Google Pixel 8 Rumored to Feature New Camera Hardware for Improved HDR Performance

The Pixel phones are very well known for their powerful cameras. Even the recent Pixel 7 Pro was very well received, with reviewers specially praising the phone’s camera performance. While it is not yet clear what Google has planned for the camera technology in their next Pixel phone, a recent leak suggests that there may be some changes to the hardware.

According to well-known tipster and developer, Kuba Wojciechowski, the upcoming Pixel 8 might feature support for staggered HDR. Wojciechowski examined the codebase of the Google Camera Go app and found references pointing to the new HDR feature. 

Camera sensors with support for staggered HDR have just been released last year, for example the Samsung GN2 sensor used by flagships phones such as the Mi 11 Ultra. This also means the Pixel 8 could ship with a different primary camera sensor, as the Samsung GN1 seen on both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 series, lacks support for staggered HDR. 

What is staggered HDR?

Samsung Staggered HDR Presentation

Essentially, Staggered HDR is a method used to capture a wider range of brightness levels in a single photograph. This is achieved by taking multiple exposures of the same scene at different exposures and combining them into a single image.

The resulting photograph has increased detail in both the highlights and shadows, creating a more realistic and dynamic image. This technique is useful in situations where the range of brightness in the scene exceeds the capabilities of a single exposure to capture adequately.

Although, one potential drawback of staggered HDR is that it can take longer to capture and process the multiple exposures needed to create the final image. This can be challenging in fast-moving or unpredictable situations where it may be difficult to quickly get the required exposures. These images can also be more challenging to edit, and post-process compared to single-exposure images, because the multiple exposures must be carefully balanced and blended to create the final image. 

The Pixel 8 series is expected to have a new camera sensor that should impress fans, but it may not necessarily result in a significant improvement in HDR performance. This is because the Pixel 7 phones already produce high-quality photos with HDR. However, using staggered HDR could lead to more consistent camera performance across a variety of scenes and settings.


Indranil Chowdhury

Indranil is a Med school student and an avid gamer. He puts his absolute faith in Lord Gaben and loves to write. Crazy about the Witcher lore, he plays soccer too. When not playing games or writing, you can find him on 9gag spreading the Pcmasterrace propaganda.
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