While DxOMark isn’t infallible, it does offer some great insight into overall trends as technology evolves. DxOMark have just posted a great report on how far phone camera technology has come in the last six years since DxOMark started testing them. It’s not surprising that their numbers seem to marry up with real world experience, but it’s interesting to see just how quickly it’s all happened.
Google Pixel 2 is currently taking the first place on DxO’s list of best-rated smartphone cameras. It’s a single-lens camera, yet it offers the Portrait mode on both rear and front camera. This feature wasn’t available on earlier phones from Google, but now you can get it even on some older devices.
Developer Charles Chow has made the Portrait mode available for free, for the original Google Pixel phone, as well as Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone quickly dethroned the new iPhone 8 Plus once DxO Mark got their hands on it. And the reviewers so far seem to be giving it great praise, both as a camera and a phone. But how is the camera inside the Pixel 2 actually put together?
That’s what Nat of Nat and Friends wanted to find out. Being a Google employee, she has a little more access than most of us. So, in this video Nat takes us inside Google’s HQ to speak to engineers and find out more about how the camera’s development and working process.
Just days ago, iPhone 8 Plus took the first place on the DxO list, and then it shared the throne with Samsung Galaxy Note 8. But, according to DxO, Google Pixel 2 leaves both these phones behind. With the impressive overall score of 98, this now seems to be the best smartphone for “phoneography” there is, at least judging from DxO’s tests.
Vic Gundotra, Google’s former Senior Vice President, recently published quite a passionate praise of the iPhone 7’s camera. He didn’t just call it the killer of DSLR, but also pointed out advantages of the iOS over Android. Not something you’d expect from a former Google’s SVP, right?
It may be DXOMark’s highest scoring mobile device camera ever, but the Google Pixel is not without its photographic flaws. Quite a few users have reported getting flare or “halo effect” issues with their camera when it’s not even in the shot. The thing with lens flare, though, is that it’s a physical hardware issue. This is why DSLR and mirrorless lenses come with hoods. They block the light from entering the lens and reflecting inside the optics causing flare.
While Google acknowledge that the problem exists, and will be addressing it, they are combating this hardware problem with a software solution. The general idea will be that some algorithm will recognise the flare, and then mathematically subtract it from the image. So, it’s not really eliminating the flare, just faking its removal in software.
Google’s Pixel phone has received a lot of attention since it was announced just a few short weeks ago. This attention is most notably caused by its camera. After quite a boastful announcement, DxOMark gave it the highest score it’s ever given to a mobile device. There’s a little sample footage out there now, but not a lot of it shows off the true range of capabilities.
YouTubers Nat and Lo were given a pair of Google Pixel phones for a day to go and play with. And play they did. They tested many of the phone’s features on both the front facing 1080p and rear facing 4K cameras. They shot in bright outdoor and dark indoor conditions, and discovered a couple of very neat features.
Google is definitely giving apple a run for its money. Their new Pixel phone (formerly Nexus) just scored a full 89 on DXO’s mobile camera test. This is the highest score that a smartphone ever got on DXO.
It’s true the iPhone 7 Plus does have dual lenses and some pretty awesome features, but as far as camera quality, Google is setting a high bar. Not to say that the iPhone 7 scored badly, it scored 86 with a stellar review, but it is still 3 points short.