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There’s a new problem with the Google Pixel 8’s camera

Someone holding the Bay blue Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro were two of 2023’s best Android phones, and they continue to be excellent phones in 2024. But in typical Google Pixel fashion, they also have a tendency to be pretty buggy — and that holds true four months after the phones’ release.

On the r/GooglePixel subreddit, one user reported a bizarre bug with the Pixel 8’s camera. When you’re in your phone’s camera app, tapping anywhere on the viewfinder should manually adjust its focus and exposure of what you’re looking at. For example, if you tap on a dark area in your viewfinder, the exposure changes and the viewfinder gets brighter — making it easier to see your subject. If you tap on an area that looks too bright, it’ll get darker. For some reason, this doesn’t work as intended on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

If you’re in the Pixel 8’s camera app and using the default 1x zoom, tapping the screen changes the focus, but it doesn’t adjust the exposure. The exposure changes at any other zoom length in the app (0.5x, 2x, 5x, etc.), but for whatever reason, you can’t manually adjust the exposure if it’s set to 1x — which is how most people take their photos, as it’s the default zoom length when you launch the camera.

Using the camera app on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Looking through the Reddit thread, users confirm the issue happening for both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. There are other commenters who claim they can’t replicate the issue on their Pixel 8 models, so your mileage may vary in terms of whether or not your phone is affected.

I tested this on my Pixel 8 Pro, and the bug is real. Holding the camera up to an overhead light in my bedroom, then tapping on the light and the wall next to it doesn’t change the exposure at all when the camera app is set to 1x. But when changing it to anything else — even 0.9x or 1.1x — I can manually change the exposure without a problem. And 9to5Google reports that it also replicated the issue on a Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

It’s unclear how long this bug has been around and if or when Google will fix it, but if you have a Pixel 8 device, it’s worth keeping an eye out for.

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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