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Annie Leibovitz didn’t expect to love the Google Pixel 4’s camera

Annie Leibovitz was skeptical of the Google Pixel 4, but ended up liking it much more than she expected, the legendary photographer said during Tuesday’s Made By Google Event, where the company unveiled the smartphone and other new Google products.

Google gave Leibovitz a Pixel phone to capture subjects across the country. Leibovitz said while she’s used to using a camera phone, she wasn’t necessarily used to using it as a professional photographer. One of the most celebrated photographers in the world and known for her portraits of celebrities, Leibovitz typically uses high-end cameras, not smartphones.

“I was hesitant at first, but when the Pixel 4 came along, I was kind of impressed about how I relaxed with it and really just enjoyed taking pictures,” she said during an onstage interview during the event. 

Annie Leibovitz at the Google Pixel Event

She said that as an experienced photographer, what’s great about the Pixel 4’s camera is that you can carry it in your pocket. Leibovitz used the Pixel 4 to capture subjects and tell their unique stories using two different shots. 

“I decided to take two photographs to create a portrait because it’s hard to say what you want to say about a person in one picture,” she said. “Every single person that we photographed is doing something that they care about and they represent great parts of us.”

The new Pixel 4 camera that was announced during Tuesday’s event added another lens with a 2x telephoto lens that works with Google’s Super Res Zoom to capture impressive detail. Google’s HDR+ also got an upgrade that uses machine learning to ensure what you see in the viewfinder is what you’ll get from HDR+. 

As with the Google Pixel 3, the new Pixel 4 also has exceptional night-time performance that can pinpoint stars and galaxies like no other camera phone. 


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“It really became an exercise in light and content,” she said of her project with the Pixel 4. 

Leibovitz used the tools in the Pixel 4 to her advantage as a photographer and said that everyone has the ability to get creative with it. 

“What’s great about the camera phone is it’s a brand-new language and it’s just really great that this is available for everyone to use,” Leibovitz said. 

The Google Pixel 4 and its new camera is available for pre-order today and will be released on October 24. It starts at $799.

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