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Microsoft launching a Surface Pro 4 this Fall

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Microsoft is actually doing it as more and more rumors, leaks and sources claim that the company will not in fact leave the Surface Pro line-up as is, but will launch an entirely new Surface Pro 4 this Fall. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 release date is said to be around October 15-25, with the new convertible going up for sale a month later in November. Although there’s little to be known about what Microsoft is planning on the convertible front, most insiders seem to be convinced that fans of the multifunctional tablets will eventually rejoice this month at the launch of the Surface Pro 4.

The Windows 10 launch last month went smoothly, and aside from a couple of privacy and tracking issues, customers seem to be very happy with the new operating system from Microsoft. The company has its hands full with the new OS and the updates that it requires, as well as with Windows 10 for phones and the new Microsoft Lumia 940 and Lumia 1030 smartphones. But since Microsoft is one of the largest tech companies in the world, there’s no doubt that they have the resources they need in order to turn 2015 into the year of Microsoft.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 release date will also introduce the new Microsoft Lumia flagships of the year with the mobile version of Windows 10 on board. Other manufacturers like Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Lenovo and others are prepping their own devices, including smartphones, for the launch of Windows 10 for phones, but the Surface Pro 4 and the new Microsoft Lumia phones should be the highlight of the year when it comes to Windows-based gadgets. With the Surface Pro 4, the Redmond giant would like to reignite the flame that has been started by the Surface Pro 3 and attract casual, as well as enterprise users to the new device.

According to our own insiders, the Surface Pro 4 will be the creme de la creme of convertibles, surpassing the good reputation of its own predecessor and its newer, more improved model, as well as convertibles like the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 or the new Asus Transformer Book Chi line-up, among others. With a new software suite coming around alongside Windows 10, the Surface Pro 4 will be designed and engineered around integration with Microsoft services and devices. If Apple has its own ecosystem, Microsoft wants to get in on it with its own spin on the matter.

The Surface Pro 4 will have a fanless, aluminum design and will adhere to new design elements such as an even thinner and lighter body, resembling the iPad Air 2, as well as a waterproof or water resistant certifications. The chassis of the Surface Pro 4 is said to be made with an aluminum alloy that combines new industrial elements into the design, giving the tablet more durability. In the spirit of the new Lenovo Yoga line-up, the Surface Pro 4 will not only incorporate a similar watch hinge at the base, replacing the magnetic type cover, but will also incorporate a projector in the device.

Using a projector is something most Windows and Surface Pro users are very familiar with, and the addition of a proprietary, native projector to the Surface Pro 4 increases its usefulness in schools, learning environments and business environments. While until now, Apple’s iPads were leaders in education, the Surface Pro 4 might take that throne away from Tim Cook and co. Still, these are unconfirmed reports, so I would suggest taking them with a heap of salt before getting your hopes too high.

Balancing cost and performance is a difficult task, especially for Microsoft. Many people are not happy about having to purchase styli and type covers separately, and the company wants to change that perspective. By introducing a new Surface Pro 4 with a watch-type hinge, Microsoft would eliminate the need for a type cover or a kick stand and will leave the styli as the optional accessory that people will have to purchase. The new design would significantly lower costs to customers and improve feedback, as well as lower the cost of sales, marketing and others for individual type covers. Although the new Surface Pro 4 will most likely be more expensive than anticipated if these design elements are truly incorporated, it will be well worth the price. Or at least that’s what they’re telling us right now.

The Surface Pro 4 will feature a fanless design and various models that will be made available in November 2015. The variants will differ in screen size, the Surface Pro 4 display having a 10-inch and 13-inch size available. The display resolution will also differ a bit from model to model, the lower-end, smaller model coming with last year’s resolution while the bigger, more powerful model will sport a higher QHD or 4K resolution. The display will also benefit from a new feature that will combine Cortana and long presses into the OS. While that is more part of Windows 10 and its properties, it is interesting to imagine how Microsoft will implement such a function into the Surface Pro 4.

