Pixel cameras lack OIS but Google doesn't want you to be worried

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL phones have arrived as among the best camera phones, but lack OIS, which is critical for stable photos in low light.

A Google rep has answered questions on why the Pixel phones do not feature OIS and how they've gotten around it.

The entire camera stack in Pixel and Pixel XL have be redesigned and the phones received a rating of 89% on image quality from DxO. The cameras feature 1.55micron pixels and HDR+ for clear and vivid pictures. There is zero shutter lag and you can keep capturing pictures using SmartBurst which helps you select the best, and the most sharp picture from the burst you might have clicked. Video stabilisation helps record stutter free videos so that you do not have to encounter the halo effect.

Despite these features, the camera setup lacks Optical Image Stabilisation- a critical feature that offers stability to pictures and videos. Instead, Google has opted for EIS for videos. While Pixel fans and users were wondering why this is so, a Google rep named IsaacOnCamera has discussed the issue in detail on Google's official product forum. He started out by explaining the difference between EIS and OIS and went on to explain why OIS was given a miss this time.

"OIS primarily improves low light photography by physically compensating for hand shake within each single frame, and EIS improves shaky video by maintaining a consistent framing between multiple video frames. OIS is primarily for photo, and EIS is only for video," IsaacOnCamera said. "Where OIS helps is still low-light photos. It compensates for hand shake, allowing longer exposures in low light, but this in turn increases motion blur within the frame. And it comes with all kinds of tradeoffs, starting off with its physical size (meaning it would be harder to produce the slim/small device that Pixel is)."

IsaacOnCamera went on to explain why the Pixel phones are excellent ones even without OIS.

"And despite lacking OIS, Pixel is still very strong in still low-light photos, beating other cameras that do have OIS modules. That's a testament to its world-class software algorithms, notably HDR+. And with software algorithms instead of OIS hardware, Pixel can get better and better over time. At the end of the day, Pixel takes some of the best low-light photos you'll find on any smartphone, even without OIS. And that's what really matters -- better pictures, not how Pixel does it," he concluded.

Basically, engineers at Google think that advanced software algorithm and technologies like HDR+ are better than OIS for still photos, and it is quite possible that they have come to this conclusion after testing these technologies for a while. While we've been impressed with the way the Nexus phones took pictures and videos, we'd surely like to give the Pixels a test run to gauge their effectiveness in still photography, especially in low light now that OIS is gone for good.

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