The Pixel 6 cameras saw massive hardware upgrades this year, but the new "Magic Eraser" tool may be the most mind-blowing update for mobile photographers.
The Pixel line has always been known for its photographic prowess and while last year the iPhone irrefutably overtook it, Google is back at the top of its game with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and Magic Eraser is the best encapsulation of that in software form.
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Magic Eraser can almost instantaneously remove a person or object from your photos. You can let the software identify objects to remove itself or you can highlight whatever you want to remove and it will get to work. If you have used Photoshop, this is basically Content Aware Fill, but rather than a complex subscription service that you pay hundreds of dollars a year for, it's literally a tap and its done option that comes built-in with your phone.
Examples are going to drive home the point of how amazing the results are better than trying to explain it, so here are a couple of before and after samples to show you how seamlessly the software works. It's also important to note that this isn't tied to the Pixel 6 camera hardware, you can apply it to any existing photos in your Google Photos library as well.
In this first sample, I had a sunset shot taken from a balcony that caught a piece of the railing and a few bright spots from the road below, a crop could have worked here as well, but I liked the black foreground extending into the trees and Magic Eraser easily allowed me to keep it.
Here's another sample, which was simply my family walking along the beach. This shows Magic Eraser's automatic detection, which was a bit aggressive in this case, but I simply tapped on the other individuals in the photo and a couple of buildings in the background on the left and that left just my wife and kids walking alone on the beach.
Magic Eraser is just one example of the software enhancements of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro cameras, but it is perhaps the best as it does feel like magic and might motivate you to scroll back through your photos to see if there are any that can be saved or improved with a tap of your new Magic Eraser.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.