How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

Pixel 3 camera app
Simon Hill/Virtual Tendencies

If there’s one space the place smartphones have in point of fact progressed over the past couple of years, it’s pictures. Google’s Pixel 2 was once our reigning champion in the most efficient digital camera telephone class, so it’s now not sudden that the software that knocked it out of the highest spot was once its successor, the Pixel three.

Somebody fortunate sufficient to have a Pixel three or Pixel three XL has get entry to to the top of Google’s digital camera expertise, and will look ahead to glorious footage that may seize valuable reminiscences for posterity. But it surely by no means hurts to grasp extra, which is why we’ve got crafted this hands-on information that will help you get the most efficient from the Pixel three digital camera.

Digital camera specifications

For those who’re involved that the larger, dearer Pixel three XL could be extra succesful within the digital camera division, you needn’t be. The Pixel three and three XL have similar cameras back and front, so the whole lot we speak about right here applies to each smartphones.

The principle digital camera includes a unmarried lens rated at 12.2 megapixels. It has an f/1.eight aperture and enhance for segment detection and laser autofocus. There’s additionally enhance for HDR and optical picture stabilization (OIS). It will possibly document video at as much as 4K answer at 30 frames according to 2d (fps).

Round entrance, you’ll discover a dual-lens digital camera, with each lenses rated at eight megapixels. One has an f/1.eight aperture and the opposite is an ultrawide, 97-degree lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The front-facing digital camera can document video at as much as 1,080p at 30 fps.

Those specifications are underwhelming on paper, however Google’s secret sauce is its image-processing functions, partially powered by way of a unique chip that sits along the primary processor referred to as the Pixel Visible Core.

Getting began

Pixel 3 power button
Simon Hill/Virtual Tendencies

The digital camera icon can also be discovered on the backside correct of your house display by way of default, however there’s a solution to get entry to it briefly, despite the fact that the Pixel three’s display is off. You’ll be able to release the Pixel three digital camera from any place by way of tapping the facility button two times.

If this shortcut doesn’t give you the results you want, then move to Settings > Gadget > Gestures and faucet on Bounce to digital camera, then toggle it on.

You’ll be able to additionally use a gesture to briefly transfer between the front-facing digital camera and the primary digital camera, even though you wish to have to be within the digital camera app for this to paintings. A handy guide a rough double-twist of your wrist when the digital camera is open will have to transfer between back and front.

If this shortcut doesn’t give you the results you want, then move to Settings > Gadget > Gestures and faucet on Turn digital camera, then toggle it on.

The digital camera app

Pixel 3 camera app
Simon Hill/Virtual Tendencies

The Pixel three digital camera app is really easy to make use of. You’ll to find modes indexed alongside the ground underneath the viewfinder window while you grasp your Pixel three in portrait, and also you merely wish to swipe left or correct to choose them. In panorama, they’re at the right-hand aspect and also you swipe up and down to choose them. You’ll be able to transfer between back and front cameras the use of the 2 round arrow icons that seem subsequent to the massive shutter button. The remaining shot you took seems at the different aspect of the shutter button and you’ll faucet it to transport into the Pictures app.

On the best or left of the viewfinder window, there’s the timer, movement, the white stability, and the flash.

The timer is just right for snapping pictures, in particular workforce selfies robotically, because it will provide you with a couple of seconds to get the very best perspective. Movement captures a number of frames sooner than and after you snap a shot, like a brief video. It’s set to Auto by way of default, however you could wish to flip it on at all times. We’ll take a look at why within the Best Shot segment under.

As a result of footage are frequently tinted by way of the lights stipulations they’re taken in, Google’s synthetic intelligence (A.I.) units the white stability robotically to get the colours correct. We propose leaving this surroundings on auto. We most often flip the flash off because it doesn’t generally tend to get nice effects. The Pixel three additionally options a very good Night time Sight mode that we’ll get to in a second.

What’s HDR+?

HDR (prime dynamic vary) is just about ubiquitous in smartphones now, however on occasion it’s an not obligatory function you’ll flip off and on your self. With the Pixel three, it’s on at all times, so that you don’t wish to concern about it.

Top dynamic vary brings the power to seize vivid highlights with out blowing them out, but additionally pick out up on main points within the shadows. Whilst previously, digital camera telephones most often took footage that suffered from noise and coffee dynamic vary, Google discovered some way round the issue. HDR+ captures more than one pictures after which combines them to provide a unmarried picture this is a lot much less noisy and displays the entire element in each gentle and darkish spaces.

If you desire to exert handbook regulate over this, you’ll open the digital camera app and make a selection Extra > Settings > Complicated and toggle on HDR+ regulate. You’ll then see a brand new icon within the digital camera app, and you’ll alternate your HDR+ settings. You’ll be able to flip HDR+ on or off, however you’ll additionally make a selection HDR+ Enhanced. Whilst HDR+ Enhanced provides you with the most efficient imaginable digital camera output each and every time — together with spectacular white stability — it does take longer to snap a shot and procedure.

Make a selection the most efficient shot with Best Shot

Pixel 3 Top Shot
When you have Movement grew to become on, then you’re taking pictures a couple of frames sooner than and after you contact that shutter button, and the Best Shot function permits you to pick out the most efficient one after the reality. Open the photograph in query, faucet the 3 vertical dots on the best correct, then faucet Make a selection pictures. You’ll see a timeline with the entire to be had frames that have been captured, and you’ll slide thru them.

