Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
One of the greatest parts of the Google Pixel 7 is undoubtedly its camera. Even with hardware that is sometimes outmatched by some of the other best camera phones, Google consistently achieves impressive results, in part thanks to the Google Camera app. While it’s still an amazing piece of software, it has stagnated a bit over the recent years — the UI has been left basically unchanged since 2019’s Pixel 4 launch.
This is about to change, though. Thanks to an anonymous source inside Google, we have an early look at the revamped camera interface, launching first on the Pixel 8 series.
The first thing you notice in the new UI is the complete separation of photo and video modes. They were previously mixed in the carousel, but Google is separating the modes more clearly. Thanks to a newly added switch right under the mode selection bar, you now have to explicitly select which type of content you want to shoot first before specifying the exact mode you want to use.
Another major difference that you might not immediately notice, but will definitely feel if you are used to the current camera experience on Pixels is that Google has swapped the location of the camera switch button with the gallery preview button. My source tells me it took them some time to adjust the muscle memory after using the previous layout for a while.
The settings pop-up will now show up when the screen is swiped from the bottom up, which is the opposite of the previous behavior. Alternatively, the new settings icon in the bottom left can also be pressed. Sadly, the location of the dialog has not changed to improve reachability on larger devices.
New (old) modes
Another part of the layout refresh is the reshuffling of some established modes, most likely to make features more prominent for users who might not have known they existed.
The “Motion” tab has been split into “Long Exposure” and “Action Pan.” The modes themselves are not new, but they each now have a separate tab to increase their visibility.
The “Cinematic Pan” stabilization mode from the previous versions of Google Camera has also been promoted to its own mode, simply called “pan.”
The old stabilization modes menu has been removed in favor of the options now housed in the pop-up menu. The options available are standard, active, and locked.
There’s more coming to the Pixel 8
As we’ve revealed before, the Google Pixel 8 series is set for some major camera updates, both in terms of hardware and software. Both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will see an upgrade to a 50MP Samsung GN2 as their primary camera. At the same time, the Pro model will receive a new 64MP ultrawide, the Sony IMX787 (the same sensor that was used in the Pixel 7a as its primary camera), as well as a new 8 x 8 ToF sensor for improved autofocus.
Google’s also working on new software features, including Staggered HDR, which speeds up the capture process and makes artifacts less likely, thanks to shorter delays between frames. Another new feature is “Adaptive torch,” which will dynamically adjust the intensity of the flash based on the scene and should prevent overexposed shots and improve low-light photography. Lastly, Google is working on a “Segmentation AWB” feature, which will apply different processing to select parts of the scene to make it more accurate.
That’s everything you need to know about the new camera interface that will debut on the Google Pixel 8. For the first time in years, there’s a major overhaul of the app, which, in my opinion, is much more fresh and modern.