Photography Notebook: The Phone as Camera: The Pixel 6
After taking photos with a variety of cameras for decades--the small-frame DSLR cameras, full-frame DSLR camera, and mirrorless camera, I wanted to move on to a way to take photos which was much more portable. The solution came in the progression of photographic devices that has been observed for more than a century: technologies enabling smaller and more capable devices for capturing an image.
By the fall of 2021, Google released a smartphone, the Pixel 6, running on its own Tensor processor, that provided excellent photography capabilities.
Why a Phone Camera?Portability combined with excellent picture quality.
Handheld Low Light
Motion - Action Pan
- The Pixel 6 Android Phone has:
- Dual back cameras:
- A 50 megapixel rear camera captures 150% more light for photos with richer colors and more detail: 50 MP, f/1.9, 25mm (wide), sensor 1/1.31", pixel 1.2µm, Dual Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), Laser AF (Autofocus), OIS (Optical Image Stabilization); Dual-LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, panorama
- A 12 MP, f/2.2, 17mm, 114° (ultrawide), 1.25µm
- Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), OIS
- Front-facing: Selfie camera single 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm
- Features: Auto-HDR, panorama
- Tools: Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode
- Dual back cameras:
- Monopod: Although the Night Sight mode of the camera allows for hand-holding the camera, I find that a monopod helps me compose a scene and hold the camera steady, particularly during motion-mode pans. I use and really like the Koolehaoda 64-inch Camera Aluminium Monopod Unipod. With its high strength-to-weight ratio, this also serves as a walking stick or a Festivus Pole.
- Phone Mount Bracket: Ulanzi ST-02S Aluminum Phone Tripod Mount w Cold Shoe Mount, Support Vertical and Horizontal, Universal Metal Adjustable Clamp for Smartphones. This mount attaches to the top of the monopod and holds the cellphone.
- Phone Tether Tab: this attaches to the back of the cellphone, inside the case, to provide a secure ring outside the case on the bottom of the phone to which a lanyard can be attached.
- Neck lanyard: this clips onto the the phone tether ring. You will want to secure your phone to avoid accidental drops when putting it on or taking it off the phone mount bracket. I have a small (key holder) lanyard to attach to the tether, then I attach a neck lanyard to that small lanyard. This gives safety breakaway options and lengthens the lanyard for use with the monopod. Working by water or anywhere means you don't want to drop the phone!