Earlier this week Google announced the long-awaited Pixel 4, which promises to take smartphone photography to a whole new level.
This comes in the wake of Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro announcement last month, which saw the debut of a triple-camera setup and features such as Night Mode.
In other words, the Pixel 4 is a competitor in an intense fight to create the best cameras, the best lenses, and the best camera software.
So what does the Google Pixel 4 offer?
Let’s take a closer look:
First, the Google Pixel 4 features a dual-camera setup, offering the usual wide-angle lens alongside a new 2X telephoto option. This isn’t unique (Apple has regularly included “telephoto” lenses going all the way back to the iPhone 7 Plus), but it is a nice addition for those who need a bit more reach. You can use the 2X lens for tighter portraits, and it’s also useful for street photography, where you often need to photograph subjects from a distance.
Interestingly, Google has decided to keep the wide-angle camera at 12 megapixels, but has packed in a 16-megapixel sensor for the telephoto camera. While plenty of photographers will be excited by this jump in resolution, it remains to be seen whether such tiny pixels will result in significant noise.
The dual-camera setup should also improve Google’s Portrait Mode, and Google has promised more natural background blur and very precise edges (e.g., when dealing with hair). Truthfully, I’m skeptical. I’ve yet to see a Portrait mode photo that looks perfect on any smartphone camera. But I’ll wait until I see the results from the Pixel 4 before judging.
One cool new feature that will debut in the Pixel 4 is Live HDR. When you go to capture an HDR photo, you’ll be able to see a live HDR preview on your smartphone screen; this should give you a sense of what you can expect from the HDR+ effect.
Finally, if you enjoy doing astrophotography, you’re in luck: The Pixel 4 offers an improved Night Sight mode, in which you can take stunning photos of the night sky. It works by taking a series of long exposures, before blending them together to create a beautiful final photo. Note that you’ll need a tripod or other method of stabilization to get sharp astrophotography shots.
Overall, the Google Pixel 4 offers some impressive new features, even if none of them feel totally groundbreaking. Up until now, the Pixel lineup has dominated regarding low-light shooting, and the enhanced Night Sight suggests that Google plans to keep running with this success.
The Google Pixel 4 is currently available for preorder starting at $799 USD and will hit the shelves on October 24.
You can check out this first look video from cnet to get more of an idea of the Google Pixel 4.
Are you interested in the Google Pixel 4? Let us know in the comments!