile, is Samsung’s most modern take on HDR photography. This technology captures three separate exposures (short, medium, and long) in very quick succession, then merges them together for the final photo. So it seems that the medium exposure in particular is missing from Google’s HDR+ solutions, for example.

Google HDR Plus vs HDR Plus with bracketing

Google’s original HDR+ solution (above) and HDR+ with Bracketing technique.

Samsung noted at the time of the GN2’s launch that stepped HDR delivered richer details and more vibrant colors than the GN1’s real-time HDR mode, adding that it reduced power consumption by up to 24%. The company has also confirmed With other sensor releases, staggered HDR is faster than conventional HDR solutions, though we’re not sure if this was compared to GN1 mode or previous HDR implementations.

Of course, speed is life when it comes to HDR capture. And so any speed improvements here should also translate to reduced ghosting and potentially less time spent staring at the dreaded “rendering” screen. Throw in the other upgrades mentioned above and the Pixel 8 could offer higher quality and more efficient HDR shots if it leans on this solution.

Most important here, though, is the fact that Google could upgrade the main camera sensor in the Pixel 8 series. Switching to a sensor like the Isocell GN2 would also open the door to better low-light performance thanks to more pixels. large and improved autofocus through Dual Pixel Pro technology.

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