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Google's Night Sight on Pixel 3 shows a promise for a computer photo



With many leading smartphones with two or more lenses in their main cameras, it's refreshing to see that Google is holding its gun with just one camera for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

On paper, you may ask yourself that a camera can exceed the performance of multi-camera systems, especially for night scenes.

Google's response to this is "Night View," a feature that came out after the latest pixel phones went to that sale. After testing for Pixel 3 for some time, I can say that the software is just as important as the hardware.

Through computer photography, Google is able to dramatically improve images from its Pixel phones. The key here is to use algorithms to improve the selective parts of the image.

This means more light where more is needed. Less where it is not. Plus, other improvements that turn the image you've taken into a much more beautiful version without time spent touching Photoshop later.

Turn on Night Sight, hold it for 2 to 3 seconds and the smartphone will do the rest. The function is impressive. More so that it is done with only one sensor. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Night view takes multiple frames on the same scene in different exposures for a very short period of time, and through machine learning brings together these frames together to create an image that has the widest range of brightness.

In other words, we need to see the details in the brightest and darkest parts of the picture. It solves one of the most common headaches with a photo – getting the light through the whole frame.

From my various tests, the images made with the smartphone were certainly impressive. You can not now need a tripod, because it can feel the movement within the frame that the camera takes and pulled out to create a picture without shaking. By placing a tripod less surely it's easier for me to shoot in low light conditions.

Although there are small movements of people grinding around, Pixel 3 took into account that this was a manual shot too. So I was able to take very bright shots of the exhibits in the dark chambers of the National Museum.

The inside of the museum is pretty weak and usually requires the use of a tripod, but Google Night Sight allows not only low-light photography but also eliminate movement. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

Of course, there is no miracle pill, despite the expertise of Google here. In certain cases, the color shown is not as accurate, especially in the subject's images to be illuminated by lighting after shooting.

This manual shot of the National Museum of Singapore is sharp, but the color of the lights turned pink, which is not as it seemed. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

I did the same try, but this time using the Huawei Mate 20 Pro as a comparison. Although the computational photography has taken steps in shooting under difficult conditions, getting the color to the right is also a priority. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

While some may argue that computer photography will lead to the loss of "traditional" shooting methods, there is no denying that the photo has been made easier. Users can focus on capturing important moments of life.

What I saw so far in Pixel 3 was impressive. And computer photography will only improve with faster processors in new smartphones coming along the road.



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