The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro may feature significant camera enhancements. Google’s next pair of high-end smartphones will feature Samsung ISOCELL GN2 sensors, according to Android Authority leaker Kamila Wojciechowska, who has a soundtrack record when it comes to Pixel leaks. The Galaxy S22 and S23 share this sensor. Moreover, it is a notable improvement over the ISOCELL GN1 that Google has used since the Pixel 6. Physically larger and capable of capturing 35 percent more light than its antecedent, the GN2 is a superior performer in low-light conditions. In addition, it supports modern features such as 8K/30 fps video capture and Staggered HDR. The latter could be used by Google to reduce ghosting in HDR images.
According to Wojciechowska, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will both include the GN2. However, Google’s premier device will reportedly feature a few exclusive enhancements. The Pixel 8 Pro will include a new time-of-flight sensor that should enhance autofocus performance and a substantially more modern sensor for its ultra-wide camera. Google reportedly intends to replace the Pixel 7 Pro’s 12-megapixel IMX386 with the 64-megapixel Sony IMX787, the same sensor that powers the Pixel 7a’s primary camera. The former is nearly twice as large as its antecedent and should generate significantly superior images. Wojciechowska describes the Pixel 8 Pro version. The version that Google is presently evaluating does not include a macro mode, but that does not necessarily indicate that the final version will not include this function. The Pixel 8 will continue to use the IMX386 sensor, but a lens with a wider field of view may be available for those who wish to capture more of a scene at once. According to Wojciechowska, the portrait and telephoto cameras on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are identical to those on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. They note that the Pixel 8 Pro’s rumored thermometer sensor will not be used for photography.
Naturally, Google has planned software updates as well. Reportedly, the company will upgrade its camera app to enable Pixel users to determine the intensity of the bokeh effect when using “Cinematic” video mode. Moreover, a new “Adaptive torch” feature may dynamically modify the output of a phone’s light module to prevent images from being overexposed.
Google has a history of using the same camera sensor across multiple Pixel iterations, so it’s encouraging to hear that the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro may feature new, more capable camera hardware. With its computational software, Google has accomplished a great deal, but a camera sensor can only accommodate so many visual enhancements without being upgraded.