Honest Thoughts about Pixel 8 Pro Camera
A few things stood out in our Google Pixel 8 Pro review: good and not-so-good.
What We Liked:
Right off the bat, the colors captured by the camera were notably punchy and saturated compared to the iPhone. For those who seek vibrant, rich colors without the need for post-processing, the Pixel 8 Pro could be a great choice.
One standout feature was its impressive battery life — it lasted forever. The efficiency of transferring data was also commendable. We transferred raw footage directly to our Samsung T7 drives via USB-C within minutes, eliminating the need for a laptop. While this feature is now present in the iPhone 15 lineup, credit must be given to Android for pioneering the USB-C advantage. Usability-wise, the Pixel 8 Pro makes a mark with the most crucial camera settings readily available within the camera app, a direct contrast to the iPhone, where one often has to navigate through the settings app for camera adjustments.
Lastly, though there were gripes about the video quality, it's essential to note that, in the hands of a skilled colorist, the footage has the potential to shine if you know to properly color-grade.
What We Didn't Like:
While the photos produced by the device were indeed of good quality, there was a ton of noticeable digital processing. This level of post-processing, though aimed at improving image quality, can only be avoided if one is willing to deal with massive 50 MB raw files for every snapshot taken. The same trend was noticeable in the video department — the digital sharpening was highly visible, making the footage feel somewhat "crunchy" — a term you wouldn't typically associate with video quality but aptly describes the look and feel.
Mia and Bea conducted additional tests and found that the Pixel 8 Pro softens skin tones significantly. This is a detail that beauty vloggers and portrait videographers, in particular, might want to note. Furthermore, when we paired the device with Moment lenses, the inherent digital post-processing adversely impacted the final output. The results looked noticeably inferior compared to images and videos taken on an iPhone.
Speaking of iPhones, Apple's introduction of ProRes video has resulted in a discernible reduction in digital sharpening in their devices. This gives iPhone footage a more film-like quality, starkly contrasting with the Pixel's output, which leans more towards a conventional digital look.