Night Photography Using Budget Smartphone


Hi my name is Robin Wong and in this
video we will talk about night photography using smartphone! Generally
most people believe that the smartphone camera is not good enough for night
photography or shooting in low-light conditions. Now in this video I want to
explore the reasons why the camera in the smartphone is performing poorly at
night or in very very dim environment. And I want to show you as well how to
overcome that and the steps that you can take to improve your shots shooting at
night. Smartphone manufacturers want you to think that you need to spend a lot of
money to get a much better camera in their flagship smartphones. I’m here to
tell you otherwise! You don’t have to throw your money away
like that, in fact just stay with what you have. I am using a budget smartphone
that costs me about 800 Ringgit Malaysia and you know what just with a little bit
of understanding in your fundamentals of photography it can take your night
photography shooting to the next level and you can elevate your smartphone
photography. Here is the harsh truth – no matter how great the smartphone camera
is, no matter how the camera manufacturer wants to believe that the expensive
smartphone has an amazing camera that takes amazing photographs at night but
once you leave the smartphone camera to automatic mode most likely the camera
will choose the worst possible settings when shooting in low-light conditions.
Therefore the first tip on shooting night photography with a smartphone
camera is to avoid using automatic mode. But first let’s see what the camera
automatic mode does. Let’s take a photograph here, click and we we review
the photograph zooming into details we can see how terrible the background is
and look at the mess, the blotchiness the smear of details, the grains. This is
basically due to very very high ISO used so basically the camera thinks that
was very dark so it chooses ISO 1200 That’s a horror! To prevent
this from happening we can always select the expert mode or a manual mode or
advanced mode where the camera basically allows you to control the ISO and
shutter speed. So we know that ISO 1200 is bad, the high ISO
gives terrible results so we just lower down the ISO to 80 or 100 and we match
the shutter speed so that we can get enough exposure. Very important to use
the self-timer to prevent shake and let’s see what we get here the image is
obviously very different now zooming in to detail look how clean the sky is! Not
even a hint of grain and look how smooth and how detailed and sharp this image is.
The structural integrity of the pixel is well maintained. Guys shoot at low ISO. This is a side-by-side comparison, it is so obvious how different it is. Those
shots were obviously taken on a tripod so yes tip number two use a tripod. it
doesn’t matter what tripod you use, it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. My
tripod costs me about 20 Ringgit and there’s this mount clamp thingy that
holds the smartphone this actually cost me just about 5 ringgit, I got it from
Daiso. so guys you don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve your photography.
I know I know some of you will say that what? A tripod? Really? That’s so
inconvenient but guess what? Real photography requires real effort so man
up and carry your tripod like a man! And take a night photograph like a real
photographer. Now that I’ve shared my techniques using a tripod don’t use
automatic mode on your smartphone turn to manual set it to ISO low let’s
attack the streets. Let’s hit Kuala Lumpur at night and here
are the photographs that I have taken. That’s it for tonight, I hope you have
found this very quick sharing useful especially when you go out for your next
night photography outing or just take some simple shots of city landscapes at
night. Remember these settings they are very
very easy I just use a tripod, don’t be lazy put in some effort, don’t rely on
your cameras automatic mode and you are good to go. Keep the ISO low and
use self timer. I really hope that you will go out and explore photography more
just because you don’t have a proper camera or your camera is not the latest
and the most advanced ones doesn’t mean that you should stop yourself from doing
photography. Learn some photography basics, that’s why I’m here I’m sharing
as much as I can and knowing these fundamentals I am very sure that is just
taking that tiny little step further to get your photography whether using a
smartphone or a proper camera to the next level. If you have found this
tutorial useful please hit the subscribe button let me know what else you want to
learn from me as a photographer and I will definitely see you again
in the next video bye-bye!

24 Replies to “Night Photography Using Budget Smartphone

  1. Great video and great advice. I've also had excellent results on a phone camera. You can use a small gorillapod type of tripod too and that is very easy carry around.

  2. Robin I have been following your blog for a long time. It (and you) have been very helpful and you are very knowledgeable. Very glad to see you moving into video. This was an excellent video. Kept it simple and to the point. Looking forward to many more. Keep up the great work.

  3. Thank you, Robin for sharing this awesome video and the smartphone photography tips very helpful. Big LIKE from Singapore 👍😀👍

  4. Great video which throws some support to the mobile photographers. I use an iPhone and always shoot in manual mode. However, I must use 3rd party apps to achieve that control. So thanks for this topic and I wouldn’t mind if you did a few more, such as slow shutter for waterfalls or vistas in landscape photography.

  5. very informative, now will take night photos with my cheap smartphone!. May I suggest a video with an older Olympus C8080 camera if u can get hold of one??

  6. If use iso 8200 what shutter speed, exposure,white balance?manual focus or auto.Please give me full manual (pro) setting for low light,long exposure (time lapse), landscape, panorama and portrait.I use Lg g5(bajet phone) saja.Terima kasih bossku!

  7. Just starting out with photography, my smartphone is what I use the most. Thank you for sharing these tips, I'll look for an affordable tripod that can accommodate my smartphone! ☺️

  8. I wish i could share a photo I took of Petronas Towers I took almost 6 years ago on my smartphone, its almost identical to the one you showed on the video !!!

  9. I'm starting off with photography but I have no camera because I'm broke and I'm using my phone so that's why I watch this video oh how to take better pictures at night with my phone but I'm going to be honest but the picture with the high ISO wasn't that bad i took worst pictures than that! But i gotta say that the next picture you took was pretty good. So I'll lower the iso next time around. As far as getting a tripod I don't know about that. I don't want to have to deal with on how to put my phone inside of a tripod and have to set everything up that doesn't make me lazy I just don't have time for that especially when I'm the type of person to take pictures while I'm on the go. Now if I want to take pictures and I have nowhere else to go I'll take pics with a tripod but I like taking pictures of people walking people riding their bikes skateboards or whatever me trying to set up a tripod not going to work especially after I just happened to walk down the street see something and I'll be like let me take that picture by the time i set up the tripod that person is gone so using a tripod to take pictures of people walking riding whatever is not going to work unless I have the time to just sit down most times I don't have time so until then I'm just going to have to be still with my phone

  10. Hi Robin, you did a great video with the Galaxy Note10+ , can you took it again to show us the picture's quality in Night Mode . Did you know then Samsung add a lot of your recommandations in the new update version., it should be fun if you redo another review with the specifications they add , Having a professional photographer review help me a lot with My Note10+

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