Astrophotography is an important camera feature on the Google Pixel 5 and 4a 5G phones. But a new report confirms that Google Pixel 5 and 4a 5G users can no longer do astrophotography via the ultrawide lens.
Ultrawide lens is present on both the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. Moreover, at launch, both the devices could take ultrawide astrophotography shots.
However, with a new update to Google Camera, i.e. the Google Camera 8.1 in November that this ability to take ultrawide astrophotography lens has been disabled on both the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G.
A Google support page was updated back in November that states that astrophotography only works on zoom settings equal to, or greater than, 1x on both the Google Pixel phones.
FYI, Astrophotography lets the users take pictures of the night sky. It can be activated by visiting the Night Sight tab in Google Camera on the Pixel phones.
You need a steady surface or a tripod in order to capture usable astrophotography shots. Once there is no shake or movement, the "Astrophotography On" message pops up at the top of the shutter button. To confirm this, the button changes from a moon icon to stars.
Google Camera 8.1 disables the ultrawide astrophotography shots on Pixel 5 & 4a 5G
Once you have updated the Google Camera app to Google Camera 8.1, you can no longer take ultrawide astrophotography shots from your Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G devices.
Zooming out to ultrawide will show a message "Zoom to 1x for astrophotography" at the top of the screen. Previously, both the Google Pixel devices were capable of taking the 107-degree field of view astrophotography shots.
Sadly, that is now gone with the Google Camera 8.1 update. Fortunately, users can still make use of the ultrawide lens to take Night Sight shots.
Although there were some people that used this feature with the ultrawide angle lens, it was certainly not a popular feature, honestly.
Sideloading the older version of the Google Camera app is also out of the picture. Because it is difficult to update Google’s Pixel apps without using the Play Store update method.
You can still take ultrawide astrophotography shots using your Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. For that, you need to simply uninstall the Google Camera updates and revert to version 7.6.
It is noted in the Google Support Document that astrophotography only works on zoom settings on the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G.
Interestingly, Google has not explained why this feature was removed. We assume that the decision was taken because of quality concerns.