Okay, so you’ve got your shiny new Pixel 8 Pro, and you’re ready to take your photography game up a notch but those camera “Pro Controls” look a bit intimidating, right? Don’t worry, even the folks at Google know those settings can be overwhelming. That’s why they tapped their own Pixel Camera expert, Alex King, to give us the lowdown.

Alex recommends starting with the three most impactful settings: focus control, shutter speed, and ISO. Think of focus control as your way to tell the camera exactly what should be super sharp in the picture. Instead of always focusing on the center, you can now precisely highlight specific areas of your shot without relying on the camera to make the guesses.

Shutter speed is like controlling how long your camera “sees” the world. A fast shutter speed is suitable for things like freezing objects in motion (think sports photography), but if you love those blurry streaks of light from nighttime traffic, a slow or longer shutter speed should be a good fit. ISO, on the other hand, is all about light sensitivity. It controls how sensitive your camera is to light. Low-light conditions call for a higher ISO, but remember, it might add a bit of “noise” to your photos. Sunny days or well-lit conditions are perfect for low ISO, giving you those ultra-crisp shots.


For those feeling adventurous, Alex suggests trying RAW mode for your photos. While the Pixel 8 Pro usually saves images as JPEGs, Pro Controls lets you shoot in RAW format. These files are less compressed, containing a ton of extra data. This is your go-to format if you want maximum flexibility like magically adjusting colors or pulling detail out of shadows when editing your photos later. And if you’re planning to print a big version of your shot, go for that 50MP full resolution mode for maximum detail. Opting for full resolution means you can zoom and crop without sacrificing sharpness. Imagine taking a landscape shot and being able to clearly read distant street signs when you zoom in – that’s full resolution for you.

Finally, don’t let the Pixel 8 Pro automatically pick your camera lens all the time. Sure, the phone will auto-select the best lens for you, but Pro controls let you take charge with manual lens control. For instance, you can force the ultrawide lens into action if you want that extra-wide perspective. For those interested in zoomed shots, switch to the telephoto lens. It’s like having a set of interchangeable lenses on a traditional camera. Pro Controls let you manually switch between the ultrawide, wide, and telephoto lenses, much like having a toolkit of different perspectives in your pocket.


Remember, these are just the starting points for exploring the creative potential of your Pixel 8 Pro camera. But the most important thing is to play around and see what works for you. After all, the Pixel 8 Pro camera Pro Controls are all about giving you the freedom to express yourself through your photos.

To enable Pro Controls in your Pixel 8 Pro camera, tap the Settings icon in the bottom left corner and go to the Pro tab. This gives you access to 50MP full resolution, RAW format and manual lens selection. To access focus, shutter speed and ISO modes, tap the Controls icon in the bottom right corner.

Hillary Keverenge
2089 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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