Cortex Camera App Takes Noise-Free iPhone Photos In The Dark

Cortex Camera fixes one big deficiency with the iPhone’s camera: low-light noise. Or more specifically, the iPhone has no way to avoid cranking the ISO when shooting in low light. With a regular camera, you can just choose a longer shutter speed to keep the ISO low, steady the camera on a tripod or other sturdy base, and enjoy noise-free pictures taken in the dark.

And now you can (kinda) do this with your iPhone, using this sweet and simple app.

The iPhone’s camera is limited in its minimum shutter speed, so what Cortex Camera does is to snap a lot of photos of the same scene, and then combine them to process out the sensor noise. Depending on the light levels, it can take from 2–10 seconds to gather enough frames, so you still get the problem of camera shake.

Except Cortex Camera uses the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to track your shake and cancel them out of the final photo. This means you can only shoot (very) still scenes, but it also means you can take otherwise impossible shots.

The app is as simple as could be. You can pick from front and back cameras, you can switch the flash on or off, you can choose to save JPG or PNG files, and you can toggle “Motion Blur” removal, which lats you actually shoot moving subjects and have them make neat blur trails on the final photo.

It’s working great for me so far, but I’m looking forward to testing it out in some real outdoor, low-light snowscapes tonight. Cortex Camera is available now for $3.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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