How to do Night Photography with iPhone: Apps & Accessories

All of the three camera apps I use for taking photos at night with iPhone have a dedicated low light or night mode. Slow Shutter Cam App was one of the first apps to offer such a night mode. Then came low light mode in ProCamera App and finally Apple released the night mode in the stock iPhone camera app.

From what I’ve learned, these night modes basically work similar.

How night mode works: A high level explanation

If you switch to night mode or low light mode in any of the below camera apps, then this camera app basically does two things:

  1. It takes several photos (sometimes even with different shutter speeds
  2. It layers and combines the photos into a single exposure

As noise occures randomly in a photo, layering multiple exposures basically allows you to completely eliminate noise that often occures in photos taken a t night. Moreover, similar to HDR, some algorithms will even improve the exposure.

Now let’s have a lock at the three apps in more detail: iPhone Night Mode Camera, Slow Shutter Cam App and ProCamera App low light mode.

3 Apps to take night photos with iPhone

I use three different apps for night photography with iPhone: The stock iOS camera app with night mode, ProCamera with night mode, and Slow Shutter Cam App in night mode.

From the camera apps I use, you can see one important thing they have in common: For taking great photos at night with iPhone, you’ll need a camera app that comes with a dedicated night mode.

Night mode of the iOS camera app

Apple introduced night mode with the release of the iPhone 11 and iOS 13. Night mode was originally only available for use with the standard wide lens. iPhone 13 and iOS 15 now allow you to use night mode with all three lenses (if you have a pro model). So, as of May 2022, night mode works with all iPhone 11, 12, and 13 models. To my knowledge, it does not work with iPhone SE models.

If the iPhone camera app detects a low light scene, it automatically enables night mode. That’s indicated by a night mode symbol in the upper left corner of the screen that also displays the exposure time like 2 seconds in the screenshot below.

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