I take a lot of pictures. I can't help it, being the parent of two small children. I want to catalog their life as they grow up so that we have memories to look back at. In fact, both my oldest, who is 6 years old now, and my youngest, who is only 3, love to look at our photos. Needless to say that photos are a very important part of our lives.
This is why the quality of a camera matters so much. Of course, a camera's "quality" is really a set of various points, all of which affect the quality of the final product. There are 3 things that really matter to me when it comes to cameras, all of which also apply to camera phones:
Lens size: The larger the lens, the more light that it can capture. More light translates into better quality. Some of those old 2MP cameras with their HUGE lenses had better quality than many of today's 12MP phone cameras with their tiny lenses.
Resolution: This one is important but only if the lens size is kept in mind. A huge resolution from a tiny lens just means that there is less light to go around per pixel and thus you will get a bad picture. That being said, the higher the resolution, the more details you will capture and the larger you can have the pictures printed without loosing quality.
Processing: This is one that I don't see mentioned often enough. Processing makes a HUGE difference. Processing can be as simple as compressing the picture so that each picture doesn't take up the entire storage you have available. Processing can also be as complicated as adding bokeh, the so called "portrait mode" where the background is blurred and the foreground is sharp.
That third one... That third one is really important. A manufacturer can take a lens that they know gives you a slightly blue tint and process that blue out of it to make the picture properly match the object of the photo. In comes Google. Not only does Google know how to properly process a photo, they've added a ton of awesome features to their Pixel 3a's camera. Some of my favorites, in no particular order:
Night Sight is just what it sounds. The phone basically gains the ability to see well in the night. It's almost uncanny. It can show details you didn't think the camera would have been able to pick up without adding the usual noise you get when shooting in a "night mode" in most cameras.
It does this by taking a series of photos quickly back to back, then using a machine learning algorithm to process the photo. Anyway you look at it, the results are amazing.
Here is the same scene, first without Night Sight, and then WITH Night Sight:
No Night SightNight SightThe picture with Night Sight enabled wasn't just better than what a normal camera could do, it was better than my own human eyes could do in the dark. This camera is amazing.
If you want to be able to take photos at night, the Pixel 3a should be at the top of your list of phones to consider!
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