Google's Night Sight camera mode is pretty darn impressive

Google has figured out a way to make low light photography something I want to do more of.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

When Google announced its new Pixel crop of smartphones, it also announced Night Sight, a new camera mode designed to take low-light photos that look good.

Night Sight was released via an app update to the Google Camera app last week. Once the update was installed on my Pixel 3 XL, I naturally was curious about just how well the feature worked.

Check out this gallery to see the results for yourself.

Google’s Night Sight mode for Pixel phones in pictures

To me, the most surprising thing is how much more detailed the photos captured with Night Sight are than photos captured with the standard camera mode.

To use Night Sight, you'll need to tap on More > Night Sight in the camera app. Or, if the camera detects a low light scene that would benefit from using the feature, a popup will appear in the viewfinder; tap on it to switch to Night Sight.

You'll need to hold still while using Night Sight. When the shutter button is pressed, the camera opens the shutter and begins collecting information about the scene and capturing more light. The amount of time Night Sight needs to capture a photo depends on the scene and available light, but from my testing, it usually requires a second or two of holding the phone still for Night Sight to work.

One thing to keep in mind as you test and use Night Sight on your own is that it needs some light in order to work. I tried to capture a few photos in a very dark environment, and the result was a pixelated mess. In other words, this isn't a night vision feature.

Night Sight is something I would love to see expanded to more Android devices, and heck, Apple's iPhone lineup. I captured some of the same photos in the gallery above with my iPhone XS Max, and while they looked good, they were nowhere close to what I captured when using Night Sight.

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