Google touts the Pixel 6 camera systems as the best ones smartphones have to offer
Google has announced the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro as the first phones ever to launch with first-party silicon. The Tensor processor is intended to confer advanced AI and machine learning (ML) on many aspects of the new smartphones. This includes the functions of the sensors found behind the phones' distinctive visor.
Both the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro share a 50MP "Octa PD Quad Bayer" sensor, rated for a light sensitivity of up to 2.5 times that of the preceding 5, which might indeed boost the return of Night Sight on the newer phones. However, the 6 Pro is the only one to add a 48MP zoom lens in addition to a 12MP ultrawide sensor, again rated for improvements over the previous generation.
The new third lens in the Pro model has a "folded" (or periscope) design for 4x optical zoom, or 20x Super Res Zoom, which is a hybrid form slightly inevitably informed by Google's latest algorithms for this purpose. The Mountain View giant has also restored "ultrawide" selfies to this generation of Pixels; however, this function may be more effective in the Pro model, as it has a 94° field of view as opposed to 84° in the vanilla variant.
Nevertheless, both models are rated to support Google's latest software-based camera trickery. This includes the new Magic Eraser, which may remove unintentional subjects such as passing people or incongrous objects while leaving the background completely intact, and can also suggest things to erase in this way automatically.
Face Unblur is a new mode that use facial recognition and locking to artificially restore these features to a fast-moving and thus blurry subject. Motion Mode kind of works in the opposite way, in that it automatically recognizes things that could be portrayed as dramatically speedy in a background, leaving the foreground static.
There is also Real Tone, developed to acknowledge and reproduce a greater range of human skin tones as they appear in real life or how subjects or creators perceive them. Other new Pixel-specific camera features include Frequent Faces, which apparently again involves advanced facial recognition, as well as the return of others such as Top Shot, Portrait Mode, Astrophotography Timelapse and Panorama (which might be done at 4K on both the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro).
Most of these features are baked into Android 12 for the 6 series, although Google does not specify whether they are coming to older Pixel devices via their own impending update to this new OS as yet.