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Old Dec 16, 2012, 09:12 PM   #1
Zaqfalcon
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iPhone Camera Has No Exposure Compensation; why?

As a first time iPhone purchaser, with the iPhone 5, I am very disappointed to find that there is no exposure compensation; this most elementary and fundamental photographic control. I understand that it's not even possible for any apps to do this due to the limitation of the SDK. Why?

Full manual control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO is of course far too much to expect us moronic and incapable Apple customers to understand but we could at least be permitted to determine for ourselves if we are photographing a white rabbit in the snow or a black cat in a coal shed and overide the averaged metering to control exposure.

And yet it is possible to retrospectively apply a panoply of ugly filters; urgh.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 09:19 PM   #2
AFDoc
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The answer seems pretty obvious. Apple didn't incorporate that feature into it's camer app. Any other questions I can answer?

Plus, if you bought the phone and didn't research to see if it did the things you wanted it to do, that's on you. You're the saleperson's favorite customer.... an uneducated one.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaqfalcon View Post
As a first time iPhone purchaser, with the iPhone 5, I am very disappointed to find that there is no exposure compensation; this most elementary and fundamental photographic control. I understand that it's not even possible for any apps to do this due to the limitation of the SDK. Why?

Full manual control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO is of course far too much to expect us moronic and incapable Apple customers to understand but we could at least be permitted to determine for ourselves if we are photographing a white rabbit in the snow or a black cat in a coal shed and overide the averaged metering to control exposure.

And yet it is possible to retrospectively apply a panoply of ugly filters; urgh.
Get the KitCam app, that will give you what you need.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:16 PM   #4
Mrbobb
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Originally Posted by AFDoc View Post
The answer seems pretty obvious. Apple didn't incorporate that feature into it's camer app. Any other questions I can answer?
Wow dude, u have low expectations and easy to please.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:22 PM   #5
Givmeabrek
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Get the KitCam app, that will give you what you need.
Actually that app looks very good. Although Apple would never allow direct control of the camera functions (they see is as too risky) this app seems to do a great job of post processing to simulate these effects. I'll have to try it.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
Zaqfalcon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFDoc View Post
The answer seems pretty obvious. Apple didn't incorporate that feature into it's camer app. Any other questions I can answer?

Plus, if you bought the phone and didn't research to see if it did the things you wanted it to do, that's on you. You're the saleperson's favorite customer.... an uneducated one.
Considering every phone I've had since I believe the Orange SPV has had exposure compensation in the camera controls, what with it being an "elementary and fundamental photographic control", I didn't research the presence of this feature; neither did I consider checking if the SMS application provided me with keyboard with which to type.

Last edited by stridemat; Dec 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM. Reason: cleanup
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:15 AM   #7
Damolee
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I thought the same thing till it occurred to me that maybe Apple want you to experiment with alternative cam apps and theirs is just a basic point and click function.

Camera+ has separate controls for exposure and focus. It works very well.

I think Camera Awesome does too, another freebie.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:07 AM   #8
NATO
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I have to concur with others who have suggested Camera+. If you tap with two fingers you get separate areas for focus and exposure, letting you set up the shot whatever way you want. Very simple to use and very effective.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:16 PM   #9
takeshi74
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Originally Posted by AFDoc View Post
Plus, if you bought the phone and didn't research to see if it did the things you wanted it to do, that's on you. You're the saleperson's favorite customer.... an uneducated one.
+1 It's the OP's responsibility to determine whether or not any given solution meets the OP's needs/wants. Don't just assume that what you consider "elementary and fundamental" are included. Do your own due diligence before buying.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:30 PM   #10
jf1450
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If I were that big into photography I'd be toting a Nikon or Canon. After all, it's a freaking *phone*.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:56 PM   #11
Fuchal
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Tapping on the screen will apply spot exposure. Some software such as NightCap or Kitcam will allow you to modify the exposure and shutter speed in greater detail.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 04:20 PM   #12
John T
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I'm at a loss to understand why the OP wants to have Exposure Compensation on a 'phone camera. Such a camera is basically a "snap shot" camera to take pictures in reasonable lighting conditions.

