Our content here at Thirty-One Whiskey tends to stick to whiskey and other spirits (and occasionally cigars). But every so often, we do deviate into other areas that interest us — especially when we’ve got something interesting to offer. Nearly three years ago we reviewed the Moment lens system, and included some pretty nifty graphics to understand the different lenses. So we felt it fitting to do the same thing for the newly released Pixel 6 Pro.
The reason why I needed to use the Moment lenses in the first place was because the Pixel 3XL I was using had a single lens on the back of the camera — and, to be frank, it wasn’t super versatile. Google tried to add some ability to do wider angle shots through their panorama function in software, but sometimes you just need a true wide angle shot (or you need to zoom in on a distant subject without sacrificing resolution). Back then, the standard Pixel 3XL camera wasn’t getting it done, but thankfully the Moment lenses scratched that itch perfectly and I was happy.
Over the last few months, my old companion the 3XL has been getting slower and not quite holding a charge anymore, which meant it was time to upgrade. Sure enough, the new Pixel 6 Pro launched just as I was looking for a replacement. The biggest difference this time around was that there were not one, not two, but THREE lenses on the back of the phone at four pre-set zoom levels:
- 12 MP UltraWide (f/2.2) – 0.7x
- 50 MP Octa PD Bayer (f/1.85) – 1x (native), 2x (software)
- 48 MP Telephoto (f/3.5) – 4x
Not only would the Pixel 6 Pro represent a phone with better battery life, better processing power, better connectivity, and more storage space… but, assuming the cameras worked as advertised, there was a chance that I could get the same functionality as all of my old Moment lenses without needing to drag them around with me everywhere I go. I had to give it a try, and this is the result.
What you are seeing here is a composite image. I took one picture with each pre-set zoom level on the camera app, keeping the point of focus constant, and overlayed them in an image editor. You can see that some of the parts of this plane don’t quite line up, and that’s due to trying to make it all fit with the different focal lengths and distortions for the lenses. It might be close, but it isn’t quite perfect.
What this does perfectly illustrate is the framing you could expect for the different zoom levels. And examples of the quality you get at each step. You can see full resolution images in this album if you like, but the bottom line is that this phone has built-in cameras that beat the pants off what I was getting with the Moment lenses.
I posted this to Reddit a while back and it seemed to help people there, so I figured it was worth a post here as well where it might get a little more visibility.