While better lenses and sensors are responsible for some of these advances, the biggest improvements come from artificial intelligence (AI) and
AI combines the capabilities of a professional camera with editing features that were previously only available in expensive editing software that requires a steep learning curve. For example, the
“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 AI camera’s capabilities are further enhanced by the latest
An AI 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 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
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 part look washed out. It can 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.”
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 camera technology.
Real Tone. Historically, people of colour have appeared washed out or lost in shadows in photos. Real Tone relies on AI software to adjust colour balance and lighting to represent everyone more accurately, addressing long-standing problems a diverse panel of experts have identified while testing our AI camera smartphones.
Motion Mode. 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.
Audio Magic Eraser. 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.4
Video Boost. Don’t worry about a shaky or imperfect video. With Video Boost, colour, lighting, stabilisation, and graininess are automatically adjusted to help improve overall quality.2
Efros says that AI camera technology has made phone cameras so good, many professional photographers tell him pictures taken by a modern AI camera smartphone 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 camera on Pixel 8 Pro or Pixel 8 will dramatically improve their images, no matter the situation.
Requires Google Photos app.
Requires Google Photos app. May not work on all image elements
Requires Google Photos app. May not work on all audio elements.