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Former Google Pixel camera lead joins Adobe to create a universal camera app

Marc Levoy will also help Adobe's overall digital imaging efforts.

Published onJuly 20, 2020

Marc Levoy portrait by David Imel
Marc Levoy
  • The former Google executive behind the Pixel’s camera, Marc Levoy, has joined Adobe.
  • He’ll help Adobe’s computational photography efforts, including a “universal camera.”
  • It comes months after a quiet exit from Google.

It’s now clear where Pixel camera architect Marc Levoy is headed after quietly leaving Google in March.

Adobe has announced that Levoy is joining its ranks as a Vice President and Fellow.  The executive will lead the company’s overall efforts in computation photography, focusing on a “universal camera app.” He’ll work with the Photoshop Camera team as well as the Adobe Research, Sensei, and Digital Imaging units.

The company wasn’t more specific about its plans, but it did boast that Levoy would help “reimagine what computational photography can be” for capturing and editing.

See also: 5 things we want to see from the Google Pixel 5

This is a significant coup for Adobe. At Google, Levoy led the team behind the Pixel phones’ HDR+, Night Sight, and Portrait camera modes, all of which use AI and other software techniques to achieve effects that might otherwise require specialized hardware. He also played a role in Street View and developed the camera for the original Google Glass.

It remains a loss for Google, though. The company lost Levoy alongside Pixel general manager Mario Queiroz, who had been involved with Google phone launches since the Nexus One. While Google’s phone hardware program isn’t necessarily in danger, it’s in the midst of a shakeup that could significantly alter its direction.

We interviewed Marc Levoy about the Google Pixel 4’s camera back in October. You can read that interview here.

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