Skip to main content

How to use the Astrophotography mode on the Pixel 4 [Video]

The brand new Night Sight mode for the Google Pixel 4 includes an amazing Astrophotography mode that you might not know how to get the most out of, luckily we can show you how.

Ideally, you’ll have some gear already to make the most of this new mode, as you can’t simply walk up to a dark, secluded spot and start taking insane pictures of the night sky.

Preparation is, of course, everything when Astrophotography on the Pixel 4 is concerned. Having an idea of everything you need to get stellar space photos is a must, otherwise, disappointment is almost guaranteed — even despite the quality of the Night Sight mode in almost any scenario.

Google has made it really easy to start taking astrophotos, as you simply need to point up, mount your phone to a stable tripod and then opening the camera app to the dedicated Night Sight mode. The rest is taken care of by your Pixel 4 — it’s worth noting that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a will also get the mode very soon and it’s unofficially available on the Pixel and Pixel 2.

What you’ll need

How to use the Astrophotography mode on Google Pixel 4/4 XL

  1. Mount your Pixel 4 to a tripod or prop it against a static object pointing directly upward away or at an angle away from direct light sources.
  2. Open the camera app and head to the Night Sight mode.
  3. Press the camera shutter button and it will recognize that you are taking photos of the sky and will automatically enter the long-exposure Astrophotography mode.
  4. Wait between 1 and 5 minutes for your astrophoto to be complete.

For the very best results, it’s best to get out of urban areas and into the wilderness where no light pollution can affect your long exposure photos. You can try it in cities but expect mixed results. The results also vary based on positioning and cloud cover. So try and pick a night where you are guaranteed to have clear skies overhead.

As we mention, you don’t necessarily need a tripod to capture astrophotos on the Pixel 4. You will, however, see the best results doing so. An excellent cheap solution is that of the pocket-friendly Manfrotto Pixi tripod which comes with a universal smartphone mount for under $30.

More Android Guides:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

Damien Wilde's favorite gear