Tag Archives: NightCap

NightCap Pro Adds Artificial Intelligence!

NightCap Pro, a Universal app, was updated to version 6 a few days ago with a wealth of new features and an updated interface. This app is the one you need if you want to do light trails or low light photography. From the description:

Do you find your photos a little dark and grainy in low light? Meet Aidie, the AI camera operator at the heart of NightCap Pro. Aidie (Artificial Intelligence Derived ISO and Exposure) handles the camera for you like a pro, ensuring you get the brightest, clearest shots possible. All you need to do is hold steady and tap the shutter.

NightCap Pro also has amazing tools for serious photographers, including full manual control with a unique gesture based system that gives you instant access to all controls. Simply swipe to adjust. ISO can go up to 4x higher than any other app, and there are 2 special long exposure modes: one removes almost all noise, the other captures light trails such as night traffic and even the movement of stars in the sky!

I’ve used the latest version (currently $2 on iTunes) and was really impressed. The changes to the interface (and nice walkthrough when you first start the new app) definitely made it feel more intuitive than prior versions, and ‘Aidie’ made it simple to take photos in really low light conditions. The new manual controls (and their interface) works flawlessly. There are lots of great sample images on the NightCap Pro home page and below are just a few of mine (last three edited with Snapseed).

A hand-held shot of a remote control in a dark room (you can tell the remote needs a cleaning!). The image on the right is from the built-in camera app.

A hand-held shot of a remote control in a dark room (you can tell the remote needs a cleaning!). The image on the right is from the built-in camera app.

To compare the noise in the images this is a closeup of the '3' region. This was handheld in a dark room and there was very little noise in the NightCap Pro image.

To compare the noise in the images this is a closeup of the ‘3’ region. This was handheld in a dark room and there was very little noise in the NightCap Pro image.

'Moving Man', A shot taken in the afternoon as a person walked past the window of a local coffee shop.

‘Moving Man’, A shot taken in the afternoon as a person walked past the window of a local coffee shop.

'Porch traffic', I propped my iPhone on my front porch as the sun was heading down on a stormy day. Several cars passed by.

‘Porch traffic’, I propped my iPhone on my front porch as the sun was heading down on a stormy day. Several cars passed by.

'Underneath the tracks', Using the light trails feature let's you get some awesome shots like this one. This is a local underpass as a truck passed through. A tripod was used.

‘Underneath the tracks’, Using the light trails feature let’s you get some awesome shots like this one. This is a local underpass as a truck passed through. A tripod was used.

If you want some great long exposure, light trails, fireworks, or low noise shots you can’t skip getting this app (selected by Apple for the App Store’s Amazing Photo + Video Apps promotion April 2015). Be sure to visit the NightCap Pro home page to see lots more images including star motion for the astrophysicist in all of us.

Download NightCap Pro on iTunes

And for one lucky reader, here is a code you can redeem to get a free copy of NightCap Pro: NJ3KJYW9YW6P

And three more promo codes:
RT9RRFPJ97TK
3AW7W3EPKNER
PJRA3K4JJJF4

Photos of Meteor Showers with Your iPhone? Really? Yes!

The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, but lots of meteors from this shower will still be around later in the week. If it is clear (and dark) in your area, you may want to open up NightCap Pro and see what you can capture. For those of you that have previously gone out looking for meteor showers you probably know this can be a challenge.

Luckily, there is a really nice blog post by the developer of Nightcap Pro that will help you go out, watch the showers, and possibly get a great shot of it with your iPhone!

The picture below, taken using Nightcap Pro on an iPhone 5S, shows a nice little meteor zipping through the night sky (upper center area) as the stars spin through the sky. Really nice.

Stars and a trail

Taken with NightCap Pro on an iPhone 5S. You can see star trails, the dashed lines left by planes, and at the top middle the small dash of a shooting star. Full size image is on the Nightcap blog post.

As a child I never imagined being able to take a picture of a meteor shower with something I carry around in my pocket, and as a physicist I am amazed that I can do that.

Update: Here are some promo codes for a free copy of Nightcap Pro!

9MA6W3TE6N6H
WPKAKAY3WRLW
KH7HT9JKRPTH
7XR46WFRNLKY
4PRHWWM99P3H
7KNMRRK4YHH3
6MHW9F9XWMPR
THRAWA3RJA3Y
7HJH49WAWMWN
9MHJA7RWR3X4

If you don’t know how Apple tells you how right here.

NightCap Goes Pro

For the past several years NightCap has been a great app to use for low light situations (review). That app continues to get updated, but the developer has released a version with a number of significant new features called NightCap Pro.

The Universal app is pretty straightforward and it only takes a few moments to learn what each feature does. Be sure to check the app settings page so you can set the quality of the saved image.

NightCap Pro app

I could go on and on, but with this type of app, the proof is in the pudding. I snapped these photos in my basement where a bit of light was coming in through a tiny little window. The first photo of each set was taken with the built in camera on my iPhone 5, and the second is the photo I captured with NightCap Pro. In all cases the camera was hand held, so the photos would look a bit better with a tripod.

Book cover, iPhone 5 standard camera.

Book cover, iPhone 5 standard camera.

Book cover, iPhone 5 using NightCap Pro.

Book cover, iPhone 5 using NightCap Pro.

Water heater, iPhone 5 using built-in camera.

Water heater, iPhone 5 using built-in camera.

Water heater, iPhone 5 using NightCap Pro.

Water heater, iPhone 5 using NightCap Pro.

My face, using built-in camera on my iPhone 5.

My face, using built-in camera on my iPhone 5.

My face, using NightCap Pro on my iPhone 5.

My face, using NightCap Pro on my iPhone 5.

For the selfie I was in the stairs to my basement with no lights turned on. There was just a tiny bit of ambient light from the basement window (no direct light at all). That shot was taken with the front facing camera on the iPhone 5. As you can see, there is a drastic difference in all of the photos.

I don’t do much video, but NightCap Pro includes that feature. One of these evenings at a local pub I’ll be sure to record a bit of video to see how it looks.

NightCap Pro is a great Universal app for low light, and NightCap is still good for the iPhone. The feature comparison is show in the table below. If you’d like to find out more you can drop by the NightCap Pro Homepage, or download on iTunes.

NightCap Pro is available for just $1 until the end of the month. Easily worth a buck.

Stay tuned…on Monday I’ll post a few promo codes for this app!

NightCap Pro features

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.