So you’ve just got yourself a new phone. It’s sealed, it’s fresh, it’s new, it’s the latest model out and you can’t wait to get it home, crack open the box and turn it on for the first time. But once it’s on, what’s the first thing you look at? Definitely the camera. You run around your house looking for things to take pictures of, probably your dog, or hamster, or cat or snake or whatever you’ve got, compare the quality to your old phone, and nine times out of 10 you’re happy and quite frankly, you’ve probably not changed any settings at this point.
But there are features within camera apps now on mobile phones, like the Google Pixel 7 Pro I’ve got here, that are designed to push that quality a little bit further. Sure, the default camera setting looks good, but what if your subject has a bit of background blur to really enhance that professional look, or you want to remove that annoying distraction from the background of your image? Well, you can. With some new quality features, and the addition of some AI capabilities thanks to the Tensor G2 chip, there’s a lot possible with the Google Pixel 7 Pro. In this video, I’m going to be running through my top five camera features on the Google Pixel 7 Pro that are sure to enhance and even give you some more passion to take more photos with your phone.
Before we take a look though, let’s run through the specifications you get with the camera on the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Around back you have three cameras. The first is a 50-megapixel, 25mm wide camera with an aperture of f/1.9. The second is a 48-megapixel, 120mm telephoto camera with an aperture of f/3.5 and finally your 12-megapixel 126-degree ultrawide camera with an aperture of f/2.2. So you’ve got a good selection there, but more on these when we discuss the specific features I’ve found are the best, as depending on the feature, there’s a bit of wizardry that goes into producing your images. Also to include here, the phone is also capable of filming at 4K 60 frames per second at its highest quality, and can also pull off some nice 1080p 240 frames per second slow motion too.
The selfie camera around the front is a 10.8-megapixel, 21mm ultrawide camera with an aperture of f/2.2 and is also capable of filming in up to 4K 60 frames per second, so there’s that too that we’ll be taking a look at in this video. Though of course, I’m not the biggest selfie taker, so the features here won’t make the cut, just being honest here. Some honourable mentions though, you do get your portrait mode for that blurry background, you can do a night sight selfie and also take advantage of the long exposure and action plan modes too. But we’re here to talk about what’s in front of you, the types of modes that’ll help you capture a scene.
First up is the Macro mode. Now, this is a little biased because I am a huge fan of macro photography and the different types of detail you can get from taking photos of things up close. Now the Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have a dedicated macro lens. Instead, what it does is use its ultrawide lens and some autofocusing to get the subject as sharp as possible. The minimum distance you can be from your subject is about three centimetres, so not too bad. Now most examples you see of macro photography are usually of the centre of a flower, and to be honest, I’ve not produced much different. I must say though, the results here are absolutely outstanding. I’ve put the Pixel 7 Pro up against a Sony A7RII with a dedicated 30mm macro lens, and the results when looking at them in person through the Pixel screen are amazing. Of course, if you’re blowing them up to large print sizes, the Sony image is going to win, but for photo-sharing apps like Instagram, you’ll get an amazing result! Following on I did take a couple of macro shots of some rusty scaffolding pipe and some wet rope and the quality here is unbelievable too. I also took a picture of my cereal. What a great macro camera on a phone. One of the best out there right now for sure.
Motion – Action Pan
This next favourite of mine is definitely a bit niche. Inside the camera app there is a mode called Action Pan, and the idea behind this is to capture a subject while in motion, so you have a nice blurry background and a subject in focus which represents speed in a way. This mode is definitely for situational purposes, like sports, or a cool action shot of your dog running about. But the effect when pulled off does work really well. During testing, we used a normal road car and tried two different speeds. I thought that by going faster, it would blur the background more. For the most part this is true, though the Pixel 7 Pro did have trouble keeping the car in focus. At 60mph, the car did blur somewhat, so it didn’t look as sharp in the frame. However, once we halved the speed, and kept the car at 30, the effect looked much better as more of the car was in focus.
There’s also a lot to be said about the actual subject colour and the background the phone is trying to separate it from too. The car looks quite good above because it is massively contrasted. The red against the green and blue and grey really stands out. However, when my neighbour’s cat came to visit, I tried it again, getting the cat to chase a toy around the garden, but because the cat is grey, and the background was darker, the AI of the phone couldn’t really differentiate between subject and background. So while yes, this is a really cool feature with the new Google Pixel 7 Pro’s camera, it does really depend on the speed of the subject and the colour between the subject and background. Unless I’m just a really bad photographer and my framing skills just aren’t that good.
The Big Ole Zoom
I know it’s pretty much the most basic of functions on the new Pixel 7 Pro’s camera, but seeing this feature in person, I was incredibly impressed at how well this phone held its quality at the top end. The magic here is the fact the Google Pixel 7 Pro has two cameras, one 50-megapixel wide and a 48-megapixel telephoto, and the fact the camera uses the centre 12-megapixels of the sensor to achieve a higher quality image at a zoomed-in state. The camera has several increments that you can select, from 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x. Then from here you can pinch to zoom to get right up to 30x. And once you’re fully at the max zoom, the pictures that come out of the camera are actually pretty decent. I’ve got no complaints about them here. Sure they’re not as sharp as say a DSLR with some 400mm telephoto lens, but it’s a phone, what do you expect at the end of the day really?
Okay, I’m a sucker for slow motion. I think I’ve got to thank the Slowmo Guys here on YouTube for that. Now although I can’t afford my own proper 10,000fps camera like they’ve got, I can however use my Pixel 7 Pro to get close… kinda. The phone can shoot at a maximum frame rate of 240 frames-per-second which isn’t enough to really stop the action, but it’s certainly enough to dramatise it. I kept it pretty simple. I used some milk flowing into a coffee, I poured some cereal into my bowl and splashed it with milk and I fizzed up a can of drink and it all looked pretty special.
The final feature I want to talk about is the Pixel 7 Pro’s image stabilization capabilities, which come in four forms: Standard, for light movement. Locked, for far away still shots, like if you’re filming a scene. Active, for a lot of movement like if you’re running around chasing a subject, and even a smooth Cinematic Pan, which will be great for establishing shots or even some b-roll when making YouTube videos. With all of these, it offers a smooth way to capture footage and reminds me of the type of footage you could get from a GoPro or similar action camera.
So there you go. Five features on the camera of the new Google Pixel 7 Pro that I personally think are some of the best features available. What are some of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below. And if you like this video, make sure to subscribe as we’ve got some great Google Pixel 7 videos coming up real soon and you’re not going to want to miss those!