Google just added a big feature to the Pixel camera, and two more could be on the way

Night Sight videos on the Pixel are getting a big improvement. Here's what else is likely coming soon.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Google Pixel 8 Pro Camera Mode
June Wan/ZDNET

The Pixel 8 camera is already one of the best phone cameras available, but just ahead of the Google Pixel December feature drop, Pixel owners are getting an upgrade to their phone's camera -- and a look at two more features that are on the way.

The biggest improvement that's available right now is a change to the Pixel's Night Sight. As a part of version 9.2 of the Pixel Camera app (available now through the Play Store), users can now record five minutes of 1080p timelapse Night Sight video or 20 minutes of 4K timelapse Night Sight video -- both resulting in 10 seconds of output. 

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Prior to this, Night Sight videos were limited to an output of one second, making this a pretty significant upgrade.

In addition, the Palm Timer feature, which lets users take a photo by flashing their palm at the lens, also got some changes. At present, Palm Timer is only available when the timer is set. But with the new version of Camera, it can be set to be always on. 

Beyond the features that were just dropped though, two potential new Pixel camera upgrades have been uncovered in Camera version 9.2's code. Neither has been officially announced by Google, but the presence of the code indicates they're probably not too far away.

One seems to reference the Pixel Fold, and mentions showing the rear/outer display to show a preview of the subject while the inner button can be clicked to actually take the photo - similar to an existing feature on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

The second, based on the code, appears to be sort of a combination of Top Shot, which lets users choose the best-looking image from a motion photo and Best Take, which allows people to choose the best facial expression and impose it on another photo. Since it involves the Pixel camera's newest AI features, this would likely be limited to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. 

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When you consider that Best Take functions now only when you take a burst of shots, this too is a fairly substantial upgrade, and makes it easier to take advantage of one of the phone's top features. 

If all that isn't enough, when the December Google Pixel Feature Drop happens later this month, it's expected to bring Video Boost to the Pixel 8 Pro, finally taking it to its full capacity. The camera was already a big selling point of Google's new flagship phones, and if new and upgraded features continue to be deployed, look for them to stay on top. 

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