If the OP is anticipating taking photos that may require exposure compensation, he should consider the purchase of a "proper" camera (as suggested by jf1350).
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:51 AM   #13
eelw
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Yeah, just like the purple fringe issue. So many so called "professional photographers" were complaining about it when it surfaced. If they were true photographers, they would know how to frame a shot. It's the average user than just uses their camera phone as a replacement point and shot that I'd expect some of these complaints from.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:54 AM   #14
Jordan921
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Did you not make sure before purchasing the 5 that it had exposure compensation?
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:16 AM   #15
Small White Car
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I'm at a loss to understand why the OP wants to have Exposure Compensation on a 'phone camera. Such a camera is basically a "snap shot" camera to take pictures in reasonable lighting conditions.
Exposure Compensation really is more for point-and-shoot cameras than anything else.

I mean, you've got people suggestion Camera+ so he can do manual exposure...well EC is even easier than that, so why shouldn't it be on a consumer-focused phone camera? They've got people out there doing it manually with Camera+ and your answer is basically: we don't need an easier way, it's just snap shot camera. Huh? Wouldn't a snapshot camera be exactly where you WOULD want an easier, more automated feature?

I don't expect Apple to ever add this to their camera app (nor should they) but it's something that should be available in the SDK. I'm certain Camera+ would add it in an instant if they could.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:53 AM   #16
Gavin88
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I don't like iphone, because it have not most different features rather then other. I always use sony ericcson cells. If you need HD camera in mobile then i 'll suggest you just buy "xperia T", that is 13mpx. Unbelievealbe quality. Right now i am using "xperia arco s" that is 12mpx, and water resistance,dust resistance and scratch resistance. i love it..
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 06:45 PM   #17
Zaqfalcon
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There was a good reason I embedded links to Wikipedia articles in my opening post, however, it is clear that some people chose not to inform themselves prior to posting. So for those who are interested why this is "elementary and fundamental" I quote some of the pertinent parts from Wikipedia (emboldening added):

"The purpose of an exposure meter is to estimate the subject's mid-tone luminance and indicate the camera exposure settings required to record this as a mid-tone. In order to do this it has to make a number of assumptions which, under certain circumstances, will be wrong. If the exposure setting indicated by an exposure meter is taken as the "reference" exposure, the photographer may wish to deliberately overexpose or underexpose in order to compensate for known or anticipated metering inaccuracies."

"Exposure meter calibration was chosen to result in the “best” exposures for typical outdoor scenes; when measuring a single scene element (such as the side of a building in open shade), the indicated exposure is in the approximate middle of the film or electronic sensor's exposure range. When measuring a scene with atypical distribution of light and dark elements, or a single element that is lighter or darker than a middle tone, the indicated exposure may not be optimal. For example, a scene with predominantly light tones (e.g., a white horse) often will be underexposed, while a scene with predominantly dark tones (e.g., a black horse) often will be overexposed. That both scenes require the same exposure, regardless of the meter indication, becomes obvious from a scene that includes both a white horse and a black horse. A photographer usually can recognize the difference between a white horse and a black horse; a meter usually cannot. When metering a white horse, a photographer can apply exposure compensation so that the white horse is rendered as white."

"'Correct' exposure may be defined as an exposure that achieves the effect the photographer intended."



There are no such things as "reasonable lighting conditions", there's only what you see and how you want it to look like in a photo.

Exposure compensation is not the same as choosing an exposure spot as available in some apps mentioned above, but this is still a useful tool (thanks NATO and Fuchal).

Neither is it a 'basic' feature just for point-and-shoot cameras or an 'advanced' feature for DSLR cameras (yes I do use one, see here: www.zackerythomas.com). Every camera I've ever used has had exposure compensation, so for (just) a 'phone' that touts its photographic credentials, even if only for snapshots, to not have it seems bizarre to me, especially as it would probably be easy to implement. Hence the question, 'why?' in my opener.

There is another good article from the excellent Steve's Digicams
here and I'll just quote the summation "there is no universal setting that will work in every situation. By not settling with too-dark or too-bright photographs, you will dramatically increase the amount of usable pictures you get, and won't have to wonder what that great shot would have been like if it was only exposed properly."
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 08:34 PM   #18
thekb
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Geez, I like Apple too, but you people that defend every single thing Apple does are a little off.

Why didn't Apple put EC in the camera app? Who knows? They decided you didn't need it. They are wrong. It would be a simple software change that could be added at virtually no cost, but they don't think you need it. So it probably won't ever get it. There is absolutely no logical or defensible reason for Apple leaving it out. Same thing with not allowing you to save pictures at different resolutions. No logical reason to deny this basic setting that even $40 digital cameras have.

