The Pixel 7 series is one of the most hyped phones of 2022, and for good reason. You probably already know that Pixel phones are known for their stock Android experience and excellent computational photography.
With the Pixel 7 lineup, Google has taken the latter to the next level thanks to the machine learning capabilities of the new Tensor G2 chip. If you’re planning to buy the phone, these are the top camera features you can use on your Pixel that improve your mobile photography experience.
1. Face Unblur
The Face Unblur feature is as simple as it is helpful. If you have a moving subject that you want to photograph, such as a drummer performing or your kids playing around, Face Unblur will detect their face and sharpen it to reduce the blur.
The Pixel does this by taking a shot from the ultrawide lens as well as the main lens and fusing both images together. The feature is very basic and not something you can’t already do in Photoshop, but what makes it noteworthy is how seamlessly it happens without you needing any design skills of your own.
2. Motion Mode
Motion Mode, in a way, is the opposite of Face Unblur. Instead of reducing blur, it aims to add “action” to your photos to make a subject appear as if it’s moving. It’s a fancy way of saying that it adds long exposure effects.
For instance, say you’re photographing moving traffic. With Motion Mode, the Pixel 7 will identify and blur the moving elements in the image, like the traffic, while keeping the static elements sharp, such as the traffic lights, nearby buildings, signage, and so on.
3. Magic Eraser
Magic Eraser is designed to help you get rid of undesirable elements from your photos. For instance, let’s say you’re photographing a street artist and a pedestrian walks into your shot. With Magic Eraser, you can remove that person from the image after taking it.
And it’s not just other people. You can remove all sorts of distractions from your photo such as vehicles, trash cans, posters, and more. You will find suggestions to remove these distractions in Google Photos. You can choose to remove them all at once or tap a single element to remove it.
4. Quick Tap to Snap
Quick Tap to Snap is a feature made specifically for Snapchat users to quickly access the Snapchat camera from the Pixel’s lock screen and take a shot without having to actually open the app. To activate it, simply double-tap on the back of your Pixel device.
It’s surely an odd decision to have a third-party social media platform’s feature baked directly into the phone. It’s somewhat similar to how Samsung put a dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 to push you to use it.
Instead, we would have liked it better if the double-tap action was customizable to open whatever app or feature you want it to. You could program the action to open WhatsApp, the weather app, or even the flashlight.
5. Photo Unblur
Photo Unblur is one of the new camera features Google announced during the launch of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. It’s similar to Face Unblur, but instead of deblurring only your face while taking the shot, it deblurs any old saved image you may have in your gallery regardless of which phone you took it from.
Again, this is not something you can’t already do in Photoshop, but it’s the convenience of fixing your photos with a single tap that makes this feature so useful.
6. Cinematic Blur
Cinematic Blur is another new camera feature, and it does exactly what it sounds like: helps you record videos with a shallow depth of field to simulate the look of a professional camera. It’s the same as the Cinematic mode feature on the iPhone, but just with Google’s image algorithms instead.
7. Super Res Zoom
Super Res Zoom isn’t a new feature on the Pixel, but it’s made much better on the Pixel 7 series. At 2x magnification, it uses and crops into the 50MP main camera to give you a full-size 12.5MP photo. For context, a regular shot from the main camera gives a 12.5MP photo as well thanks to pixel binning technology.
At magnifications between 2x and 5x, the feature combines images from the 50MP main camera and the 48MP telephoto camera (exclusive to the Pixel 7 Pro) to essentially retain the best bits of both. And at 10x magnification and beyond, the feature crops into the telephoto camera to give you 12MP photos.
Basically, you’re getting near optical quality photos at 2x, 5x, and 10x. You can go as far as 30x using hybrid zoom if you’re okay with losing image quality.
8. Guided Frame
Guided Frame is a new camera accessibility feature designed specifically for people with visual impairments and helps them take selfies without having to rely on someone else.
It works by mapping the viewfinder to see the position and angle of your face and then guides you via audio instructions on how to change them so you can get the best shot. Once you do so, the phone automatically takes the shot without you having to tap the shutter button and informs you that the photo has been taken.
The Pixel 7 series has the most helpful camera system, if not the best one. Granted, some of its camera features are not new to the industry and are certainly not something you can’t already do by yourself using other software tools, but it’s their ease of use and seamlessness that nudges you to try them out.
Now, whether these features alone make the device a good purchase depends entirely on you and how often you come across these problems whenever taking photos. But given how much people care about the camera on their phones, the Pixel 7 seems like a solid upgrade.