At the suggestion of friend Justin Fowler, I thought I’d give the iPhone app Night Camera a try. While I was looking for it, I also ran across the free SteadyCam. Here’s the short answer after an even shorter test: Don’t waste even the 99 cents on Night Camera.
The concept is this: If you use the built-in iPhone camera, you’ll often notice that in low-light situations the camera shake will often blur your photos. These two apps use the camera’s accelerometer (the motion sensors that are normally used to detect the position of the camera) to determine when the camera is at it’s most motionless point – and then it takes the photo.
Before these apps came around, I always used a little-known trick of keeping the camera steady. When you push the camera icon to take the photo, the image is taken ON RELEASE of the button, not when you push it. In other words, push and hold the button until you are ready to take the picture, then let go – that’s when the photo is taken. It’s very effective and I found it comparable to these apps and sometimes a better option than Night Camera.
But while Night Camera is getting rave reviews and is quite popular (and hey, a buck ain’t gonna break the bank), I had much more trouble using it in the short 15 minute test around my house. SteadyCam was simpler and more consistent. While it lacked some bells and whistles of Night Camera, SteadyCam did have a nice motion indicator that gives you an idea of how steady you are. Some of the options on Night Camera were unclear as to what they were actually for, so maybe they are useful, maybe not.
My vote is for the free app, SteadyCam because it’s just as good as Night Camera and certainly no worse. Alas, I’ve lost my $$ to Night Camera – hey Justin, click on some ads for me so I can earn my 99 cents back!