The Pixel 8 Pro, a lot like the Pixel 8 proper, shoots portraits at two zoom levels - 1.5x and 2x, both captured on the main camera. There's no provision for 5x portraits taken on the telephoto camera. Since it's the same main camera on both sizes of Pixel 8s, and the Portrait mode implementation is the same, there's no difference in the end results between the two phones either.
The 2x default setting delivers good levels of detail on your subject. Softness only tends to show up in dimmer lighting, but even then the results remain okay. The Pixel isn't quite the benchmark in subject detection though, and if you look closely, you can see imperfections along clothes likes or even your subject's face.
The 1.5x zoom mode isn't as sharp as the 2x one, and we'd tend to refrain from using it - the difference in coverage isn't dramatic enough to necessitate the 1.5x setting, we think.
In selfies, you also get two magnification levels, with the phone defaulting to a 1x zoomed-in frame. The 0.7x toggle gives you the camera's native FoV. Both modes output at 10MP.
The Pixel 8 Pro's autofocusing selfie camera doesn't give it any real advantage for shots at arm's length when compared to the Pixel 8's fixed-focus setup, but the Pro does have a tiny bit of extra natural background blur. Other than that, the selfies are mostly the same.
You'll have good detail and definition in your 0.7x selfies, so long as they're not backlit in which case the gain needed to bring up the exposure on your face up to likeable levels and the resulting noise reduction will limit the amount of pores you'd be able to count. Other than the occasional small misstep in white balance, we have little to complain about the color rendition or skin tones.
If you shoot at the 1x zoom setting, you'd be sacrificing absolute sharpness a bit, but it's not that dramatic of a difference, so you'd be just fine if you prefer the tighter frame.
The Pixel 8 Pro can record video up to 4K60 with all four of its cameras (front-facing one included), and you also get 24fps modes on all, in addition to the 'mainstream' 30fps. The default codec is h.264, but h.265 is also available in settings. 10-bit HDR recording is also an option, up to 4K30. You also get stabilization in all modes.
The Pixel 8 Pro's main camera captures great-looking videos. The footage has ample detail, with no difference between 24fps and 30fps modes, with 60fps clips having the slightest drop in sharpness. Global parameters like dynamic range, white balance and color saturation don't give us any grounds for complaint either.
While still acceptable, clips shot at the 2x zoom level are more of a compromise in terms of image quality, and close-up inspection easily lets you know that there's some upscaling going on. Shooting at 1080p might be a wiser move, though if you'd prefer 4K for some consistency, these aren't as bad as to be unusable.
The 5x telephoto delivers excellent footage - again, without discriminating between 24fps and 30fps modes when it comes to detail, only here, the 60fps mode also looks indistinguishable on a pixel level. The colors are great, the dynamic range is nice and wide, and the exposure is on point - all is well, really.
The ultrawide left us with some mixed feelings when it came to video quality. It does capture excellent detail (notably better than the Pixel 8's) at all three frame rates - that's great. The dynamic range is also respectable, and shadows and highlights are well-developed.
What's not so awesome is this camera's white balance, which resulted in our balcony scene being rendered overly warm and yellowish. We observed a bit of that in the stabilization samples (further down below), so it wasn't a one-off with the balcony scene either. And it's not something we spotted in photos, so it's apparently a video-only issue. It's hardly a dealbreaker, but it won't go unnoticed, particularly in side-by-side comparisons.
The Pixel 8 Pro's main camera continues its strong performance at night, capturing good detail in its videos. The good dynamic range, spot-on white balance, and nice color saturation are also praiseworthy. The one thing that's a bit annoying is the ghosting from point-light sources, though it's still not as pronounced as we normally get on iPhones.
The telephoto has its issues at night, the most pressing one being its tendency to hunt for focus, though it will probably handle scenes with less depth a lot better. The other imperfection is the astigmatism that presents itself as these bright streaks from point light sources, but in all fairness, that's a common trait of most teles in the dark. When it does manage to acquire focus, the Pixel 8 Pro's zoom camera captures decent detail, and if you refrain from pixel peeping, you'd likely be satisfied with the results. Dynamic range is rather good for such a camera in these conditions, and the colors are hard to fault too.
The ultrawide camera on the Pixel 8 Pro is once again notably better than the non-Pro's when it comes to low-light video recording. Its level of detail is pretty good, on par with the ultrawide on the iPhone 15 Pro (Max). The Pixel isn't as good in terms of dynamic range though, with both shadows and highlights looking rather harsh.
Stabilization on the Pixel 8 Pro is very good to excellent, depending on how you look at things. The one thing close to an issue (but rather more of an annoyance) that we observed is that when initiating pans on the main camera, there tends to be an abrupt transition from stillness to motion. We only saw it on the main camera of the Pixel 8 Pro (not on the ultrawide, and not on the telephoto), but we also encountered it on the Pixel 8 non-Pro, so we're thinking it's not an isolated occurrence. More careful panning should help mitigate the issue.
That aside, there's nothing to complain about really. Both the main camera and the ultrawide do a great job at ironing out walking shake (though perhaps an iPhone is still a better option, if you walk a particularly shaky walk). Pans are trouble-free on the ultrawide and the telephoto, and when not panning but just pointing the phone in one direction, all three are rock-solid.
Here's a glimpse of how the Pixel 8 Pro compares to rivals in our Video compare tool. Head over there for the complete picture.