Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Google Could Be Bringing Back the Ultrawide Selfie Camera



The camera features of Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro just got detailed in a new report, just weeks before their anticipated launch. The Pixel 6’s camera is expected to be the best from Google so far, and a new report from XDA Developers that’s sourced to an internal, unreleased version of the Pixel 6’s Camera app sheds light on what the company could be bringing once these Pixels hit stores.

Google has already announced that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would come with a dual- and triple-camera set up respectively. These have been identified as likely to be a 50-megapixel Samsung GN1 wide lens and a 12MP Sony IMX386 ultrawide lens on both, with a 48MP Sony IMX586 telephoto lens coming to the Pixel 6 Pro only. Those would be substantial hardware improvements over the aging Sony IMX363 Google’s used for almost four years now.

XDA adds that the Pixel 6 Pro might have an ultrawide front-facing camera as well. This speculation comes from code in the Google Camera app that links the Pixel 6 Pro’s front-facing camera to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Both of those older Pixels came with ultrawide front-facing cameras. The Pixel 6 is not included in the code leak, meaning that it is likely to retain a regular wide camera.

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are also expected to get better video recording support, with Google adding audio zoom and support for Bluetooth microphones. All other features from older Pixels are expected to carry over as well.

Google’s Pixel has often won accolades on the strength of its cameras, but those have been carried by software and not its relatively middling hardware. But make no mistake: Google has already made it clear that we should expect software improvements on the Pixel 6 — and this leak adds to that. The company is expected to add support for manual white balance adjustment, a magic eraser mode, a baby mode, and a motion deblur. It’s not clear what the latter two features mean yet, though we can make an educated guess that the latter reduces blur when video recording moving people and objects.

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Some of these features have already been shown off to reporters at Google’s earlier soft launch of the Pixel 6, with the results reportedly being impressive. But the hardware of the Pixel 6 — if the leaks are true — also promises to be a significant improvement over what Google has shipped in the past. It could even rival the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, currently being hailed as the best smartphone cameras on the market. The Pixel 6 is expected to launch this fall, and we’ll have more coverage on it in the coming weeks.

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