Pixel 8 owners are struggling with lighting in photos due to exposure bug

The mint colorway of the Google Pixel 8
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know    

  • Pixel 8 owners have reported a camera bug in a Reddit thread and on Google’s Issue Tracker.
  • The issue arises when users try to auto-adjust the exposure of a shot by tapping a focal point in the viewfinder.
  • Google has not issued a fix so far, and rejected the Issue Tracker report as it was not the correct place for the submission.

Google Pixel phones are known for having impressive cameras, but there’s a frustrating bug affecting the latest Pixel 8 series. When users try to adjust the exposure of their camera — often to fix over- or under-exposed scenes — nothing happens. The issue was first discussed on a Reddit thread and then on Google’s Issue Tracker (via Android Police). 

This appears to be a widespread issue affecting many Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users. Replies poured into the Reddit thread confirming the problem, and some users lamented Google’s decision to remove the manual exposure slider in Pixel Camera. Notably, the issue seems to only concern the 1x camera setting. Others, such as 0.5x, 2x, and digital zoom, all appear to have working exposure adjustment.

A user created a bug report on Google’s Issue Tracker on Tuesday, explaining the situation and hoping for a response from the company. However, a Google employee changed the bug’s status to “won’t fix” on Wednesday. The employee said that Android users cannot use the Issue Tracker, as it is intended for Android Open Source Developers. The user was directed to the Android and Pixel Help pages instead. 

As of Thursday night, Google has not come out with a fix for the issue. It’s certainly a frustrating bug that renders a key feature useless. One of the best parts of using a smartphone camera is that things like focus and exposure adjustment happen automatically. However, for Pixel 8 users on the 1x zoom option, that isn’t the case.

Auto exposure adjustment is a feature that ships with just about every smartphone in 2024. When you point your camera at a scene, the camera will try to set the focus and exposure. However, there are times when the initial exposure settings fail. It’s especially common when there are very dark and bright parts of the same setting. 

To fix this, you can tap on the part of a photo that is too bright or too dim. Your camera app will automatically decrease or increase the exposure in the viewfinder based on what the situation calls for. It only takes a second and can make a big impact in capturing quality shots. However, tapping a part of the viewfinder on Pixel 8 phones while using 1x zoom does nothing.

As users have pointed out, the lack of manual exposure adjustment means that there is no way to adjust the lighting of a shot in the Pixel Camera app while this bug exists. It’s the latest of a few troubling bugs to affect the Pixel community. Lately, there have been two critical storage bugs that have affected Pixel phones while Google has struggled to find a permanent fix.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.