Google explains why Pixel, Pixel XL smartphone cameras don’t have OIS

Google Pixel, Pixel XL smartphones don't have OIS and rely on EIS for better low-light photos, says the company.

By: Tech Desk | Updated: October 20, 2016 4:11 pm
 Google, Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Pixel OIS, Pixel NO OIS, Pixel Camera, Google Pixel India price, Pixel price, Google Pixel XL camera, Pixel XL OIS or EIS, Pixel vs Pixel XL Google Pixel, Pixel XL cameras don’t have OIS, and instead rely on EIS.

Google Pixel, Pixel XL smartphones will be up for pre-orders in India from tomorrow, October 13, and come with a premium price tag. The Pixel starts at Rs 57,000 and goes up all the way to Rs 76,000 for the 128GB version of the Pixel XL. Google has been touting various features of the Pixel series to showcase the premium bit, and camera is one such aspect.

Google claims this is the best smartphone camera ever made; better than the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge series. Interestingly both smartphone cameras don’t have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and now Google has given an explanation on why they opted for this.

In a post on the Google Product forum, where someone asked about why the company had gone with EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) instead of OIS, an employee named IsaacOnCamera has come forth with an explanation.

His post says, “EIS and OIS have very different goals, so you can’t compare them to ask which is better/worse. 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.” He adds EIS is used only for video, while OIS is for still photos and helps with low-light photos by compensating for the hand shake while allowing longer exposures.

Also read: Google Pixel, Pixel XL First Impressions: Google’s new smartphones are here

According to the post though, OIS comes with “all kinds of tradeoffs,” including the size, and thus it would have been hard for Google to create a slim Pixel device with OIS in the camera. The post says Google is relying on “its world-class software algorithms, notably HDR+,” to make up for the lack of OIS in low-light shots, and the phone will get better over time since it is dependent on software, rather than hardware.

Google Pixel also supports EIS in 4K resolution video, which was previously not supported in the Nexus 6P.

Google Pixel, Pixel XL phones will be up for pre-order on Flipkart from October 13. Pixel XL has a bigger 5.5-inch QHD display, while the Pixel has a 5-inch full HD display. Both phones run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 64-bit processor along with 4GB RAM and will come in 32 and 128GB storage version. Google is also offering Pixel users unlimited storage space for all their photos on the cloud; all photos and video will stored at full resolution in the Google Photos app.

Google Pixel, Pixel XL phones run Android Nougat 7.1 and come with the new Pixel launcher which starts the Google Assistant when a user long-presses the on-screen Home Button. Google Assistant is the new smart assistant from the company, which can start off a conversation with the user, keep a track of their appointments, alarms, meetings, etc. Google hopes to expand Assistant to do a lot more, including support for third-party apps like Uber. But it looks like Google plans to keep Assistant as Pixel exclusive for sometime.

We’ll have to wait and see if Google Pixel, Pixel XL smartphones live up to the hype and are able to beat the iPhone 7 Plus and S7 edge camera when it comes to performance.