Review: ProCamera Low Light Modes

Since I ditched my DSLR for an iPhone to photograph on my travels, I've tried to find ways to get detail-rich and low noise photos in low light situations.

By using the default iPhone camera app, night photos tend to be underexposed with a significant amount of noise.

Recently, during a trip to Sofia, ProCamera tweeted and suggested that I should try the new Low Light Modes, including a feature called Lux+.

First, here are a few sample photos I took using ProCamera Low Light Modes


London at Night shot on iPhone 6s Plus using ProCamera Low Light Mode

Radio City Music Hall in New York shot on iPhone 7 Plus using ProCamera Night Mode

New York Skyline shot on iPhone 7 Plus using ProCamera Low Light Mode

Narrow passage in Tallinn shot on iPhone X using ProCamera Low Light Mode


What is ProCamera App?

ProCamera is, as the name suggests, a truly professional camera app replacement for the iOS stock camera app. It has so many features that I wrote a dedicated ProCamera App review here in the blog.

It comes with automatic, semi-automatic, and manual shooting modes, 3 or 5 bracketed HDR (via in-app Purchase), manual control of shutter speed, and ISO plus the Low Light Modes that I'm writing about in this post. To make it short:

I love the results!

I experimented with Low Light modes one night in Sofia and tried different settings during a nightly photo walk. I even use the ProCamera Low Light modes now to photograph in low light conditions inside abandoned buildings.

Three different Low Light Modes in ProCamera App

Pro Camera App has different Low Light Modes. One of them is free and available right in the app. It's called "Low Light."

The Low Light+ mode is the one I'm talking about here, and it's available as an in-app purchase. If you've already purchased the ProCamera HDR modes, you'll also get an additional Low Light Mode called "Low Light HDR."

All these Low Light Modes take multiple exposures with different settings and automagically combine them into a well exposed, detail-rich, and low noise photo.

If you have a calm hand, you can use Low Light and Low Light+ without a tripod. For Low Light+ with Lux+ you definitely should consider using a tripod for iPhone.

To give you an impression about the ProCamera Low Light Modes, have a look at the following crops. I used the following Low Light Modes (from top left to bottom right):

  • First, I took a photo using SI-ISO Priority mode. To keep the noise low, I set the ISO to 125 manually and let the app expose automatically, but there's still noise, and the frame is a bit underexposed.
  • Next, I tried the standard Low Light mode. It's better exposed and has less but still some noise.
  • Then, Low Light+ mode. It's even better exposed and has less noise than the previous two attempts
  • Finally, Low Light+ with Lux+. It has a good exposure and even less noise in many areas of the photo. You can also see more details from the window that are not visible in the other three modes.

Comparison of different shooting modes with ProCamera.

Also, in the last photo that I took using LowLight+ with Lux+, even the darker areas (structure of the windows) are visible. In the original photo (upper left), they're just black.

So much more detail with less noise. That's what I've been looking for.

What I found during my experiments is that Low Light+ with Lux+ shots are sometimes a little overexposed, and as a result, I get grey skies at night when they should be black. But you can fix that quickly by adjusting the black point and/or exposure in the camera roll.

Here's the final shot of the palace of culture in Sofia, shot with ProCamera Low Light+ Mode and after applying adjustments to exposure and black point.

Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, shot with Low Light+ and ProCamers

Switching between different Low Light Modes in ProCamera App

To switch between the different low light modes:

  • Tap the double arrow left of the shutter release.
  • Then swipe right to find the Low Light and Low Light+ modes.
  • Tap the one you want to use.

And where's Lux+? You'll see Lux+ as soon as you've selected "Low Light+." In the right corner of the viewfinder is a button labeled "Lux+." Tap it to enable it.

If you've also purchased HDR mode in ProCamera, you'll get an additional bonus mode once you are buying Low Light+. It's the "Low Light HDR" mode.

Tap the mode selector to go HDR mode, then tap the HDR mode selector repeatedly until you see "Low Light HDR."

I found that Low Light HDR is a little too much for my taste, especially at night. But I'll keep experimenting and post updates here.

ProCamera Low Light Modes compared to iPhone 11 night mode camera

With the new iPhone 11 and iOS 13, Apple developed a dedicated night mode for its camera app. I've written an extensive review about the iPhone 11 camera night mode.

Quality-wise, the iPhone 11 camera night mode and ProCamera Low Light Modes are on par. But ProCamera Low Light Modes have one significant advantage over the iPhone 11 camera night mode.

You can use it with all lenses of your iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, while the stock camera app night mode only works with the wide-lens.


ProCamera Low Light Modes are one of the best in class. With the option to use Lux+, you can give your photos an extra boost when necessary for all your iPhone night photography needs.

With all the other features like automatic perspective correction, shooting RAW with iPhone, HDR and so much more, ProCamera App truly lives up to its name. ProCamera App has tons of great ratings and can get ProCamera App from the App Store.

And, if you're interested in how to take good photos with your iPhone at night, head over to my dedicated iPhone night photography page where I collect all apps, accessories and blog posts about this topic.

Chris Feichtner

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Kilchurn Castle in Scotland shot with ProCamera HDR mode


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