As with portraits or landscapes we can defend with enough capacity with recent models, this time we need to emphasize the limitations of current imaging sensors mounted on Android devices as we talk about low light – whether indoors or situations night scenes.

They are physical limitations that conflict with models like the SLR, because besides the small sensor usually mounted targets our Android devices are small. However, everything is moving, and we know models like the Samsung Galaxy Camera – which is expected a second version – or the newly introduced Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Properly Adjust White Balance, Timer and Infinity Focus

One of the most important issues is to adjust the white balance in the camera application Jelly Bean when shooting in low light conditions if you do both indoors and outdoors. So although we have many photography skills can try to “cool” or “give warmth” to the decision as to see. Taking advantage of that, look contrasts of light looking a cold or warm as you want, as in the next shot.


If bulbs have many around us will possibly use the mode that has the symbol of the bulb, so that the white set try to equalize with the ambient light and the resulting decision to have a tighter colors what we see. And so with the other options you can also opt for a custom white balance in the case of some applications and adjust camera to the central measuring an object that is illuminated uniformly and know that is a gray or white as can be done with the application of the Samsung Galaxy camera and other camera applications.

The timer is another good idea to consider it allows us to gain some stabilization in the time of taking avoiding pressing with your finger. Moreover, a funny detail, Jelly Bean camera can be activated by voice with the familiar “potato” is the option that has a micro.


If we cannot focus (is one of the problems when there light) can use few camera applications for fixing the focus at infinity or even the hyper focal but this will depend on our camera. Some of the current models allow. By default the native Android camera, no.

Night Camera +, an Interesting Solution

There are some applications that allow long-exposure shots in order to capture lighter and better exposure. The problem of these applications, which are not far from magic (as some comments intended in Google Play), is that if you know a bit of photography we know we have to have the capture device stabilized as possible.

This requires some better clamping hold our hands. There are small tripods to which we can attach with a little skill or an accessory our Android smartphone. And if not, find a foothold, at least.

Among these applications, in my opinion, one that is interesting is Night Camera +, which also has a lite version with less option. This application allows making “long exposures” with your Android camera. That is, the diaphragm of the camera is open during the seconds it takes to take a shot with a balanced exposure. It is the ultimate solution – has a lot of noise in the shadows, there are artifacts and detail could be better – but soon we have something of rumination get better pictures. If you want to try using the free version, first and then decide if you are interested.

HDR, the Alternative Is Not Yet

The HDR technique presented in Jelly Bean as a new option but still quite green and the results are not good enough yet.

It is expected that this option will improve with future versions of Android. Anyway current models can exploit this technique although very limited exceptions because the dynamic range of image sensors is very limited.


Flash, forget

The flashes of our Androids are usually pretty bad so better forget about them in these situations unless you want to ruin the picture or take a photo with flashazo. It is best to seek the light of a nearby street lamp or anything else that will help us to illuminate a little, in the case, for example of a portrait.

In summary

Little we can do really to achieve image quality. It is a very important physical limitation of all smartphones, not just Android. Perhaps those who behave best in this regard are the Nokia Lumia but we left our Android ecosystem.

In future sensors and lenses to beat us best us copper when lighting conditions are poor, for the moment the battle is lost but the war, not yet.