Google showcased the Night Sight at the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL launch in New York and it probably garnered them the biggest round of applause. And now the Pixel 3 smartphones have finally received the feature and Google has even updated the Camera app with the feature and is working on other features like the Time Lapse mode.
The biggest addition to the app thus far in this update has been the Night Sight mode which is used on the Pixel phones to capture images. Once updated, users can experience the new feature by heading to more and then tapping on Night Sight option in the camera interface. The Night Sight takes the place of Lens in Google Camera’s revamped user interface.
Smartphones have always struggled in scenarios with little or no light and the Night Sight mode aims to address that issue. The feature works on both the main camera as well as the selfie camera and pictures shot in this mode feature a crescent moon symbol.
The Night Sight is basically Google’s HDR+ mode on steroids, a computational photography technology that captures a burst of frames and merged them using software. With Night Sight, Google is using the same technology but improves the signal-to-noise ratio in dim lighting areas.
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. Other issues include auto white balance, which fails in low light and mapping actual tone of the scene.
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There are some features in the Night Sight that help people take better photos like “Focus options” that help users autofocus, Near, or Far when using Night Sight with either the front or rear camera. Another feature called “Face brightening” will let users turn on a front flash feature like the front-facing flash. There is also a “Time lapse” feature in the works which is code named “Cheetah”. Though there is no timeline on the launch of this feature.