Home / NewTech / iPhone photos with long exposure have now become even better thanks to the Specter app

iPhone photos with long exposure have now become even better thanks to the Specter app

  Specter-Golden Gate Bridge

Here is a long exposure of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Notice how the water looks like silk.


Last October I did a camera comparison between a then-new iPhone XS and the Galaxy Note 9 . As part of that, I wanted to do long-term exposures of a car's taillights that wander through the night. I put the touch 9 camera in Pro mode, reduced the shutter speed and took a few snapshots. Even after adjusting the ISO and exposure compensation, I could not get the results I wanted. The iPhone XS with live photo-long exposure mode did not fare much better.

Thursday brings a new iOS app called Specter, which can take a simulated long-exposure photo by combining hundreds of shots over 3 to 9 seconds. It can create light streaks from a car at night, make running water look like silk, or remove crowds from a popular locale. The app was created by the same people who have developed the photography app Halide.

Specter's specialty sauce comes in the form of computer photography, similar to Night Sight on the Pixel 3 or Portrait Mode on the iPhone . Specifically, the app uses AI, machine learning and algorithms to simulate a long exposure photo – also known as slow shutter photography.

  specter-long exposure "height =" 0 "width =" 970 "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/F44FTLoa9SK0b4M0E5PBhXKtrLs=/970x0/201/02/02/28/6cb37094 -ffd2-4b6c-9194-358a5c0c687e / specter-long -exposure.jre / blueberlauf- Long Exposure

Here are two photos I took with an iPhone XS: The left one was taken with the standard camera app, the Right is a 9-second exposure taken with the Specter app.

Patrick Holland / CNET

I had Specter for a few days and was impressed by how easy it is to use it. There are not an overwhelming number of options or tools to navigate. It can automatically detect and switch between modes for light trails, night cityscapes, or lightpainting. One of the best features is to see your photo build in real time. All photos are saved as a live photo JPEG file so that the build can be viewed later.

Here you can see the progress of the light trails created with the Specter app.

Patrick Holland / CNET

There is a small real-time icon that shows how much your phone is shaking. This is a nice visual reminder to stabilize your iPhone when taking a photo.

But Specter is not the only app that takes long exposure photos. Adobe Lightroom CC for iOS and Android offers a long exposure mode as part of a "technology preview" that you can enable. And then there's the iOS app Slow Shutter Cam, which offers a range of long exposure controls as well as an additional intervalometer mode.

Specter's simple interface combines minimal look with font and controls that are influenced by an actual camera. Specter is available for $ 1.99 on Thursday. The price will rise after the first release of the app. Not a word if an Android version is in progress.


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