Pixel 3 phone image

Google Pixel 3 Camera: 7 Simple Tricks to Taking Awesome Pictures

Google designed Pixel 3 from the inside out “to be the smartest, most useful device in your life.” The “smartest” indeed as the new flagship phone from Google has machine learning software and hardware that help enhance the user experience, especially with its even better camera features.

Liza Ma Google
Liza Ma, Google Product Manager

“The smartest camera gets even better with Pixel 3,” said Liza Ma, a Senior Product Manager at Google. Pixel 2 was, by far, the best camera phone in the world until its successor came in the picture. The Google Pixel 3 camera got rave reviews months after its release and hailed by fans as the new best camera phone, yet.

And now, to make the most out of your Google Pixel 3, we will teach you several tips and tricks to help you capture the most stunning photos so you could share them with pride on your favorite photo sharing apps and social media platforms.

Liza Ma Google
Google Pixel 3 Just Black

Quick Camera Launch

Pixel 3 camera quick launch
Power Button Quick Launch

Google Pixel 3’s camera can easily be accessed by simply pressing the power button twice. Yep, convenient isn’t it? Even if the phone’s screen is turned off, the camera can be launched through this trick.

If this tip doesn’t seem to be working for you, then you have to activate this feature manually first in your phone’s settings. Just go to Settings > System > Gestures and then turn the “Jump to camera” option on.

Flip camera gesture
Double Twist Gesture

You can also switch between front and back cameras this easily just by twisting your wrist twice while holding the camera face up. This feature can be turned on manually by heading over to Settings > System > Gestures and then toggle the “Flip camera” option on.

Other tips and tricks for older versions of Google Pixel camera can also be found here.

1. App Navigation (Top Shot)

Pixel 3 photo app interface
Photo: Digital Trends

The Pixel 3 camera app is easy to navigate. The modes are easily found at the bottom of the window. You can cruise between them by swiping left and right. There are 9 different modes that you can play with. And some of these are a new addition to Pixel 3, such as Photo Booth, Playground, and the improved Portrait mode.

Atop the viewfinder, you can find 4 different icons that represent the timer, motion, white balance, and flash, in order from left to right. The most interesting of the four that you should try is “motion.”

Motion lets you capture the perfect moment, no eyes closed, no hair over your face, and no blurred faces. This is being made possible with Google Pixel’s latest feature, Top Shot, where the camera captures several photos before and after you press the shutter.

Pixel 3 top shop
Google Pixel 3 Top Shot

This gives you control over the right photo you deem worthy of sharing. A series of frames is generated after the shutter is pressed, then the phone automatically selects the best photo. You can select the best frame yourself by tapping the three-dotted menu on the upper right corner, then tap on “Select shots”.

2. Photobooth

Pixel 3 phone
Pixel 3 With AI Technology

Google Pixel 3 may have pretty mediocre specs for a flagship phone; 12-megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture and two 8 megapixel front cameras, one with f/1.8 aperture and the other with an ultra-wide 97-degree lens with f/2/2 aperture.

However, with AI technology alongside the Pixel Visual Core microchip incorporated inside the phone, its image-process capabilities take phone photography to the next level. Take Photobooth, its latest feature.

Photobooth Google Pixel 3
Photobooth Mode

Photobooth allows for more convenient selfies. With this feature, the camera takes photos by itself without you worrying about triggering the shutter button. The camera is automatically triggered by facial expressions like smiles, tongue-out, duck face, and even kisses.

The GIF above is an example of the feature’s brilliance. The white bar on the left side of the display indicates the users’ actions. It expands to full width and automatically takes pictures when everyone in the photo is at their best look.

To access the mode, just go to “More” in the camera app viewfinder and then select Photobooth.

3. Take Wider Selfies

Pixel 3 wider selfie
Photo by Google

The struggle is very real fitting every face inside a group photo. Now, with Google’s new and improved front camera, we can zoom in or out to accommodate all the subjects and even include a nice background view inside.

To access this new feature, tap the magnifying glass found at the right side of the viewfinder. This will bring out the zoom interface. You can then zoom in or out by adjusting the slider.

