After using the same Sony-made IMX363 main sensor for years, dating back to the Pixel 3, Google has upgraded the camera system on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. What a time it is to be alive, as it’s well known across the industry that Pixel phones have some of the best camera experiences you can get on a smartphone. The question is, did Google continue the tradition on its latest?
- Related: A Week With the Pixel 6 Pro
To see how the new Pixel 6 stacks up against the existing Pixel 5, I took both phones out this past weekend and snapped up as many comparison shots as I could. For an in-depth breakdown of the Pixel 6 camera, you’ll need to wait for my full review coming up soon, but in TL;DR form: Oh yeah, baby, the Pixel 6 fits in nicely.
The biggest difference is processing times for photos. On the Pixel 5, there’s a solid wait time for processing certain shots, such as Night Sight captures, but that process time is cut down to next to nothing on the Pixel 6, assumingly thanks to Google’s Tensor chip and other improved internals. Additionally, the ability to capture photos with slightly larger resolution is equally welcomed, with the Pixel 6’s 50-megapixel sensor (automatically binned to 12.5-megapixel) also featuring a gorgeous natural bokeh affect on subjects that are closer to you. It’s a bit disappointing that Google doesn’t allow to capture photos at 50MP, but maybe we can advocate for a change in a future update.
Another detail I notice is the Pixel 6’s field of view is a bit wider. You’ll notice that in a few of the shots. The Pixel 6 is able to get just a bit more of its surroundings versus the Pixel 5, but it’s not very noticeable unless you’re doing side-by-side comparisons such as this.
My wish is that the PNW’s weather would have cooperated enough for me to test out the Astrophotography mode on both devices, but alas, bomb cyclones. I’m hoping to at least get a few Astro shots on the Pixel 6 before my full review is due, as I already know the Pixel 5 handles stars like a champ.
Be on the lookout for my full review and more camera samples coming soon. I love taking pictures with the Pixel 6, so there won’t be a shortage of camera content. Camera shootout between Pixel 6 and Pixel 5 below!
Pixel 6 (left) vs. Pixel 5 (right)
Pixel 6 Night Sight Off vs. On
Pixel 5 Night Sight Off vs. On
Pixel 6 4K @ 60FPS Sample
Pixel 5 4K @ 60FPS Sample