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Google Launch Night Sight For Taking Stunning Low Light Photos

Google’s Pixel phones have been steadily growing their fan-base over the last three launches and with the recent launch of the Pixel 3, they really started getting our attention with its amazing camera that uses machine learning to create stunning photos. One of the biggest challenges for phone manufacturers has always been low-light photography though, with even the mighty iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S9 occasionally struggling.  For this reason, Google has developed a new feature for their Pixel phones called Night Sight.

Night Sight is a feature exclusive to Google Pixel phones that claims to let you capture vibrant and detailed low-light photos without a flash or a tripod.

iPhone XS with SmartHDR (left), and Pixel 3 with Night Sight (right).
iPhone XS with SmartHDR (left), and Pixel 3 with Night Sight (right).

Photos are always difficult at night

Photos need light.  When it’s dark, you can still take great photos but the camera needs to spend some more time capturing the light and increasing their sensitivity to light, which is why if you move your camera phone you can often end up with unwanted motion blur or noise in your photo.

Having a flash of course helps by adding light to the scene, but we all have that one friend who gets blinded by the flash and blinks, or the bright light ruins the colours on that nice evening sunset you were trying to capture.  The other place flashes don’t help is at events – many music events, weddings, concerts ban flash photography (although that can be a good thing as it means you put your phone away for a bit).

You could use a tripod for your nighttime shoots, but we struggle carrying one of those around with us on a night out with friends.

Night Sight aims to solve all these problems

Night Sight is Google camera-tech that adapts to you and the environment you’re in in real-time.  Before you press the shutter button, Night Sight will check for hand shaking and how much motion is in the scene. If your Google Pixel is stable and the scene is still, Night Sight will spend more time capturing light to minimise noise.  If your phone is moving or there’s lots of movement in the scene, Night Sight will use shorter exposures, capturing less light to minimise motion blur.

If your friend/party/animal moves during taking the photo, Night Sight is quick to take a burst of many photos that are dark but sharp.  It’ll then merge these photos into the best image possible and brighten in to give you a bright and sharp final photo.

Night Sight merges many dark but sharp photos into one bright photo.
Night Sight merges many dark but sharp photos into one bright photo.

A bit of machine learning, Night Sight will also tweak the colours of your photo so objects and clothing show their natural colour, even at night. If you’re taking a photo in low-light, your Google Pixel will automatically suggest using Night Sight.

Objects are enhanced to look more natural in low light
Objects are enhanced to look more natural in low light

Night Sight is being rolled out as an update to the front and rear cameras on all three generations of Pixel phones over the next few days.

Top Night Sight Tips from Google

  • If you’re taking a photo of someone, ask them to hold still for a few seconds before and after you press the shutter button.
  • Hold the phone steady. If you can, try propping it against a stable surface.
  • Make sure the camera lens is clean. It can accumulate oil from fingerprints, creating blurry and soft photos.
  • Try tapping on or around your subject to help your camera focus when taking photos in very dark conditions.
  • Avoid pointing your camera at bright light sources, which may cause unwanted reflections in your photo.
  • Cameras don’t work in complete darkness, so you’ll still need some light to capture a photo.
Night Sight on the Google Pixel 3
Night Sight on the Google Pixel 3

If you’re using Night Sight, tag us on your photos on Instagram @directmobiles or use the hagtag #nightsight, we’d love to see how your photos are turning out.

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