Google Pixel 3 camera (and all the computational photography involved) is phenomenal.
1. Buttery smooth camera
The Google 3 Pixel is a phenomenal camera.
If you want a camera which takes really great pictures, regardless of the lighting situation, the Google Pixel 3 is a home run.
Camera is buttery smooth. No perceivable lag. I really like the sound of the shutter, and it just works very well.
Most photos out of camera don’t require post processing or filters. Applying filters makes the photos look better.
2. Google Photos works very well with Pixel 3
Something that nobody really talks about:
Google Photos is pretty awesome.
It works very well with the Pixel 3. I really enjoy using it to post process and edit my photos. Furthermore, now that I can “favorite” my photos, it is easy to keep everything synced.
When I favorite a picture with the star:
Favorites folder in Google Photos:
3. Fine-tuned post processing
To post process the above photo, these are some settings I used.
This is the original photo:
The flash works quite well. This is a picture inside a toaster, then processed with the Vista filter.
Tip: shoot photos on your phone with flash, then process the photos in monochrome after to make nicer photos.
5. Exposure compensation
Using minus exposure compensation on Pixel 3 works very well. It is very delicate and captures light beautifully.
However the UI is bad: when you tap the image to change the exposure, the exposure dial is all the way to the right side! Too far to operate single-handedly!
Even worse, when you shoot horizontal (landscape) pictures, the exposure compensation is all the way at the top, and scrolls the opposite direction for compensation???
Regardless, the camera light sensing powers are strong for dynamic range:
6. Strong dynamic range
With the built-in Google HDR+ mode, the dynamic range in this thing is phenomenal.
Even in the most difficult lighting situations, it captured everything well in the scene!
7. Focus tracking
By default, when you tap on something to focus on it, the focus sticks to it. This works very well.
8. Unlimited storage
It is cool if you have the Pixel 3, you have unlimited full resolution storage with Google photos. Big plus.
Colors look fantastic. Not too saturated. No blown highlights. Processes well with VSCO A6 preset.
A6 preset best for color:
This is my only gripe with the Google Pixel 3 camera:
It is a really phenomenal camera, yet the user interface is very confusing, unintuitive, and you cannot customize it.
For example, some of the icons don’t really make intuitive sense.
Suggestion 1: Change the magnifying button zoom icon with an exposure compensation dial
Exposure compensation more useful for photographers than zoom. All users know the gesture of pinching to zoom now:
2. Make the night sight mode more prominent
Night sight (ability to shoot in near pitch dark situations) is very good. Make this more prominent on the bottom menu.
3. Have ability to apply filters while you’re shooting photos
Google Photos has awesome filters. What if we could apply filters while we are shooting, like iPhone, or Samsung phones?
4. Ability to change the functions on top of the camera
These dials on top of the camera should be able to be changed.
- Phenomenal camera. If you want the best Android smartphone camera, the Google Pixel 3 is the best.
- I haven’t shot with the iPhone Xs yet; I’ll do a comparison later. But my gut says that Pixel 3 (with HDR+ and the computational photography technology makes for better image quality, yet the simpler UI and ecosystem of iPhone and ios is probably superior, and makes the iPhone a better “everyday” phone and camera).
- Google needs to change the UI for their Pixel camera; make it more intuitive, ability to customize.
- Use Google Photos “Vista” filter for monochrome, and process the photos in the app too!
- Shoot more with flash, it works well for photos. Same goes with shooting more photos with exposure compensation.
To sum up, the smartphone camera is extremely strong and powerful. The more I think about it, the phone is the ultimate camera.
Democratization of photography
This is good for photography; more innovation will happen with smartphones and photography. Lots of new innovations in the computational photography space.
Moving forward, your strength and skill as a photographer is less and less dependent on your gear, more dependent on your artistic vision and ability to compose beautiful photos.
JUST SHOOT IT.