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Google’s Pixel series has always had some pretty amazing computational photography features, and the latest is the new Astrophotography mode.

Last year, Google introduced Night Sight, which used the same concept as HDR+ to turn low-light photography on its head. Other manufacturers have been scrambling to catch up over the last year, but with the Pixel 4, Google is looking to yet again blow everyone else out of the water.

As Google’s own Pixel camera boss Marc Levoy puts it, Astro mode is “HDR+ on steroids”. The phone takes up to 16 15-second exposures, aligns them, and does some software magic to pull the shadows while reducing noise as much as possible.

We decided to test out just how good Astro mode actually is, so we drove out to Montauk, New York to put the Pixel 4 to the test.

Overall, we’re blown away with how well this works. The excitement of looking at the viewfinder after a four-minute exposure is similar to Night Sight from last year, when everyone was running around shooting photos of extremely dark scenes.

If you want to learn more about how Astro mode and the other new camera features in the Pixel 4 work, check our interview with Google’s camera boss himself!

If you want to see the photos in original quality, see the Google Drive photos here.

What do you think of the astrophotography mode and these photos? Let us know your thoughts below!

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