‘Night Sight’ up­date for Google Phones

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

GOOGLE has in­tro­duced Night Sight: a low-light shoot­ing mode for users of Pixel phones. Avail­able as a free up­date to the cam­era app, it al­lows long ex­po­sures of up to six sec­onds to be taken hand­held.

Nor­mally, hand­held long ex­po­sures end up un­us­ably blurred, as it’s im­pos­si­ble to hold the cam­era suf­fi­ciently still. Google’s Night Sight cir­cum­vents this by tak­ing a se­ries of shorter ex­po­sures, then align­ing and blend­ing them to­gether to make the fi­nal image. In prin­ci­ple, the fi­nal re­sult will be brighter, sharper and more de­tailed than any in­di­vid­ual frame. This is sim­i­lar to the Night Mode that’s avail­able with cer­tain Huawei phones, in­clud­ing the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro.

A Mo­tion Ex­po­sure Con­trol al­go­rithm de­cides the to­tal ex­po­sure time and the in­di­vid­ual frames, based on how much sub­ject move­ment and hand shake it de­tects. The de­vice then blends the raw data from up to 15 frames, each with a shut­ter speed rang­ing from 1/60sec to 1sec, to give fi­nal ex­po­sures to­talling 1/4sec to 6sec. For the blend­ing process, the image is di­vided into tiles, which al­lows mov­ing sub­jects to be recorded with­out ghost­ing or blur. This is all fully au­to­matic, and re­quires no user in­ter­ven­tion.

When you point the cam­era at a low-light scene, the de­vice will au­to­mat­i­cally sug­gest us­ing Night Sight; al­ter­na­tively, it can be en­gaged man­u­ally from within the cam­era app. When Night Sight is en­gaged, the shut­ter but­ton shows a moon icon. In keep­ing with Google’s point-and-shoot phi­los­o­phy, the mode is fully au­to­matic: the only avail­able op­tions are a self-timer (3 or 10sec), and the op­tion to se­lect be­tween aut­o­fo­cus or dis­tance pre­sets la­belled ‘Near’ and ‘Far’.

Isaac Reynolds, Google’s prod­uct man­ager for the Pixel phone, of­fered some in­sights into how Night Sight works. The im­pres­sive colour out­put is at­trib­ut­able to an en­tirely new auto white bal­ance al­go­rithm that’s based on ma­chine learn­ing. Rather than try­ing to de­tect the light­ing type and en­gage a suitable pre­set, it has been trained to an­a­lyse a scene and out­put the cor­rect colour bal­ance di­rectly.

The up­date is avail­able now; find out more on our web­site at bit.ly/night­sight­de­tail.

In Google Pixel’s Night Sight mode, a se­ries of short ex­po­sures are aligned and blended to­gether to cre­ate a fi­nal image

With Night Sight, you can take up to six-se­cond-long ex­po­sures hand­held

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.