The Google Pixel 4 Versus the Canon RP for Night Photography

The Google Pixel 4 is a brand new phone that shows off the best in computational photography, while the Canon EOS RP is a full frame beast of a camera. Which of these will end up on top when it comes to night photography?

This video by Denae & Andrew compares one of the most affordable full frame cameras out there to Google's latest and greatest phone, which claims to be so good, you can shoot astrophotography with it. What makes this comparison special is that it is totally blind, with the camera's being simply labeled A and B. Watch the video above and see if you were right! 

In my opinion, the Pixel 4 gives cleaner images right out of camera, but not necessarily the sharpest images, making it a great option for people just getting started in photography who want a great shot without worrying about noise. The EOS RP is definitely sharper, and the raw files give you more flexibility than the Pixel 4. One of the downsides to photographing with machine learning like the Pixel 4 is that you are kind of stuck with what you get. If what you get is amazing, that's awesome. If what you get is not so good, you're kind of out of luck and just stuck with that. 

In comparison, with the Canon EOS RP, you need a camera, a good lens, raw conversion software, etc., which racks up costs really quickly for something that is better, but not by leaps and bounds. If you are just starting in photography, it may be best to learn what you can with light and composition using what you already have.

What do you think of the comparison? Looking at the images, were you right or wrong?

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Wonder Woman's picture

Bro distracted driving much?

M R's picture

Selling my a7iii. JK :p

Eric Salas's picture

First time I’ve ever read the RP is a beast of a camera...

Ryszard Błogowski's picture

3:52 B - This is Canon RP @ISO 12800 ???
This camera provides much better pictures at ISO 25600!

chris bryant's picture

Can you strap a 400mm lens to the Pixel 4 and photograph BIF?

Andrew Morse's picture

Pretty incredible what computational photography can achieve today. To be fair though, this isn't really an apples to apples comparison. I think if we're exclusively shooting a static subject in low light, then yes, you can use computational photography to create some impressive results, but if we're shooting a moving subject in low light it is a very different conversation. Any movement from the subject of your image and you'll likely see ghosting. It is a good video and makes a valid point, but I do wish they caveated it to note that performance depends on shooting a (near) static subject - they were good enough to note that the pixel was given to the reviewer by Google. Also, if one is so inclined and shooting a static subject, you can always use median stacking and manual alignment to get a similar effect with any other camera using photoshop. It's shocking how much noise you can remove using stacking.

As a little bit more food for thought, the Pixel4 XL and the Canon EOS RP (body only to be fair) are only separated by $171 in Canada at the moment.