Technology

Google Camera discreetly stripped a key astrophotography feature from more current Pixels

Google at first permitted clients to shoot astrophotography pictures using the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5’s primary or ultrawide cameras. Presently, it appears to be that the firm has discreetly taken out this choice in the most recent Google Camera application.

Version 8.1 of the application, as spotted by 9to5Google, no longer allows clients to select the 16MP 107-degree wide-angle camera when shooting in the specialized mode. All things being equal, the application presently restricts clients to the 12MP primary shooter at 1x times zoom or greater.

It’s unclear why Google dropped the ultra-wide shooter from the stargazing fun, yet it could be down to the snapper’s overall quality in such manner. Posts on Google’s Pixel Help discussions add trustworthiness to this. One client clarifies that while shooting stars at 1x is “amazing,” shots from the wide-angle lens are “awful, green, blotchy, and full of noise.” Multiple clients on this thread echo this sentiment, as well.

The Pixel 5 by forum-goer Harvey Etheridge. You can see the disparities in color and noise of the wide-angle shot (right) versus the product of the primary camera.

This might be because of the design of ultrawide shooters themselves, which sacrifice light and generally quality for a more expansive field of view. This is much more obvious when light is missing — particularly while capturing the night sky.

While Google’s move may be an offered to improve the overall quality of astrophotography on the Pixels, it does tragically freed the phones of a mode that would make it a more agreeable experience. In Pixel 4 XL review, we deplored the absence of a wide-angle lens for astrophotography on that phone. Shooting with the primary camera simply doesn’t do the scale — and breadth — of the night’s sky equity.

It’s indistinct if Google might be working on a more refined revise for the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5’s wide-angle astrophotography smarts, yet for the present, you’ll need to manage without it.

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