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6 Best Long Exposure Camera Apps for Awesome Photos

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Long exposure photography is a technique that can produce some stunning results. By using a long exposure app, you can create photos that have a dreamy, ethereal quality to them. Here are six of the best long exposure apps available in 2022.

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When Should You Use Long-Exposure Apps?

We use a slower shutter speed than usual when taking long-exposure photos. By leaving the shutter open for a longer time, we can achieve certain effects that give a unique look to our photos.

Generally, we are talking about long-exposure photography when the shutter speed is slow enough to blur motion. This usually means setting it to seconds instead of fractions of seconds.

Photographers usually use this technique when they are aiming to blur motion.

Landscape photographers take long exposures to make moving water smooth and silky. During night photography, it is used to create light trails of traffic. And astrophotographers use it to let more light hit the sensor, thus capturing the stars.

You can also think of using a long exposure creatively. You can blur people in the street or capture motion during sports. You can even use it to draw with light in the dark.

You might think you are missing out on these opportunities if you don’t have a camera. Luckily, all this becomes possible with long exposure apps.

long exposure photo of the sea at sunrise

6 Best Long-Exposure Camera Apps

Here are the six best long-exposure camera apps for you to try.

But before starting with long-exposure photography, don’t forget to get a mount and tripod for your phone! They are just as essential for phones as for cameras.

6. Shutter Stop (iOS)

screenshot of shutter stop Long Exposure Camera AppThis app is perfect if you don’t want to overcomplicate things. You don’t need to change any settings manually. All you need to do is choose the Light Trail mode after opening the app. This enables you to take long-exposure shots in no time.

There is an option to change the light sensitivity and set a timer. After taking a picture, you can make it less blurry by adjusting “Freeze.” You can also adjust contrast within the app.

This app is only available for iOS, and it’s reasonably priced.

Picture of street at night with light trails
Ⓒ Nick Dale

5. Stabilized Night Camera (iOS)

screenshot of Stabilized Night Camera Long Exposure Camera App

This application specializes in taking long-exposure photographs at night. Therefore, it is most suitable for creating light trail photos.

The use of the night camera couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is press the button and hold it down as long as you want the shutter to stay open.

Normally, you would need a tripod for long-exposure shots. This is because it’s nearly impossible to hold your phone steady enough. But Stabilized Night Camera has built-in stabilization. It fixes the camera shake effect and gets rid of the blurry effect. You can get a clear image without any accessories.

The stabilized night camera application is available for iOS. It costs very little to download.

Picture of taxi at night with light trails
Ⓒ Nick Dale

4. Manual Camera DSLR (Android)

screenshot of Manual Camera DSLR Long Exposure Camera App

Manual Camera DSLR allows you to have manual control over your phone’s camera. The interface reminds the user of DSLR cameras.

It also lets you control the shutter speed to use it for long-exposure shots. You can even record videos using the manual settings this app provides you.

This manual camera DSLR app is accessible for Android devices. It has a free version, but it doesn’t give you access to the app’s full capabilities.

Picture of fireworks with long exposure settings
Fireworks with long exposure settings. Ⓒ Nick Dale

3. Slow Shutter Cam (iOS)

screenshot of Slow Shutter Cam Long Exposure Camera AppThe Slow Sutter Cam app is the most popular application for long exposure on the iPhone. It even has a hashtag on Instagram that you can follow if you are interested in the pictures taken with this app.

After opening the app, you must click on the Settings icon to adjust them manually. You can also choose from several built-in presets for specific scenarios. These include Light Trail, Motion Blur, and Low-Light presets.

With this application, you can achieve long-exposure effects with your phone that wouldn’t have been possible before.

Slow Shutter Cam will definitely help you bring the most out of your long-exposure photos. It is available for a low price.

Picture of abstract color streaks made with long-exposure
Abstract color streaks made with long exposure. Ⓒ Nick Dale

2. Camera+2 (iOS)screenshot of Camera+2 Long Exposure Camera App

Camera+ 2 is one of the most popular camera apps for phones. It gives you manual control over shutter speed and ISO. It also offers image stabilization, RAW file shooting, and editing to enhance your images.

With the built-in presets that this app offers, you can also edit your images for specific purposes. These include macro or action photography. The Slow Shutter preset makes it possible to take long-exposure photos even in daylight!

To access manual mode at all times, go to Advanced Controls and choose “Always show.” You can choose either full manual or shutter priority mode.

This app is about twice the price of the other apps on this list. But it is still affordable and worth it for all the manual settings and features you get.

Picture of a firework with long exposure settings
A firework with long exposure settings. Ⓒ Nick Dale

1. ProCamera (iOS)

screenshot of ProCamera Long Exposure Camera App

ProCamera is another camera app with advanced manual settings. It’s designed to give you a DSLR-like photography experience. Among other settings—like ISO and exposure compensation—it also lets you adjust the shutter speed. This feature makes this app suitable for taking long exposures with an iPhone.

You can set it to shutter priority or manual mode to have complete control. Once you have a shot with a slow shutter speed, you can also edit it within the app.

Quality always comes with a price. This popular application is the most expensive on this list. But if you shoot a lot with your phone, it’s worth the price.

long exposure photo of skyscrapers at night with light trails from street traffic
Ⓒ Nick Dale

Conclusion

Long-exposure photography is a technique you should definitely try in your photography. It comes in handy in several niches of photography. And it also gives your pictures a unique look.

And with these apps, you don’t need a DSLR camera to take long exposures!

We hope you find the best long-exposure camera app to help you explore this technique more.

If you want to delve into another technique more, try out our Total Time-Lapse course to capture beautiful moments of motion.

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