Google explains the Pixel 4 Astrophotography mode
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Even before Google launched the Pixel 4 series, its Astrophotography mode called the attention of users around the world. The new enhanced night mode setting in the Google Camera application now lets capture amazing photos of the starry night sky. However, capture photos like the ones you could have seen on social networks it's not as easy as it seems. There are many parameters that must be taken into account to capture a decent picture of this style. Therefore, from Google they have now published A much needed explanation about the new function.
The Astrophotography mode of the Google Pixel 4 explained
In a recent blog post titled "Astrophotography with night vision on Pixel phones“, Florian Kainz and Kiran Murthy from Google They explain how the new mode emerged.
The publication talks about the company's internal operation and reveals key details about how engineers set exposure times for each frame and the number of frames to capture to achieve the best results and avoid any motion blur.
Then sheds light on how the company addresses the problems with the dark current. This is what causes CMOS image sensors to record incorrect signals, which cause the illumination of individual pixels even when they are not exposed to so much light.
To combat this problem, the company compares pixel values neighbors within the same frame and in the sequence of frames to look for atypical values. Then, eliminate these atypical values by hiding them with the average value of their neighbors.
Google then speaks about the composition of the scene and how they had to show a “post shutter viewfinder” in the Night Vision mode to help users see what they were capturing.
Without this implementation, most of the time we will see only a gray screen. This will make composing the shot quite difficult.
Autofocus was another problem. I faced the company because of a similar reason. To solve this was that they implemented the “post focus auto shutter". This new feature capture two autofocus frames with exposure times of up to one second to help detect image details even in low light. These frames help the camera of the Pixel 4 to focus correctly the subject, but did not contribute directly to the final image.
Finally, Google had to change how the sky processed in the Night Vision mode photos for Astrophotography with the objective of offering credible results.
Processing doesn't just help the sky looked darker, as expected to be seen at night, but also adds a noise reduction specifically designed for the sky. Also add a selective contrast increase so that certain characteristics are more prominent.
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