Google Pixel 7 camera tips: 7 tips to solve smartphone photo-taking problems

Google’s Pixel phones are among the best, and the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro both feature the company’s best cameras yet. While the camera hardware in the Pixel 7 series is very close to what we saw on the 2021 Pixel 6 and 6 Pro phones, Google continues to make progress in tackling software and images that make the camera experience better throughout the year. However, some of the best features aren’t immediately apparent. Here are some of our favorite Google Pixel 6 camera tricks.

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1. Add grid lines to the viewfinder

Composing a frame is an essential skill in photography. If you think your composition could use boost, your Pixel allows you to add grid lines to the viewfinder. These lines are always visible and help you arrange your shots in visually pleasing ways. When in doubt, line something up with one or more gridlines.

  1. From the Camera app, go to settings.
  2. Faucet More settings.
  3. Under Authoring, click network type.
  4. There are options of 3 x 3, 4 x 4, or golden ratio grid lines.

2. Use the level

Getting perfectly even shots through the sight can be challenging, even for a pro. The Pixel 7 camera app has a feature that makes it a breeze.

While taking a photo either in portrait or landscape orientation, with your phone a few degrees off level, you will see some horizontal lines and a number will appear. When the white lines line up with each other and the number is 0 degrees, the horizon is flat in your shot. When the white lines overlap the yellow line, your phone is perpendicular to the ground and parallel to things like walls and standing targets.

If you take a photo with your phone’s camera facing straight down (or close to it), you’ll see a two plus (+) icons appear. When you align the solid white plus icon with the floating yellow icon, your phone is flat and assumed to be parallel to any surfaces between the floor and your hands, such as floors or tables. This can be useful for getting perfectly flat images of things like documents (or anything cool you happen to see on the ground).

3. Adjust exposure, shadows and temperature

When you tap to focus on the Pixel 7’s viewfinder, you’ll see some sliders appear. These sliders control exposure, shadows, and color temperature.

  • The icon that looks like the sun is the exposure. This slider adjusts the overall brightness of your photo. Top (or left) makes the image brighter, and bottom (or right) darker.
  • The crescent moon icon adjusts the shadows (the darker parts of your photo). Slide up to lighten the shadows and slide down to darken them.
  • The Temperature slider warps the colors in your image to be warmer (more amber) or cooler (more blue), depending on which direction you move them.

Pixel camera sliders

Pixel camera app with exposure, shadow and temperature sliders

These sliders are useful for dialing in the look you’re looking for before you take the photo, saving time editing later. Settings persist as long as you have the viewfinder open, but you’ll need to make adjustments again if you navigate away from the Camera app.

4. Experiment with movement positions

The Pixel 6 debuted two new photo modes that are still available on the Pixel 7: Action Pan and Long Exposure. Action Pan adds an illusion of motion blur around an animated subject. Long Exposure simulates the look of a long exposure. Still objects are crisp, but anything that moves when the photo is taken has a blur effect. These are trick techniques to use with dedicated cameras, so being able to “fake” them with a phone is easy.

PXL_20211020_204322282.MOTION-01.COVER

To access these modes, tap a movement at the bottom of the Camera app (to the left of Camera, after Portrait). Action Pan works best on single moving subjects. Long exposure works anywhere there is movement.

5. Switch cameras with a gesture

Switching between the rear and front camera on the Pixel 7 is easy. All you do is click on a file converts near the bottom of the screen. If that button is hard to reach, there’s a gesture for switching cameras: twist the phone like a knob twice. The phone vibrates and switches to the camera you’re not currently using.

You can also use this gesture to take a selfie without using your phone’s touch screen. Double-tap the power button to open the camera app, twist the phone twice to switch to the front-facing camera, and press the volume key to take a selfie.

6. Shooting in RAW format

If you are interested in photography, you may be familiar with “shoot in RAW.” RAW files take up a lot of storage space, but they are minimally processed and allow for more flexibility in editing with a compatible application such as Adobe Lightroom.

Google post-processing is one of the best things about Pixel phones’ cameras, so your photos may not benefit much from manual processing. But it’s still a fun exercise. Here’s how to try it.

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Click on settings cog in the upper left corner.
  3. Faucet More settings.

  4. go to the advanced.
  5. switch file RAW + JPEG control option for on me.

  6. To toggle RAW capture on or off, tap settings Gear in the Camera app and select the appropriate icon at the bottom raw.

On Pixel phones, RAW files are saved to their own folder that isn’t backed up in Google Photos, but the phone still saves a processed copy of every photo you take, even with RAW capture turned on. Remember to turn off RAW capture when you don’t want to use it. Files take up a lot of local storage space.

You will need a RAW compatible application to edit the files. Google Photos won’t work, but there are plenty of options, including Lightroom and Google Snapseed.

7. Fix blurry photos, even from other phones

This is not a camera tip, but it does include pictures. With the Pixel 7, Google introduced a new feature within Google Photos: Photo Unblur, which attempts to remove motion blur from photos after they’ve been taken, even if those photos are from a non-Pixel phone. It won’t miraculously save the photos you’ve been hanging on since you had a foldable phone. However, it’s very nice to restore some reasonable detail to somewhat blurry photos, especially of faces.

the left: Before. the correct: After, after.

This feature is exclusive to the Pixel 7 series. To use it, find a blur image in the Google Photos app, tap releaseand press Remove blur. Then use the slider to adjust the strength of the effect. While you can only use this feature on the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, you can use it on photos taken on any phone. Blurred photos are saved as clones, so you’ll need to manually add those to any albums where your blurred photo appeared.

Take your smartphone photo game to the next level

We hope you picked up some helpful Pixel camera tips! For step-by-step instructions, check out our guides on using Action Pan and Long Exposure on Pixel phones and shooting RAW on mobile. For a better handle on the differences between the camera settings on Google’s latest phones, check out Google Pixel 7 vs. Pixel 7 Pro.

Interested in learning the details of how mobile photography works? Read our tutorial on pixel grouping. This explains why the Pixel 7’s 50MP camera takes 12.5MP photos.

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