Although we’re not even sure the Surface Pro 4 release date is correct, information keeps piling up about prices and specs in our inboxes. Until the truth is revealed by Microsoft themselves, these rumors are going to have to suffice. When it comes to Surface Pro 4 pricing, our insiders say we should expect prices to be between $500 and $1300, depending on the model. That’s a pretty big gap that suggests various models being available or outspecced models in a more conservative sample size.

The base model of the Surface Pro 4 will incorporate an FHD 10-inch display, Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365, a fanless i3 chipset backed by 4 GB RAM, a massive 8600 mAh battery, Type C USB, display port, HDMI port, USB 3.0, audio jack, microSD card slot and more. The most expensive model will feature an i7 architecture, 16 GB RAM and a bigger, better 13-inch display. Ports and features will mostly be the same, but the display and performance will be at a premium level on the most expensive Surface Pro 4 unit that will be available. Internal storage will range from 64 GB to 256 GB, as per usual.

Although there’s little official information about the Surface Pro 4, we’re confident that Microsoft is preparing something really neat for us, and integration with devices will be a big part of the entire experience. The design seems very interesting and we’re curious as to how the company will solve the Type cover and styli problem that users were unhappy with. Unless the company launches something sub-par, which is unlikely, the Surface Pro 4 should eventually end up being a success in the tablet/convertible industry.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Android

Launched Redmi Note 12 series: 200MP camera, 210W charging for less than $400

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The three phones have similar screens and processors, but they vary in a number of ways.

The Redmi Note series from Xiaomi has historically been the brand’s most well-liked smartphone line, providing excellent value in the entry-level market. The Redmi Note 12 series has now been unveiled by the firm in China.

The Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus are the three phones we truly have this time. A flat 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, a Mediatek Dimensity 1080 5G processor, and a 16MP selfie camera are features shared by all three devices.

They both have a 3.5mm connector, NFC, IR blaster, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, among other things. In contrast, there are a few significant variances.

Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition

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The Note 12 Discovery Edition of the Redmi Note 12 has a 200MP HPX primary camera (f/1.65, OIS), making it possibly the most striking model. This camera can capture photographs with a resolution of 200MP, 50MP pixels (using four-in-one binning), or 12.5MP (using 16-in-one binning). Additionally, the phone offers a 2MP macro lens and an 8MP ultrawide camera.

The phone is notably different from its stablemates in that it supports 210W wired charging; according to Xiaomi, a full charge can be achieved in just nine minutes. Although you only get a 4,300mAh battery here, this high wattage comes at the expense of battery capacity.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

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Thought a 200MP smartphone with a larger battery would be cool? With the Pro Plus model, you get precisely that. The triple back camera system will have the same 200MP+8MP+2MP resolution as the Discovery Edition.

The Pro Plus variant, on the other hand, chooses a 5,000mAh battery and still blazing-fast 120W cable charging. Xiaomi claims that a full charge should be achieved in about 19 minutes.

Redmi Note 12 Pro

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Have no interest in megapixels? The Redmi Note 12 Pro, which adds a 50MP IMX766 primary camera (f/1.88, OIS) in addition to the 8MP+2MP duo, fills this need. The Oppo Find X5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone 9 both feature flagship devices with 50MP sensors similar to this one. We therefore have high hopes that it will also produce acceptable image quality on the Note 12 Pro.

The Pro version additionally includes a 5,000mAh battery with 67W wired speeds. A 100% charge should be expected in a still quick 46 minutes.

Pricing and availability for the Redmi Note 12 series
The base 8GB/256GB variant of the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition costs 2,399 yuan (about $332), while the base 6GB/128GB model of the Redmi Note 12 Pro costs 1,699 yuan (about $235). Do you want Pro Plus? The 8GB/256GB variant thus has a starting price of 2,099 yuan (about $290).

Although Xiaomi acknowledged that these phones are currently limited to China, it advised us to “keep tuned” for international announcements. To be fair, the Chinese Redmi Note 11 series was very different from the international variants that debuted a few months later.

