Pixel 3a Camera RAW :)

Pixel 3a Camera RAW :)

In the Black Friday sales I grabbed myself a new phone- a Google Pixel 3a. This is, if anything, actually a slight downgrade from my previous Galaxy Note8, but I realized that I don’t actually need all the bells and whistles the Note8 has (though it will continue to provide sterling service as the phone I will use with the controller for my Mavic Pro drone!). The Pixel 3a is Google’s version of a “budget” Pixel phone- it has slightly downgraded hardware from their “flagship” phones, but it has all the advantages of the pure Android experience and getting the updates before anyone else 🙂 And I got the 3a, not the 3a XL, so it’s smaller in the hand and the pocket (and cheaper too!).

One place they did not skimp, however is the camera- it has the same camera as the significantly more expensive Pixel 3, and all the the fantastic Google camera processing software (photospheres, “night sight”, portrait mode, etc.), so I have been having lots of fun trying it all out. But one thing I was a little unhappy with yesterday was the way the camera’s auto white balance handled the snowy pictures I took yesterday. It’s not bad, and snow is notoriously difficult for automatic systems to get right, it’s just not as good as I had hoped.

But another advantage of this phone is that it allows you to shoot in RAW– along with the regular jpg image it will save an unprocessed “digital negative” that keeps all the information the camera sees but that must then be “processed” in software like Adobe Lightroom. This is the way I shoot with all my “real” cameras and so today I thought I’d give it a try 🙂

All of the these were shot on the Pixel 3a and then tweaked in Lightroom…

It takes up a ton more storage space on the phone, but as long as I remember to clear out the RAW files every now and then that’s not really a problem. And as it records both a jpg and a RAW file I have the advantage of being able to share a pic immediately to this blog or to Facebook or to go home and work on the negative if I take a pic I particularly like.

It’s not a replacement for a proper camera by any means, but it’s much better than having no real control!


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