The Google Pixel 8 digital camera may get a brand new HDR method

The Pixel 8 is an extended methods off, however some snippets of digital camera app code recognized by developer Kuba Wojciechowski are giving us an early glimpse into what Google may be planning. The code in query refers to “staggered HDR,” which isn’t a way that Google’s Pixel digital camera at present makes use of. The corporate was one of many first to refine cell HDR and computational pictures, taking them mainstream. Now, it seems to be evolving its tech for the following era in a big means.

Staggered HDR is a technique of capturing brief and lengthy exposures of scenes practically concurrently. Google at present employs HDR Plus Bracketing, which takes particular person pictures in speedy succession and makes use of them to create a ultimate picture with a large dynamic vary — that means there’s element in each shadows and in spotlight areas.

It really works effectively, however it additionally implies that the system has a tougher time coping with shifting topics because it’s utilizing separate frames. With staggered HDR, a brief publicity follows proper on the heels of an extended publicity — earlier than the lengthy publicity has even completed.

This rolling shutter impact scans the sensor from high to backside and implies that there’s no await one publicity to complete earlier than beginning one other one. This implies there are fewer movement artifacts to cope with, and fewer energy is consumed within the course of — Samsung says it reduces energy consumption by 24 % in comparison with a way utilizing separate frames.

If Google does plan so as to add help for staggered HDR, then a brand new digital camera sensor is on the best way, too. Kuba says that the Pixel 7 and seven Professional use a Samsung Isocell GN1 for his or her fundamental digital camera sensor, which doesn’t help staggered HDR. The Isocell GN2 does help the function, so it appears to be a possible candidate for the Pixel 8. The GN2 would additionally present some autofocus enhancements because of a tweaked phase-detection array that’s extra delicate to horizontal motion.

We’re a good distance from discovering out if any of that is within the playing cards for the Pixel 8 — Google hasn’t confirmed the machine but, and we count on to launch within the fall of 2023. Nevertheless it appears probably that Google will maintain iterating on the HDR function it made popularly, and this early trace offers us a glimpse of what which may seem like.

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