The Made by Google event saw the release of a host of new products. We the first ever Google Pixel Watch, plus the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro, as well as more teasers of the Google Pixel Tablet.
Nestled amongst the flurry of new products and improved features came one of the best updates to a camera phone in years. If it could stand up to the hype, the camera technology embedded in the Google Pixel 7 Pro looked set to redefine the standard for phone photography.
Now, the first user images are surfacing online. It succeeded.
Google Pixel 7 Pro camera
The main feature of the Google Pixel 7 Pro's camera is a software change that increases the quality of images taken under zoom. The images are re-mosaiced to remove grainy pixels, replacing them with appropriately coloured pixels from shots within same burst. The result, as seen in the image from Google's event below, is a high-quality, 12MP image, anywhere from 2x to 10x zoom.
Now, user images are surfacing online that showcase the cameras' quality in the real world. The results are staggering.
One Twitter user, Louis_CAD (opens in new tab), shared four images, all taken from the same location, with four different levels of zoom. Okay, at a push you might say that the final image at 30x zoom was a bit shaky. But it's slight – I've taken images with 5x zoom with much more hazing and doubling.
What's most incredible is the third image in the series, showing a close up of a skyscraper. It's well-detailed and relatively sharp. You'd say it was a good image, until you see just how far the subject is from that point. In the first two shots, that same skyscraper can be seen as an indistinct part of the skyline.
What Google has done is take something that every phone user will utilise and make it simultaneously brilliant and super simple to use. The result is a camera that looks superb across the spectrum of zoom.
Combine it with other software touches, like Real Tone, and the camera system starts to pack a serious punch. Another Twitter user, tech_that_out (opens in new tab), posted a thread of images that were treated by the Pixel 7 Pro's Photo Unblur functionality.
This enables the user to sharpen images that are blurry and regain more of the image. What's most appealing here is that even images which weren't taken on the Pixel 7 can be edited. The results, while not perfect, are much better than the blurred snaps, and can help to restore memories that are otherwise marred by imperfection.
The quality of this camera proves that it's not just about hardware specs. While the camera on the Pixel 7 is no slouch, it's not top-of-the-line either. But Google have made up for it with a superb software offering that goes above and beyond what we come to expect from a phone camera.
As we move forward, that's a theme I'd expect to see more of.