Shooting in low light with advanced camera apps can be a lot of fun. But a mini tripod can make all the difference.
Part of the fun of mobile photography is exploring a location and capturing great images. Sometimes the limited capabilities of the native iPhone camera app can stop you in your tracks and the resulting images can be less than impressive. These are the times when you may have wished you had a professional camera with you.
But if you don't have that pro rig, not to worry! There are specific camera apps that can help you create pro-level images from your iPhone. The right app and associated hardware can mean the difference between getting the shot or not. Here are several apps that can help get you there. Their one common denominator? They require a tripod due to either longer exposures, or because the apps combine multiple images. We'll get to the tripod later. First, let's check out the Apps.
Pro Camera Apps
When you need to set manual control over exposure, focus and white balance try an advanced camera apps like Camera+, ProCamera, 645 Pro & Camera Awesome. These are the alternative camera apps that many amateur and pro iPhone photographers use. We will cover and review these apps in another blog post.
Multiple Exposure & Low Light Apps.
Shooting at night time or in low light can be a issue with the iPhone 5 but there are a few app that excel in this area. They can be fun to use but it is highly advisable to use a tripod to get the best resutls.
Pro HDR: $1.99
Pro HDR captures multiple exposures and merges them into one image.
This app is great for times when the background images is too bright or the foreground subject is too dark. It corrects the image from being too dark or washed out. You can easily select the exposure of each image in manual mode and automatic mode is a simple tap.
Average Camera Pro: $0.99
AVG Cam Pro takes between 8 &128 pictures in rapid succession and the images are normalised & processed to create a single image. It also has an option to increase the gain or brightness via a slider after the set of images have been averaged out. If banding noise is a problem, the app can use a reference image as a noise fingerprint. Overall, Its a great app, that produces noise-free pictures in low light.
Slow Shutter Cam: $0.99
Slow Shutter Cam is used to take Long exposures using a variety of slow shutter effects. The automatic mode is good for creating waterfall or motion blur fx. The light trail is great for "painting" with light & Manual mode is great for capturing shots in low light.
Nightcap is good for taking clearer night time photos. Use if if you want to create brighter and more detailed images with less grain. The interface is clean and the manual mode includes the ability to set exposure, focus & white balance independently. The default exposure is set to 1/3s for faster response times but can be easily changed to 1 second in the settings menu.
Which tripod is best when using these apps?
As I mentioned earlier, It is very important to keep the iPhone 5 completely still when using these apps in low light situations. I always carry a pocket tripod with me in order to produce acceptable results. A tripod & mount combo is the perfect tool for those that want to experiment with advanced Camera apps.
The GripTight Gorillapod is a good tripod and mount solution for iPhone Photographers. It works well with any iPhone or smartphone device. The flexible tripod legs are bendable and can wrap around practically any surface. The base of the tripod feet are coated with a slip free material for extra grip. The 1/4-inch tripod screw attaches to the GripTight mount. The iPhone 5 is attached to the mount via a spring loaded tension.
Adorama stocks an extensive selection of tripods, adapters and mounts over at the iPhone Toolshed.