Many years ago the Photoshop team collaborated with Stanford professor Marc Levoy & his team. We were especially interested in their work to create a programmable device—charmingly known as the “Frankencamera”—that could run emerging algorithms to guide both capture & processing.
Fast forward to today, and Marc is leading a team of researchers at Google who just helped ship the new Pixel phone. As Marc notes, “The French agency DxO recently gave the Pixel the highest rating ever given to a smartphone camera.” On the Verge he provides lots of interesting details about how the camera works. For instance,
The Hexagon digital signal processor in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chip gives Google the bandwidth to capture RAW imagery with zero shutter lag from a continuous stream that starts as soon as you open the app. “The moment you press the shutter it’s not actually taking a shot — it already took the shot,” says Levoy. “It took lots of shots! What happens when you press the shutter button is it just marks the time when you pressed it, uses the images it’s already captured, and combines them together.”
Read on for more—or if you just want some quick highlights, check out this two-minute tour shot entirely with a Pixel: