Pixel 3 chooses completely different exposure time than previous Google phones

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noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 855
Pixel 3 chooses completely different exposure time than previous Google phones
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I just looked at gsmarena's hands-on review and I noticed that the Pixel 3 has a very different algorithm for choosing the exposure time.

My Google Nexus 5x (in HDR+ On mode) always makes sure that photos with a lower Iso than ≈240 have a shutter speed of at least 1/125s. At lower Isos than Iso 500 the Nexus 5x always chooses at least 1/50s.

The Pixel 1 and Pixel 2 behave very similarly as far as I know (maybe 1/100s instead of 1/125s). Other manufacturers like Apple and Samsung usually choose a much longer exposure time than Google phones, therefore Google phones often have no noise advantage in low-light conditions despite HDR+.

A high shutter speed is necessary when moving objects are present. But until now Google phones used a high shutter speed like 1/100s or 1/125s at Iso 240 even when nothing was moving, so this can lead to unnecessary noise.

The Pixel 3 chooses much longer exposure times. See https://www.gsmarena.com/google_pixel_3_and_pixel_3_xl_hands_on-review-1833p4.php

There is a Pixel 3 image with Iso 58 and 1/30s! But there are also moving people... https://cdn.gsmarena.com/imgroot/reviews/18/google-pixel-3-and-pixel-3-xl-hands-on/camera1/gsmarena_001.jpg

There is also another scene that was photographed by the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 3. The Pixel 2 chose 1/120s at Iso 158, but the Pixel 3 chose 1/40s at Iso 93! And again there was a moving person...

So the Pixel 3 might have more issues with moving objects than previous Google phones.. So I am not sure whether Google's new algorithm is so great..

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