According to reliable leaker Kamila Wojciechowska, the upcoming Pixel 8 and 8 Pro from Google are expected to feature significant camera improvements. Wojciechowska, known for accurate Pixel leaks, reveals that both high-end smartphones will come equipped with Samsung ISOCELL GN2 sensors, similar to those found on the Galaxy S22 and S23 devices. This marks a substantial upgrade over the ISOCELL GN1 sensor used in the Pixel 6, as the GN2 sensor offers a larger physical size and the ability to capture 35 percent more light. These enhancements result in improved low-light performance, and the sensor also supports modern features like 8K/30 fps video capture and Staggered HDR, which can help reduce ghosting in HDR images.
While both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will feature the GN2 sensor, the flagship Pixel 8 Pro is expected to include additional exclusive camera upgrades. It is rumored to introduce a new time-of-flight sensor that will enhance autofocus performance. Most notably, the Pixel 8 Pro is said to sport a more modern sensor for its ultra-wide camera, with Google allegedly opting for the 64-megapixel Sony IMX787 sensor, which is currently used in the primary camera of the Pixel 7a. This represents a significant improvement over the aging 12-megapixel IMX386 sensor found in the Pixel 7 Pro, as the larger size of the IMX787 should deliver superior image quality.
While the Pixel 8 Pro being tested does not include a macro mode, it is unclear if the final version will feature this functionality. On the other hand, the Pixel 8 is expected to retain the IMX386 sensor but may offer a lens with a wider field of view to capture more expansive scenes. The selfie and telephoto cameras on both models will reportedly remain unchanged from the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Additionally, the rumored thermometer sensor in the Pixel 8 Pro is not intended for photography purposes.
In terms of software, Google plans to update its camera app to give Pixel users control over the intensity of the bokeh effect when using the "Cinematic" video mode. Furthermore, a new feature called "Adaptive torch" is expected to dynamically adjust the output of the phone's flash module to prevent overexposure in images.
The potential inclusion of new and improved camera hardware in the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro is an exciting development for Google, which has historically utilized the same camera sensor across multiple Pixel generations. While Google has made significant strides in computational software for photography, the introduction of upgraded sensors indicates a commitment to pushing the boundaries of visual enhancements in smartphone photography without solely relying on software advancements.