Today modern smartphones come with powerful imaging sensors and dual-camera setups. But even though the cameras on some flagship smartphones can deliver photos that can be comparable to those from DSLR cameras, they still lack in low-light or night photography. But it seems like Florian Kainz; Google’s Daydream Engineer has found a solution for it.
As detailed in a Google Research lab blog post, Kainz has developed an experimental app that can be used to click night-time photos that have accurate colours and minimum noise, something that’s only possible with DSLR cameras as of now.
He explains that once he shot an image at night using a professional DSLR camera, he challenged his team to take a photo of similar quality using a smartphone camera. This prompted him to develop an app that could capture 64-burst mode shots in 2 seconds.
The app will let users manually control focus, exposure and ISO. It’s been added that 64-burst shots are merged algorithmically to clean the image and get desired results.
In the blog post, Kainz further mentions that he shot several images on a full-moon night and in situations with dim-lighting. All the resulting images were blur-free, noiseless and had adequate saturation levels.
“At 9 -10 megapixels the resolution of these pictures is not as high as what a DSLR camera might produce, but otherwise image quality is surprisingly good: the photos are sharp all the way into the corners, there is not much visible noise, the captured dynamic range is sufficient to avoid saturating all but the brightest highlights, and the colors are pleasing,” said Kainz.
It’s been added that the final images required careful post-processing on a PC.
Kainz adds, “With the right software, a phone should be able to process the images internally, and if steps such as painting layer masks by hand can be eliminated, it might be possible to do point-and-shoot photography in very low light conditions.”