Google Pixel 8 to feature a new primary camera sensor with staggered HDR support

Tudor Cibean

Posts: 177   +11
Rumor mill: Google Pixel phones are well-known for their computational photography prowess, and it seems that the company is not resting on its laurels. Developer Kuba Wojciechowski has discovered mentions of a new staggered HDR feature in the code of Google's camera app.

Current-gen Pixels use what Google calls HDR+ with Bracketing, a method that captures several short exposure shots before the shutter press and one long exposure after the shutter press. These frames are then merged using a proprietary algorithm, creating a high dynamic range image with reduced noise in darker areas and no clipped highlights.

Staggered HDR improves the time it takes to capture all the different exposures. Instead of taking short and long exposure shots in quick succession, the new technology allows the sensor to capture them simultaneously. This results in fewer artifacts caused by shaky hands or fast-moving subjects, such as children or pets.

Wojciechowski notes that the Samsung Isocell GN1 main camera sensor shared by the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series doesn't support staggered HDR, meaning that the feature won't be ported to older phones. This likely indicates that next-gen Pixels will ship with a new camera sensor. The Samsung Isocell GN2 would be a logical choice, as it supports the feature and brings other improvements, such as larger pixels that absorb more light and autofocus enhancements.

However, it should be some time before we see the new camera system in action. Google announced the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in October, so their successors are likely slated for launch next fall. The latest rumors hint that they'll ship with a new SoC, presumably Google's Tensor G3, with both models getting variants equipped with 12GB of RAM.

Lastly, Wojciechowski also found mentions of a "TangorPro" device in the code. Tangor is the codename of the upcoming Pixel Tablet, so it seems that Google is working on at least two tablets at the moment. The vanilla Pixel Tablet is confirmed to ship with a Tensor G2 chip and an 11-inch display, with someone recently attempting to sell a pre-release model on Facebook.

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Posts: 3,541   +3,307
I don't buy into all this "AI" stuff. Just as long as they continue to support RAW photos, I'll just use photoshop like I do on my d-slr. I like to post process the way I WANT the photo to look, not some over processed image.


Posts: 296   +172
Google is a multi-billion company with huge R&D and has had ~1% market share in mobile phones for years.

It's obvious that unless they do something impressive this isn't going to change. It would be nice if they could put a full frame sensor + ai + stability mechanism + low profile optical glass (if anamorphic even better) lens with x15 optical zoom in a beautiful mobile phone with oled 1080p screen (like sumsung's old kzoom but better) for under 700$.

And of course with at least with an expansion slot for sd card for 1+ terabyte extra storage locally. Now they put a tiny sensor + ai and say make do with the cloud. This as has been shown in practice doesn't work for more than 1%.