Devs can use the iPhone 5’s low-light boost mode in their own apps

The iPhone 5’s iSight camera on the back features the same eight-megapixel sensor as its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, only thinner and with sapphire lens cover. In addition, the module has been improved for better low-light performance, yielding major quality improvements when snapping up your photos under artificial light or in low-light situations. And now, developer can optionally tap the iPhone 5’s low-light camera mode in their own apps, which bodes well for dozens upon dozens of photography apps in the App Store…

Developer Jim Rhoades of Crush Apps set out to investigate a Daring Fireball report which warned that the iPhone 5’s stock Camera app was capable of using ISO speeds up to 3200, while third-party apps seemed to be limited to ISO 800.

Jim writes on his blog:

After posting a thread (developer login ID required) to the Apple developer forums I’ve learned that 3rd party developers CAN take advantage of this special “low light boost mode”. (Thanks Apple!).

The ability to optionally provide this capability to user of third-party camera and photography software means a lot because there are some circumstances when you may want to avoid using the low-light mode.

Because the iPhone 5 artificially boosts dark areas in low-light photos to bring out details, such images may appear grainy and noisy.

Existing apps don’t automagically inherit this capability: it’s up to a specific developer to choose whether or not to update his or her app with the optional low-light boost mode (Camera+, I’m looking at you).

Were you positively surprised or a bit underwhelmed with images taken in low-light using your iPhone 5?