Google’s Pixel 8 Pro Can Now Capture Wider Night Sky Photography

Google is bringing a vital camera function back to the Pixel 8 Pro (review). The feature, which was first launched in 2019, allows using the ultrawide camera in taking astrophotography shots on the bigger Pixel 8 camera phone. It is speculated that the new and more capable sensor of the device enables the internet search giant to confidently revive the camera ability.

After Google debuted the Pixel 4 with ultra-wide lens support in astrophotography mode and dropped the feature from the Pixel 5 in 2020, it is silently activated back on the Pixel 8 Pro.

This was spotted by Android Authority, which shows a 0.5 lens magnification with an astrophotography icon on the top corner when you use Night Sight mode. The focal view option sits along with the 1x and 2x lenses inside the latest Pixel Camera app version.

Right now, the ultrawide astrophotography feature is only available on the Pixel 8 Pro and not on the smaller Pixel 8 (review). The reason is not confirmed, but it is possibly due to a 48 MP sensor of the Pro. The smaller Pixel 8 Pro still uses an old 12 MP ultrawide camera, though.

Google Pixel 8 camera module up close
The photo module of the Google Pixel 8 is composed of a new 50 MP sensor and a 12 MP ultrawide. / © nextpit

However, there is still a chance that Google could just be testing the feature on the Pixel 8 Pro and eventually roll out to the Pixel 8 or even on the upcoming mid-ranger Pixel 8a.

Google didn’t provide an explanation before on why it removed the ultrawide astrophotography from the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5. It was safely assumed that the camera hardware back then wasn’t enough to produce decent night sky shots. But now with better cameras and more advanced image processing, Google might have plenty of reasons to offer back the support.

Do you use astrophotography mode on your camera phone? Share with us some tips for the best night sky shots.