I have had a long interest in casual photography for a while – never wanting to take it more serious to the point of purchasing a decent standalone camera but making do with what I had. What I have is a collection of GoPro Session cameras, a Mavic Air drone and my mobile phone. Recently I got myself a new phone – a Google Pixel 6a. For the last few years I have been using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but the downfall of its battery capacity has already begun so it was time for a change.
I didn’t select the Pixel 6a because of its camera, it was primarily a choice motivated by getting something near the flagship level at a reasonable price. Upon receiving the device, though, I have been playing around with some of the camera tricks and Night Sight in particular caught me off guard with how good the results can be.
Challenges capturing light in the dark
Photography and videography in low light conditions can be a challenging task for photographers and videographers. In dark environments, it becomes difficult to capture images or videos with adequate light, leading to blurry and low-quality shots. To overcome these challenges, photographers must understand the importance of ISO and shutter speed and how they impact the final outcome of the captured material.
ISO is a setting on digital cameras that affects the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO value means that the camera will be more sensitive to light, allowing it to capture images in low light conditions. However, as the ISO value increases, the image also becomes more grainy, also known as noise. This noise can degrade the quality and detail of the image, making it difficult to see fine details.
Shutter speed, on the other hand, refers to the amount of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. A slower shutter speed allows more light to reach the camera’s sensor, while a faster shutter speed reduces the amount of light that reaches the sensor. A slow shutter speed can lead to motion blur, while a fast shutter speed can help freeze motion in low light conditions.
Google’s Pixel phones have a feature called Night Sight that allows users to capture images in low light conditions with improved detail and clarity. Night Sight uses advanced image processing techniques to reduce noise and enhance the image’s detail. This is achieved by using a combination of a high ISO value and a slow shutter speed, followed by advanced post-processing algorithms that reduce noise and improve image quality. The final result is an image that is clear and detailed, even in low light conditions.
Night Sight works by capturing multiple images in rapid succession and combining them to form a final image. This process helps to reduce noise and improve image quality by averaging out the noise present in each image. Additionally, Night Sight uses AI algorithms to analyze the image and adjust the brightness and color balance accordingly, resulting in a final image that is well-lit and accurately represents the scene.
In conclusion, photography and videography in low light conditions can be challenging, but with the right techniques and tools, it is possible to capture images and videos that are clear and detailed. ISO and shutter speed play a critical role in determining the quality and detail of the captured material, and Google’s Night Sight feature demonstrates the potential of advanced image processing techniques to overcome the challenges of low light photography.