The Pixel 3 has an undeniably great camera, but a software update will soon make it even better. Google will add a "night vision" shooting mode that is so good in low light conditions that you need to see it to believe it.
XDA highlighted a port of the Pixel Camera app that enabled Night Sight We immediately grabbed the APK to test it. The results speak for themselves – the first image below was taken with the standard capture mode on the Pixel 2 XL, the second with night vision mode:
Here are two things to keep in mind: First, these photos were taken with the Pixel 2 XL, not with the Pixel 3, so that the optics look a bit better with the optics and a stronger pixel Visual Core on Google's flagship 2018. Second, this is an early version of the feature – not even the final product that should be released next month.
Taking pictures with Night Sight is intuitive. Just swipe in the camera app to the "night" mode and then tap the shutter button. You need to keep your phone relatively quiet for about a second while capturing the initial photo, and then gather as much light as possible. It's a bit of a long exposure, but it does not require a tripod.
According to DPReview, Night Sight captures the equivalent of a 5-second shot in about a second thanks to Google's computer-assisted photo magic. It uses the camera's ability to merge multiple frames in a similar way to the HDR + feature that gave the pixel its name in photo circles, but with a focus on lighting.
Night Sight seems to work best when there is little light. If the scene is quite bright, you will not notice much difference between this and the standard mode. In situations where it is completely dark, you will get much better results than in standard shooting mode, but the picture will be a bit noisy. The perfect scenario to use this mode is a moonlit night.
With pixel 3, Google gets its fair share of criticism for design decisions, and rightly so. But when it comes to mobile photography, the difference between the pixel and the rest of the pack is like day and night.
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