Why did Google get rid of the auto-flash in the camera app?

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EvanVanVan

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2009
381
39
Why did Google remove the auto-flash in favor of auto-night mode in the camera app? I mean night mode works pretty well, but I'll take a picture in a pitch black room and it attempts to use night mode and is completely useless. Instead you need manually toggle flash on and off, which is hidden in the top menu and super annoying. Am I missing something?
 
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Tel864

Senior Member
Nov 22, 2011
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Greenville
Why did Google remove the auto-flash in favor of auto-night mode in the camera app? I mean night mode works pretty well, but I'll take a picture in a pitch black room and it attempts to use night mode and is completely useless. Instead you need manually toggle flash on and off, which is hidden in the top menu and super annoying. Am I missing something?

You can always go to Play Store and uninstall Google Camera. This will uninstall the updates and give you Auto Flash back. I'm not sure what you'll give up though without the updates. Of course, if you have Play set to auto update you'd need to turn it off for Camera. I've turned mine back and don't see any difference in my photos.
 

InfX

Senior Member
May 1, 2008
886
216
Shining a light directly on an object or a person you taking a picture of from the very same point the camera is at, is probably the worst lighting scenario you can achieve. Pretty much any semi-usable ambient light coming from a different angle should yield better results, as long as a camera is capable of bumping it's sensitivity, and the the "night mode", while technically is computational, is pretty much just an equivalent of that. Seriously, even just lighting that pitch black room with a "flash" of another phone (hopefully without shine it directly on the photographed object, though) will give you a much nicer picture.

Want a demo? Shine a flashlight (possibly the very same one, from your phone) on another person's face in a pitch dark room, from about the same distance you want to take the picture from. Hold the flashlight somewhere at your nose level. Now your eyes see exactly what a camera would, while taking a pic with that flash.

PS: IMO, removing auto-flash makes perfect sense. Kinda shifts people into using it as little as possible.

---------- Post added at 02:18 ---------- Previous post was at 02:14 ----------

People still use flash? I don't think I've ever used it


Yea, they do. To see some creative uses, Google "slow sync flash" and switch to images tab, but in general, flash is still very useful. This doesn't apply in any way or form to a mobile phone "flash" which isn't really a flash (too weak, fires for way too long to freeze motion, and that's in addition to being non moveable away from the lens).
 

EvanVanVan

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2009
381
39
People still use flash? I don't think I've ever used it

That's dumb.

Seriously, even just lighting that pitch black room with a "flash" of another phone (hopefully without shine it directly on the photographed object, though) will give you a much nicer picture.

PS: IMO, removing auto-flash makes perfect sense. Kinda shifts people into using it as little as possible.

You're advocating having a second phone or flashlight to add ambient light into the room? WTF lol.

Google should make it an option, if someone manually turn's off the flash, great use auto-night mode...But don't remove auto flash entirely. I don't need artistic pictures.
 

Tel864

Senior Member
Nov 22, 2011
3,012
1,094
Greenville
That's dumb.



You're advocating having a second phone or flashlight to add ambient light into the room? WTF lol.

Google should make it an option, if someone manually turn's off the flash, great use auto-night mode...But don't remove auto flash entirely. I don't need artistic pictures.

Agreed, there are some instances when I want to use a flash. Contrary to what some say, Night sight won't always give you the best photo and having that one switch isn't an option that should bother anyone, it was dumb to remove it.
 

InfX

Senior Member
May 1, 2008
886
216
You're advocating having a second phone or flashlight to add ambient light into the room? WTF lol.

What i meant is that pretty much any ambient light thats coming from a source that isn't at the same point (shining from the same angle) your camera is at would do better than a camera flash, and you can DEMONSTRATE it by using a flashlight or even a second phone. I don't advocate actually doing it in real life day to day pictures, turn your damn lights on and stop making a strawman.
 

Tel864

Senior Member
Nov 22, 2011
3,012
1,094
Greenville
What i meant is that pretty much any ambient light thats coming from a source that isn't at the same point (shining from the same angle) your camera is at would do better than a camera flash, and you can DEMONSTRATE it by using a flashlight or even a second phone. I don't advocate actually doing it in real life day to day pictures, turn your damn lights on and stop making a strawman.

Well agree to disagree then. I've been using cell phones since my first bag phone and have probably take hundreds of photos using the flash. Obviously you've either had bad phones or don't know how to use it because I can and do take good photos using the flash.
 

InfX

Senior Member
May 1, 2008
886
216
One thing i definitely agree about, Android is all about customization, and there would be absolutely no harm in providing an option to get either auto-flash, auto-night-mode, both or none.
 

EvanVanVan

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2009
381
39
Most of the pictures I end up taking are of things for work that I need to be able to read later. That's why flash is absolutely essentially. But also annoying when it's manually-on and used in bright settings (almost entirely because of the delay it adds to the capture).

I attached two pictures one of auto-night mode vs one with flash turned on... and this wasn't even that dark of a room.. auto-night mode doesn't work miracles. - I also dislike that since you're forced to hold the camera still for ~5 seconds, the pictures can end up out of focus.
 

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InfX

Senior Member
May 1, 2008
886
216
This kibd of pic would really benefit from high ISO, would be noisy, but readable, and without the glare on the 3 phases column.

And i've just been surprised to discover that pixel 5 camera app (a feature being praised everywhere!!!), unlike Samsung, is completely missing manual controls. Damn.

---------- Post added at 08:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:24 PM ----------

As an experiment, can you download any camera app that allows manual ISO, and retake this pic in the same conditions, but without flash, without night mode, no complex magical stuff of any kind, just raise the ISO?
 
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