One of the best new Pixel 8 Pro features appears to work on other Pixels, too

The matte glass on the back of the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has shipped the Pixel 8 Pro with advanced camera controls.
  • These let users adjust shutter speed, ISO, and other settings before taking a photo.
  • Tipster Kamila Wojciechowska reveals that it is supposedly an artificial software limitation and can also run on older Pixel phones.

Google launched a successful Pixel 8 series early last week, unveiling the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro. The latter has some extra perks, like advanced camera controls dubbed under "Pro" mode, giving users the ability to change shutter speed, ISO, and other useful settings. New information hints that the feature can also run on older Pixel phones.

According to Kamila Wojciechowska, the new "Pro" mode is an artificial limitation deliberately put up by Google for Pixel 8 Pro. Wojciechowska has managed to tweak the Google Camera app from the Pixel 8, enabling the feature on older devices, like the Pixel 7 Pro.

She further clarifies that it also works with previous Tensor-powered Pixels like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Interestingly, Google has limited the Pixel 8 Pro, and not even the smaller Pixel 8 gets the new ability.

Manual focus adjustment comes under the "Pro" umbrella, which can be seen in action from the images shared by Wojciechowska on X shot through the Pixel 7 Pro.

Optional Pro lens is another feature under the advanced controls that lets users manually override Google's automatic lens switching based on the lighting and shot selections. For instance, Google doesn't allow you to switch to a telephoto lens when in the dark; such scenarios can be overridden with the Optional Pro lens feature.

Other prominent controls like shutter speed and ISO can also be seen working on the Pixel 7 Pro but with certain limitations. For instance, Wojciechowska explains (in the same thread) that the Shutter speed can only be set for eight seconds on the Pixel 7 Pro (without NightSight), whereas the successor is capable of up to 16 seconds.

While these are some excellent controls currently available for the Pixel 8 Pro, it will be interesting if Google does, in fact, bring the feature to older Pixel phones and gives these additional controls to camera enthusiasts, including the new Pixel 8.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.