The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are perhaps the most AI-focused phones you can find on the market right now. Google announced a series of functions at its annual Pixel event that will bring out the full AI capabilities of the new Tensor G3 chipset that powers the phones, and one among them is the Best Take camera feature that lives inside the Google Photos app.

Despite being one of the Pixel 8’s flagship camera features, it turns out Google has just resurrected a 10-year feature that first appeared in the Nokia Lumia 1020. This tells you how far Nokia was ahead of time, but unfortunately, Windows Phones are no more.

Best Take adds to several other AI-backed features that Google has been adding to the Pixel lineup, among them Magic Eraser and Magic Editor. But unlike previous additions, Best Take is at the heart of divided opinions among potential Pixel 8 buyers and the photography community at large.

With each Pixel generation, Google is always looking to outdo its previous-gen photography capabilities. No doubt the 50MP main sensor paired to a 12MP ultrawide on the Pixel 8 and 48MP ultrawide and 48MP 5x telephoto on the Pixel 8 Pro are a step ahead of the Pixel 7 series. But with Pixel photos, it has always been about the camera software, so seeing Best Take in the keynote was no surprise.

In fact, it goes to show just how useful AI can get. You don’t have to worry about how bad your friend looks in a group photo. Instead, Best Take combines similar photos into one picture where everyone is at their best. If you’ve ever tried to capture a group selfie with goofy friends around, you’re definitely going to like this feature.

Google-Photos-Best-Take

With Best Take, you can easily replace people with closed eyes or blinking in a group photo or even the face of your distracted kid with a suitable version of them picked from a burst of photos, which is pretty cool. In fact, professional photographers use similar techniques to bring out the best version of subjects in photos, so it isn’t surprising that Google is also walking the same path with the Pixel 8. After all, the Pixel line has always been appreciated by professional photographers. But still, some people think Best Take is a creepy addition to the Pixel 8, and they are probably justified to feel so.

Pixel-8-photos

Does Pixel 8 Best Take edit out rawness & originality from photos?

It may sound old school, but a photo best represents a given moment in time, be it perfect or not. With Best Take, you’re basically doing photoshop with faces of your friends, where you replace them with what the AI thinks are better-looking versions. Sure, the feature uses pre-existing photos to adjust the appearance, but it just feels unreal and not in the moment. Since the AI picks what it feels are the best versions of faces from different moments, the end product is a mixture of faces from multiple shots and moments in time, which feels a bit weird.

Pixel-Best-Take-creepy-feature

When I pull out my phone to take a photo, I intend to capture a certain moment in time. With Best Take, it feels like editing away the actual emotion and rawness of the photo and replacing it with something from a different moment. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather have cameras that are better stabilized and fast enough to ensure I capture moments the way I intended or saw them in action rather then depend on AI to pick moments for me after the camera fails to capture it properly in real time.

The Pixel 8’s Best Take is a powerful enough tool to completely change an image from the original photo you captured. While there’s nothing wrong with editing photos, but the worrying thing is Google has put powerful photo editing tools previously reserved for professional photo editors in the hands of every Pixel 8 buyer. Now there’s no knowing if a photo is fake or real.

In an interview with The Verge, a Google spokesperson Michael Marconi says you don’t get new facial expressions with Best Take, rather, it “uses an on-device face detection algorithm to match up a face across six photos taken within seconds of each other.” While Marconi tries to justify Best Take by noting that it doesn’t pull faces from photos outside a 10-second timeframe, but it still doesn’t represent the actual moment in time you hit the shutter button.

Either way, it will still be interesting to see how useful and popular Best Take becomes in the Pixel community, especially since Google has hinted at a potential wider rollout to older Pixel phones alongside other features such as Magic Editor and Audio Eraser.

Google-Pixel-8-Best-Take-and-other-features

From the early impressions, though, it seems the majority like it, with only a few dissenting voices citing its creepiness and lack of originality. So do let us know your thoughts in the comments below as well.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Hillary Keverenge
2132 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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