Inside Pixel 4's camera: Google improves portrait mode with help from Italian art

CNET | 10/17/2019 | Stephen Shankland
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Google Night Sight opens up creative possibilities.

Over the last three years, Google's Pixel phones have earned a well-deserved reputation for photographic strength. With the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, the company is flexing new camera hardware and software muscles.

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The new flagship Android smartphone, which the search giant unveiled Tuesday, gets a second 12-megapixel camera, a key component in an overhauled portrait mode that focuses your attention on the subject by artificially blurring the background. The new portrait mode works more accurately and now handles more subjects and more compositional styles -- and Google is taking some new styling cues from Italian Renaissance painter Titian, too.

The additional camera, a feature Google itself leaked, is just one of the photography advances in the Pixel 4. Many of the others stem from the company's prowess in computational photography technology, including better zooming, live-view HDR+ for fine-tuning your shots and the extension of Night Sight to astrophotography.

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The new features are the surest way Google can stand out in the ruthless, crowded smartphone market. Google knows a lot is riding on the phones. They're a blip in the marketplace compared with models from smartphone superpowers Samsung and Apple. In June, Google improved its prospects with the low-priced Pixel 3A. But to succeed, Google also needs better alliances with carriers and other retail partners that can steer customers to a Pixel over a Samsung Galaxy. It also needs buyers to connect to new features like a radar chip that helps make secure face unlock faster.

Pixel Buds: Google's new wireless headphones are 'floating computers in your ear'

Photography - Something - Google - Photography - Photos

Improving photography is something Google can do on its own, and photography is important. We're taking more and more photos as we record our lives and share moments with friends. No wonder Google employs a handful of full-time professional photographers to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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