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Gadgets

What Has Changed Over Time Between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 2?

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We let the specs speak for themselves. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 compares to the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 2 in the following table.

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The revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold 4 from Samsung was released a few months ago. The foldable has the same $1,800 starting price as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 from the previous year. Samsung will need to convince consumers to pay up for its high-end devices this year, though, as a recession and record-high inflation are both predicted. But it would be difficult to find a better option than Samsung’s book-style foldables if you’re eager to ride the leading edge of foldable phone technology (and have the money to boot).

Continue reading Samsung Unpacked
Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, and Every Reveal from Samsung
Better Design, Same High Price for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Galaxy Z Flip 4 from Samsung Gets New Software Features
The company calls its foldable phone-tablet, the Z Fold 4, a “multitasking powerhouse.” It features a higher-resolution display, the most recent Qualcomm chipset, Android 12L out of the box, and a new 1TB option. (Scroll to the bottom for a side-by-side spec comparison for more specific information.) The business claims that in addition to providing features like new gestures and an enhanced taskbar, it has tried to make multitasking more intuitive.

The camera system of the Z Fold 4 was also enhanced by Samsung. Three cameras—a 50-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens—are located on the back of the device. Both optical and digital zoom up to 10x are supported by that telephoto lens. In addition, there are two “front cameras.” The Z Fold 4’s main display has a 10-megapixel sensor, which is the most noticeable, while the internal screen has a 4-megapixel under-display camera.

Along with the updated specifications, Samsung stressed its desire to create foldable phones that are more environmentally friendly. The Fold 4 is the first of Samsung’s folding devices to employ parts manufactured from recycled fishing nets. There are several recycled components inside the phone, including the connector cap for the display and the bracket for the side keys. Nevertheless, it’s challenging to assess the significance of these changes without tearing them apart.

In relation to sustainability, Samsung claims the Z Fold 4 uses stronger materials. An “optimal layer structure,” which provides better damage prevention, is now used for its main cover. The typical aluminum frames and Gorilla Glass Victus on the cover and back support everything mentioned above.

The lack of dust resistance on the Z Fold 4 is still a drawback of its foldable nature. It still has the IPX8 classification from the previous year, meaning it can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in freshwater up to 1.5 meters deep. The Galaxy S22 line of smartphones, in contrast, features IP68 water- and dust-resistance, which means the devices can tolerate sand, grime, and dust. They can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters.

The S Pen storage slot is still missing, but Samsung has introduced a cover with a S Pen holder that is available for purchase separately. Check out the specs table below from CNET for more details on how Samsung’s cutting-edge Z Fold series has changed over time.

See how the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Watch models compare for more information.

Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 2

Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Galaxy Z Fold 2
Display size, resolution Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,176×1,812 pixels); External: 6.2-inch HD Plus (2,316×904) Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,208×1,768 pixels); External: 6.2-inch AMOLED (2,268×832 pixels); Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,260×816 + 2,208×1,768 pixels
Pixel density TBC 387ppi (external) + 374ppi (internal) 386ppi (external) + 373ppi (internal)
Dimensions (Millimeters) Folded: 67.1×155.1×15.8mm (Hinge) ~14.2mm(Sagging). Unfolded: 130.1×155.1×6.3mm Folded: 67x158x16mm (hinge) ~14.4mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128x158x6.4mm Folded: 68.0×159.2×16.8mm (hinge) ~13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2×159.2×6.9mm (frame) ~6.0mm (screen)
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 9.27 oz; 263g 9.56 oz; 271 g 10 oz; 282 g
Mobile software Android 12L Android 11 Android 10
Camera 50-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover) 4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover) 10-megapixel, 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen Plus 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM/Storage 12GB + 256GB/512GB/1TB 12GB + 256GB/512GB 12GB + 256 GB
Expandable storage None None None
Battery/Charger 4,400 mAh 4,400 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Side Side Side
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None None None
Special features Foldable phone, 30x optical, 30x space zoom, IPX8, 25-watt fast-charging (no in-box charger) 5G-enabled; Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate (front cover and main display), IPX8 water-resistance, S Pen support Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support
Price (USD) $1,800 (256 GB); $2,000 (512GB), $2160 (1TB) $1,800 (256GB); $1,900 (512GB) $1,999
Price (GBP) TBC £1,599 (256GB); £1,699 (512GB) £1,799
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Mobile Devices

