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Google PixelGoogle Pixel 7 Ultra needs this feature against Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 7 Ultra needs this feature against Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

According to one leak, Google Pixel 7 could be added to the Pixel 7 by a premium sibling. I’m not referring to it as the 7 Pro, but an alternative, perhaps even a more expensive option.

As a photographer, the news made my thoughts race. Google’s phones regularly make TechRadar’s list of top camera phones, and, even if the rumored future superpower was not required to take into account aspects like affordability, the phone could stand chances of taking its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, from the top place.

If that happens, there’s a camera feature of the robust Samsung smartphone that Google has to emulate – or better, make better the periscope camera.

Samsung’s Periscope

There were numerous Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera features I thoroughly enjoyed trying, such as the Pro-tier recording feature, the introductory single Take device, and the fantastic portrait camera mode. When I look back on my Samsung phone experience, the periscope zoom camera is the most notable.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera bump. (Image credit: Peter Hoffmann)

The telephoto periscope camera featured a 10 MP 1.12um sensor paired with an f/4.9 230-mm periscope lens, offering an optical zoom of 10x over that offered by the standard camera. It’s designed to zoom into distant and close-up objects.

In the beginning, I was playing around with this camera to test what I could do to move around in a scene, photographing distant landmarks and buildings from a distance, but I soon realized it was more suitable for snaps of insects and birds. In addition, I relied on it to take “macro-looking” snaps of things like people and flowers because I am awed by the way the depth of field appears when using lenses with a long focal length.

In reality, I began using this camera with a 10x zoom to shoot portraits, and I prefer it over the traditional Portrait mode in many instances. However, this usually required me to stand back toward the photographer.

If a Google Pixel 7 Ultra is to come with no camera that has a long-range such as this, I will not even give it a chance to shine during the day. But should it get this type of camera, there are some problems in the version of S22 Ultra that Google might be able to fix.

Building using the Pixel

The zoom photos of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looked fantastic; I found some rough edges that I’d love to have trimmed out in a successor phone or even a competitor.

Most important will be the image sensor. 10MP isn’t the number of pixels needed for editing post-production. I would think that larger sensors would be ideal since the images were less bright than they could be. Perhaps a more significant and higher-res alternative is the best.

A close up of the Sony Xperia 1 IV's rear camera
The Sony Xperia 1 IV’s camera bump. (Image credit: Sony)

The second is that zooming in over large distances (maybe the subject is a celestial object such as the moon) on the phone can cause you to suffer some terrible consequences, especially when you don’t have steady hands. A slight wobble could cause you to point the phone at something opposite to the subject. I haven’t noticed this problem more prevalent with big-body cameras because they’re typically more comfortable to hold and have many built-in stabilization options.

Perhaps Google could replicate the massive zoom but also include lots of digital stabilization when you zoom into. Many cameras have OIS for certain zooms like Samsung does, but Samsung’s Space Zoom isn’t nearly as robust as the similar models that are offered by other brands such as Vivo. Maybe Google could take a page from Vivo’s options.
My final wish-list item is a longer focal length, but I think that this option is so unique that Google probably won’t even think about it. I can’t recall seeing any smartphone that was longer than the 230mm mark, and it’s likely to require such a complicated periscope lens that it’s not worth Google’s sake. But a guy can dream.

In a compromise, for those who enjoy zoom photography, perhaps Google could be able to mimic the Sony Xperia 1 IV and its adjustable zoom optical.
On the Galaxy S22 Ultra, 10x zoom is optical; however, at 9.9x, you’re using digital zoom since smartphone cameras typically utilize fixed focal lengths and depend upon digital zooms to bridge gaps. This isn’t the case with Sony’s new smartphone, however, because it ranges between 85mm and 125mm.

However, it’s not the most extensive selection and gives you what’s equivalent to 5.2x zoom. Maybe it would be if Google used this method and let you choose between, say, 190mm or 230mm, it could bring together the best features of Samsung and Sony’s flagship models.

I’ve delved into “wish-list” territory here; however, even with Google Pixel 7 Ultra barely an iota in leaders’ eyes, and that’s the situation we’re in.
If Google wants to challenge Samsung with Samsung for the top spot in our ranking of camera phones, It should learn from Samsung that borrowing the periscope zoom lens must be on the top of their “to-do” list.

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khan
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.


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