It’s hard to choose a winner in our Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 6 Pro camera test

The Google Pixel 7 Pro is a standout smartphone for 2022, flaunting a refined design, Google’s upgraded Tensor G2 chipset, Android 13 software, and a whole lot more.

But here’s a question that still needs to be answered: Has the Google Pixel 7 Pro’s camera taken a big step forward over the already excellent Google Pixel 6 Pro’s? We’ve tested them both out to see if you should think about upgrading if you have a Pixel 6 Pro, and to understand if Google has moved its photography game forward with the latest Pixel phone.

Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro camera specs The back of the Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 7 Pro has a 50-megapixel main camera with optical and electronic image stabilization (OIS and EIS), laser autofocus, and a whole host of special Google-specific software features. It comes with a 12MP wide-angle camera with a 125-degree field of view, plus a 48MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and a 30x Super Res Zoom feature. On the front is a fixed-focus 10.8MP selfie camera.

It’s a great specification, and on paper, the Pixel 6 Pro isn’t all that different. It also has a 50MP main camera with OIS and laser autofocus, a 12MP wide-angle camera with a tighter 114-degree field of view, and a 48MP telephoto zoom with 4x optical zoom and Super Res zoom up to 20x. The selfie camera has 11.1MP and fixed focus. On the surface, the upgrades on the Pixel 7 Pro are small, but a lot of Google’s expertise is in its software, meaning it works hard to take full advantage of the hardware no matter what.

The photos below were all taken in auto mode and examined on a color-calibrated monitor. We have reduced the size of the image before uploading for friendly online viewing.

Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 6 Pro main camera

With both phones using a 50MP main camera, differences between the photos will mostly come down to the way each one has been tuned, as well as alterations introduced by the Tensor G2 processor in the Pixel 7 Pro.

Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

The first photo was taken indoors in good lighting, and shows where the Pixel 7 Pro differs from the Pixel 6 Pro. I didn’t tap to focus, but the Pixel 6 Pro correctly assumed the rear wing was the focal point, while the Pixel 7 Pro favored the rest of the image. See how the signs on the wall are sharper than in the Pixel 6 Pro photo, while the Lotus insignia is slightly less sharp. Colors are uniform across both.

Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

In the second image, you can see more of a difference, with the Pixel 7 Pro toning down the green grass and deepening the blue of the sky. The level of detail is the same though, and while it’s really the Pixel 7 Pro that better captures the atmosphere of the day, some may prefer the look of the Pixel 6 Pro’s photo. The thing is, both photos look great.

Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

For the third photo, I tapped on the slice of cake to focus and it’s the Pixel 7 Pro that returned the better image, with sharper focus and more accurate depth of field. This aside, the two photos are otherwise almost identical, treating colors and white balance in the same way.

Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Main camera photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

Our final photo was taken in lowlight indoors, but with daylight coming in from the side. The two photos have minor differences between them when it comes to the color of the car. The Pixel 6 Pro exposes the scene slightly differently than the 7 Pro, and when you look very closely, there’s a tiny bit more detail in some areas of the 7 Pro’s photo as well. But like the other images, one photo is not categorically better than the other. It makes the main camera section a draw.

Winner: Draw

Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 6 Pro wide-angle camera

The wide-angle camera on the Pixel 7 Pro has a wider 125-degree field of view compared to the Pixel 6 Pro’s 114-degree field of view, so you will notice the 7 Pro’s photos are more expansive.

Wide-angle photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Wide-angle photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

You can see the difference it makes in our first photo, where the side of the doorway on the left includes the old Castrol sign on the wall in the Pixel 7 Pro photo; it’s missing from the Pixel 6 Pro’s photo. I prefer a wide-angle camera to have an actual wide angle, and the Pixel 7 Pro delivers that far more than the Pixel 6 Pro. However, angle aside, the two photos are very similar.

Wide-angle photo taken with the Pixel 7 Pro.
Wide-angle photo taken with the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • 1. Pixel 7 Pro
  • 2. Pixel 6 Pro

On to the second photo and, again, apart from the Pixel 7 Pro’s wider field of view, the two photos are practically identical. The HDR effect is noticeable in the clouds, the grass is the same shade of green, and there’s the same amount of detail and texture in the building. All the wide-angle photos taken with the two Pixel phones had the same characteristics as these two examples, but we’re going to give the Pixel 7 Pro the win here as it has a wider field of view.

Winner: Google Pixel 7 Pro

Pixel 7 Pro vs. Pixel 6 Pro zoom camera

The Pixel 7 Pro provides a shortcut to a 2x and a 5x zoom in its camera app, while the Pixel 6 Pro provides a 2x and 4x shortcut. You can see examples of both here, and the results are interesting. The first photo was shot in decent indoor lighting at 2x zoom, yet the older phone handled it far better.