Google finally opens up Visual Core chip for HDR+ to third party apps on the Pixel 2

Nov 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Google finally opens up Visual Core chip for HDR+ to third party apps on the Pixel 2

Nov 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Google have now announced the availability of the final Developer Preview of Android 8.1. While the finalised version won’t roll out until December, the new preview features “near-final” system images. The new preview actives the Pixel Visual Core chipset in both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL.

Essentially, this is an 8 core system on chip (SOC) which can run three trillion operations per second. Android Central reports that Google’s HDR+ routines will be five times faster using less than a tenth of the energy over using the standard image processor. This means better dynamic range and reduced noise through computational imaging.

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL have had the Pixel Visual Core all along, but it’s not been activated. The software simply wasn’t ready. Now it’s pretty much there.

As well as providing this support for Google’s native camera app, Google are now opening up HDR+ to 3rd party developers. This means all of your favourite custom camera apps will benefit from it, too, assuming the developers choose to take advantage.

If you want to try it out now, you’ll have to sign up here. Or, you can just wait for the final release in December.

[Google via GSM Arena]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Google finally opens up Visual Core chip for HDR+ to third party apps on the Pixel 2”

  1. Batman Avatar
    Batman

    For the price of the freakin Pixel 2, I’d buy a decent DSLR and I will make WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better pictures than with a freakin damn phone … fo freak’ sake …

    1. Mile High Packer Avatar
      Mile High Packer

      You miss the point. The best camera is the camera you have on you.

      I don’t carry my DSLR with me everywhere I go. It serves a purpose, and takes wonderful photos when I choose to carry a bulky DSLR. My phone on the other hand, I usually do have on me.

      If you are going to buy an expensive flagship phone, be it Apple, Samsung or Google, one with a nice camera (no it’s not a DSLR) is a big game changer. Most people are taking photos on their phone these days, so the more we can advance the technology the better. Google opening this up to 3rd parties means apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and other 3rd party camera apps can use features like portrait mode within the app itself.

      I’ve seen some stunning photos taken with the raw Google Pixel 2, i’d hate to miss the moment just because I wasn’t toting my DSLR around with me.

    2. ylai Avatar
      ylai

      And you still would have to buy a smartphone to upload/share, because system camera manufacturers refuses to this day to outfit them with integrated cell modems, even in the flagship models. 4G/LTE modules these days only cost ~ $50, but even a $5k camera will nickel and dime you out of this functionality.