IPhone 6 low-light video vs photo

philipandrews

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2011
99
51
Richmond, VA
Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but when taking a picture in low-light situations the field of view is very illuminated but when switching to video its as if all the lights are turned off. Anyone know what's causing this?
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 65832
Sep 29, 2014
1,502
673
I've been wondering this as well. I have no real answer for you. But I noticed it first with my iPhone 5 when iPhone cameras started getting better at low light. Before the difference was much smaller. But it's getting bigger and bigger. My best guess is that when taking a picture the camera uses everything it has to offer. But with video it has to disable "features" to be able to record 1080p 30/60 fps video. That's my guess anyway.

Edit: Also if you check slo mo video. It will be even darker. I just switched back to 30fps from 60 because I noticed 30 being slightly better in low light.
 

SanjeevRana

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2011
607
10
I believe its a relation between ISO and Framerate ... its inverse if I am correct ...

So higher framerate goes to lower ISO by default and hence dark...and vice versa
 

SanjeevRana

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2011
607
10
iOS doesnt allow granular ISO control ... exposure has just come in with iOS8 and flash ... thats about it
 

flux73

macrumors 65816
May 29, 2009
1,018
128
Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but when taking a picture in low-light situations the field of view is very illuminated but when switching to video its as if all the lights are turned off. Anyone know what's causing this?
In photo mode, the shutter speed can be under 1/60th of a second, allowing greater exposure. When you use video (at 60 fps), the minimum shutter speed of each frame is 1/60th of a second. Thus, if proper exposure at a given aperture requires a slower shutter speed, each frame of that video will be underexposed - very dark video.

As the second poster noted, you get better exposure with 30 fps because now each frame can have 1/30th second exposure (twice the amount of light per frame).

With more lighting, you don't have a problem because the aperture can be decreased to adjust it to the required shutter speed.

The only real solution is to increase the lighting. Adjusting it in post-processing is less than ideal because you'll only increase the noise along with the exposure, but you won't get additional detail.

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iOS doesn't allow granular ISO control ... exposure has just come in with iOS8 and flash ... thats about it
This wouldn't matter anyhow. Presumably, the iPhone automatically adjusts the ISO and in a low light situation, it is already at its highest possible ISO. The only real way to "fix" this is to improve the sensitivity of the sensor (higher max ISO), or to have a lens with lower aperture (current limit is f/2.2). Until then, you have to increase the environmental lighting.
 
Last edited:

mpfuchs

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
484
1,234
VA
I've been wondering this as well. I have no real answer for you. But I noticed it first with my iPhone 5 when iPhone cameras started getting better at low light. Before the difference was much smaller. But it's getting bigger and bigger. My best guess is that when taking a picture the camera uses everything it has to offer. But with video it has to disable "features" to be able to record 1080p 30/60 fps video. That's my guess anyway.

Edit: Also if you check slo mo video. It will be even darker. I just switched back to 30fps from 60 because I noticed 30 being slightly better in low light.
How do you change from 30 fps to 60 fps?
There is the button in slo-mo, but this is for the regular video, and I didn't see the button there...
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 65832
Sep 29, 2014
1,502
673
It is in settings > photos & camera

seems logical to look there, right?
Correct. Would be even more logical to be able to change it in the camera app. You can change 120-240 in slow mo mode but not regular video. I would love to be able to change it quickly depending on the situation.
 

Rogo117

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2012
123
65
I made a post about this a few weeks ago but never got any responses. It's pretty sad, my friends LG G3's low-light/night time recording is 50x better than my iPhones.

No, no actually it doesn't. It's seems logical to change the settings of the camera IN the camera app.
Agreed.
 

Tiptizzle

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2011
381
2
I made a post about this a few weeks ago but never got any responses. It's pretty sad, my friends LG G3's low-light/night time recording is 50x better than my iPhones.
It's worse than the 5S? Here's a video comparing the cameras. They do a video test at night and said the 5S did better in low light. I don't care for the lens flare however.

Still looking for an iPhone 6 video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl1NqQIbaTM
 

Tiptizzle

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2011
381
2
It's worse than the 5S? Here's a video comparing the cameras. They do a video test at night and said the 5S did better in low light. I don't care for the lens flare however.

Still looking for an iPhone 6 video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl1NqQIbaTM
Just found their video with the iPhone 6. They say it also beats the G3 in lowlight video.

G3 still has less lens flare and does better with the flash though for photos.
 

T-Will

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2008
997
387
I've lightened up what appeared to be unusable slow-motion video using the Videon app, so I'd recommend that for post editing.