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Review of the iphone NightCap app

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

“The best camera is the one that you have with you. “ I really embraced this statement about 6 months ago when I really got into iPhoneography. One issue I quickly ran into was bad images in low light, enter NightCap. It is a small iphone camera app that uses longer exposure times (compared to the default iPhone camera app) which results in clearer and brighter photos. The developer claims NightCap can capture 20x more light than the built in camera app. Using the app is as easy as pressing the image button.

Before testing the app, I thought it was just a glorified photo filter program  which was going to create crappy photos but I was really surprised. As long as the iPhone is kept stable, the photos it produces are actually surprisingly usable. I found that I got the best results when I used the app with my Joby GripTight

Features (from the developer) 

  • 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.

Here are 2 pictures I have taken. 

Picture taken with iPhone 4S (IOS 6.01) built in camera app:

Picture taken with iPhone 4S (IOS 6.01) NightCap automatic settings.

These pictures haven't been retouched or edited in any way. The results are remarkable.

This won't replace your DSLR but it provides a quick always with you alternative.

Remember that the camera was sitting on a Joby stand so that no hand vibrations were introduced. Also this works good with static non moving scenes.