Modded Google Camera 7.0 shows the Pixel 4’s Astrophotography will be promising
In the past week, the 2019 Pixel 4 has leaked over and over and over and over again. Thanks to Vietnamese YouTuber ReLab, we brought you the first detailed hands-on of the new Google Camera 7.0 app. We also tore down the APK to discover nearly all the camera features of the Google Pixel 4. Now, we’re ready to share something even better: a preview of one of the most hyped features of the 2019 Pixel. Thanks to a modified camera app, we are able to show off just how much improved the new Google Camera Night Sight will be, especially when it comes to Astrophotography.
Astrophotography is defined as the photography of astronomical objects such as the Moon and the stars. Most smartphones are simply incapable of taking decent photos of the starry sky, although on some phones you can bump up the exposure time using a pro mode. The exposure time in the Google Camera app using Night Sight currently only goes up to 4 or 5 seconds, while the new version is able to do 15 seconds or more.
Just last week, we learned that the Pixel 4 might feature Night Sight improvements that enable it to take photos of the starry night sky, a rumor that was corroborated by a leaked promotional video and our recent APK analysis. We’ve taken what we learned from our analysis and used it to enable the hidden Night Sight enhancements in Google Camera 7.0.
All of the photos you see below were taken on Max Weinbach‘s Pixel 3 XL running Android 10, since we obviously don’t have the Google Pixel 4 right now. However, the modified Google Camera 7.0 app forces the Google Pixel 4 camera configuration, including the new Night Sight sky segmentation and optimization algorithms as well as the longer exposure and better tripod detection. We compared photos of the starry sky using Google Camera 6.3 (left) and modded Google Camera 7.0 (right), and the only difference in the Settings between the two is that we turned on the new “Infinity” focus mode found in version 7.0. We also took all these photos using a tripod to eliminate hand shaking and force Night Sight to use its maximum exposure time.
Google Pixel 4 Astrophotography Preview – Modded Google Camera 7.0 Image Samples
Here are the camera samples that Max took. I, unfortunately, couldn’t get any decent photos due to the light pollution in my area, but Max’s backyard was fairly free of such pollution so he was able to see a lot of stars. Please note that these photos are compressed by WordPress, but they clearly show the difference in quality from Google Camera 6.3 (left) versus Google Camera 7.0 (right) with the added Night Sight improvements.
We want to note that these photos may not be representative of the astrophotography prowess on the actual Google Pixel 4 and that the real deal will almost certainly be even better. That being said, we can see that the main area of improvement will be in the color of the sky; the green tint has mostly disappeared and the sky now looks a more natural color. The details are also more refined and the image is less blurry, too.
The developer who modded the Google Camera app asked us not to name them since they don’t want to be flooded with requests, and they also asked that we not share the APK.
All of us at XDA are already in love with Night Sight, and we’re really excited to see how well the Google Pixel 4 performs when it launches sometime next month.
Here’s a video recorded by Max Weinbach for our XDA TV YouTube channel regarding the modded Google Camera 7.0 we used. Check it out if you want someone to narrate over these images!
This article was updated at 4:02PM EST on 9/14/19 to clarify details about the long exposure capabilities of other smartphones, and to reflect that our source does not wish us to release this modded APK at this time.