The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro could feature some notable camera upgrades. Writing for , leaker Kamila Wojciechowska, who has a solid record when it comes to , says Google’s next pair of high-end phones will feature Samsung ISOCELL GN2 sensors. That’s the same sensor found on the and . More notably, it’s a significant upgrade over the ISOCELL GN1 Google has used since the Pixel 6. The GN2 is physically larger and capable of capturing 35 percent more light than its predecessor, making it a better low-light performer. It also supports more modern features, including 8K/30 fps video capture and Staggered HDR. Google could use the latter to reduce ghosting in HDR images.
According to Wojciechowska, both the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro will come with the GN2. However, Google’s flagship will also reportedly pack a few exclusive upgrades. The Pixel 8 Pro will feature a new time-of-flight sensor that should improve autofocus performance and, more significantly, a more modern sensor for its ultra-wide camera. Google reportedly plans to use the 64-megapixel Sony IMX787, the same sensor that powers the Pixel 7a’s primary camera, to replace the Pixel 7 Pro’s aging 12-megapixel IMX386. The former is almost twice the size of its predecessor and should produce much better images. Wojciechowska notes the version of the Pixel 8 Pro Google is currently testing doesn’t come with a macro mode, though they suggest that doesn’t mean the final version won’t ship with that feature. The Pixel 8 will continue to use the IMX386 but may offer a lens with a wider field of view for those who want to capture more of a scene at once. Wojciechowska says the selfie and telephoto cameras on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are unchanged from those on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro. Lastly, they note the Pixel 8 Pro’s won’t be used for photography.
Naturally, Google also has software upgrades planned. The company will reportedly update its camera app to allow Pixel users to decide how strong the bokeh effect is when using the “Cinematic” video mode. Additionally, a new “Adaptive torch” feature may dynamically adjust the output of a phone’s flash module to prevent it from overexposing images.
Considering Google has had a history of sticking with the same camera sensor for multiple Pixel generations, it’s encouraging to learn the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro could feature new, more capable camera hardware. Google has done a lot with its computational software, but there are only so many visual enhancements you can squeeze out of a camera sensor without going for a bigger one.