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Google's Pixel series of phones is one of the best for mobile photography. The Pixel line uses its robust image processing capabilities and a slew of software tweaks to make images shot stand out. Among the many Pixel-exclusive features, the series includes Top Shot, a unique feature that makes it easy to capture impressive images.

If you have a Pixel series phone and aren't using Top Shot, you're missing out. So let's take a look at how to use Top Shot on a Google Pixel device.

What Is Top Shot on Google Pixel Phones?

Top Shot captures 90 images from 1.5 seconds before and after you tap the shutter button. It then suggests the best possible alternative images from the group that you can choose from, aside from the main one you shot. The recommended images are automatically saved and processed, to be added to your gallery.

Hand holding Google Pixel phone with forest background

The feature uses computer vision techniques to analyze qualitative image features, like whether the subject is smiling or not, to suggest the best alternative shots.

The key advantage is that the feature allows you to capture various images moments before and after taking clicking the Capture button. This is helpful if you're trying to capture a moving object, like when taking a picture of a baby.

Top Shot is available on the Google Pixel 3 and later models, including Google's first foldable, the Pixel Fold. Since its debut in 2018, Top Shot has expanded to also work on quick videos. Besides Top Shot, there are other exclusive Pixel camera features on Google's smartphone series you should be using to elevate your mobile photography.

How to Enable Top Shot on a Pixel Phone

You can enable Top Shot by following these steps:

  1. Open the built-in Camera app.
  2. Tap Camera at the bottom if you're not taken there already (Top Shot is only available in Camera mode).
  3. Tap the Down arrow in the top left corner to launch the Camera options menu.
  4. If you see Off below Top Shot, select any of the other two options on the right (Auto or On) to enable it.

With that, Top Shot is now enabled on your Pixel device. But, even when enabled, the feature is unavailable in certain situations.

For instance, if the Flash, Night Sight, Selfie Illumination, or Social Media Depth features are enabled, Top Shot will be indicated as Unavailable. If you visit the Camera options menu and see Unavailable below Top Shot, ensure none of these features is enabled first.

How to Capture Perfect Images With Top Shot

Once Top Shot is enabled, you don't need to change the picture-taking flow on your device in any way. Capture images using your Camera app like usual; the feature will automatically handle the rest.

Here's how:

  1. Open the Camera app, select Camera, and tap the Capture button to take a photo.
  2. Once your image has been saved, tap the Image view button on the right of the Capture button to preview your image.
  3. Swipe up from the middle of the screen (or tap the three-dot menu on the top right).
  4. Next, tap [number of] recommended shots below Shots in this photo. The image displayed is the image that the camera app thinks is the best from the entire sequence.
  5. Tap Save copy in the top right to save the image.

There you have it. With the help of Google's Top Shot feature, you'll never miss an important moment while taking a photo. Remember, even if you forget to enable Top Shot before clicking a picture, the app will remind you to turn it on. So make sure to use this feature and capture the best possible photos with your Google Pixel device.

Get the Most Out of Your Pixel Phone

The Pixel series of phones are designed to offer an excellent camera experience, and Google's Top Shot feature is a big part of this. So, if you're not using Top Shot, start now and see the difference it makes. And while you're at it, make sure to check out the other great features Google's Pixel phones offer to enhance your photography skills.