The unique shot will frequently be the most efficient high quality, however it’s nice so that you could make a choice some other body for those who simply overlooked the motion or somebody had their eyes closed. Search for white dots above the timeline to seek out advisable frames. Faucet Save replica on the best correct for those who to find one you prefer.

It’s tempting to depart this on at all times however take into account that Movement footage will soak up extra space than common footage.

use Movement Autofocus

Pixel 3 Motion Autofocus
Simon Hill/Virtual Tendencies

To not be at a loss for words with the Movement pictures we have been simply speaking about, Movement Autofocus lets you faucet on an issue and the digital camera will monitor it and stay it in center of attention, which is perfect for pets and kids who don’t at all times sit down nonetheless. You’ll be able to faucet to your matter within the viewfinder window to set the focal point on them and also you will have to see a small circle that remains with them whilst you or the topic strikes round. If you wish to forestall that specialize in the topic, merely faucet the small circle within the viewfinder. That is helpful for taking pictures video and monitoring a shifting matter.

use Portrait Mode

The Pixel three boasts some of the absolute best Portrait Modes round. It lets you take footage of other folks and different topics and follow a background blur for a powerful bokeh impact. To check out it out, merely swipe to Portrait within the digital camera app. It really works with the primary and front-facing cameras.

Google’s A.I. is extremely adept at making use of the blur to the proper spaces, however it doesn’t at all times get it correct. Every now and then it struggles with hairlines or complicated blended spaces the place intensity and distance are difficult to discern. Then again, it’s miles forward of lots of the pageant.

Pixel 3 Portrait Mode adjust
Each and every portrait photograph you are taking comprises the portrait shot with the blur carried out to the background and the unique shot. You’ll be able to faucet the thumbnails on the backside of the photograph to change between them.

You’ll be able to additionally modify the intensity, tweak the extent of blur, or even alternate the focus of the picture after taking the photograph. To do that, you wish to have to faucet the Edit icon on the backside, 2d from the left, after which faucet that very same icon once more to discover a Intensity slider. To regulate total intensity, you’ll slide it left and correct, however you’ll additionally faucet at the arrow on the correct to open separate sliders for Blur and Foreground blur. To modify your point of interest, merely faucet at the photograph the place you wish to have it to center of attention.

take wider selfies

It may be irritating making an attempt to slot in a large workforce of other folks while you’re taking a selfie, and there also are instances when you wish to have to get extra background right into a solo selfie. Google has a easy resolution. You probably have the front-facing digital camera open, you’ll see a easy slider on the backside. Slide to extend or lower the width of your view. You might have 3 widths to choose between.

Get nice low-light pictures with Night time Sight

Left: Night time Sight off, correct: Night time Sight on Julian Chokkattu/Virtual Tendencies

It may be difficult to seize just right footage in darkish environments, and the flash has a tendency to scrub out your matter, lose the background, and create glare or reflections, amongst different issues. Google’s resolution is known as Night time Sight. It extends the similar method that HDR+ employs by way of taking a number of pictures and sewing them in combination to dramatically spice up brightness and colour.

You’ll be able to to find Night time Sight within the Extra segment of the digital camera app, however you will have to additionally get a pop-up message that implies when it’s suitable. It’s essential to take a look at and keep very nonetheless when taking a Night time Sight shot as it’s taking pictures more than one pictures. It really works with the front-facing and the primary digital camera and the effects are spectacular. It really works absolute best in particular stipulations, so that you’ll wish to steer clear of the use of it to seize a shifting matter.

use Tremendous Res Zoom

Pixel 3 Super Res Zoom
Simon Hill/Virtual Tendencies

You’ll be able to zoom in on topics together with your Pixel three and get lovely first rate pictures, even with out a telephoto lens, because of the Tremendous Res Zoom function. Search for a small magnifying glass icon on the backside or best correct of the viewfinder window within the digital camera app while you’re the use of the primary digital camera (this doesn’t paintings for the front-facing digital camera).  Faucet in this icon to open the zoom slider.

It’s additionally imaginable to zoom in by way of touching the display with two palms and sliding them aside. Slide them in combination once more to zoom out. On the other hand, you’ll double-tap the display to zoom out and in.

There may be one different solution to regulate the zoom. If you choose Extra > Settings within the digital camera app, then faucet Gestures, you’ll to find the method to set the Quantity key as a zoom regulate.

save RAW photographs

Left: RAW unedited, correct: RAW edited Julian Chokkattu/Virtual Tendencies

For those who’re a qualified photographer, otherwise you simply need extra regulate over modifying your photographs, then you’ll be sure that the Pixel three captures each RAW and JPEG codecs. Swipe alongside and faucet Extra within the digital camera app, then Settings > Complicated and toggle on RAW+JPEG regulate. You’ll be able to now to find RAW photographs in a separate folder, however bear in mind that every photograph will now soak up much more house. The sunflowers photograph above displays what you’ll succeed in by way of modifying RAW footage.

Now you’re in a position to head out and seize surprising pictures together with your Pixel three or Pixel three XL.

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