Google Pixel phone 7 Pro vs. 6 Pro Best Camera Shootout: How Much Changed in 2022?

Google Pixel phone 7 Pro

Another Google Pixel phone, another year. The Pixel 6 line from last year truly changed the series by bringing a brand-new look, while the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are iterative improvements. Given how great the Pixel 6 Pro is, this is in no way a bad thing. Google took that phone and modified its design, added a speedier processor, and enhanced certain features of its cameras.

The upgraded cameras are probably what people will notice the most. Unsurprisingly, I compared the cameras of the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro and discovered that they are similar. In fact, the images from both phones look the same if you’re just looking at simple shots taken during the day. The 7 Pro’s various zoom settings and low-light shooting have been improved, though.

The standard daylight images would normally be where I’d start a comparison like this, but because they’re essentially the same on both, I’ve saved them for last. You may see a comparison between the Pixel 7 Pro and Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro, a device that takes photography in a very different direction, here.

The Pixel 7 Pro takes crisper portrait photos.

Polarizing opinions exist regarding Pixel phone portrait mode photos. Computational photography, or the use of software to edit photos after they have been taken, is heavily utilized in Google’s smartphones. Since phones are taught to discern and magnify textures, portrait photographs are always highly detailed — sometimes too detailed.

The Pixel 7 Pro treats portraits similarly, but with a few minor adjustments. The Pixel 6 Pro automatically photographs portraits with a wider aperture, producing a shallower depth-of-field look. This is the largest difference I saw. You can see how blurry the fence is in the picture taken with the 6 Pro in the next images of my friend Added. In contrast to the image taken by the 7 Pro, Adel’s face likewise appears undersaturated.

When contrasting these images of Chris, you can observe the same deeper blur. If you look closely, you can see that the edge detection on the 7 Pro was just a tiny bit better at identifying the boundary between Chris’ hair and the background.

I discovered that the Pixel 7 Pro handled the difficult lighting conditions (a downlight shining directly down on James’ face) better in these shots of James. If you look closely, you can see that James’ face has deeper shadows in the Pixel 6 Pro version of the image, but there isn’t much of a difference.

These minute variations are also present in the selfie camera, which I actually discovered to be slightly more reliable on the Pixel 7 Pro. The selfie camera on the Pixel 6 Pro enforces a considerably heavier blur in the images below, just like with regular portraits. Similar to Addel’s example above, the saturation in the Pixel 7 Pro’s photo is superior; I noticed less glare and slightly more color in my skin in multiple images.

Focus on the adjustments to the Pixel 7 Pro

Once we start zooming in or out, several noticeable variances between pixels become visible. The new tele camera on the Pixel 7 Pro makes a difference that becomes more noticeable the more you zoom. This is accurate in terms of both quality and capability: The Pixel 6 Pro’s maximum magnification is 20x, compared to the Pixel 7 Pro’s maximum of 30x.

Start with a 3x magnification and you’ll start to notice some little variations, like in the photographs below. The rocks are a little brighter and, more crucially, the shadows in the shrubs on the upper left are deeper in the picture taken with the 7 Pro due to a slightly higher dynamic range. (This will come up once more when taking photos in low light.) However, the image you are seeing is essentially the same at first appearance.

The advantages of the Pixel 7 Pro are more noticeable when magnified. I initially believed the animal in the photographs below to be some kind of strange creature, but it turned out to be a rat. The image of our mouse friend is slightly sharper in the image from the 7 Pro, but the lack of contrast in the image from the Pixel 6 Pro is more obvious. In contrast, it appears drab.

The Pixel 6 Pro continues to produce bizarre results in its images as it increasingly uses software to zoom out. Take note of the cyan color in the photo taken by the Pixel 6 Pro below. On both phones, the ship was captured at a 10x magnification. The image from the Pixel 7 Pro is gorgeous, but the image from the Pixel 6 Pro appears to have been altered.

