This iPhone Setting Instantly Improves Video Quality When Shooting in Low Light « iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

If you shoot videos with your iPhone in low light conditions, you may not always get the desired results. And this is true when recording videos in 720p, 1080p and even 4K resolutions. But there is an easy way to maximize the quality of your video when shooting in dark environments.

When taking photos on any model of iPhone 11, 12 or 13 series, the Camera app can intelligently detect whenever the scene is too dark and activate the Night mode to improve the image quality. The iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro models can do this with portraits as well. But when shooting videos, it won’t do the same thing as the night mode only works for time-lapses on iPhone 12 and newer models.

When shooting at 60 frames per second (fps), less light can enter the shutter as it takes one frame every 16.67 milliseconds. Less light in dark situations contributes to grainier movies with the loss of extended dynamic range. It also means that the codec works harder in fast moving scenes, which increases the file size. The result feels more like a cheap home video rather than the high quality recording you might expect from an iPhone.

Compare that to 30fps, where a frame is captured every 33.33 milliseconds, letting twice as much light pass through the shutter. With more light coming in, dark scenes will look much better. Reduce it to 24 fps and you’ll get 41.67 milliseconds for the light to do its job, so your video with dark highlights will look even brighter. And all of this applies whether you’re shooting in 4K, 1080p, or 720p resolution.

Screengrabs from a video shot at 60 fps (left) versus 24 fps (right) in the same lighting.

You can access the Camera app settings to manually change the frame rate to 24fps, but it’s not very convenient. There’s also the in-app frame rate selector that you can use to change on the spot. However, it’s best if you don’t have to change the frame rate yourself because you may forget to change it again in brighter scenes.

To help you out, Apple has a setting you can enable that will automatically reduce the frame rate in dark environments to improve the quality of your video. To set it up, go to Settings -> Camera -> Record Video. What you do next depends on the iPhone model you have.

IPhone 12 series and later models

Select the “Auto FPS” option, then apply it to the 30fps video setting. Unlike previous models, you can also set Auto FPS to 30fps and 60fps video recordings. That way, you don’t have to switch to 30fps when in 60fps mode to take advantage of it.

  • Applies to iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone SE (3rd generation) with iOS 14, iOS 15 or iOS 16.

i phone XR. and earlier models

Activate the “Auto Low Light FPS” switch. You can only enable it in 30fps shooting modes, so select 720p HD at 30fps, 1080p HD at 30fps, or 4K at 30fps. Regardless of your selection, it will also enable automatic low-light FPS for the other two 30fps modes.

  • Applies to iPhone 6S.i phone 6S. Also, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS.i phone XS. Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2nd generation) with iOS 14, iOS 15 or iOS 16.

How it works while shooting

In the Camera app, whenever you are recording video and iOS detects that the scenery is not illuminated well enough, it will go to 24fps. It can do this before starting to shoot or during a recording in progress if the lighting has changed enough to trigger it.

You won’t notice the frame rate change on the Camera app indicator before hitting the record – it will always show the selected frame rate even if it uses 24fps (as shown below). But you will be able to tell that it has activated by swiping up when viewing the video in Photos on iOS 15 or iOS 16, which lists the recorded frame rate. On iOS 14, you can use an EXIF ​​analyzer on your iPhone to see the frame rate.

If it was dark all the time, it would be a flat 24 fps. If the lighting changed in the middle of the shoot, you might get something more like 25.5fps or even 43fps, depending on the selected mode, the length of the footage, and how often it was at 24fps compared to the option. choice.

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Cover photo and screenshot by Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

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