And as for people that say you should've done research before buying ... you do know there is no one all-perfect phone / camera on the market right? Maybe the iphone was the best available option. That doesn't mean the OP never has the right to complain about a missing feature again. Accepting the best available doesn't mean you can't continue to ask for improvements.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 09:31 PM   #19
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I agree that exposure is an important control component for photographers but most people who use the iPhone as a camera are not photographers and would not know how to use a function like that. Just like few people with point & shoots ever bother to use anything but the most basic automatic settings.

As to why, I doubt that the tiny lens in the iphone has a shutter that could actually be opened or closed to change an exposure in the traditional way. This actually would be a big deal to include and most owners would probably never use it.

As others have said, it is a phone, the camera is just a feature and a pretty basic one at that. The camera's features depends on the app you use to operate it, the included camera app is ok but very limited, I rarely use it. I like Camermatic, which does allow you to adjust the exposure after the fact. I am not sure if there is any app that allows you to make more than minor adjustments while shooting. Again, you are talking about a lens with a fixed aperture of 2.4 (I just looked it up).

I am a professional photographer and this is just one of many tools available for my post work. I often send high res files to my phone taken with my pro gear and play with them in different apps. Here is a sample. What is amazing, is the ability to get a high res final result that can be printed, not just displayed online. IMO this is the biggest advantage of this new phone as a photographic tool.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:55 PM   #20
Jimmy James
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Originally Posted by Gavin88 View Post
I don't like iphone, because it have not most different features rather then other. I always use sony ericcson cells. If you need HD camera in mobile then i 'll suggest you just buy "xperia T", that is 13mpx. Unbelievealbe quality. Right now i am using "xperia arco s" that is 12mpx, and water resistance,dust resistance and scratch resistance. i love it..
So you're suggesting that 12 or 13 MP will solve his exposure compensation request?

Will 30 MP fly me to the moon?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 06:46 AM   #21
Gavin88
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So you're suggesting that 12 or 13 MP will solve his exposure compensation request?

Will 30 MP fly me to the moon?
No No i am just saying, in cell phone 13mpx is enough for any for normal usage. And i don't have seen more then 13mpx in cell phone.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:22 AM   #22
John T
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I agree that exposure is an important control component for photographers but most people who use the iPhone as a camera are not photographers and would not know how to use a function like that. Just like few people with point & shoots ever bother to use anything but the most basic automatic settings.

As to why, I doubt that the tiny lens in the iphone has a shutter that could actually be opened or closed to change an exposure in the traditional way. This actually would be a big deal to include and most owners would probably never use it.

As others have said, it is a phone, the camera is just a feature and a pretty basic one at that. The camera's features depends on the app you use to operate it, the included camera app is ok but very limited, I rarely use it. I like Camermatic, which does allow you to adjust the exposure after the fact. I am not sure if there is any app that allows you to make more than minor adjustments while shooting. Again, you are talking about a lens with a fixed aperture of 2.4 (I just looked it up).

I am a professional photographer and this is just one of many tools available for my post work. I often send high res files to my phone taken with my pro gear and play with them in different apps. Here is a sample. What is amazing, is the ability to get a high res final result that can be printed, not just displayed online. IMO this is the biggest advantage of this new phone as a photographic tool.
At last! A post from someone with wide experience and who obviously knows what they are talking about!

As an afterthought, I wonder how many use AE/AF on their iPhone cameras?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 08:35 AM   #23
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As a photographer, I've been bummed at the lack of EC on the camera as well, and as mentioned above, the "Kit Cam" app has it. As a result, it has become my default camera app (has some other nice features too, but having quick and easy EC is the biggie). Adjustable from -2 to +2...also has adjustable white balance as well.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:20 AM   #24
Mercenary
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Its a mobile phone dude. It take mobile phone quality pics.

If you want full manual get a decent real camera. I use my iPhone for taking pics because its quick and for the moment type pics. If I want a pro image I pull out the DSLR.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 10:34 AM   #25
Cuechick
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As a photographer, I've been bummed at the lack of EC on the camera as well, and as mentioned above, the "Kit Cam" app has it. As a result, it has become my default camera app (has some other nice features too, but having quick and easy EC is the biggie). Adjustable from -2 to +2...also has adjustable white balance as well.
Just downloaded Kit Cam, wow, great solution and app! Love it, thanks!
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