First Google Pixel 8 camera leak points to major upgrade

Ryan Haynes/Android Authority


  • The leaker claims the Pixel 8 series could get staggered HDR tech.
  • This feature provides higher quality HDR than is currently available in the Pixel 7’s main camera.
  • The leak also suggests that the Pixel 8 could get a sensor upgrade.

Google phones have long offered HDR+ photography capabilities as a tentpole mode. Both the Nexus and Pixel lines use this multi-frame HDR solution to improve dynamic range and reduce ghosting when taking regular snaps.

Now tipster and developer Kuba Wojciechowski says: 2023 pixels supports staggered HDRWojciechowski dug into the Google Camera Go app and found references to features for 2023 devices.

This informant also correctly points out that the Samsung Isocell GN1 main sensor used in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series does not offer graduated HDR support. However, Isocell GN2 does indeed offer this feature, suggesting that the main camera upgrade may be included in his Pixel 8’s card.

How does this compare to Google’s existing technology?

Google’s original HDR+ solution shot a series of short exposures. But the company has switched to HDR+ in bracketing for the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G and beyond. This technique captures 5 short exposures before pressing the shutter and a long exposure when the shutter button is tapped.

Staggered HDR, on the other hand, is Samsung’s more modern take on HDR photography. This technique captures three separate exposures (short, medium and long) in very quick succession and combines them to create the final photo. So it seems that Google’s HDR+ solution lacks a particularly medium exposure.

Google HDR Plus vs HDR Plus with Bracket

HDR+ using Google’s original HDR+ solution (top) and bracketing technique.

At the launch of the GN2, Samsung noted that staggered HDR brings richer details and more vibrant colors than the GN1’s real-time HDR mode, adding that it cuts energy consumption by up to 24%. The company has also confirmed in other sensor launches that staggered HDR is faster than traditional HDR solutions, but we don’t know if this compares to GN1’s mode or previous HDR implementations. .

Of course, speed is everything when it comes to HDR capture. So any speed improvements here should also translate into less ghosting and less time spent looking at the dreaded “processing” screen. If you rely on it, it can provide you with more efficient and higher quality HDR shots.

But the key here is the fact that Google can upgrade the main camera sensor on the Pixel 8 series. Switching to a sensor like the Isocell GN2 improves low-light performance with larger pixels and improved autofocus with Dual Pixel Pro technology.

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