This past weekend, my husband and I were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary in Reims, a city in the Champagne region in France. Yes, that Champagne too. A 45-minute TGV ride from Paris and we were smack in the middle of one of the most notorious bubbly cities in the world, where flutes overflow with sparkling joy and where you can visit dozens upon dozens of Champagne houses, from the well-renowned names to the small local producers. We visited Taittinger's Gallo-Roman chalk pits, where the bottles rest during the multi-step process that transforms grapes into the effervescent liquid we all know.
I'd taken my Mirrorless Olympus camera with me to grab some pics, but as we started the tour, I snapped a couple of photos with my Pixel 5 and the results were so good, I ended up leaving my Olympus strapped to my side and shot everything with the Pixel 5 instead. Experienced photographers are probably screaming at their screens now, but I'm not one of you. I can compose some decent shots, I have a steady hand, I know how to play with focus and exposure, but I'd rather trust some AI to figure out the dozens of other settings in a millisecond instead of me fiddling with them for minutes and never really achieving the result I wanted. Plus, we didn't have much time to walk around on our own, so I had to be quick with each snap.
With the pandemic and confinement hitting us, this was my first vacation in nearly two years and my first proper test of the Pixel 5's camera out in the world. I'm sure the other tour participants were looking at me funny as I tried to snap some unorthodox shots, but hey, none of them have pics like these.
Depending on the setting, I used the portrait mode to create an artificial focus on bottles, and I think the Pixel 5's algorithm figured that out quite well, given that it doesn't have a proper lens for it. I also fiddled with the wide-angle lens and night mode, to get the most details in certain settings. I can't explain how much I missed having a wide-angle lens on my phone since the LG G5, nor can I express how much I appreciate night mode on the Pixel range. Even my Pixel 2 can take outstanding shots in the darkest environments.
You can't beat the versatility afforded by the combo of all these instantaneous features, which are only a tap away. Add the Pixel's famed digital processing which finds the absolute best color and exposure setting for your pics and you have a result that looks
good great fantastic outstanding for most people, uses, and screens 9.5 times out of 10.
Sure, you could achieve better results with an expensive rig, multiple lenses, and some photography know-how, but this is a fool-proof solution with a phone that slips into your pocket and has Google Maps, Instagram, Candy Crush, and PUBG too.
Below are several more snaps from our visit. All of these haven't been processed, except for the inverted V one with the Taittinger logo (I realigned it a little). You can click any of them to open it and grab the full resolution.