4. Take Clearer Photos at Night with Night Sight

Pixel 3 night sight
Photo by Google

This brand new feature lets you capture more detailed photos under low-light environments without the use of camera flash. You can access this mode by heading over to “More” in the camera app viewfinder and then selecting Night Sight.

Be careful, though, when taking pictures using this mode. It is best to keep your hand still while taking the picture as any slight movement may ruin your photograph. This is because Night Sight employs an approach similar to HDR+ or High Dynamic Range by stitching together multiple shots to boost brightness and color.

5. Take Portrait Shots Like a Pro

Pixel 3 portrait mode
Sharper Bokeh Effect with Pixel 3

How about some clearer and sharper bokeh effect for your portrait photo. Yes, Pixel 3 has an improved Portrait feature that gives each photograph a professional look.

You can access Portrait mode by simply tapping the “Mode” button in the camera viewfinder and then choosing Portrait. The feature also works with the front cameras so you can take selfies with a slight bokeh or blur effect.

To keep things interesting, changing the blur level right after taking the photograph is possible. Simply tap the edit icon, the second icon from the left found at the bottom part in Google photos app, and then hit that same-looking icon again to bring out an option called Depth.

You can adjust the depth or change the level of blur depending on your preference. You can also find additional options to further edit the photo by tapping the arrow at the right side. Doing this, separate sliders for Blur and Foreground blur will appear.

6. Convert JPEG images to RAW files

Google Pixel 3 now allows you to save your images in RAW format. You will love this feature if you are an avid photographer who wants more control over your pictures. But if not, feel free to ignore this tip.

Access this setting by tapping “More” in the camera app. Head over to Settings > Advanced and toggle the “RAW+JPEG control” option on. A separate folder for the RAW format is now created for your images.

RAW JPEG control
Toggle On RAW+JPEG control

Be informed, though, that each frame you capture now takes up extra space because of the secondary format created along with the JPEG.

Let these tips be your guide to taking your phone photography to the next level.

Bonus Tip

Take photos as much as you like with Google’s free photo back up storage.

Pixel 3 free back up storage
Turn On Back up & sync

Owning a Google Pixel phone comes with unlimited free back up storage for your photos in original quality through Google Photos app. To use this, just head over to Photos app and turn on Back up & sync.


How good is Google Pixel 3 camera?

With AI technology along with Google’s Pixel Visual Core microchip, I’d say Google Pixel 3’s camera is quite remarkable. It may have mediocre specs (in today’s standards), but with its latest features such as Night Sight, Top Shot, and Super Res Zoom, Pixel continues to reinvent the whole phone photography scene. Google Pixel 3 is the best camera phone you can buy in the market today.

Is the Google Pixel 3 camera better than the iPhone?

A lot of people would argue that the Pixel 3 camera is better than the iPhone. But both have their own pros and cons. When compared with iPhone’s camera phone heavyweight, iPhone XS, Pixel 3 has the advantage when it comes to general shooting. It brings out more detail in every photo and gives a punchy, high-contrast look in portraits—pretty convenient for social media uploads.

How to download Google Pixel 3 camera?

If you’re looking to acquire these cutting-edge features for your non-Pixel phones, well, we might just have a quick tip for you. You can download an APK file, for non-Pixel Android phones with versions 8.0 and up, from the link below.
Be warned, though, that the site may not be safe and can potentially bring harm to the device you are using. And don’t forget to enable installation from other sources on your phone’s settings.

Closing Thoughts

Camera phones are just getting better each year, and standalone cameras are slowly marching down the exit out of the photography scene. Well, that might be a little exaggerated but at the rate of the camera phone’s improvement, it might not seem to be too impossible to happen. With Google’s Pixel 3 camera new possibilities open up for what camera phones could become in the future.

The new Pixel 3 also comes with a wireless charger for fast, wireless charging. Grab it from Amazon by clicking the link below.

Pixel 3 wireless charger
Pixel 3 Wireless Charger White

If you have discovered Pixel 3 camera tips and tricks other than the ones mentioned above, share them on the comment section below. We would love to learn them from you.

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