When Google came out with the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G earlier this year, you could use the company’s astrophotography mode with any one of their primary cameras. But that’s not the case anymore. After Google updated its camera app in November, the Pixel community recently found that you can’t use the feature in combination with the Pixel 5’s and 4a 5G’s ultra-wide cameras. Google hasn’t commented on the removal, but a recently updated support page confirms the change, noting, “on the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, astrophotography only works on zoom settings equal to or greater than 1x.”
It’s not clear why Google decided to tweak the astrophotography feature, but as Gizmodo points out, one possible explanation is that it didn’t produce great shots with the wide-angle cameras on those phones. A support thread they found shows several sets of comparison images, and, in every case, the ones captured by the wide-angle cameras on the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G feature a sickly green tinge and unsightly digital noise. It doesn’t seem many Pixel owners are mourning the change, but either way, we’ve reached out to Google for more information. We’ll update this article when we hear back from the company.