Night shooting in cameras of modern smartphones has undergone radical changes for the better over the past couple of years and has become one of the growth drivers for them. We are already used to the fact that the flagship models have learned to take great pictures in the dark – indoors and in low light conditions outside (at dusk and even at night). Clever image processing algorithms, neural networks and powerful smartphone processors have led to the emergence of computational photography. You can talk for a long time about the fact that the picture is drawn, or you can simply admire the spectacular images, for the creation of which you do not need professional equipment, lighting equipment and special knowledge. Just a modern smartphone is enough.
As the youngest in the S20 series of smartphones, the Galaxy S20 FE does not fail in night shooting and allows you to take spectacular pictures at night. The Christmas holidays and preparations for them are coming soon. The streets will be decorated with a lot of garlands and lanterns. And all this can become a stage for magical pictures, just show a little imagination, have a good smartphone and put a little creative effort.
This series of shots was taken after sunset, in the midst of a little fog, which only adds to the visual fabulous effects, creating a veil feel. Notice how not only light sources are visible, but also their reflections on polished surfaces.
And here is what night shooting looks like on video. I deliberately chose a scene that has a bright sign that changes the color of the backlight.
Pictures such as you see below with light sources cannot be taken during the day, because the sunlight will kill all the magic. In the first shot, I also particularly like the beautiful artistic blur of the garlands from the previous series in the background.
Separately, it is worth noting the possibility of using not only different light sources, but also reflection effects. You can look at the second picture for a long time, trying to evaluate which flashlight is real, and which is its reflection in the window glass.
Don’t forget about the zoom capabilities of the Galaxy S20 FE. By playing with the zoom scene, you can influence the metering, taking into account more or less light sources. And, accordingly, get different results. But in general, the idea to shoot a street lamp on a smartphone camera late in the evening from a distance of a dozen meters, a dozen years ago, I would have perceived as obviously utopian. And now you can even take a beautiful picture without straining.
Another example of shooting at twilight with a zoom. In the first frame, the main wide-angle camera, in the second, the ultra-wide-angle camera. In the third, a 10x hybrid zoom.
I was waiting for the opening of a new store with a huge advertising structure made of an ancient bicycle on the facade. Cyclists appeared on it much earlier and intrigued the locals for a couple of months. I also wondered what kind of bicycle supermarket was opening in our area. Pictures at night look even more impressive than during the day. And bicycles turned out to be part of the store’s concept, where attention is paid to green technologies (there is a parking lot with chargers for electric cars and flashlights with solar panels nearby) and waste recycling, which all these circles symbolize. The cyclists’ figures have backlighting, which allows them to be captured at night with zoom as in the day. Pay attention to the gray sky in the picture with the bicycle on the pole – in reality, of course, it is black, as it should be at night, but this is how the algorithms for increasing the dynamic range work. The gray night sky is the hallmark of night shots taken with smartphones today.
And this is how an ordinary Kiev street looks like after sunset. Modern illuminated buildings are specially built to be photographed more often.
As the cherry on top, here are some indoor night shots. Shooting through a window glass, backlighting – all this is no longer an obstacle for a modern camera.
And I would not have dared to take such a picture ten years ago, even with a SLR camera. There are also bright (almost realistic) colors, and the white color of the wall is white, and dark unlit areas invisible to the eye are dark.
How it works
It’s not a secret for anyone today that by default in the main shooting mode in smartphones cameras there is a scene recognition mode that activates the desired shooting mode, which is most suitable for a given situation. All this applies to night photography. Sometimes it is enough for the camera to simply raise the ISO sensitivity to 2-3 thousand units. When I studied photography in my school years, the sensitivity of 130 was already considered too “grainy”, and I bought 250 film once in my life to shoot indoors, but I never made a single sharp picture out of 36 frames. managed. Now images with ISO 3200 do not look grainy (at least until you start to scrutinize real pixels, but who does this in the era of viewing pictures on smartphones and computers?) If there is not enough light, the camera activates a special night mode in which the shutter speed is measured in seconds ( how many seconds depends on the lighting – in Samsung smartphones this cannot be influenced). At the same time, the camera reminds that you need to stay still, but in practice you can safely take it off your hands, the main thing is not to shake the smartphone on purpose – that will be enough. If desired, you can activate the night mode separately, although in real situations I did not notice the difference if the automation did not turn on a special mode and shot without it. Therefore, you can now rely on the work of automatic shooting modes.
Three things to know about Samsung Galaxy S20 FE night shooting
- night mode is activated automatically, but it can also be activated manually;
- the camera copes with exposure even with multiple light sources;
- especially effective shots can be obtained if there are minimal light sources during shooting.