Google inexplicably removing wide-angle astrophotography from Pixel phones

Pixel 5 And the 4a 5G Users can no longer use their ultra-wide cameras to take photos of the stars: Google appears to have removed the astrophotography capabilities of the lens with the Google Camera 8.1 update. This feature was a selling point on the Pixel 4, and it was available on both regular and telephoto cameras. When the 4a 5G and 5 were announced with new wide angle lenses, the feature was added to those lenses as well. Now it was taken away.

The astrophotography feature allows users to capture the night sky by pointing their phone up and keeping it stationary, either by balancing it on a nearby object or placing it on a tripod. The feature is still available on other phones’ cameras, but if you switch to Night Sight mode and switch to the ultra-wide angle camera, you will now receive a warning saying “Zoom to 1x for astrophotography”. Before updating, the message “Astrophotography On” will appear.

Google did not respond to our request for comment asking why the change was made, but it has updated it Support document low-light photography To add the following warning:

Important: On Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5, star photography only works at zoom settings equal to or greater than 1x.

take a look At the Wayback Machine, We can see that this change took place sometime between November 1 and November 7. It’s a little weird timing since the update wasn’t even released after two days.

A Google Pixel Phone forum user has posted comparisons between ultra-wide (top) and standard angle lenses for astrophotography photography.

For an explanation of why the feature was cut short, you can check it out This topic is on the Google Pixel Phone Help Forum. It contains examples from users, showing the results of the astrophotography mode produced on the regular Pixel 5 camera, compared to that set by the ultra-wide lens. I’ll let you judge the pictures for yourself. However, the forum post is another kind of weird timing – it was taken days after the update started to actually remove the feature.

Since the update had been stalled for a month and a half before most people actually started noticing that the feature had been removed, it might be clear why Google thinks it can be eliminated without mentioning it in the change. Even if it’s a feature many won’t miss, it still stands as a reminder that the software features used to advertise a phone may be subject to change (just like the Pixel) Unlimited original quality storage in Google Photos).

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