These images of the bird, which kindly remained motionless for both shots below, may best illustrate the differences in zoom levels. The grass at the top of the shot, which was taken at a 20x zoom, demonstrates how the Pixel 6 Pro simply wasn’t able to collect enough data, leading to some obvious disintegration.

Wider ultrawide on the Pixel 7 Pro

Google improved the Pixel line’s ultra wide-angle camera to take wider pictures. Even before you take a picture, you’ll notice a difference. The ultra-wide option on the 6 Pro is denoted with a “0.7” zoom. The zoom level on the Pixel 7 Pro is “0.5”.

Observe how much more of the building on the left is visible in the photo taken by the Pixel 7 Pro in the example below.

The dock in the images below was photographed from the same angle, but the Pixel 7 Pro’s image appears to have been taken one step backward. In addition to having a larger field of view, the Pixel 7 Pro also captured highlights that the Pixel 6 Pro missed, as seen in the clouds and the walkway’s the left side.

The more modest Night Sight on the Pixel 7 Pro

I just ran into a problem when comparing the cameras of the Pixel 6 Pro with the iPhone 14 Pro. The 6 Pro employs software to make an image appear as light as possible, in contrast to the iPhone, which aims to capture something that closely resembles what the eye sees. I thought the iPhone’s method was better, but I could see how someone may contend that the Pixel’s pictures were better since they captured more detail.

Google Pixel phone 6 Pro

Instead of increasing the number of algorithmic adjustments, the Pixel 7 Pro permits certain shadows to appear in its nighttime pictures. Better dynamic range and, in my opinion, better-looking nighttime images are the end result.

Consider the dimly lit pictures below, which were captured without Night Sight switched on. The Pixel 6 Pro employs its cunning to capture more of the vegetation in front of the bay. The issue is that the vegetation gives off a busy impression and detracts attention from the ships bobbing in the sea. The quantity of data is more important than the quality here. Also take note of how the vessel lights, which serve as the highlights in the Pixel 6 Pro image, are on the verge of going completely blown out.

The same thing happens when Night Sight is turned on. Compared to the Pixel 7 Pro, the Night Sight on the 6 Pro will by default take longer to take a picture, increasing exposure and brightness. Observe how the 7 Pro allows for more darkness by the bushes on the left in the bay photos below, in contrast to how the Pixel 6 Pro is forced to brighten that area. Brighter photos are produced, but they are also flattering and have less dynamic range.

The pictures following tell the same tale. The Pixel 6 Pro has worked overtime to brighten the borders of the image because these pictures were taken in a dimly lit environment. The 7 Pro, on the other hand, is more concerned with maximizing the light that the boats on the bay produce. As you can see from the twigs on the bottom left, the 6 Pro wins in terms of overall lighting, but the Pro takes nicer pictures.

The case that follows is less extreme, yet it still serves as an example. Both phones have some light to work with because this building was photographed from a better-lit road. However, if you focus on the bricks on the bottom half, you’ll notice that despite being darker, the image from the Pixel 7 Pro is crisper and has less noise.

Final comments on Pixel 6 Pro vs. Pixel 7 Pro

Let’s look at some photos taken with the two phones in well-lit settings before we wrap up. Given how similar these pictures are to one another, there isn’t much to say about them.

Macro photography is one classic photographic genre where the Pixel 7 Pro outperforms its predecessor. I felt that the 7 Pro better foregrounded close-up images since it had a better dynamic range or deeper shadows. When compared to the image from the Pixel 7 Pro, the image from the 6 Pro has a distractingly lighter green, which is noticeable.

In terms of look, performance, and camera quality, the Pixel 7 Pro is an incremental improvement over the Pixel 6 Pro. There is no doubt that the camera on the Pixel 7 Pro is superior, but the real question is by how much, or rather, whether it merits an upgrade. Although great, improved zoom and low-light photos won’t convince any Pixel 6 Pro user to upgrade to a Pixel 7 Pro right away.

Anyone using an earlier Pixel or any other Android phone, though, will value the upgrades. There are many desirable features but no game-changing application.


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