One of my favorite features on the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL was their telephoto camera lenses. Although they lacked the extended range you’d find on phones like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the effective 2x zoom factor combined with Google’s Super Race Zoom AI made the Pixel 4’s maximum digital zoom usable at 8x. You do not need to take my word for it. Here are two photos, one taken by my Pixel 4 XL, and one by 5 pixels, at 7x (Pixel 5 max at this zoom factor).
The results speak for themselves. Pixel 4 XL picture is not correct – not even close. But it is usable for something like social media or snack a piece of Farve text well to maintain legibility. As someone who occasionally uses my smartphone to take photos for fun, the zoom is an incredibly important feature: it allows for a more creative and dramatic framing of your subject, and in fact allows it To make the photo the focus.
Croping is a great way to get similar results on something like my Fuji X-T3 when I can’t get close enough, but the sensor in it is several times larger, and uses far more powerful optics. Like carving an idol out of marble, it’s a matter of raw material – when working with a full-size, original quality file from my mirrorless camera, I’ve got a huge hunk to look at the photo. Working with a few shots on a smartphone, even a photo shot on a modest 2 or 3x digital zoom has no margin for error. I can’t get away with anything, which means all the “carving” has to be on camera.
A separate lens with optical zoom does not completely solve the problem, but it gives me a lot more opportunities to succeed when I’m trying to take a shot. In 2x, I have found that the Pixel 5 takes perfectly good pictures. Super race zoom does its job. At 3x, they are usable (just don’t look too closely). At 4x and above, however, all bets are closed. The softness of the details begins to occur, as Google’s AI emerges from the cosmic marble from which to extract the necessary details. However, Pixel 4 has the stone to work with twice, and it makes a big difference. Take a look at this example where I have tightly cut 7x shots from both phones. I do not need to tell you which one.
Not everyone uses their cameras the same way, and I understand that. Ultrasound lenses are great for group photographs, producing interior shots, capturing action-oriented video, and more obscure style content. They too can only be fun and artistic. but for mostly people, These are not day-to-day things. On the other hand, I cannot count the number of museums, parks and tourist spots where I desperately try to capture someone by zooming into my phone’s camera. It’s a real thing that happens, and I know that many of you may remember the days of telling your old relatives not to use digital zoom on their point-and-shoots, because that’s all We had a direct crop, without Facebook, today we have supersampling or processing.
Ideally, Google could have a telephoto sensor from the Pixel 4 And Similar to the configuration on iPhones of Apple’s Pro series, an Ultravide was added. Instead, however, it took a purposefully useful part of the phone’s camera functionality, replacing it in something that is not as useful in most situations, if not without utility. And that’s a bum. Here’s hoping that they come to their senses and bring it back with Pixel 6.