Astrophotography has been an impressive feature of Google’s Pixel phones for a few generations at this point, but the Pixel Fold is breathing new life into that feature thanks to a happy design coincidence.
The Pixel Fold, like Samsung’s foldables, has the ability to hold its place when folding or unfolding, allowing you to “pose” the device at a certain angle. It’s a useful trick for watching videos and capturing selfies, but in a quick blog post Google is highlighting another use case – astrophotography.
Using the hinge to angle the device and leave it on a steady surface, users can set up for an astrophotography shot anywhere with no need for a tripod, which was pretty much a necessity for previous Pixel phones. What sweetens the pot even further is that, because the Fold has more than one screen, using it like this means you can still see what you’re shooting.
One of the trickiest aspects of photography is keeping the camera still. And that’s especially important for taking pictures of the stars, which requires the aperture to stay open longer. But Pixel Fold users no longer need a tripod to steady their shots, because the phone balances nicely when it’s in tabletop mode, with one screen pointed directly up at the sky. Plus, Pixel Fold gives you a better view of exactly what you’re capturing. Its split screen lets you see what the camera is pointed at, so you can take a photo of the night sky without the guesswork.
Along with that frankly brilliant idea, Google also offered up a few samples of astrophotography shots taken with the Pixel Fold using this method, and the results speak for themselves.
Of course, Google isn’t necessarily the only brand to have this capability. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 also just picked up an astrophotography mode, but it’s hidden in a second app, where Google’s is ready to go out of the box.
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