GOOGLE’S new Pixel 3 has one of the world’s best smartphone cameras – but is it a decent replacement for a proper DSLR shooter?
Snapping live sports is one of the hardest challenges for any camera, so we had pro photographer Daniel Lewis test out the Google Pixel 3 at EE’s Wembley Stadium.
Shooting sports fixtures is tricky, particular at night.
Lighting issues, fast motion, and unpredictable targets makes it a nightmare to capture shots.
And even though smartphone cameras have improved massively in recent years, it’s still very hard – small image sensors and lenses make life difficult.
But pro shooter Dan Lewis managed to capture some seriously impressive shots at this month’s England v USA friendly fixture.
The Google Pixel 3 fared particularly well, even in dark conditions.
And although some moving shots have minor blur, the action shots are impressive given how fast sports motion is.
Several of the photos demonstrate really good depth of field, keeping the subject in sharp focus – while blurring the background with a “bokeh” effect.
Google has fitted its Pixel 3 with some decent camera features, which helps matters.
For instance, you can capture motion shots, which means lots of photos are taken very quickly.
You can then select your favourite frame afterwards, and keep that as your main photo.
Google Pixel 3 specs – the geeky facts
Here's how Google's smartphone hardware breaks down…
Screen: 5.5 inches
Display: 1080 x 2160 pixels (443 pixels per inch)
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Storage: 64 / 128GB
Rear Camera: 12.2 megapixels (f/1.8 aperture)
Selfie Camera: Dual 8-megapixel cameras
Fingerprint Scanner: Rear-mounted
Waterproof: IP68 dust/water resistant
Colours: Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink
There’s also a Portrait Mode that uses clever algorithms to separate the subject from the background. This makes it possible to get great depth of field in your shots.
Google built a “super zoom” mode that stops your pictures looking rubbish when you zoom in – up to a point, anyway.
And Google recently added a new photo mode called Night Sight. This uses software tricks to take really bright, colourful photos in low-light conditions – without having to rely on flash.
The Google Pixel 3 isn’t the only decent camera out there, of course.
Smartphone cameras are getting astonishingly good these days, so you’ll find you can snap great pics from the iPhone XS and Huawei Mate 20 Pro, too.
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Google first launched its Pixel range of smartphones back in 2016.
Prior to Pixel, Google typically released smartphones under the “Nexus” brand – but the smartphones were designed and built by other tech firms.
With Pixel, Google designs the phones in-house, and run a pure version of the company’s Android mobile software.
The Pixel 3 launched in October this year, and is the latest entry to the Pixel brand. It’s got a large 5.5-inch screen, a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and a large 2,915mAh battery that should keep you going all day.