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5 things we learned about the Pixel 6 Pro cameras after its latest leak

From photo quality to camera specs, here's what the latest leak tells us.

Published onOctober 5, 2021


We’ve seen a slew of Pixel 6 series details surface in recent months, in large part due to Google itself. But the upcoming flagships have also been the subject of many leaks, and we’ve got another significant leak this week.

YouTuber M Brandon Lee of This is Tech Today obtained a video of the Pixel 6 Pro via a source in Nigeria, showing off a subtly curved screen (skip to 1:57). But the source was also able to offer a variety of images (4:46) and a few videos taken with the phone itself. So here’s what we learned as a result of this leak.

1. Photos tentatively look good

It’s worth noting that the camera app seen here seems to be pre-production software that’s lacking a variety of previously leaked features. So we’d expect more modes and improved image quality with commercial devices.

Aside from the pre-production nature of the software, judging image quality via a video is a bit of a challenge too. Nevertheless, the pictures do seem to show wide dynamic range, a good level of resolvable detail, and colors that don’t appear to take the oversaturated route.

2. Video quality might be a different story

The source also shared 1080p/60fps video samples with Lee, but these clips don’t seem to be anything special compared to prior Pixels. Stabilization in particular doesn’t appear to be as good as some rival devices.

Again, this doesn’t seem to be the final camera software. So it’s very possible that things improve with the final firmware. It’s also worth noting that 1080p/60fps isn’t exactly the maximum video recording resolution seen on previous Pixels, so we hope to see 4K/60fps footage or thereabouts as well.

3. Signs point to a 50MP main camera

Metadata from the 1X photos also show that the images are 12.5MP in size. This is coincidentally the pixel-binned resolution from a 50MP sensor, and the Pixel 6 series is widely expected to adopt the Samsung GN1 50MP sensor. We also get confirmation of an f/1.85 aperture for the primary shooter.

Otherwise, Lee notes that the ultra-wide camera’s metadata points to an f/2.2 aperture and a 12.5MP resolution as well. Previous rumors indeed suggest a 12MP ultra-wide snapper.

4. How the Pixel 6 Pro might handle zoom factors

A screen recording obtained by the YouTuber also shows how the Pixel 6 Pro handles zoom in photo and video modes. More specifically, the photo mode has shortcuts for 0.7x, 1x, 2x, and 4x zoom options. Switch to video mode and the 2x option is missing.

This approach makes sense, as the 2x zoom option for photos is likely Super Res Zoom. Presumably, Google will still let you record at a 2x zoom factor, but it’s unclear if this will be via a simple crop or if hybrid zoom techniques are involved here too.

5. The source is surprising, but there could be an explanation

It’s not every day that we see high-profile leaks via Nigeria or Africa at large. We’re guessing Lee went to some great lengths to protect the source because the leaker is either associated with Google or a carrier partner (rather than an enthusiast who somehow bought an early unit).

Google has never officially launched any Pixel phones on the African continent though, and it doesn’t seem like that will change with the Pixel 6 series. So it stands to reason that it didn’t come via a carrier employee. It’s also worth noting that I’ve previously seen South African Googlers with Pixel phones in the past, even though the phones weren’t officially released here.

What do you think of the Pixel 6 Pro’s leaked image samples? Let us know via the poll below.

What do you think of the leaked Pixel 6 Pro camera samples?

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