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Google engineer takes incredible low light photos with the Pixel

by Danny Zepeda | April 30, 2017April 30, 2017 11:00 am PDT

Smartphone cameras have improved drastically over the past few years, approaching DSLR levels of quality. There’s still a gap, but these stunning photos taken by a Google engineer prove the disparity will be eliminated soon enough.

Florian Kainz, a software engineer at Google Daydream, attempted to produce low-light, long exposure shots using the Pixel and Nexus 6P. The results are pretty incredible.

To get started, he created a manual exposure app that allowed him to control the desired exposure time, ISO and focus distance. He shot bursts of 32 and 64 two-second exposures with the smartphone cameras. All the photos were captured in DNG format and then transferred into a computer to be edited. Kainz then cleaned up some noise and manually adjusted the frames. You can see the photos down below.

In particular, the low-light performance of the cameras was impressive. There is hardly any other source of light aside from the stars, but the images came out with zero noise. He took a few shots of the Golden Gate Bridge with the San Francisco skyline in the background, and you can easily see strong details of the bridge, ocean, buildings and fog hovering over the city.

Mobile photography is only getting better

The photos taken by Kainz show off the potential future of mobile photography. Pretty soon, the hardware and software of your mobile device will reach a point where your DSLR will be unnecessary.

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Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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