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Seeing the Light

The race for computer vision dominance among the various flagship phones continues to heat up. This week, Google rolled out the long-awaited Night Sight feature for its new Pixel 3 and 3XL smartphones. The camera mode enables more clarity and color accuracy in low light than any other smartphone, not to mention most DSLRs. Rather than keep the shutter open a long time, which can affect focus when in handheld scenarios, Night Sight takes 15 short-exposure pictures, then utilizes on-board computer vision algorithms to pick out and reassemble the picture pixel-by-best-pixel. We tried it out and can confirm that it’s unparalleled—as in, a single candle is enough to light up a whole room when processed by Night Sight. It’s a game-changer for photography—and anyone interested in the kinds of smartphone pictures that are shared online—because a whole world of low-light situations are now part of the user-generated content playbook.
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