Google’s revolutionary Night Sight camera feature now available for Pixel phones

Isaac Cain
November 15, 2018

Google's smartphones used to have some of the worst cameras in the Android ecosystem, but it started to catch up with the final Nexus phones in 2015. With low-light photography, some of the main challenges involve understanding the light surrounding the images (measured in lux) and second is to understand the number of frames to be captured to compensate for the light or lack thereof.

All Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL handsets will, over the next few days, receive a camera app update which will bring with it a new feature; Night Sight. And it does all of that before you take the picture. Google has continued pushing the bounds of mobile photography with features like Night Sight, which is finally rolling out to Pixel phones today.

Google says Night Sight constantly adapts to you and the environment, such as measuring your natural hand shake, as well as how much motion is in the scene. The camera app will even suggest when you should give Night Sight a shot - you can find it under "More" and then choosing "Night". "All you need to do is press the shutter button".

Got some Night Sight photos on my #Google #Pixel3 and God damnit! This time at a local bar, while both photos look pretty good zoomed out, you can still see things like the overly yellow colour cast often produced by Samsung cameras in low light.

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Compared to standard photos, Night Sight shots have significantly better exposure but without the typical high ISO noise that we would normally expect. Google has full details on how to use the feature and some tips to make the most of it in the announcement blog post, which I highly recommend checking out.

Since Night Sight merges multiple frames, it doesn't work well if the scene you're trying to capture contains obvious movement.

Google has employed some of the DSLR tricks on the Night Sight mode by partly adding an "S-curve" for tone mapping of scenes that are too dark for the naked eye.

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