Owners of Google’s Pixel smartphones are in for a treat this week. The search giant on Wednesday began rolling out Night Sight, a new feature that promises to change how users capture pictures in low light. The feature is available for the Pixel, Pixel 2, and Pixel 3.
We recently got our hands on an early version of Night Sight and came away impressed by what the feature can do. Using the feature in environments with little to no light makes a huge difference, to the point where the results look faked.
In the gallery above, you can see the difference Night Sight makes. It almost looks as if the pictures were taken in different environments, but we can assure you the lightning conditions were exactly the same.
Google explains how Night Sight works:
Before you press the shutter button, Night Sight measures your natural hand shake, as well as how much motion is in the scene. If Pixel is stable and the scene is still, Night Sight will spend more time capturing light to minimize noise; if Pixel is moving or there’s significant scene motion, Night Sight will use shorter exposures, capturing less light to minimize motion blur.
The feature captures light over a burst of photos, according to Google, rather than taking a long exposure, which can result in a blurry photo. The pictures, as you can see in the gallery above, come out sharp and detailed, even in scenes where light is scarce. Night Sight also uses machine learning to balance colors.
Night Sight does have its limitations, however. When taking a photo, you and your subject must remain still, otherwise the images will come out blurry. It also takes a few seconds to capture a photo as Night Sight captures light.
Even still, Night Sight is an incredible achievement. Hopefully, other companies will figure out how to imitate the feature—ahem, Apple—because it makes a significant difference in low light situations.