Google's Upcoming 'Night Sight' Mode for Pixel Phones Captures Remarkable Low-Light Photos

At a media event in New York City earlier this month, Google previewed a new low-light camera feature called "Night Sight" that uses machine learning to choose the right colors based on the content of the image. The result is much brighter photos in low-light conditions, without having to use flash.

Google showed a side-by-side comparison of two unedited photos shot in low light with an iPhone XS and its latest Pixel 3 smartphone with Night Sight, and the photo shot on the latter device is much brighter.

pixel night sight
Google said Night Sight will be available next month for its Pixel smartphones, but an XDA Developers forum member managed to get the feature to work ahead of time, and The Verge's Vlad Savov tested out the pre-release software on a Pixel 3 XL. The results, pictured below, are simply remarkable.

low light 1

Without Night Sight

high light 1
With Night Sight



low light 2
Without Night Sight

high light 2
With Night Sight



low light 3
Without Night Sight

high light 3
With Night Sight

Google and Apple are both heavily invested in computational photography. On the latest iPhones, for example, Smart HDR results in photos with more highlight and shadow detail, while Depth Control significantly improves Portrait Mode. But, Night Sight takes low-light smartphone photography to a whole new level.

Top Rated Comments

Freida Avatar
47 months ago
This is why Apple needs competition. This (if true and works) is a perfect example. Love when others do something great. Lets hope it really is that good :)
Score: 104 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brendu Avatar
47 months ago
This is really impressive. Good work google engineers.
Score: 80 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbplayer5 Avatar
47 months ago
I... I don't think I can get behind this.

If I'm shooting at night, it's for a reason. I'd much rather have a camera capable of rendering what I'm actually seeing versus one that can apply a filter to turn night into day. This is essentially the same kind of thing that Prism does, turning a photo into "art." It's no longer reality.
So like, turn it off?
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
47 months ago
Just think of how great iPhone part leaks will look now!


Without Night Sight


With Night Sight


Attachment Image

Attachment Image
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
47 months ago
I... I don't think I can get behind this.

If I'm shooting at night, it's for a reason. I'd much rather have a camera capable of rendering what I'm actually seeing versus one that can apply a filter to turn night into day. This is essentially the same kind of thing that Prism does, turning a photo into "art." It's no longer reality.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nueve Avatar
47 months ago
That's actually amazing, let's see if Apple adds something similar.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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