My $10,000 DSLR camera setup is Actually Challenged by the Pixel 7 Pro

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Better is my Canon full-frame camera. However, the zoom, macro, and Night Sight capabilities of the Google smartphone enable creative opportunities well beyond photos.

Google caught my attention when it boasted about the “pro-level zoom” on the Pixel 7 Pro phone and claimed that the smartphone’s photography skills could compete with traditional cameras. I am a dedicated photographer who carries around a large camera and numerous heavy lenses. However, I also enjoy taking photos with my phone, so I thought I’d investigate Google’s claims.

Google highlighted the Pixel 7 Pro’s telephoto zoom for enlarging far-off subjects, its Tensor G2-powered AI processing, its quicker Night Sight for low-light scenarios, and a new macro feature for close-up shots at its October launch event. At the phone’s launch event, Alexander Schiffhauer, the hardware leader for the Pixel camera, claimed that the device “shrewdly mixes cutting-edge technology, software, and machine learning to deliver outstanding zoom photographs across any magnification.” This phone’s continuous zoom range, from ultrawide angle to supertelephoto, is how Google wants you to imagine it.

As you might expect, I achieved better results with my “actual” camera setup, which would cost $10,000 if it were to be bought brand-new today. Even though my Canon 5D Mark IV is already six years old, when it comes to color, clarity, detail, and a wide dynamic range encompassing bright and dark tones, big picture sensors and powerful lenses are tough to top.

The photographic versatility of the Pixel 7 Pro, though, outperforms my DSLR in some situations and challenges my camera setup better than any other phone I’ve used, earning CNET editor Andrew Lanxon’s “excellent” review. Google’s smartphone fits in my pocket, yet my camera and four lenses take up an entire backpack. Of sure, I can post a selfie, check my email, pay for groceries, and work on the daily crossword puzzle with that $900 smartphone.

Google highlighted the Pixel 7 Pro’s telephoto zoom for enlarging far-off subjects, its Tensor G2-powered AI processing, its quicker Night Sight for low-light scenarios, and a new macro feature for close-up shots at its October launch event. At the phone’s launch event, Alexander Schiffhauer, the hardware leader for the Pixel camera, claimed that the device “shrewdly mixes cutting-edge technology, software, and machine learning to deliver outstanding zoom photographs across any magnification.” This phone’s continuous zoom range, from ultrawide angle to supertelephoto, is how Google wants you to imagine it.

A smartphone camera is now better than nothing thanks to yearly improvements in picture processing and camera hardware. These tiny pieces of technology are getting better at getting decisive photos and expanding the creative options available to folks who are learning the benefits of photography.

I’ll continue to bring my DSLR on family vacations and treks. However, the Pixel 7 Pro, in especially its zoom and low-light capabilities, means I won’t be as concerned about missing the shot when I don’t because I won’t always have it with me.

My $2,700 Canon 5D Mark IV most frequently has the $1,900 Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens installed. In addition, I frequently use the $2,400 EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, the $1,300 ultrawide EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM zoom, the $1,300 EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM for close-ups, and the $429 Extender EF 1.4X III for further telephoto distances for photographing birds. Here is how that equipment compares to the 0.5x ultrawide, 1x main camera, and 5x telephoto cameras in the Pixel 7 Pro.

Canon 5D Mark IV vs. Google Pixel 7 Pro: Main Camera

The Pixel 7 Pro’s 24mm main camera does a fantastic job capturing color and detail in its 12-megapixel photographs when there is ample of light. Check out the comparisons here; take note that the Pixel 7 Pro’s 4:3 aspect ratio is wider than what my DSLR shoots in at a more elongated 3:2.

