Several Pixel 3 Units Plagued With Shaky Cameras
The Pixel series of devices have long been praised for their impeccable cameras. The cameras work well, in part, due to the Google Camera app, which is powered by the company's secret sauce. But not all is well in the Pixel 3 camera universe, as several reports have emerged in the recent past about it shaking/stuttering/vibrating. Google's product forums are littered with hundreds of threads, and there seems to be no solution in sight. Here's a video of the instability in action:
As seen above, the viewfinder in the Pixel 3's camera app shakes a lot, resulting in jittery photos and videos. Considering that the problem has been around for months and not a single software update fixed it, the likelihood of it being a hardware problem is high. It could be that the camera's autofocus or OIS (optical image stabilisation) mechanisms are broken. Some users even report an audible noise coming from the camera, reinforcing the notion that it is a hardware problem.
Only the smaller Pixel 3 appears to be affected. Its larger XL variant seems to be unaffected, for the most part. One user was able to resolve the problem by simply cleaning the lens, but others have had no such luck. As this is a hardware problem, fixes such as uninstalling Google Camera's app data, restarting/factory resetting the phone are ineffective. The earliest thread I could find dated back to March of this year, and a lot of them have popped up in various places since.
While the Pixels may be good at a lot of things, build quality isn't one of them. It may very well be that the smaller Pixel 3 has a design flaw that makes the lens' OIS go wonky after some time. The only fix right now is to get a hardware replacement straight from Google. The Pixel 3 has had a history of issues, so this one is hardly surprising.