Who ever thought that astrophotography would be a thing with smartphones? Now though it seems we MUST have it and as such the Internet is upset at Google removing some of its functionality from their newest Pixel smartphones.
On release the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 were able to perform astrophotography with their ultrawide lenses getting all budding astrophotographers excited with the possibilities of capturing the Milky Way in ultrawide format. Unfortunately in the real world scenario the images were less than ideal with the images noisy and containing a strange tint to them.
The bug was of course reported to Google and Google have made that bug redundant — but not by fixing said bug but by removing the ability to perform astrophotography with the ultrawide lens. The newest version of the Google Camera app (v8.1) now has the new change.
Google have even gone as far as updating the Night Sight information age to now say that with the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 “astrophotography only works on zoom settings equal to or greater than 1x”.
Either Google have put ultrawide astrophotography in the too-hard basket and shelved it for good or are just temporarily disabling it while they perform some of their magical computational photography on it to make the images more acceptable.
Let’s hope for the latter. Google have done some amazing things over the last couple of years in the field of computational photography so if anyone can do it they could. Time will tell.