Pixel 3a Camera Review: Single Camera Magic, Now Made Affordable!

During its Google I/O 2019 keynote in Mountain View, the company has finally put to rest all the mystery and confusion surrounding its mid-range Pixel 3a smartphone. Pixel 3a is finally out from under the wraps and yeah, the leaks were all true. Google has packed its flagship cameras in a more affordable offering, giving you the perks and features that we have previously seen only at a higher price point.

With a mid-range chipset, which isn’t as powerful as the Snapdragon 800-series chipsets, there has been a lot of chatter about how the cameras on the Pixel 3a will perform and if they’ll be able to carry forward the legacy set forth the Pixel 3 lineup. Well, we’re here to explore just that, taking a look at whether Google’s claims about offering a flagship-grade camera experience at an affordable price are true or not:

Pixel 3a Camera Specs

Before we take a look at some camera samples, let’s get the specifications of the Pixel 3a out of the way. The Pixel 3a features a 12.2MP (f/1.8) rear camera and it’s the same Sony IMX363 sensor that the flagship Pixel 3 comes with. There’s an 8MP (f/2.0) selfie camera, with an 84-degree field of vision and EIS, onboard as well.

pixel 3a cameras

Google hasn’t skipped on any camera features with Pixel 3a, using its computational photography algos to offer everything from Photobooth to its much-hyped Night Sight feature to users.

Talking about my brief experience with the camera app, well, it’s the same interface and features that not just Pixel users – but GCam mod users are also well-acquainted with. It runs smoothly on the Pixel 3a, with zero shutter lag and performance woes. And what’s even impressive is that the phone processes the pictures captured within the same time as one expects on the Pixel 3.

Google may have taken price-cutting measures for the design and internal specs, but it hasn’t made any compromises with the camera experience. I certainly admire Google’s focus on the same, so without further ado, let’s check out some camera samples:

Note: We’ve resized the camera samples attached below to not burden the website and affect your viewing experience, but you can check out full-res samples using this Google Drive link

Pixel 3a: Daylight Samples

Well, let me start off by telling you that the moment I got my hands on the Pixel 3a the only thing I wanted to do was check out its camera and see how it compared to the one device that it has derived its camera from – the Pixel 3. I did exactly that and you’ll see Pixel 3a camera samples, alongside the Pixel 3 samples that I captured below.

Let me not drag this out and say that pictures clicked from the Pixel 3a look almost exactly the same as the Pixel 3. The samples below are so close in image quality that you will most likely not be able to tell the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a pictures apart. The daylight samples are well-detailed and sharp, with good color accuracy and high dynamic range.

Check out some of the camera samples we’ve captured over the past two days right here:

Pixel 3a: Lowlight Samples

Well, the camera performance in daylight situations carries forward to low-light situations as well. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3 are neck-to-neck, as you can see in the camera samples attached below, but there are a couple of pictures where I think that the Pixel 3 is better than the mid-range smartphone.

Pixel 3 handles the highlights and shadow better than Pixel 3a’s camera in low-light, still having the same camera experience for half the price isn’t half-bad. Check out samples captured by Sharun right here:

Pixel 3a: Night Sight Samples

Even though Huawei P30 Pro now has Night Sight beat in the low-light department, we obviously still appreciate Google making this highly praised feature available on Pixel 3a. Night Sight, for those who don’t know, takes a 5-6 second burst shot to enable users to capture photos in dimly-lit conditions.

Night Sight was first introduced with the flagship Pixel 3 smartphone and well, Pixel 3a delivers the exact same experience as you can see in the samples attached below. The pictures captured via Night Sight are sharper, more detailed, and of course, brightly-lit compared to its counterparts.

Pixel 3a: Selfies and Portraits

Even the selfies and portraits captured with the Pixel 3a are awesome and I love how the pictures have turned out. The Pixel 3a is giving you the same flagship camera experience that Google promised, with the samples being pretty sharp, detailed, and with colors that are lifelike.

The portraits, on the other hand, have excellent edge detection, which you can yourself check out in Sharun’s photo at the top, but its background blur seems too strong for my liking. It helps differentiate the subject from the surroundings, which is great though. If you’ve been waiting to check out the camera samples, go on:

If you’re looking for more selfie and portrait camera samples, well, don’t worry I got you covered:

Pixel 3a: Video Recording

Finally, talking about the video recording capabilities of the Pixel 3a, well, they’re on par with its flagship sibling as well. The rear camera supports up to 4K video recording at 30 frames per second with OIS and EIS in tow. You can for yourself see in the video sample attached below that the footage is pretty stabilized and the Pixel 3a is quick to focus too.

The color reproduction is pretty great as well, including the selfie videos, which support 1080p recording at 30 FPS with EIS in tow. Rupesh can be seen in the sample attached below, showing that the recording is stabilized and the audio recorded from the onboard microphone is great as well.

SEE ALSO – Pixel 3a First Impressions: A Likeable Smartphone With a Baffling Price Tag

Pixel 3a Camera Review: It’s Nothing Short of a Pixel Experience

Google is banking heavily on the camera prowess of its mid-range Pixel 3a and basically offering you a flagship-grade experience at an affordable price. Well, the pricing is more affordable internationally as compared to the Indian market, but users who have always wanted a Pixel device, with the best cameras and a stock experience, they now have the perfect smartphone available to them.

If you’re looking for the best camera experience in the sub-Rs 40,000 segment then the Pixel 3a will be the perfect pick for you. What are your thoughts on the Pixel 3a’s camera experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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