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Get pixel 4 instead of 5 just for telephoto?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by yargk, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. yargk

    yargk Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Look there's a seaplane flying over head, look there's a cool building in the distance, look the person I'm trying to take a picture of is more than 10 feet from me. I have a pixel 2 and these are all situations in which I have really wished I had a telephoto lens. I can't understand anyone wanting a wide-angle lens because although I take many portrait type photos, I'm usually not stuck in an elevator while taking them. I'm seriously thinking of getting a pixel 4 now instead of a pixel 5 because the 5 is expected to drop the telephoto from the 4 to have a wide angle. Am I crazy?

    The only downside I see to getting a 4 over a 5 would be battery life for when I'm on a trip and using the phone a lot for maps and reviews and travel guides.

    codesplice likes this.
  2. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Maybe Google should release two phones ... A 5T and a 5W ... one with a telephoto and one with a wide angle lens. I know that Google took a lot of heat in the press for dropping the wide angle lens from the 4, but I think that's only because the press couldn't find anything else not to like. For specific uses, a dedicated wide angle might be useful, but in everyday use for your average user, then I thought the telephoto was the better choice -- if it had to be a choice.
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  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    They're not the only ones to have done such a thing, e.g. the OnePlus 5's "telephoto" disappeared in the 5T and didn't return until the 7, and then disappeared again in the 8. Maybe some of the manufacturers have worked out that "multiple cameras" works as a marketing point but haven't really got any vision for the feature beyond that?

    Mind you, I personally wouldn't call 50mm equivalent(*) lens a "telephoto" in the first place, which is what the "telephoto" is in the Pixel 4 and the OnePlus handsets actually is. But like Carroll's Humpty Dumpty, when the marketing department use a word it means what they want it to mean, and accepted definitions be damned.

    (*) The real focal length is a lot shorter than that, but since the sensor is tiny the field of view is that of a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera.
    #3 Hadron, Sep 22, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
    lunatic59 and yargk like this.
  4. yargk

    yargk Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Kudos for the Carroll reference. I agree that a more significant telephoto lens would be even better.

    Although the 50mm equivalent lens is hardly telephoto, it stills seems that it practically makes a step in the right direction. That is, if I do a 4x zoom on a pixel 4, which I assume would be a combination of software magic + the 2x optical lens, would it look better and have more detail than 4x zoom without the 2x optical lens? I'm guessing the answer would be yes, with an effective level of detail that is about twice as fine. (?) That's all I really want (although it seems a 3 or 4x optical would be even better).
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yes, if the sensors are equivalent and the optics are of equal quality then a "50mm" lens will get you almost a factor of 2 gain before you start relying on "digital zoom" and the accompanying loss of quality.

    One problem with many multi-camera phones is that the different cameras are not always of the same quality. I'd expect a Pixel to do it right because the camera is one of the main planks of their reputation, but I'd generally suggest that anyone for whom the phone's camera is important should wait until some reviews are out and judge for themselves rather than pre-ordering based on specs (because specification and quality are not always the same thing).
    yargk, codesplice and lunatic59 like this.
  6. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator

    Google does seem to use identical sensors for both lenses so the quality should be basically identical between the two. But yeah, I'm with you @yargk. I feel like a wide-angle lens could be fun for certain artsy-fartsy photography, but I've gotten a TON of use from the "tele" lens on my 4 XL. Google's magical Super Res Zoom does incredible things for digital zoom but it's so much better if it can apply that processing to a 2x optical zoom. In my opinion, at least, even a modest 2x optical zoom is more useful than a wide-angle.

    Of course, acquiring a Pixel 4 at this point might be a bit of a challenge.
    yargk and lunatic59 like this.

Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL Forum

The Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL release date was October 2019. Features and Specs include a 5.7" inch or 6.3" inch screen, 16MP camera, 6GB RAM, Snapdragon 855 processor, and 2800mAh or 3700mAh battery.

October 2019
Release Date
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