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In the era of the personal computer, we worshipped at the altar of processor speeds, RAM capacity, and hard drive space. But in the era of the smartphone, none of these items are as important as they once were. Instead, we are more concerned about what their devices can do, and chief among those capabilities is taking great pictures.
Look back over the past few years of smartphone announcements from industry leaders like Samsung, Google, and, of course, Apple, and you’ll see cameras occupying a lot of time in onstage demos as well as a prominent position in smartphone marketing and ads.
With the unveiling of Apple’s 2019 iPhone line-up a matter of weeks away, many anticipate a big improvement in the devices’ cameras. That’s no surprise: every time a new phone rolls around, Apple always touts it as featuring the best camera ever. Because as good as the current iPhone’s camera is, there’s always room for improvement.
When it comes to smartphone cameras, Apple’s biggest competitor is, of course, Google. The Pixel 3 (and especially its XL model) has what many consider the best camera in the smartphone world right now, thanks in no small part to the computational heft that Google has thrown into picture-taking.
One thing in particular has become a standout in comparisons with the iPhone, and that’s the Pixel’s Night Sight feature. Low-light photos have always been a challenge for cameras, for the very simple reason that capturing an image is based on the amount of light. Apple has touted improved low-light performance on several of its iPhones in the past, but Night Sight has blown even the best of them out of the water. A low-light photo is never going to look as good as one taken with more illumination, but Night Sight gets closer than anything else on a smartphone.
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