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Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7 Pro Camera Comparison

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are here, forcing little phone enthusiasts to choose between the size of their favorite device and massive photography differences. While we like the design choices Google made to make the smaller Pixel 7 feel great in the hand, the Pro’s improved ultra-wide lens, not to mention its proprietary 5x telephoto lens, makes all the difference.

It can be a tough choice if you’re trying to decide between the two phones. Both make for two of the best Android phones on the market. But with a $300 difference between them, it’s important to understand what your extra cash is getting you on the Pro, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the camera array. We tested the primary and ultra-wide lenses on these phones and pitted the standard Pixel 7’s 5x digital zoom against the Pro’s 5x telephoto. The results might surprise you. Let’s dive into it.


Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7 Pro: main cameras

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro feature identical primary lenses: 50MP f/1.85 sensors with 82° FoV and OIS. It is therefore not surprising that the shots of the two phones are almost identical. Comparing these groups of photos is like playing a game of “spot the difference”. The only subtle changes are where the phone was held when the image was taken. However, for comparison, here are some examples, with the Pixel 7 image first and the Pixel 7 Pro second.

There’s not much here that’s really interesting. Both cameras can capture almost identical photos because the hardware and software processing is identical. Whether you buy a Pixel 7 or a Pixel 7 Pro, you get the same great experience.

The same goes for Portrait mode on both shots. Here are four shots: two of the Pixel 7 and two of the Pro, with Portrait mode off and on, respectively.

These look virtually identical, with the only major differences coming from how the photo was framed. That means the interesting comparisons come from the other two cameras: the ultra-wide and the telephoto.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: ultra-wide comparison

Unlike last year, the ultra-wide lenses on these phones aren’t identical. The Pixel 7 uses the same 114° angle lens as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, while the 7 Pro gets an improved 125° shooter. One of our main criticisms of the Pixel 6 series was the small difference between the ultra-wide lens and the standard main sensor, and this year that difference stands out. Check out this gallery showing images of the Pixel 7, followed by images of the Pixel 7 Pro.

From this group of images, two things immediately stand out. First, the ultra-wide night mode is still pretty unusable. Both sample images are blurry and unpleasant to the eye. In daytime shots, looking around, the difference made here is apparent. Taking a photo with the Pixel 7 Pro’s ultra-wide lens is like taking a step back. More of the world is immediately introduced into the frame without the shooter having to move an inch.

For example, the Pro’s shots of Buffalo City Hall reveal more of the tensegrity sculpture next to it, while the Pixel 7 saw almost nothing of it. The same goes for the photos of the lake, revealing more surrounding vegetation than the regular Pixel 7 could see.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s wider angle also allows it to use a dedicated macro mode that pops up when you’re close to an object. It can be difficult to capture moving subjects in macro, think of leaves blowing in the wind. Still, when capturing stationary elements with a steady hand, it makes all the difference.

The first photo shows the closest distance the Pixel 7 could capture this keyboard at any level of focus, and it’s still a bit blurry. The Pixel 7 Pro was able to get closer to the keyboard while still producing a clearer shot. The winner here is obvious, and if you’re interested in macro photography, go for the Pixel 7 Pro.

Pixel 7 vs Pixel 7 Pro: Telephoto comparison

The best thing about the Pixel 7 Pro is its telephoto lens. Both phones can crop their primary sensor to 2x for excellent quality photos, but only the Pixel 7 Pro has dedicated hardware for 5x shots. This inclusion allows for impressive photography, and not just at 5x. While the Pixel 7’s Super Res Zoom mode tops out at 8x, the Pro can capture footage at 30x. Not all of these shots will be usable, but we found 10x shots to be ideal for the phone. For this comparison, we captured everything at 5x, the default focal length for the Pro’s telephoto lens.

Once again, the Pixel 7 is the first photo of the bunch, while the Pixel 7 Pro is the second.

Many of these photos speak for themselves. Either way, the Pixel 7 Pro captured more detail than the Pixel 7 could ever manage. Consider the detail of the edge of the glass in the first two photos. The Pro’s telephoto lens captured the reflections of light with a lot more texture than the Pixel 7’s shot. In the second pair, the Pixel 7 seemed to work well capturing the masonry of this building, but it’s a mess muddy compared to the work of the Pixel 7 Pro. The lines along the building, the Roman numerals on the clock, and the leaves in the lower left corner look much better with the 5x objective.

The third set of photos is the only group that looks relatively unchanged between the Pixel 7 and the 7 Pro. Because the building has been framed by a window, it is far enough away that any loss of detail is better camouflaged. For example, the building on the left side of the image looks sharper on the 7 Pro, but it’s only identifiable if you’re willing to zoom in on the photo.

The other three decors – the pumpkin, the cat, and the night shot of Darth Vader – hammer the point home. Whether it’s the texture of a pumpkin stalk, the fur of a sleeping cat, or the glow of a lightsaber and fishing rod, the Pro’s telephoto lens is better at capturing it. . That’s not to say the Pixel 7 is incapable of capturing usable footage at 5x; only that anyone who might need to rely on zooming in on subjects might consider jumping for the more expensive model.


Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7 Pro: Which takes better photos?

The Pixel 7 Pro is a more agile device for capturing the world around you. The real question is whether the inclusion of a telephoto lens (and a wider ultra-wide lens) is worth the extra $300. For some buyers, it’s a no-brainer. But, in our opinion, the smaller Pixel 7 is a more comfortable phone for everyday use. It fits more easily in your hand, it’s more affordable, and if you can do without the telephoto lens, it might be worth saving your money.

The Pixel 7’s digital zoom doesn’t hold a candle to its side-by-side big brother in a competition. Still, it’s not bad if you’re looking for something that can capture reliable footage for social media. And you get one hell of a main camera anyway.

However, taking the best photo is not limited to the camera. Step up your photography game with our tips on how to take better photos with your Android phone.

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