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Pixel-peeping reveals that my 30-megapixel DSLR’s fine detail is unmatched by the phone’s. A contemporary DSLR or mirrorless camera is worthwhile if you plan to print posters or need a lot of detail for photo editing. But for most uses, 12 megapixels is more than enough. See the cropped photographs that follow to get a closer look at what’s happening.

 

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However, Google missed the possibility to take pictures with an even greater resolution than my 30-megapixel DSLR. The primary camera of the Pixel 7 Pro sports a 50-megapixel sensor. It uses pixel binning, a technique that turns each 2×2 pixel group on the sensor into a single, essentially bigger pixel, to capture 12-megapixel images. When shooting at 24mm, this translates to greater color and low-light performance. When there is enough light, you can utilise those 50 megapixels differently by forgoing pixel binning and taking pictures at the full resolution of the sensor. With the iPhone 14 Pro camera, Apple accomplishes just that, and I wish Google would follow suit.

DSLR vs. Pixel 7 Pro, people, and animals

Portrait photography was possible with the Pixel 7 Pro. Because I sometimes think the Pixel 7 Pro makes faces look a little too processed and its color balance is a touch too chilly for my liking, I prefer taking raw photos and processing them myself. The Pixel 7 Pro performs a fantastic job at locating faces, tracking them, and maintaining focus while using the main camera. The Pixel 7 Pro now has the ability to identify specific eyeballs, which is a weakness in my older DSLR and the ideal focus point for a camera in 2022.

In this comparison, I believe the skin tones were handled better by the DSLR, but the Pixel 7 Pro was able to expose the face effectively in challenging lighting.

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I find the processing artifacts disturbing when using the Pixel 7 Pro’s portrait mode, which artificially softens photo backgrounds, especially with flyaway hair, though that is not an issue in the sample below. Although the image is suitable for quick sharing and appears well on tiny screens, I wouldn’t print it. I used my Sigma 35mm f1.4 lens with my DSLR to get the image, shooting wide open at f1.4 to achieve the smoothest background blur possible. Although the hands and plastic toys are blurred due to the small depth of field, it is still significantly better than the Pixel 7 Pro.

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The Pixel 7 Pro once again did a fantastic job of locating and focusing on eyes in pet photos. Here is a close-up of my dog. But keep in mind that the main camera at 1x zoom, or 24mm, isn’t the best for single subjects, and the camera’s performance at 2x isn’t as good.

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Check out the cropped images below to see how much more detail my SLR can capture, if I get the focus right. Also take note of how well the latest mirrorless cameras from Sony, Nikon, and Canon track your eyes for simpler focusing.

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Telephoto cameras and the Pixel 7 Pro
Telephoto lenses enlarge objects that are farther away, and the Pixel 7 Pro boasts an impressive field of view for a smartphone. With no processing wizardry, its sensors can shoot in the 2x, 5x, and 10x zoom modes. It will capture images at intermediate settings using a variety of cropping and multi-camera picture composite techniques that I believe to be fairly effective. Then, using Google’s AI-infused upscaling technique known as Super Res Zoom, it may be magnified up to 30 times. Here is the same scene captured using the Pixel 7 Pro’s whole zoom range, from 30x supertelephoto to 0.5x ultrawide:

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By the time you have zoomed in 30 times, or 720mm, the image quality is quite poor. However, even my costly DSLR equipment has a maximum focal length of 560mm, and in many cases, going above 10x on the Pixel 7 Pro is justified. Every image does not need to be of high enough quality to print an 8×10 copy.

Larger telephoto lenses
Due to the size of telephoto lenses, professional photographers at NFL games often carry around monopods to support their bulky lenses. Canon’s RF 400mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens is a sideline favorite that weighs more than six pounds, is longer than 14 inches, and costs more than all of my cameras and lenses combined. Even though my Canon 100-400mm zoom is smaller, cheaper, and doesn’t let in as much light as the Pixel 7 Pro, it is still enormous in comparison. I’m excited to be able to take useful telephoto pictures on a Pixel phone now that Samsung and other Android rivals no longer restrict this feature to their products.

