Tag Archives: low light

Ready For A NightCap?

For those interested in taking great pictures in low light conditions, this might be the app for you. The iPhone app saves at full resolution and offers a number of other manual controls such as white balance, exposure, and focus.

NightCap GUI

NightCap GUI

A long time ago I downloaded NightCap, and when I first started it up I remember how sluggish it seemed. I didn’t try to use it since then. However, I recently gave it another shot and realized why it felt so sluggish – it was creating the preview image on the fly and trying to focus with almost no light. Once I got that into my head I started using it a bit and was amazed at the images I could get in extremely low light situations.

Here are a few sample images, taken with NightCap and the standard camera on my iPhone 4S. The shot with a tree was placed on a railing. The other shots were handheld. If you click on these you’ll see the full sized version (warning: these are the full size images).

Sample with NightCap

Sample with NightCap

Sample: Camera app

Sample: Camera app

Sample with NightCap

Sample with NightCap

Sample: Camera app

Sample: Camera app

Sample with NightCap

Sample with NightCap

Sample: Camera app

Sample: Camera app

NightCap: Zoomed In

NightCap: Zoomed In

Camera app: Zoomed In

Camera app: Zoomed In

It is clear that the app does amazing things with very low light. I was amazed at how good the app was for taking pictures of indoor environments. In the room with moderate light the noise in the photo taken with the camera app is extensive, while the shot with NightCap was vastly better. I showed a closeup view of a selected area.

If you ever want to snap any low light photo, I’d highly recommend grabbing this app. And try to be a bit smarter than me and keep in mind it may feel sluggish in dark conditions! It is currently $0.99 to download on iTunes.


Description

Are you losing those special moments to dark grainy photos because the iPhone doesn’t work well in low light? Try NightCap. It captures up to 15x more light than any other app – you’ll be amazed at the improvement!

NightCap is a camera replacement built for high performance around the clock. It’s the first and only app to do real slow shutter photography, not the fake software effect other apps use! That means in low light it performs better than any other app thanks to its unique extended exposure range, producing brighter and more detailed images with less grain.

It also provides the best tools available to help you get that perfect shot, night or day. It’s built for ease of use and takes fully automatic photos or if you prefer you can effortlessly set exposure (including manual shutter speed for the first time on iOS), focus and even white balance to different parts of the scene. Just point the camera where you want to set something and lock it with a single tap – it’s extremely easy and intuitive.

== Reviews from popular iPhone photography sites ==
148 apps – “In night time, there’s nothing I’ve seen that can beat it” ☆☆☆☆

Glyn Evans, iPhoneography.com – “NightCap now lets you shoot day or night, and offers one of the most accurate, yet simplest camera interfaces I’ve used to date.”

Featured in “Best 6 iPhoneography Camera Replacement Apps” by David Roccato, davidroccato.com

== Features ==
• Automatic or Manual: NightCap works fully automatically when you want speed or simplicity. Automatic but with night mode when you need it. If you want control, class-leading focus, exposure and white balance control is available including true manual exposure in low light.

• Extended Exposure Range: In low light it uses much longer exposure times (up to 15x!) than other apps giving brighter, clearer photos. This is real long exposure not a fake software effect.

• Powerful and Intuitive Camera Control: All the flexibility of separate focus, exposure and white balance targeting and locking, none of the hassle. Just point where you want to focus and tap the focus button to lock. Point elsewhere, lock exposure. Full control, fast and easy operation.

• On-screen exposure and ISO display

• Self-Timer: Whether you’re taking a group photo and want to be in the shot or you’re taking a long exposure shot and want to avoid camera shake, the built in timer with adjustable delay is there for you.

• Full resolution support on every device, photos saved instantly to the Camera Roll.

• Left or right handed operation.

• Full EXIF support and geo-tagging.

== Tips ==
• Focus and exposure control is simple. Use the focus square – the camera focuses and exposes whatever is in that box. Point the camera at the object you want in focus – the square turns green once it’s focused. Tap the “Foc” button to lock. It’s now fixed until you unlock it. Do the same to lock exposure and white balance anywhere in your scene for complete control and perfect photos.

• Manual exposure gives you complete control in low light. In bright light, it automatically reduces exposure if it’s over-exposing (the on-screen indicator turns red to warn you). To avoid this cover the lens until exposure returns to manual control, then lock exposure.

• Photography in very dark conditions isn’t possible without the flash. NightCap will generally work much better than the built-in camera app (and will often work well when the built-in app fails completely), but results depend on the amount of light available.

• The camera needs time to focus, and focusing can be slow in very low light. Lock the focus to prevent the camera from re-focusing.

• Longer exposures make the camera susceptible to motion. Hold the camera still when shooting in low light – rest against a solid surface, use the timer, take several shots and pick the best one, or use a tripod/stand.