Google's latest Pixel 3 devices are widely regarded excellent camera smartphones, but some users are now reporting a serious camera bug, according to a report from Owen Williams of Charged.

For the affected Pixel owners the camera works fine when operated through the default camera app. However, if a third-party app attempts to access the imaging hardware, the camera becomes unusable and generates one of several error messages, such as "could not connect to camera," "camera encountered fatal error," or "the camera device encountered a fatal error."

This means users of the affected devices are unable to use third-party camera apps that use the camera, such as Instagram, Snapchat, or Camera+. Unfortunately a reboot, or even factory reset, doesn't fix the issue. After a reboot the device works fine, but only until a third-party camera app is launched again.

According to reports, Google is sometimes, when pressed by the customer, acknowledging the issue, but is refusing to replace affected devices. Instead users are being told they have to wait for a software update. Unfortunately at this point there is no ETA for the latter.

DPReview has contacted Google and will update this article accordingly when/if DPReview gets a response.

Is your Pixel 3 camera working as it should? Let us know in the comments.