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Two brilliant Pixel 4 camera features won’t come to older devices

Google has confirmed two exciting new Pixel 4 camera features won’t be added to older devices in the range.

The new Dual Exposure Controls and Live HDR+ features, which debuted a week ago, rely on hardware that’s only available within the Pixel 4 devices.

The Live HDR+ controls offer real time impressions of how a photo taken with the high dynamic range setting enabled will look. On the Pixel 4, machine learning will approximate the HDR+ effect right there in the viewfinder, enabling users to compose the shot more effectively.

Related: Pixel 4 XL hands-on

Meanwhile, dual exposure controls gives photographers the chance to adjust brightness and shadows, via a pair of sliders that offer the opportunity to present another artistic vision. Here’s how Google demonstrated the feature during the Made By Google event on October 15:

Given much of Google’s photo wizardry is done in the back end, users would have hoped these features might have trickle down to the Pixel 3 handsets. However, Google confirmed in a tweet spied by 9to5Google that would not be the case.

While this is a great bonus for anyone upgrading to a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, it’s no consolation to users of existing Pixel devices, as @Jeroxf writes: “Very disappointing to read that dual exposure and live HDR not arriving to Pixel 3; at least you should bring back an option for fixed 60fps while recording at 1080p, the auto option is not reliable at all and I’m forced to switch back to my iPhone if I need to record a video.”

In our early hands-on with the Pixel 4 XL, our mobile editor Max Parker writes: “From the camera to the 90Hz display and the new gesture controls, the Pixel 4 XL has plenty of seriously exciting stuff going on. Whether it’ll sell better, and last better over time, than the Pixel 3 remains to be seen.”

We’ll have a full verdict in the coming days.

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