Google at the top of photo and video with a Pixel 7 Pro at a good price

Google at the top of photo and video with a Pixel 7 Pro at a good price

After Apple and its new iPhone 14, it is Google’s turn to take the lead. The manufacturer launches its Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro this Thursday, October 13. These two new smartphones remarkably promise significant improvements in the quality of your photos and videos. To check, 20 minutes was able to test the 7 Pro, whose price is unchanged from the Pixel 6 Pro launched a year ago.

Progress at the same price

From 899 euros (in its 128 GB version), the same price as the Pixel 6 Pro launched just a year ago. No doubt in an attempt to gain market share, Google does not increase the price of its Pixel 7 Pro and ignores the scarcity of components, parity with the dollar, transportation costs, the geopolitical context… The most advanced screen in 6.7 inches, IP68 device is offered at no additional cost. What Apple does for its iPhine 14 in the United States, but not in Europe. The new smartphones from the Apple firm see their prices shoot up by 110 euros (iPhone 14), 170 euros (iPhone 14 Pro) and 220 euros (iPhone Pro Max). So far the preamble.

More for the same price? Yes, because as we have seen, the Pixel 7 Pro does it better than its predecessor. Especially in photos*.

An anti-blur filter

If we find ourselves with the famous “Magic Eraser” of the 6 Pro to remove an annoying person or object from an image (with guaranteed success almost always), Google introduces the Anti-Blur function this time. As its name suggests, it greatly improves the sharpness of an image whose displayed blur would be anything but artistic. Here, the Pixel 7 Pro combines software processing, the computing power of its new internal Tensor G2 chip, but also machine learning.

We tested this feature several times, on slightly lost portraits. Incidentally, one should not necessarily expect a miracle, but it is true that the gain in sharpness is quite evident and saves a photo whose blur would be too pronounced. The good news is that you can also apply this Anti-Blur to photos that were not taken by the smartphone. Simply upload them to the Google Photos app and then apply the magic filter to them.

Macro photography think big

The Pixel 7 Pro’s ultra-wide lens now features autofocus. The key is the ability to take quite stunning macro photos. To do this, you should select “.5x” and get as close to your subject as possible, as long as focus can be achieved. This is a function that we find more and more in high-end smartphones, such as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, but also Oppo’s FindX 5 Pro or Samsung’s Galaxy S22.

A macro photo taken (ultra wide angle) with the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
A macro photo taken (ultra wide angle) with the Google Pixel 7 Pro. – Christophe Séfrin/20 Minutes

The results we got during our test favor the retina. Even if the level of detail of a real macro lens mounted on a hybrid or DSLR camera isn’t there, there is something to be seduced.

A super resolution zoom that amazes

The most impressive improvement comes from the zoom. Now 5x optical (up from 4x for the Pixel 6 pro) and up to 30x digital (up from 20x previously), the new Pixel knows how to get closer to its subject like no other. Thus, it is possible to gradually go from ultra wide angle (0.5x) to Super Res Zoom (or 30x super resolution zoom) and obtain quite amazing results, as these photos published by Google show. Various tests have allowed us to make the same observation…

Photo taken in San Francisco with the Google Pixel 7 Pro in ultra wide angle.
Photo taken in San Francisco with the Google Pixel 7 Pro in ultra wide angle. – Google
Photo taken in San Francisco with the Google Pixel 7 Pro with 30x digital zoom.
Photo taken in San Francisco with the Google Pixel 7 Pro with 30x digital zoom. – Google

Even if, at the strongest deployment of its digital zoom, the Pixel 7 Pro does not produce hyper-sharp photos (we see, for example, that the outlines of buildings are softened by software processing, we lose all depth…), This improvement expands the range of possibilities for taking photos outdoors, in nature and, above all, during trips. We now know that up to 15x, or even 20x, the photo taken will be quite acceptable to a non-experienced eye. some cameras bridge don’t do better

The video goes to the cinema.

The video** is not left out. A Cinematic mode makes its appearance. When filming, this allows you to focus part of the image on the fly, as shown in our “Tik Tech” video that illustrates this article. On the screen, all you have to do is put your index finger on a person or object you want to keep sharp and the rest of the image automatically blurs. This is the equivalent of the Bokeh effect (or “artistic blur behind the subject”) that we now know so well for portrait photos.

Featured on video by Apple on its iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max in 2021, Google’s cinematic mode seems more responsive to us, with no real latency between when you press a part of the image and the rest of the image blurs. There remains a great opportunity to very significantly improve your videos, to give them a cinematic stamp, modifying the depth of field at any time and obtaining beautiful effects. Be careful not to overuse it, though.

Google has often hammered it home: It’s not the number and sensitivity of the built-in sensors that make it possible to produce good images, but the computing power and capability of the software we develop behind it. Without a doubt, this new Pixel 7 Pro brings new proof of this and here we can salute the good work of the manufacturer that tries to ride on the success of its Pixel 6.

Six years after its first pixels, Google must now make its products better known, long limited to launches only in certain countries, and without the marketing power of Apple or Samsung. The manufacturer seems to want to change its strategy and wants to play in the big leagues. Technically, the Pixel 7 Pro is no longer presented as a simple challenger to the giants of the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S 22, but as a true rival at an ultra-competitive price.

* 50 megapixel rear sensors (wide angle / f1.85); 12 megapixels (ultra wide angle/f/2.2); 48 megapixels (telephoto / f / 3.5). 10.8 megapixel front sensor (f/2.2).

** Front and rear video recording up to 4K at 60fps.

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