NightCap for iPhone

December 23, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software | Comment |

NightCap is a photography app that extends the maximum exposure time of the iPhone camera to a full second. “Capturing quality images with NightCap is very straightforward as it features a simple automatic mode,” the developers say. “The camera adjusts exposure and focus automatically, and will use the flash if needed. In low light it automatically uses longer exposures.” The app also offers a manual mode in which you can turn the flash off and set the exposure time anywhere from 1/20th to 1 second. Available on iTunes, NightCap sells for $0.99.

Interealtime Press Release

NightCap - A major step forward for iPhone night-time photography

We all know that cameras struggle in low light. As the sun sets your photos become dark and grainy - especially with the tiny camera in the iPhone!  The solution is to give the camera time to catch more light - longer exposures in photography terms. Until now that hasn’t been possible on iOS, but new app NightCap brings genuine long exposure to the iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 5 for the first time: up to 20x longer than the built-in camera app. The improvement to photos can be breathtaking!

Cheshire, United Kingdom - iOS photography and video specialists Interealtime are today delighted to announce the launch of NightCap, a photography app for the iPhone that promises to transform night-time and low-light photography on iOS.

The iPhone camera is limited to a fairly short exposure time - roughly a twentieth of a second. NightCap extends that up to a full second - 20 times longer, which means the camera can catch 20x more light. The difference that makes in dark conditions is quite amazing: in some cases NightCap can produce a good photo where the built-in camera app barely sees anything at all.

Even where the built-in camera app produces a bright photo, sometimes the photo can be very grainy. This is because the exposure time is very short, and to compensate the camera increases it’s sensitivity by using a high ISO level. The problem with high ISO levels is that noise increases with sensitivity, so you get a bright but grainy image. NightCap improves here as well: because the camera can use longer exposure it doesn’t need to use high ISO resulting in a much clearer, less grainy photo.

There’s also an artistic advantage to using NightCap: when you’re photographing a moving scene longer exposure times mean moving objects start to blur. A good photographer uses this effect to create a sense of speed, following a moving object with the camera to keep the object focused while the background zooms past, or capturing a stationary subject as a crowd flows past.

Capturing quality images with NightCap is very straightforward as it features a simple automatic mode. The camera adjusts exposure and focus automatically, and will use the flash if needed. In low light it automatically uses longer exposures. Tapping the Photo button takes a photo and saves it to the iPhone’s camera roll, and there’s a review button to quickly view the last photo.

Advanced photography features are present too - there’s a Manual mode that allows exposure to be set (1/20s to 1s exposures are supported), flash can be turned on and off, and the app supports tap-to-focus.

NightCap is designed to improve low light photos without compromising elsewhere: it takes full resolution photos and preserves full photo metadata including GPS tagging. Photos are saved directly to the iPhone’s camera roll for convenience.

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, and iPod touch 4G (iPod touch with camera)
* Requires iOS 5.0 or later
* 300KB download

Pricing and Availability:
NightCap 1.0 is just $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Photo & Video category. If you are interested in covering or reviewing Camera Boost in your publication, please contact us for a free download code.

NightCap 1.0:
Purchase and Download:

Interealtime was founded by Chris Wood in 2007, with a focus on realtime software design for Mac OS X. Since then focus has expanded to iOS development, and the company currently works on pushing the boundaries of mobile video and photography with high-end realtime processing and innovative software design. Copyright (C) 2007-2011 Interealtime. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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