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Google makes use of the 50-megapixel main camera sensor in the Pixel 7 Pro to achieve the first telephoto lens step, a 2x zoom level suitable for portraits. In 2x telephoto mode, the Pixel 7 Pro only uses its center 12 megapixels to produce images with an equivalent focal length of 48mm.

At a 5x magnification, or the equivalent of 120mm, the dedicated telephoto camera begins to function. Google employs a prism to bend light 90 degrees so that the required lens length and 48-megapixel picture sensor may be stowed sideways into the thicker “camera bar” component of the Pixel 7 Pro rather than a huge telephoto protuberance. It can also use the centre megapixels in 10x mode, or 240mm, which I think is a fantastic alternative. This architectural sight in San Francisco is rather impressive:

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The camera can zoom up to 20x and even 30x using AI and software processing, which corresponds to 480mm and 720mm respectively. My DSLR, in contrast, has a 560mm focal length with a 1.4x telephoto extender.

For this scene of Bay Area fog lapping against the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco, shot between between 15x and 20x, my DSLR would have easily defeated the Pixel 7 Pro. (I wish Google would include metadata for the zoom level in images, just like my Canon does for the focal length settings.) But what’s this? Since I went mountain biking, I forgot to bring my DSLR. As the cliché goes, the best camera is the one you already own.

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I was happy with this picture of my friend Joe mountain biking that I took back at a 10x zoom. This was the first time I wasn’t dissatisfied with the outcomes of smartphone portraiture of people in this location.

 

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Google uses clever, but not very magical, optics and image processing techniques. The 12-megapixel image that the Pixel 7 Pro provides makes you cringe more when you zoom in beyond 10x because of the blotchy details that resemble watercolor paintings. The glass-is-half-empty perspective is that. In fact, I see the glass as half full because I respect what you can accomplish and understand that many pictures will be viewed on smaller displays. A good image quality of 10x is already a significant accomplishment.

Here is a comparison of images taken from the same rooftop party using the Pixel 7 Pro at 30x, or 720mm equivalent, and images taken with my camera at 560mm, but cropped to fit the phone’s framing. Of course, the DSLR performs better. It is an 18-megapixel photograph, even after cropping.

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The Pixel 7 Pro’s telephoto cameras have practical limitations

I carried the phone with me to view the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight display over San Francisco in order to put it to the test. It was difficult to take pictures because of the buildings and fog limiting my vision, but I discovered that the Pixel 7 Pro has additional restrictions.

 

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It takes time to adjust the screen’s controls to a 10x or higher zoom. Even with the help of the small wider-angle view that Google inserts into the picture and its AI-assisted stabilizing technology, framing quickly moving subjects on a smartphone screen is challenging. Focus is also a little sluggish. I could quickly locate the jets in the sky with my DSLR, lock focus, follow them as they soared, and take a flurry of pictures.

With the Pixel 7 Pro, I failed to capture a single decent image of the Blue Angels. With immobile subjects, Google’s “pro-level zoom” performs significantly better.

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DSLR vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Night photography

Here, the Pixel 7 Pro outperforms a camera that costs many times as much. It is impossible to hold a camera steady for 6 seconds, yet Pixel phones effectively can because of Google’s innovative computational photography methods. Using artificial intelligence to determine when your hands are the most still, Google takes a number of pictures, combining each one into a single image. It serves as the foundation for its Night Sight feature, which I have frequently used. At its most extreme, it supports an astrophotography mode that I have used to capture 4-minute night sky exposures.

The Pixel 7 Pro at 1x, where it is most effective at capturing light, and my DSLR with its 24-70mm f2.8 lens are contrasted below in a nighttime scene. The Pixel 7 Pro performs admirably, and thanks to its greater depth of field, the foreground leaves aren’t a soggy mess as they are with the DSLR, which has more detail up close.

