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How an AI-powered camera can make everyone’s photos better.
Google AI elevates your photography game with Best Take,1 Audio Magic Eraser,2 and more.

Today’s smartphones let you take clearer, more vibrant photos than ever – whether you’re up close or far away.

While better lenses and sensors are responsible for some of these advances, the biggest improvements come from powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology that meld hardware with software to create an AI camera – like ones on the latest Google phones.

AI combines the capabilities of a professional camera with editing features that were previously only available in expensive editing software with a steep learning curve. For example, AI in the Pixel Camera lets you take sharp photos in low light, remove unwanted items from an image, unblur faces, and get the best group photos. So the next time you want to capture your kids while they’re jumping around, this camera has you covered for a clear photo.

“Early camera phones were all about doing old-school optics right,” says Alexei Efros, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley teaching computational photography. “Better and bigger lenses, and so on. They missed the boat on this idea that cameras should be more than physical-optical machines.” Most of the improvements now, Efros adds, “can all be done in a cell phone, in software.”

The Pixel Camera’s capabilities are further enhanced by the Google Tensor G3 chip, a custom-built processor made by Google that gives the camera the ability to perform complex AI tasks. The result is a phone that lets you take stunning photos without having to master any new or complex tools – and at a much lower price than professional cameras.

What is an AI-powered camera and how does it work?

An AI-powered camera relies on special software to give users the ability to snap images that previously only high-end cameras were able to capture. For example, HDR+ technology technology can snap a dozen or more pictures in rapid succession, then use AI software to align and combine them into a single image free of any blur from camera shake. 

This technology powers Pixel’s Night Sight feature3, where photos shot in very low light look bright, crisp, and detailed – a result that previously would have required a professional camera, a tripod, and quite a bit of photography know-how.

Pixel 8 Pro
The best of Google. Even more pro.

Similarly, the AI software in Pixel phones can fix the exposure challenges of taking photos in high-contrast situations, where shadows typically make one part of the image look dark and bright light makes another element look washed out. It may process multiple images to capture visual details otherwise lost to shadows and reduce the overexposure of bright sections. “All of this is extended down to the average cell phone user,” Efros says. “Anyone can be a creator.”

What can you do with an AI camera?

The AI-powered cameras in Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro make it easier to take beautiful photographs and video. Check out some of the features that turn Pixel shots into perfect shots with AI photography.

Easy editing:

Enhanced video:

  • Audio Magic Eraser.2 Sounds from cars, wind, or construction can be disruptive in video. Audio Magic Eraser uses Google AI to reduce distracting noise with a few taps, so you only hear the sound you want.

  • Video Boost.4 Don’t worry about a shaky or imperfect video. With Video Boost on the Pixel 8 Pro, color, lighting, stabilization, and graininess are automatically adjusted to help improve overall quality.
    How it works: You take a video with your phone, and Tensor G3 helps with pre-processing and sends an optimized video file to the cloud for processing. We then apply our computational photography models to every frame, giving you more vivid details, high dynamic range, better lighting, stabilization – and when the final video output automatically appears in your Google Photos library.

True point and shoot:

  • Real Tone. Historically, people of color have appeared washed out or lost in shadows in photos. Real Tone relies on AI software to adjust color balance and lighting to represent everyone more accurately, addressing long-standing problems a diverse panel of experts have identified while testing our cameras. Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro provide best ever skin tone accuracy in videos resulting in improved mixed lighting performance, and much faster autofocus in low light.

  • Night Sight.3 This mode allows you to shoot photos in extremely low light without losing sharpness – and even capture crisp images of the night sky.

  • Long Exposure. When you use Motion Mode, Pixel’s AI software adds blur creatively to capture the energy in the scene in front of you. You can simulate a traditional long exposure that beautifully blurs the motion of waterfalls or moving cars.

  • Intelligent tone mapping. This feature automatically accounts for different light levels in various parts of an image – foreground, subject, background – and sets the exposure appropriately for each area.

How AI-powered cameras are changing the game in photography

Efros says that AI technology has made phone cameras so good, many professional photographers tell him pictures taken by a modern phone are better than those from an expensive, pro-grade DSLR.

“AI gives the artist more and better tools to work with,” he says.

For everyone else – the amateur photographers, the parents taking family pictures, the social media sharers – the AI-powered camera on Pixel 8 Pro or Pixel 8 will dramatically improve their images, no matter the situation.

Takeaways
AI-powered tools let you remove unwanted objects, create special effects, and even shoot clearly in low lightThe Google Tensor chip helps your camera learn to identify objects quickly, since the processing happens right on the phoneEven pros think Pixel’s AI-powered camera often takes better pictures than a DSLR
Pixel 8 Pro
The best of Google. Even more pro.
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4 ways to customize your Pixel with Google AI. How Google AI is already making your Pixel phone more helpful. Google Tensor: The brains behind Pixel phones.
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  1. Requires Google Photos app.

  2. Requires Google Photos app. May not work on all audio elements.

  3. See g.co/pixel/astrophotography for details.

  4. Coming soon. Requires Google Photos app.

  5. Requires Google Photos app. May not work on all image elements.

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