Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Google is doing some weird shit with their photo processing

I have a Pixel 7a. I’ve been using it since May 2023 and I’ve noticed selfies taken with this phone were a bit odd. In some pics it looks like I’m photoshopped into the scene rather than a natural photo.

Today I think I pinned it down. It’s a combination of processing and Top Shot. I had Top Shot on automatic. Top Shot is the closest thing this camera has to burst mode. On a hike this morning with my dog I took a selfie in front of a water fall. It looks like I’m superimposed via green screen.

Since my Pixel 7a automatically turned on Top Shot for this pic I was able to see it as a video. You can clearly see Google’s processing sort of cuts me out and places me in the photo. On the video it looks like I’m sliding around almost like someone giving their reactions in the corner of a TikTok video.

Here’s another example of a selfie with my dog. The picture is better but it still looks a little odd to me. It has that superimposed feeling.

Here’s the video version with all the stills combined from Top Shot.

Even my dog looks like he’s floating around.

My previous phone, the Pixel 3, didn’t do this. I never looked like I was superimposed on a scene. I will turn off Top Shot to see if this improves. I want to know why they are doing this. It makes pics look artificial.

As an aside, the other types of pictures taken with this phone are not impressive. I feel I got better pics from my Pixel 3 using a Moment wide angle lens. The lens was huge on the outside but I was always happy with the photos. With the Pixel 7a wide angle shots are not sharp, auto focus is not fast or accurate, long exposure shots look fake, and all the pictures look a little over processed.

If I was so happy with my Pixel 3 why did I upgrade? Because I replaced the battery twice on it, it was no longer receiving security updates, and I bricked it by dropping it in the water (Turns out the water resistance goes away after you break it open to change the battery. Go figure.) If I could I would have stayed with the Pixel 3. It was more than enough phone and it was the right size.

Hey Google! Stop fixing what’s not broken!