During the recent Pixel 3 and 3 XL announcement, Google introduced a new camera feature for its smartphones, called Night Sight. This new feature will help users take amazing low-light photographs even when there is very little light in the scene. Google showcased the feature at the event and impressed almost everyone.
The feature wasn’t available right away, but was about to be so at a later date. However, a leaked version of the Google Camera APK was available in a matter of days. Now, the company has officially released the new feature to all Google Pixel smartphones including the Pixel 2 and original Pixel. Over the next few days, you can expect the Night Sight mode to be available in the Google Camera app via an update. You can download the official Google Camera APK with Night Sight using this link.
How Does Night Sight Work?
The Night Sight mode on the Google Camera app, is an impressive feature. It is also quite clever, as Google explains in a blog post (linked further down the article). This isn’t the first time that a phone has featured an impressive low-light mode. The Huawei P20 Pro also came with its own Night Mode that clicked really good photos in low-light. Google’s Night Sight mode is more software dependent, though.
Here’s how it works. When you are in the Night Sight mode on the Google Camera app, the software first examines whether you are using the phone handheld or have it placed on a surface. If you are shooting with the Pixel like most people do (that is, using your bare hands), the software uses short exposures and minimizes motion blur. If the Pixel is placed on a stable surface or a tripod, the camera will take long exposure shots for better quality photos. All of this is determined way before you even press the shutter button.
The software doesn’t take one single photo either, instead it will capture a burst of photos. It will then combine these photos and get rid of motion blur, compensate brightness and provide a sharp photo. Google also uses the OIS on the camera to reduce handshakes and other motion in an image. If there is too much motion, then the software will select a shorter exposure time. All of this works in the background and the end result is pretty amazing, as seen in all third-party reviews of Night Sight.
Apart from doing all that, the software can adapt easily to different lighting conditions at night. The resulting image is fairly true-to-life and color accurate, even in low-light or almost low light. Read more about it here.
Using the Night Sight mode on the Google Camera app is pretty easy. In the camera app, tap on More and you should see the Night Sight option. The camera even suggests you to use Night Site if it detects low-light. Once you have selected the mode and identified your subject/object, tap on the shutter button and try to be as still as possible.
Google has identified a few ways to get the best possible results using the Night Sight feature. For example, if you are using the mode to take pictures of people, it is recommended that you ask them to remain still for a few seconds. It is also best to place the phone on a surface or a tripod, as this will result in better photos. Keep the camera lens clean as a dirty lens can result in blurry photos.
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL allow users to choose a focus distance. You should tap on your subject or around it to help the camera focus better. Google also states that you shouldn’t point your camera at bright sources of light when using this mode. Have fun using the Night Sight mode!