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Here is a comparison between a 2x zoom photo taken with a Pixel 7 Pro and the best handheld shot I could manage with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens. The harder it is to hold a camera steady the greater the zoom, and despite using my elbows on a railing to steady the camera, the Pixel 7 Pro shot was far simpler to take. To bring the shutter speed down to 1/8sec, I had to turn my DSLR’s sensitivity up to ISO 12,800, and even then, the majority of the pictures turned out poorly. Although it is beneficial, this lens lacks image stabilization.

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Just for fun, I set up my DSLR on a tripod and took three exposure-bracketed pictures, which I then combined into one HDR (high dynamic range) picture using Adobe Lightroom. 30 seconds was the maximum exposure time. That much work was required to surpass a Night Sight photo I took after holding the phone still for 6 seconds. Compare them in the table below.

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The nearly full moon, however, is where my DSLR utterly outperformed the Pixel 7 Pro, even with Night Sight. Here is a cropped comparison of the Pixel 7 Pro’s 30x zoom and my DSLR’s 560mm setting.

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Dynamic range of a DSLR against a Pixel 7 Pro

Dynamic range, or the difference between dark and bright it can capture in a single scene, is one of the best indicators of a camera’s performance. I filmed in raw format to test out the Pixel 7 Pro because it gives me additional editing options. Then I altered the images, turning the exposure up or down by 4 stops to evaluate how well it captured detail in bright regions and up or down by 4 stops to highlight noise issues in shadowed areas.

I’m impressed, in a nutshell. With its processing techniques, Google extracts a stunning quantity of data from its relatively small sensor.

Two methods are pertinent. The Pixel 7 Pro uses Google’s HDR+ technique to merge many underexposed photos with one normally exposed frame in order to capture shadow detail without overexposing bright regions. Additionally, Google supplies this information in a “computational raw” format that packs that specificity into Adobe’s highly adaptable DNG format. It is a fantastic choice for smartphone photography, while it isn’t completely raw like the single frame of data extracted from my DSLR’s image sensor is.

The image below was taken with the Pixel 7 Pro’s 1x camera and underexposed by 4 stops to see whether it could capture a range of tones even in the intensely bright pampas grass plumes. It was.

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When compared to my DSLR, which doesn’t see a similar decline in hardware capabilities when I zoom in, shooting at 2x, which only utilizes the core pixels on the 1x camera, presents more of a difficulty. The Pixel 7 Pro exhibits far greater noise and color issues in the comparison below since it is four stops overexposed. However, the main camera’s dynamic range is superb all around.

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Ultrawide angle DSLR vs. Pixel 7 Pro

Compared to last year, Google increased the field of vision of the ultrawide lens on the Pixel 7 Pro. What you enjoy depends on your unique preferences, but I like the dramatic viewpoint that a really wide lens may capture. The 24mm main camera still qualifies as wide angle when I don’t need it.

Here is a comparison of a scene taken with my DSLR’s 16-35mm ultrawide zoom and the Pixel 7 Pro.

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Macro DSLR vs. Pixel 7 Pro
Now that the new ultrawide camera has autofocus hardware, close-up subjects have access to the world of macro photography. I’ve long appreciated macro photography as a means to capture flowers, mushrooms, toys, and other small items, so I’m thrilled to see it on the more expensive Pixel phones. Apple’s iPhone Pro models get similar capability in 2021.

However, just like with the iPhone, the macro is helpful as long as the subject is in the center of the frame. Take note of how blurry the image becomes with the Pixel 7 Pro as it approaches the edge of this butterfly coaster in the comparison image below.

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No, not in comparison to my DSLR. The Pixel 7 Pro, however, is more than simply a camera for taking pictures because it has macro capabilities, Night Sight, and a zoom range from ultrawide to super telephoto. It enables you to begin discovering a far larger portion of photography’s creative potential.

 

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