Google Pixels have one photography weakness, and it isn’t their camera

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera app search edited

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Google’s phones have long stood out thanks to their unique camera experiences and impressive image quality. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series stepped up in this regard thanks to a relatively large 50MP main camera, impressive periscope lens on the Pro models and a host of clever camera features.

It goes without saying that newer Pixels are among the best camera phones on the market. However, there is one notable flaw with Google’s Pixel line-up when it comes to the camera experience, and it has nothing to do with the phones themselves.

Where is the accessory ecosystem?

iPhone 12 Pro Max MagSafe yellow case on Moment (M) stand high with BigSofti flash on cold shoe mount

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Despite having a reputation for a top-notch camera experience, there are relatively few camera-related accessories out there for Pixel phones. Your options are limited if you want to take your photography game up a notch.

Sure, there are a few options like Moments (M)Force cases that allow you to use MagSafe accessories on your Pixel. But it’s ironically about the extent of the third-party camera accessory ecosystem for the Pixels.

Choice of accessories is limited if you want to take the Pixel’s excellent cameras up a notch.

For what it’s worth, Google’s phones are also compatible with some universal accessories like mobile stands, detachable lenses, microphones and gimbals. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of Pixel-specific add-ons. And it’s not like other phone manufacturers haven’t offered their own cool accessories.

Excellent photo accessories from other brands

Huawei snorkel case

This is a far cry from camera-related accessories for smartphones in the past. For example, 2013’s Nokia Lumia 1020 and 2016’s LG G5 both offered camera grips. These additions provided a shutter release button and an extra battery, while the Lumia accessory also brought a tripod mount and the LG addition offered a zoom wheel.

Huawei even released snorkel covers for 2018’s Mate 20 Pro and above, so you can take the phone into the ocean, complete with hardware buttons for more convenient camera operation. The Chinese brand went so far as to develop an underwater mode for its camera app that mapped various functions to volume keys.

Huawei, LG, Nokia and several other brands have all offered camera-focused accessories over the years.

Third-party brand Kraken has also released universal dive cases over the past few years that fill a similar role to Huawei’s own cases. Google also built a Dive Case Connector app that connects to Kraken’s cases. But at $300 to $450 and with availability limited to North America, these cases aren’t exactly accessible to many people. And again, these are universal cases available for most phones in the first place.

We’ve even seen Essential offer a detachable 360 ​​camera module for the ill-fated Essential Phone that snaps onto the top of the device. Going a step further, Motorola’s Moto Z series of smartphones offered several camera-related Moto Mod add-ons. These included a 360 camera, Hasselblad camera and a Polaroid printer.

These are just a few examples of mobile device manufacturers pushing the envelope of their phone’s photography experience and offering an accessory to enhance it by allowing you to shoot in more environments or create more unique snaps.

We want accessories that match Google’s camera ambitions

LG G5 Cam Plus camera grip

Now, there’s an argument to be made that camera-related accessories are at odds with the point-and-shoot nature of smartphones to begin with. We can understand this attitude, as a big reason smartphone photography is so popular is that you can simply pick up your phone and shoot in an instant.

Think the Pixel needs camera-focused accessories?

2 votes

Nevertheless, there is still room for Pixel camera accessories for enthusiasts or for specific situations. After all, you need a protective case if you’re going to take your phone in salt water. Astrophotography also ideally requires a tripod rather than being a fast handheld experience.

Either way, we’d love to see Google and its partners release exclusive accessories to take advantage of the excellent Pixel cameras. A first-party Google accessory or a specific Made For Google third-party option will probably work better than some of the random and device-agnostic accessories we find these days. One can dream of a camera grip with extra battery, tripod mount, microSD card slot and zoom buttons. Or a gimbal that perfectly integrates with the standard Google camera, so you can switch modes and change settings on the fly. Or a stand with a detachable remote that can trigger astro mode. But what would you like to see?

William

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