Google Pixel 3 has been launched, and the rumors and leaks were true: despite the rising number of dual, triple and even quintuple smartphone cameras, Pixel 3 has a single camera on the back. However, it relies heavily on Google’s AI, promising to make high-quality pictures even with a single lens. And if you want a dual camera, you can have that too – it’s on the front.
I took the photo just down there from the deck of the ferry that took me from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand. My camera was in my lap and in one split second, everything came together to create that image. It looks almost as if I’ve shopped in the cruise liner, doesn’t it? I was travelling alone, and minding my own business, but two older couples struck up a conversation with me.
It was the camera that they noticed. We spoke about all sorts, but what I recall specifically from the conversation was one of women mentioning that she’d tried to have one of her photos printed by an online print company in New Zealand, but hadn’t been able to manage it. Whenever she uploaded it, the image was red-flagged for being too small. She wasn’t really sure what she was doing wrong, or what size her image needed to be so that she could print it.
Almost five years on from that February day and it occurs to me that between ppi, dpi, pixels, and megapixels, people are probably still confused by minimum image sizes for printing. This is especially so, given that smartphone photos are regularly saved at 72ppi, but printers prefer 300ppi. I decided, therefore, to go straight to the printers’ works and ask a selection of companies what their preferred sizes were for printing wall art (so that’s canvas or acrylic or any other type of medium that you hang on your wall) sized 20 by 30cm (8″ by 10″, roughly A4) and 40 by 60cm (20″ by 24″, roughly A2). Here’s what I learned.
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 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.
Quanta Image Sensor. Remember that name; it could be the new sensor type that will replace the CMOS in your current camera.
No need to worry though that the inventor of the CMOS will be forgotten, as professor Eric Fossum who invented it is also behind the development of the QIS.
Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering’s professor, along with Thayer PhD candidate Jiaju Ma, have been working on a new pixel for over three years and eventually would like to“have 1 billion pixels on the sensor and we’ll still keep the sensor the same size,” says the co-inventor.