When Google released the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G earlier this year you could use the company astrophotography mode with one of their main cameras. But this is no longer the case. After Google updated its camera app in November, the Pixel community recently discovered that you can’t use the feature in combination with the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G’s ultra-wide cameras. Google did not comment on the removal, but a recently updated support confirms the change, noting that “on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, astrophotography only works on zoom settings equal to or greater than 1x.”
It is not known why Google decided to change the astrophotography feature, but as Gizmodo points out, one possible explanation is that it did not produce great photos with the wide-angle cameras of these phones. A support wire they found shows multiple sets of comparison images and, in all cases, those captured by the wide-angle cameras of the Pixels 5 and 4a 5G show a sickly green tint and unsightly digital noise. It doesn’t seem like many Pixel owners are mourning the change, but either way, we’ve reached out to Google for more information. We will update this article when we hear from the company.