Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Today’s leading smartphone cameras deliver impressive picture quality, offering minimal noise in most conditions, flexible zoom, great low-light capabilities, and more. The differences ultimately boil down to colors, white balance, and other variables.
Android Authority colleague and head of photography Edgar Cervantes recently put his editing prowess to the test against the Pixel 7 Pro. We asked readers to choose between the Pixel’s photo output and Edgar’s edited versions. Here’s what you chose.
Which photos did you like better?
More than 2,100 votes were tallied in this poll, and it turns out that most of you prefer the stock pictures taken by the Pixel 7 Pro. Roughly 57% of respondents voted for the Pixel’s out-of-the-box shots. Some reader comments supporting this stance suggested that Edgar’s edits were too warm compared to the Pixel’s output.
Meanwhile, ~43% of surveyed readers said they preferred our photographer’s edits. At least one reader felt that Ed’s shots took artistic license for the better, calling the Pixel shots “dull and lifeless.” Another reader also felt that their preference depended on the screen they were using to view the images.
It’s also worth noting that our photographer only gave himself five minutes to edit each snap, although we’re not sure more editing time would make a massive difference to this poll.
- James: Most of the photographer’s edits are too warm, colourful and make for unatural blue skies (Some like this). With the exception of the lake scene, the night shots and backyard shot I think I prefer goggle’s editing.
- Dan: One word: YELLOW.
- Chris: I don’t think either one, the pixel OR the photographer’s, did a better job. I think they did completely different jobs altogether. The pixel tried to accurately recreate the scene whereas the human very much took artistic license. I think Google was trying to emphasize true-to-life accuracy and in most scenes succeeded. Most look solid “out of the box” and thus very easy to spice up if desired. None need rescuing to try to dial things back to reality. Again, I don’t think the Pixel or the photographer did a better job, I think they did completely DIFFERENT jobs. Computers are better with accuracy humans are better suited to artistry. The accuracy of the Pixel’s initial shots can serve as a solid final image or as an excellent starting point to some artistic alterations.
- L4N: I chose Pixel. I have no doubts manual editing would produce better results overall, but I’m not a fan of how he edited these photos. It’s subjective. Human wins but in this particular case, I pick the Pixel
- Roland Homoki: Very interesting. I had difficulties to make a comment on the phone (it kept resizing the whole article), so I moved to my Mac to make the comment, but here it looks quite different. I expected that, but it’s always good to see proof for a hypothesis. So … on my phone I like 60% of the images from the Pixel. My phone has an OLED screen, and many human-edited photos were oversaturated and overexposed. But on the Macbook it’s like 65% of the human-edited are better in my opinion. Even more in my son’s opinion 🙂 So a lot depends on the screen where you consume the content. To summarize, in most cases I would prefer something in between
- PhoenixWitti: The Pixel photos are dull and lifeless. True to life? Maybe. But what’s the point of a landscape photo if it’s just…meh? Edgar definitely took some artistic liberty with several of the shots, but unless I’m just after snapshots, I think art is the point. I prefer the warmer, brighter images. And I’ll step out on a limb and say Edgar was likely limited by the output of a phone sensor.