Night Sight is outta sight!

This is a watershed moment for me: After 11+ years of shooting on iPhones & Canon DSLRs, this is the first time I’ve shot on an Android device that plainly outshines them both at something. Night Sight on Pixel 3 blows me away.


First, some important disclaimers:

  • I work at Google & get to collaborate with the folks responsible for this tech, but I can take no credit for it, and these are just my opinions & non-scientific findings.
  • I’m not here to rain on anybody’s parade. My iPhone X is great, and the 70D has been a loyal workhorse. I have no plans to ditch either.
  • The 70D came out in 2013, and it’s obviously possible to get both a newer DSLR & a lens faster than my 24-70mm f/2.8.
  • It’s likewise possible to know a lot more about manual exposure than I do. I went only as far as to choose aperture priority, crank the exposure wide open, and set ISO to Auto.

Having said all that, I think my results reasonably represent what a normal-to-semi-savvy person would get from the various devices. Here’s what I saw:

What do you think?

By the way, Happy New Year! Here’s an animation created last night by shooting a series of Night Sight images, then combining them in Google Photos & finally cropping the output in Photoshop.

PS—I love the Queen-powered “Flash!” ad showing Night Sight:


6 thoughts on “Night Sight is outta sight!

  1. What setting was the Canon on? Fully auto? What ISO? What kind of lens? There are so many more variables at play with a DSLR than with a phone which is essentially “point and shoot” camera.

    I like my phone for quick snaps but any “real” photos I want to take I still break out my Canon DSLR (and tripod if needed)

    1. Canon 70D, f/2.8 25-70mm L lens, cranked wide open in Av mode, ISO set to Auto. The boy was not going to tolerate use of a tripod. 🙂

      1. I can understand about not using a tripod! I’m curious was the ISO was. My Canon goes from 100 – 1600 so that’s a few more stops you could have gained if it was up at 1600, depending on the auto setting. I think my camera defaults to 400, so 1600 would be two more stops.

  2. Great. Thanks for making me regret purchasing this shiny new iPhone.

    I’m blown away by how good those neon images are. All that detail in the highlights AND detail in the shadows too???

    Are there any options in software to reprocess the merge so that one can bias the combination differently? Or are the exposures ‘flattened’ after the merge?

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