Google pits the Pixel 3 against the iPhone XS in low-light camera comparison

Camera modes created specifically for taking pictures in low-light is not new. Huawei first introduced the feature – called Night Mode – over a year ago with the P20 Pro. In November last year, Google introduced its own version of a dedicated low-light mode called Night Sight.

Whatever the name, the way the two modes work are similar. Imagine taking a picture of a low-light scene, the phone takes a series of pictures of the same scene with varying degrees of exposure in quick succession, then the device applies specific algorithms that combines the highlights and details from the different pictures to make one enhanced image.

The low-light mode is one of the biggest innovations I’ve seen in a smartphone. It expands the flexibility of the humble smartphone camera immensely enabling you to shoot in more situations that previously possible.

So in terms of dedicated night modes, Huawei’s Night Mode and Google’s Night Sight are among the best we’ve seen. Inevitably, Google would like to show off what their Night Sight can do especially when compared to an iPhone. This was demonstrated in a tweet posted Marvin Chow who is the VP of product marketing at Google.

And as you can see, the difference is night and day. The picture taken using the Pixel 3 with Night Sight shows the subject clearly despite the challenging low-light condition. Some argue that the iPhone XS captures more detail especially in the dark and shadowy areas but on the flip side, if you focus on the subject, the picture taken using the Pixel 3 is vastly more usable and Instagram worthy.

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Yes, pure photogs are going to say the colour coming from the Pixel 3 is not lifelike, the image taken using the iPhone XS allows for better fine-tuning especially when editing after the fact but for the layman, the ones that don’t have the time to edit and tweak each and every image that they upload on social media, the Pixel 3 is very compelling.

To be fair, the iPhone XS doesn’t have a dedicated low-light mode, no iPhone does. Perhaps the results would be different when Apple introduces a dedicated low-light mode for the iPhone. What do you think?

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Amin Ashaari