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Google Pixel 4 goes up against a full-frame Canon DSLR in low-light test [Video]

Smartphone cameras are getting ridiculously good and, for the vast majority of people, they’ve replaced traditional cameras. This week, a blind test to see if the Pixel 4 could beat an expensive Canon camera in low light was run and the Pixel came out on top.

A YouTube channel (via PetaPixel) shot several handheld stills to compare the full-frame Canon EOS RP to the Pixel 4, a device with a much smaller sensor size. Traditionally, a larger sensor would mean better low light photography, but computational photography has changed the game.

In every comparison, the Pixel 4 produces brighter shots in the low-light setting with much less noise than the shots taken by Canon. That’s largely thanks to Google’s behind-the-scenes magic which stacks multiple images at different exposures to capture more detail and eliminate noise. A traditional DSLR just can’t do that on the fly, so comparing the low-light shots side-by-side will almost always give the Pixel the advantage.

Pixel 4 (left) vs Canon EOS RP (right)

Of course, there are ways for trained photographers to close the gap. They can copy Google’s HDR technique by stacking shots in post-production for better results. Taking the photos with a tripod or even using a more expensive camera could improve the shots, but that’s not really the point.

Google’s Pixel 4, thanks to its computational photography, makes taking excellent pictures easy for everyone.

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