Google Pixel 8 AI camera features leak right before launch

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Google/YouTube)

Historically, the Google Pixel series of handsets have always been amongst the best camera phones you can buy. And it looks like the upcoming Pixel 8 has a few AI-infused tricks to maintain that strong record when it releases this fall.

In an official-looking promo video, uncovered by the prolific Google leaker Kamila Wojciechowska and published by 91mobiles, the company explains all the neat tricks coming to the Pixel 8’s camera.

Some of the improvements have leaked before. We’ve already heard about the introduction of Night Sight video to capture footage in low light and Audio Eraser, which apparently uses AI to detect unwelcome sound in captured footage. 

But others are entirely new, and the most interesting of these doesn’t actually get a branded name in the clip. The video shows a family having their photo taken on a carousel ride, and typically not everyone is looking at their photogenic best. But the Pixel 8 takes a number of pictures, letting the user mix and match the faces from each snap to create the perfect single image.

Pixel 8 camera features

(Image credit: 91mobiles)

The ability to neatly edit without Photoshop training doesn’t end there, and a later clip shows a woman on a beach. After removing the lifeguard in the background with the current Magic Editor, the user is able to move the subject around the image, and even change the color of the sky to make it look earlier or later in the day. 

Sure, the result may barely resemble the truth of the moment anymore, but if you don’t mind that, then they should make for good Instagram fodder.

Another feature is only mentioned in passing: Video Boost. The narrator says that it uses AI to produce film with a “smoother view”, but doesn’t really explain what that means in practice (though the footage does instantly brighten when it’s described). 

This — along with familiar Pixel photography staples like Night Sight, Astrophotography, Super Res Zoom and Real Tone — points to a phone that’s going big on artificial intelligence. “It’ll make you wonder — can a phone be made of magic?” the promo asks near the end of the clip. “Nope, it’s AI. And that’s kind of our thing.”

Pixel 8 camera features

(Image credit: 91mobiles)

But photographers keen to capture the world without assistance may be more interested in an AI-free feature: Pro Controls. Yes, Google is introducing manual settings to the Pixel 8, “modeled after DSLR controls”. This only appears briefly in the video, but it looks like you’ll be able to control both shutter speed and ISO, and have the ability to manually focus too.

Wojciechowska also posted full camera specs for both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. While both phones get a 50MP main camera, the latter gets the superior specs overall with a new 48MP ultrawide sensor alongside its 48MP telephoto lens. On the Pixel 8, it’s just the additional 12MP ultrawide lens with no telephoto camera.

We’re not too far away from the Pixel 8’s release date, with Google scheduling an event for October 4. Alongside the phones, we’re also expecting the Pixel Watch 2 with a big improvement to its internals.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.