The Pixel 6 Pro features Google’s advanced Super Resolution Zoom but can it compete with Canon’s best compact zoom lens, the SX740 HS, with its 40X range?
By Google Pixel 6 Pro having a powerful zoom for a smartphone begs the question of whether it’s good enough to beat dedicated cameras, such as Canon’s best compact zoom lens. This comparison might have seemed absurd a few years ago, but many smartphones today have powerful telephoto capabilities. The Pixel 6 Pro can take surprisingly good photos of distant subjects or close-ups when the subject is up close.
Canon’s Powershot SX740 HS is a compact zoom camera capable of an impressive 40x optical zoom with a maximum telephoto length equivalent to 960 mm. Despite its large optical zoom range, this is a small camera, measuring only 4.3 x 2.5 inches with a depth of 1.6 inches. The telescopic zoom lens extends to 2.5 inches from the body at maximum range, fully retracts, and automatically protects the lens with a metal cap when powered off. The 3-inch screen on the back makes it easy to frame your subject when holding the camera high or low for creative shots. Even though the Powershot SX740 HS was released in 2018, it remains Canon’s best compact zoom camera and comes near the top of a recent list of the best compact superzoom cameras.
Google’s Pixel 6 Pro comes with 4x optical zoom, 1/10th that of Canon’s Powershot SX740 HS, making it seem hard to compete with the thicker and heavier range of dedicated cameras. much more, especially when it comes to zooming capabilities. Furthermore, Google’s best smartphone has a 48-megapixel image sensor but outputs 12-megapixel images, which is 60% less than Canon’s 20-megapixel sensor. That’s why it’s quite surprising to find that the Pixel 6 Pro’s zoom actually outperforms the Powershot SX740 HS in some situations. Google’s advantage comes from computational photography and wider aperture lenses.
When and Why Pixel 6 Pro’s Zoom Wins
The Google Pixel 6 Pro features up to 4x optical zoom (103 millimeters equivalent) and 20x Super Resolution Zoom (515 millimeters equivalent), which means Canon’s Powershot SX740 HS goes even further. In bright outdoor lighting, the Pixel can’t compete. Even Google’s impressive machine learning prowess couldn’t make up for that huge deficit. However, indoor shots, those taken at sunset or on an overcast day, show the challenge faced by traditional camera manufacturers.
Longer lenses allow less light to reach the image sensor. At maximum zoom, Canon’s Powershot SX740 HS has an aperture of f/8, which loses much more light than the fixed f/3.5 aperture of the Pixel 6 Pro’s telephoto lens. To compensate for such a slow lens, Canon’s Powershot SX740 HS had to increase the ISO, causing noise in the image and at the same time slowing down the shutter, causing much motion blur. Small hand movements are amplified at a distance, and the resulting image is quite noisy or blurry. For comparison, Google’s advanced image processing wizard produces relatively sharp, perfectly exposed, vivid images from Pixel 6 Pro even under difficult conditions at maximum Super Resolution Zoom.
Next: How to take close-up macro photos with Pixel 6 Pro
Source: Google, Canon