The Pixel 7 Professional’s panorama mode remains to be up to now behind the iPhone

apple iphone 12 pro max vs google pixel 7 pro camera

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I journey rather a lot and I like taking panorama photographs in scenic places. They’re an effective way to seize the immensity of the Alps, the peacefulness of the Slovenian seashore, or the Toronto skyline from the islands. However every time I take a panorama shot with my Pixel 7 Professional, I discover the outcome disappointing. That is purported to be probably the greatest digicam telephones available on the market, however it may well’t sew a few pictures collectively to make a good panorama — how come?

I had ignored this facet of the Pixel’s images expertise till I went on a visit with a buddy who carries an Apple iPhone 14. That’s once I (begrudgingly) observed that their cellphone was taking a lot, significantly better panorama photographs than my Pixel. So what provides? I picked up my previous iPhone 12 Professional Max to research this often-forgotten facet of cellular images.

The iPhone captures panoramas with all lenses

apple iphone 12 pro max vs google pixel 7 pro panorama

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

A little bit of digging revealed that there are two main variations within the panorama-shooting expertise between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel, and the primary one is apparent from the second you launch the mode within the digicam app.

Google doesn’t give me any management over the pano expertise. I can begin capturing utilizing the cellphone’s major rear lens and cease — that’s it. Apple, however, lets me take panoramas with all the cellphone’s lenses. Since I’m utilizing my iPhone 12 Professional Max for instance, I can shoot panoramas with the principle lens, the ultrawide, and the two.5x telephoto lens. That’s already a serious benefit. The flexibility of zooming or increasing may be very neat and lets me body the shot precisely how I need.

The photographs beneath present the identical river financial institution shot with these three lenses. The principle lens does the job, however I can think about the ultrawide being very useful for capturing extra majestic landscapes and the zoom being excellent for metropolis skylines.

A number of the pictures beneath have been cropped for higher alignment, transformed from HEIC to JPG, and/or compressed. To pixel-peep on the full-resolution authentic samples, test this Google Drive folder.

iPhone vs Pixel panoramas: A difficulty of decision and element

The second distinction is within the closing picture. The Pixel 7 Professional shoots very, very low-resolution panoramas — or a minimum of it compresses them instantly after snapping them. The most important panos I’ve saved are round 1600 pixels in width, and not more than 5MP in dimension. Ouch. For a sensor that’s able to 50MP and binning all the way down to 12MP, 5MP is so, so meager. That is late ’00s or early ’10s digicam period.

In consequence, Pixel-shot panoramas are positive if I take a look at them on my cellphone’s display, however don’t stand as much as the pinching take a look at. Particulars are inexistent. The principle purpose to make use of the panorama mode, i.e. the flexibility to seize extra in a single picture with out the effort of handbook stitching, is totally misplaced as a result of I find yourself with fewer particulars and data than if I snapped an ultrawide shot or obtained a number of common photographs and mixed them in Photoshop later.

By comparability, Apple captures and saves panoramas at — or close to — every sensor’s most decision. The ensuing picture is a high-resolution snap with loads of element; many of the panoramas I’ve shot are greater than 20MP and typically even reached 60MP in dimension. The distinction is admittedly night time and day and I can pinch in to disclose rather a lot.

Right here’s one other crop from one other riverbank snap. You possibly can see that, not like the Pixel, the iPhone manages to seize quite a lot of element from the buildings and timber.

The Pixel 7 Professional panoramas get HDR and colours proper

The Pixel nonetheless manages to attain some factors, although — a minimum of in comparison with my older iPhone 12 Professional Max. Panoramas shot on my Pixel 7 Professional have a greater dynamic vary than these I took on my iPhone.

Apple doesn’t appear to be utilizing any HDR corrections right here: Some areas are overexposed, others underexposed, and panoramas don’t forgive that. You’re already pushing your cellphone’s digicam by mixing many “mini” scenes of various brightness and publicity, and the iPhone doesn’t do itself any favors by fully eschewing HDR. Nonetheless, I point out this with the caveat that I’m utilizing an older mannequin, so possibly the newer iPhone 13 and 14 have mounted that.

The Pixel additionally wins a number of further factors for its distinctive 360 picture sphere mode and the liberty to seize panoramas in any course (i.e. it may well snap them right-to-left and bottom-to-top, not like the iPhone which solely does left-to-right and top-to-bottom). Plus, personally, I desire Google’s shade science even when it feels a contact over-saturated. I discover Apple’s colours too cool. See for your self.

Pixel 7 Professional vs iPhone panorama: A ‘clear’ winner

Regardless of the Pixel’s higher HDR and colours, I’ve to provide Apple the win right here if just for the higher-resolution snaps. You possibly can at all times edit and enhance colours, however you may’t add element.

Once I seize panoramas, I do it to get extra into the picture — extra width or top, extra element, extra fascinating topics — and be capable of recall that second in time later as if I’m seeing it with my very own eyes once more. My eyes don’t see a blurry mess, they see element, and the Pixel 7 Professional fails to ship that, sadly. The iPhone does. And the choice to modify to the ultrawide or zoom lens to border issues otherwise is the cherry on high.