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Pixel 8 series rumoured to feature staggered HDR

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The Pixel 8 is expected to be Google’s 2023 flagship smartphone, and while it won’t come out for about ten months, coding suggests that it’ll bring a new camera mode.

Spotted by developer Kuba Wojieciechowski, and reported by The Verge, Google’s Husky and Shiba phones, which we know as the codenames for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, will bring staggered HDR to their cameras.

Staggered HDR is a photography method where long exposure and short exposure are taken at the same time and then combined into one image. This creates HDR images faster and with better quality when the subject is in motion. Google’s current method is a bit different and called ‘HDR Plus Bracketing,’ which takes pictures in rapid succession and then creates a final image with a wide dynamic range. However, these result in poor motion images.

If this functionality is coming to the Pixel series, then we should expect the Pixel series to have new camera sensors in 2023. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro use the Samsung Isocell GN1, but this sensor doesn’t support staggered HDR. The Pixel 8 series, however, would need to feature the Samsung Isocell GN2, which does support staggered HDR. GN2 also provides better autofocus due to its improved phase section array.

However, the Pixel 8 series is almost a year away, so we’ll have many more leaks before we eventually see Google’s 2023 flagships.

Source: The Verge, Kuba Wojciechowski

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