Google Rolls Out ‘Night Sight’ For Pixel Smartphones To Improve Low Light Photos

By Dan Anderson ● November 14, 2018

Today Google Computational Photography product manager Alexander Schiffhauer announced that the “Night Sight” feature is rolling out for Pixel-branded smartphones. Night Sight is computational photography technology used for capturing vibrant and detailed low-light photos without a flash or tripod. In the next few days, the Night Sight feature will be supported on the front and rear cameras on all three generations of Pixel phones.

When it is dark, cameras try to compensate by spending more time to capture light and increase sensitivity to light, which causes unwanted motion blurs and noise. And using the flash helps by adding light to the scene, but the bright light can be a nuisance to the subjects in the photo and the people around them.

Usually, photos with flash do not look flattering plus it is often not permitted at certain venues. Plus flash is only useful for brightening nearby subjects rather than helping with landscape photos or subjects further away.

“Night Sight constantly adapts to you and the environment, whether you’re holding Pixel or propping it on a steady surface. Before you press the shutter button, Night Sight measures your natural hand shake, as well as how much motion is in the scene,” wrote Schiffhauer. “If Pixel is stable and the scene is still, Night Sight will spend more time capturing light to minimize noise; if Pixel is moving or there’s significant scene motion, Night Sight will use shorter exposures, capturing less light to minimize motion blur.”

In case your subject moves during a capture, Night Sight is able to adapt to prevent a modest amount of motion from ruining the photo.

Rather than capturing one bright and blurry photo, Night Sight is able to capture an equal amount of light over a burst of many photos that are dark but sharp.

Night Sight is able to prevent the motion blur by merging the burst. Night Sight will be able to adapt to you and the environment so that you can capture the moment easily.