The Pixel 6's camera will feature larger image sensors and smarter photo editing AI

The Pro will even offer a 48MP telephoto option.

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Andrew Tarantola
October 19, 2021 1:11 PM
In this article: news, gear, Pixel, Google, camera, Pixel 6 event, AI
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The Pixel 6 smartphone has finally been unveiled. On Tuesday, Google explained what sorts of cameras and image capture systems the new handsets will offer when they go on sale October 28th. 

Both the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will come equipped with a 50-megapixel Octa PD Quad Bayer wide camera (the base 6 will additionally feature 7x Super Res Zoom) as well as a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera. Their new 1/1.3 inch rear sensors reportedly capture up to 150 percent more light than the Pixel 5. The 6 Pro will also sport a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with 4x optical and 20x Super Res Zoom functionality. Around front, the base 6 will offer an 8-megapixel camera while the 6 Pro gets a 12-megapixel camera. 

Both models can capture video in 1080p and 4K (at either 30 or 60 FPS) with their rear cameras, as well as 240 FPS slo-mo. The 6 Pro's front camera can record at both 1080p (30 and 60 FPS) or in 4K at 30 FPS. The base 6's front however can only record at 1080p resolution at 30 FPS.

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Editing photos should be a much more streamlined process than with past models, thanks to the Pixel 6's Tensor SOC integration. Users will be able to leverage the Magic Eraser which can quickly and seamlessly remove random objects and even people from the background of shots. What's really cool is that Magic Eraser will work on any photo you have, whether you just captured it using the Pixel 6 or dug it out of your Google Photos archive. The system will automatically recommend distractions to remove from your shots, though you can just as easily manually circle items that you want erased. 

Another cool feature is Face Unblurring. The camera is already automatically scanning for faces in the scene you're pointing it at, using Face SSD (single-shot detector). If it detects one that is blurry, the Pixel will activate a second camera so that you'll actually take two photos with the press of the shutter button — a short exposure from from the ultra-wide and a standard exposure from the main. Machine learning then stitches the sharper face captured by the ultra-wide onto the image captured by the main to create a clear hybrid image. 

The Pixel 6 can also intentionally increase blur through Motion Mode (using the same basic technique as Face Unblur but working in reverse) by first taking multiple shots of a scene, then identifying the subject of the photo via machine learning and computational photography techniques and applying aesthetic blurring effects to the parts that are in motion, while keeping the static aspects crisp and sharp. Best of all, these features will extend to any first- or third-party app that relies on the Pixel 6's camera, such as Snapchat.

Catch up on all the latest news from Google's Pixel 6 event!

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The Pixel 6's camera will feature larger image sensors and smarter photo editing AI