We have already written about the daylight performance of the Pixel 3a XL. Now, it is time to talk about how does the camera of Pixel 3a XL fare in the low light conditions, an area where only a few smartphones have excelled.
Google has played quite smartly by introducing the Night Sight mode in the Pixel 3a lineup. The mode basically takes multiple long exposure pictures and stitch them together in a single picture. In this mode, the camera intelligently removes photos that were shaken and corrects the shutter speed, thus, resulting in a photo that provides minimal noise. However, Google is not the only brand, we have Samsung with Night mode, OnePlus with Nightscape mode and more. So, does it really improve the low-light performance? Is it the low light performance of the Pixel 3a XL on par with the rest of the competition? Let’s find out.
We have taken the photo of this building with both normal mode and using the company’s Night Sight mode. Starting with the normal mode, one could see some grains and noises in the photo, but the detailing was just decent. You can easily see the windows of the building when you zoom in. In Night Sight mode, the noise suppression is much better and it is able to capture more light. However, we noticed that the colours a bit washed out as compared to the original image.
In this photo, Pixel 3a XL has done an impressive job in capturing colours of this auto rickshaw as it is quite close to the source. The image came out to be well-detailed, though if you zoom in, you will notice some noises. The phone’s camera is able to capture the street light naturally.
You will notice that noises are quite prominent, especially the area around the sky. The phone slightly struggles when it comes to handling the glare, however, some details are still present as you can easily read the hotel name and the colours are once again close to the source.
We took this photo in Night Sight mode and the results were impressive once again. The phone is able to lighten up the foreground, which was quite dark in nature. And it also handled the background light and detailing quite decently in our opinion. Once again, the noise suppression is to the point and the colours look natural in this image.
Once again we took two photos in this scene, one with normal mode and one with Night Sight mode. The normal mode, interestingly, delivers much better results as compared to the latter. The photo with normal mode delivered much natural looking shot and the colour of the building is quite to the source. However, in Night Sight mode, the camera is over-optimising the image, which results in washed out colours and noises is quite prominent in this mode.
The photo was taken with HDR+ enabled mode and the results were quite impressive. The photo came out to be sharp and crisp in nature and it captures a wide range of colours without overdoing it. The detailing can be gauged from the fact that you can see the dummy models in the shop and what colours of clothes it is wearing when you zoom in.
The scene present in this mode was quite dark in nature. We used the Night Side mode here and it really improves the image. You can actually feel that the photo taken with Night Sight is way better than the normal. The grass on both the side is greener with the Night mode, while it is all dark in the normal mode.
The Pixel 3a XL does a decent job when there is some amount of light present. You can see that the photo came out to be well-detailed and one can read the name of written on the bus quite easily when you zoom. The noises are there for sure, but it is not overshadowing the whole picture. The colours look natural and it took some ample amount of light, which is a good thing.
We tried to click a macro shot using the Night Sight mode and found out that it was quite difficult. First of all, the subject came out to slightly out of focus and you can see some shake. This is primarily because Night Sight takes some time to click the photo, so if there is slight movement during the clicking of the photo, you will see some blurs, especially, in the macro mode. However, the phone brightens up the image, which is a plus point here.
In this photo, you can see there is a major difference between the modes. In normal mode, the image came out to be average in terms of detailing and it appears to be washed out in nature. One can also see the grains quite prominent on this image. However, in Night Sight, camera improves the detailing and capture colours more vibrant as compared to the normal mode. The brightness level is better in Night Sight mode and overall, it looks much more appealing in nature.
To conclude, the Pixel 3a XL does have quite some tricks up its sleeves. The Night Sight mode does improve the image capture in low light, though it is not very consistent in nature. When there is some amount of light present, the phone captures some really good photographs. However, we still notice the problem of focusing on macro shots as one has to move away from the subject to focus it. Considering the price point, the Pixel 3a XL delivers some exceptional results in broad daylight and it manages to capture some good shots in low light, all thanks to the Night Sight mode.