Pixel 2 advanced camera features: don't hold your breath

The Google Pixel 2 is currently rated as the top camera phone on DxOMark's list. And while user testimonies have mostly confirmed that, it is far from perfect. There are only so many things that can be done by software and, even then, Google has put its foot down on some less popular choices. If you're hoping Google will change its tune soon, at least when it comes to 4K 60 fps recording and advanced controls, better face the bitter reality: not gonna happen.

Smartphones are being touted these days to be close to having DSLR-quality output. They will probably never match them entirely because of space constraints and the manual controls dedicated cameras offer. For the latter, phone makers try to compensate by providing software equivalents of manual controls in their camera apps.

The Pixel 2 camera app has no such options and might never have, despite being one of the most requested features. Google believes that offering individual controls for separate camera settings, aside from not being phone-friendly, doesn't necessarily result in better shots. It is, to some extent, Google's way of saying that its machine learning algorithms, which permeates its camera functionality, has better photography chops than most humans.

In some cases, Google's hands are tied behind their backs by their hardware choices. Recording 4K video at 60 fps, for example, may have more to do with the processor than the software. Indeed, Google is open to adding that feature in future products, not the Pixel 2. In some cases, Google relied more on its own expertise, like in boosting brightness when taking 4K photos in low light, resulting in some visible noise. The alternative was to have less noisy but darker photos, and Google thinks you think worse of that.

If you think that activating the VisualCore processor would change the status quo, think again. That feature is only meant to let third parties take advantage of the HDR+ feature, and nothing else. With the Pixel 2, you are pretty much locked into how Google thinks Android phones should be, and how the camera app should work. And if you want to take advantage of all the features that make the Pixel 2 the best phone camera in town, you probably don't have much choice anyway.

VIA: Gadgets 360