You don’t need to spend more money to get sick new camera features.
The Google Pixel 3 is here and like the Pixel 2 and original Pixel, it’s shaping up to be one of the best cameras you can use in a phone today, but no matter if you have a new Pixel pre-ordered of you’re still hanging onto an OG Pixel — because it’s still a pretty good phone today — there are still plenty of perks coming to your camera courtesy of the Google Camera app and its steady updates.
October 13, 2018 — All Pixels receiving support for hard-wired microphones on October 18
There aren’t many gripes to take with the way the Google Camera behaves on Pixel phones, thanks to the dedicated Pixel Camera engineering team, but one that has been annoying for many a video blogger is that you couldn’t pair the Pixel’s brilliant video capture with a superior hard-wired microphone. The microphones on the Pixel 2 are great for what they are, but let’s face it your phone is at least a couple feet back from whatever you’re shooting, and the microphones likely are picking up the ambient noise around you more clearly than a subject that’s 10 feet away from you.
Well, the Pixel Camera team is finally setting us free from the internal mics: “At the same time as Pixel 3 launch (October 18th), we will introduce support for Android-compatible plugged-in external microphones in the default camera app for all Pixels. I hope you all enjoy the update.”
This update was posted in a thread originally started in 2016 about using 3.5mm microphones with the original Pixel — and the original Pixel will be able to just plug a 3.5mm mic in directly — but for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3, you’ll need a dongle to plug them into. As the update stated “plugged-in” and not just 3.5mm, I believe this update will also allow us to use USB microphones with the Pixel phones via USB-C to USB-A adapter, like the one included with every Pixel.
Dongles make the prospect of a plugged-in microphone a little more cumbersome, but to those who film videos on their Pixels, this is an update that is long, long overdue.
October 9, 2018 — Some Pixel 3 camera features will come to previous Pixel models
The Pixel line has been the benchmark for great photos for the last couple years, and that’s going to continue with the Pixel 3. But, don’t go thinking your Pixel 2 is suddenly bad: the best features of the Pixel 3’s camera are coming to the older phones.
The best among these is Night Sight: a new feature that makes your nighttime picture so much better. No more super bright eyes, details hidden in shadows, or any of the other downsides that come with a nighttime shot. The photos still clearly look like they’re taken in dark conditions, but lit up well enough so you can see the small details and all the smiles on your friends’ faces.
Other features like improved Augmented Reality — including new characters from Marvel Studios — are coming as well.
Google didn’t specify when the new features would reach older phones, but it should be sometime in the next few months.
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