Pixel 2’s camera is stabilized 3 different ways – CNET

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Google‘s new Pixel 2 and 2 XL phones don’t have dual rear cameras like other flagship phones: Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, Essential Phone, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. But, that doesn’t mean its solo rear camera isn’t packing some amazing features.

The Pixel 2’s camera uses optical and electronic stabilization along with machine learning to take some serious shake out of your video recordings. Wes Anderson would be proud.

What does the Pixel 2 do to make video footage look more steady?

Like many other phones, the Pixel 2 uses electronic image stabilization (EIS) to help maintain consistent framing during filming.


Here’s an example of how stabilization can remove the movement of walking and filming. The OnePlus 5 uses electronic image stabilization (EIS) only while the iPhone 7 Plus uses a combination of EIS and optical image stabilization (OIS).

Patrick Holland/CNET

But Google doesn’t stop there. The Pixel 2’s 12-megapixel camera has optical image stabilization (OIS) a feature the original Pixel lacked. OIS is usually used for photos to steady the camera allowing the shutter to stay open longer for better low-light pictures.

The Pixel 2 uses OIS also during video recording like the iPhone 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X. Google calls this combined OIS/EIS feature “fusion stabilization”. The phone compares position data of the OIS camera with position data from the phone’s built-in gyroscope to further stabilize video as you record.

Using a phone’s gyroscope to assist in video stabilization is nothing new, Instagram’s Hyperlapse app which came out in 2014 did something similar. What’s great here is that the Pixel 2 does all this stabilization automatically and in real-time.

Now Playing: Watch this: Pixel 2 gets better camera, optical photo and video stabilization

But Google didn’t stop there. The Pixel 2 has a feature called “frame look ahead” which analyzes each individual frame of a saved video for movement. Machine learning compares dominant movements from one frame to another and stabilizes accordingly.

The science and engineering behind all this stabilization is impressive, and combining “frame look ahead” stabilization along with EIS and OIS bodes well for lots of gorgeous shake free Pixel 2 video.

This could come in handy next time you film your toddler running around the living room, or record Fido playing at the dog park or create your own Wes Anderson-like steadicam shot for a short film.

We look forward to getting our hands on the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL to test this feature as part of our upcoming review.