Learn how Nest cameras see in daylight and darkness

In daylight, Google Nest cameras can see about as far as you can, and their wide angle lens has a field of vision almost as wide as the human eye. Nest cameras also have Night Vision to be able to see in the dark. Here are some features that help your camera see activity in the distance.

Wide angle view

Nest cameras have a wide-angle lens that lets you see everything clearly.

Diagonal field of view

Nest cameras


Google Nest Cam
Google Nest Cam IQ
Google Nest Cam Outdoor
Google Nest Cam Outdoor IQ


Google Nest Hello video doorbell


Nest cameras don’t let you move the camera remotely in the app, so if you want to change the camera’s view, you have to adjust the camera’s position by hand.

However, the Nest app has a digital zoom-and-pan feature, which lets you crop out what you don’t want to see, and focus on what’s important. See the section below for more details.

Digital zoom and pan

All Nest cameras have a wide angle view. But if you want to take a closer look, you can use the Nest app to digitally zoom. You can also tell your camera to stay zoomed-in on a particular spot all the time.

Digital zoom

Nest cameras

Up to 8x

Nest Cam
Nest Cam Outdoor
Nest Hello video doorbell

Up to 12x

Nest Cam IQ
Nest Cam Outdoor IQ


How to digitally zoom in with the Nest app >

Note: Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor’s close-up tracking view uses the 4K sensor to automatically zoom in and track people as they walk in front of your camera.

Learn about Nest Cam IQ’s close-up tracking view >

Automatic adjustments to lighting

  • When Night Vision is on and someone turns on the lights, your Nest camera will quickly switch to normal video mode.
  • Nest cameras will wait for the right time to turn on Night Vision. They’re designed to switch between normal and night modes only once as the light gradually changes. For instance, at dusk or dawn, when the lighting is marginal, some cameras will flip back and forth between normal and night modes, making the video too light or too dark.
  • Nest cameras can also figure out when someone’s trying to blind them by suddenly shining a flashlight at them. Night Vision is designed to stay on when something like that happens, so you can see what a trespasser is up to.
  • Nest cameras automatically adjust their frame rate in dim lighting. This reduces blurry "ghost trails" that can happen when people, animals or other objects move. You'll see sharper video when activity happens.
  • Nest cameras use an IR cut filter during the day to help keep colors accurate. This filter is switched off when it’s dark to enhance light sensitivity and deliver detailed video. If you’re close to your camera, you may hear a faint click when the filter switches on and off.

Night vision basics

All Nest cameras have Night Vision so you can see what's happening, even in the dark.
Nest cam night vision
  • Nest cameras use high-power infrared (IR) LEDs to illuminate the scene.
    Note: Infrared is invisible to the naked eye. However, when Night Vision is on, you might notice a faint red glow around the lens of some Nest camera models while other models use LEDs that don’t glow red. On Nest Hello, you may see a red line between the camera lens and the button.
  • The IR LEDs are positioned so that they fully illuminate the camera's wide-angle view instead of just spotlighting part of the center.
  • Night Vision range depends on how much light there is, but most Nest cameras have a range of about 20 feet in the dark. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor can see up to 50 feet in the dark. The Nest Hello video doorbell can see up to 6 feet in the dark to focus on guests at your door.
    If there are any light sources in the area, your camera may be able to see even farther.
  • When Night Vision is on, video is streamed in black and white, even if there’s plenty of light in the scene.

How to change Night Vision settings

For most situations, it's best to set Night Vision to Auto, so it'll switch on and off automatically.

  1. Select the camera you want on the Nest app home screen.
  2. Tap Settings Nest settings icon
  3. Select Night Vision Nestcam Night Vision icon.

Toggle the switch to Off, Auto, or Always On.

  • When set to Auto, your camera will automatically turn on Night Vision when it gets dark, and turn it off when there's enough ambient light.
  • When set to Always On, Night Vision will stay on until you manually set it to Auto or Off, even if there's plenty of ambient light. This setting is useful if you want to be able to see a dim or dark area of an otherwise well lit scene. Keep in mind that your video will be streamed and recorded in black and white whenever Night Vision is on.
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