Version Reviewed: 2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
It might have its flaws but in the right situation, nothing can touch NightCap in terms of what it offers.
With a lofty claim of being able to take photos when it's dark outside, I was a little suspicious of it. It sounded too good to be true and I expected awkward results that were a minor improvement on the built in app. Clearly I was too cynical. NightCap does a surprisingly great job of snapping night time shots, providing the iPhone is held carefully with no risk of shaking.
Working on a slow shutter speed basis, this refusal to shake the device is vital. In my case, it just meant holding onto my iPhone carefully and planning my shot (action shots were out of the question). In the case of my mother who also gave it a try, it was a little too finicky, picking up on her inability to keep the iPhone steady thanks to a disability.
For those with a steady hand, however, it's a great tool. The screenshots ably demonstrate the difference it makes through its use of extended exposure times.
There's plenty of functionality within the app, also. Users can adjust the exposure manually by changing the shutter speed, they can adjust focus and white balance, just as simply, locking in relevant settings. The automatic mode will work well for the majority of cases but it's convenient to be able to tweak things individually.
It's all clever and impressive stuff but it does come at a price: speed. Unlike many other photography apps, NightCap requires patience and planning a shot. This isn't an app for taking anything quickly, by any means. It only takes a few seconds to line up the shot and adjust the focus accordingly but it makes all the difference between a blurry shot and a stunning scene. As previously mentioned, those with less than steady grips will also struggle with this app.
These flaws aside (which do make sense, admittedly, given any use of long exposure times) and NightCap is an impressive tool to add to any iOS photographer's arsenal. In night time, there's nothing I've seen that can beat it.