iPhone 11 camera may get new low-light mode to compete with Google Pixel Night Sight



  • Apple iPhone 11 is likely to be launched in September or October.
  • Given the popularity low-light modes like Night Sight in phones like Pixel 3, Apple is looking to add similar feature to the iPhone.
  • Recently Google claimed that Pixel 3A, a PKRs 88,000 phone, clicks better low-light pictures than iPhone XS.

In May when Google launched the Pixel 3A, a more affordable variant of its Pixel 3 phone, the company straight up compared the phone’s camera to the camera in the iPhone XS, a phone that sells nearly PKRs 2.1 lakh in Pakistan. The not only Google compared the Pixel 3A camera to the iPhone XS camera but also showed that the Google phone clicks better low light photos. Of course, much of it is because of the Night Sight mode in the Pixel phones. Now, reports suggest that Apple is also working on a new camera mode similar to Google’s Night Sight. This new camera mode is likely to come with the iPhone 11 — or will this be iPhone XI — when it launches in September or October.

Google’s Night Sight is mostly about using some clever algorithms, which have been fine-tuned by machine learning systems, to get the best out of the available camera hardware. When it comes to hardware, the camera hardware in the current iPhone XS and the Pixel 3 is mostly same. The two phones have primary image sensors that use 1.4um pixels and have features like optical image stabilisation. But it is the software where the two companies likely differ.

And it is this software for low-light photography on which Apple is likely working. In the last few months, after Google and Huawei brought special night modes to their cameras, almost all major Android phone makers have added a similar feature to their phones. Samsung has it for the camera in the Galaxy phones. OnePlus has similar mode in the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7.

However, Google’s implementation of the “night mode” is still considered the best. In this mode the Pixel 3 phones click up to 15 photos using shutter speed of 1/3s within a second or two and then merge those photos to create images that have better details, sharper colours and less noise. In fact, the Google algorithms that power the Night Sight are so good that even in a dark room, where the only source of light is the bulb outside the room, the phone can click a usable photo. When India Today Tech tried the Google Night Sight earlier, here is what we said:

“The final result from the Night Sight, and the feature is not yet rolled out officially, is so good that if you want to click a similar photo from a proper camera I believe you will need a full-frame DSLR camera and then will have to lift shadows in a photo editing app.”

While Apple looks to get inspired by Google’s Night Sight, Google too will add something in its upcoming Pixel 4 phone that the current iPhones have: dual-camera setup. Until now Google has used single rear camera in all its Pixel phones but with the pixel 4 phones, the company will for the first time use a dual-camera setup.


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