Spectre for iPhone, from the makers of the top-notch Halide camera app, takes you long exposure photography to the next level with cutting edge technology based on hardware-accelerated machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence and more.
Taking advantage of the latest achievements in computational photography, Spectre can do things like remove crowds, make a bridge at rush hour look perfectly empty, turn city streets into those desirable rivers of light, make waterfalls look like paintings and more.
While you can achieve similar effects by taking a Live Photo in the Camera app and applying the Long Exposure effect to it in the Photos app, this is mostly hit and miss with actual results in many cases leaving a lot to be desired. What you need is a specialist app like Spectre.
Like Halide, Spectre is eye candy. Custom designed typefaces along with a darkened user interface and glowing highlights make using the app enjoyable and easy on the eyes (important when shooting long exposures at night).
Beneath all that is immense technology.
Technology-wise, Spectre is packed to the gills with advanced platform features. The DCI-P3 pipeline ensures your images are taken in wide color for greener greens and redder reds. You can also capture in HEIC, Apple’s space-saving image format introduced in iOS 11. Spectre feature automatic tripod detection and Metal hardware acceleration for smooth performance.
Most importantly, the app takes advantage of hardware-accelerated machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence for automatic scene detection, automatic stabilization and much more.
Long exposures have always been limited by technical factors, from keeping the camera steady, to guessing the amount of light. Spectre takes care of all of that, and then some more!
As the developers explained:
Computer vision technology helps stabilize the shot, no longer necessitating a tripod in all situations. Machine learning helps Spectre detect the type of scene, to properly blend its hundreds of exposed frames in a way that brings out smooth crashing waves at the beach or streaks of light in nighttime highway shots. It’s a better and entirely different type of long exposure.
Artificial intelligence understands what your camera is pointed at to automatically switch the correct mode. If it senses you’re capturing waterfalls, ocean waves or fountains, the scene will be optimized so you’re ended up with a beautiful ghostly water exposure.
Similarly, a lively cityscape triggers light trails blending. And because AI stabilizes the image on your behalf, you get up to 9-second long handheld long exposures.
You can review the entire exposure as it happened, as well as share the resulting long exposure photograph as either a still image or a video. That’s because Spectre takes hundreds of photos rather than a single, long exposure image (your shot is saved internally as a Live Photo).
Spectre borrows some of Halide’s excellent gestural controls and its bottom-centric user interface—Halide fans should feel right at home using Spectre with one hand, even on the largest iPhones.
Here are the key features of the app:
- Auto-stabilization: With adequate light in the scene, Spectre uses an AI-powered stabilization mechanism to keep the exposure steady even when handheld.
- Scene detection: For the best results, Spectre defaults to an automatic frame blending mode that chooses between a blended exposure and an exposure that highlights light trails in the scene.
- Intelligent exposure: Long exposures typically require specific exposure adjustments to ensure a good image. Spectre adjusts exposure during the shot intelligently and automatically.
- Technology: Build with the latest tech, Spectre isn’t just a long exposure camera—it’s the cutting edge tech showcase of one of App Store’s foremost camera apps, Halide.
To learn more about the app, read the official blog post.
Spectre works on iPhone 6 and newer and requires iOS 11 and up. On iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Spectre captures in lower resolution. Automatic scene detection requires iOS 12.
AI-powered stabilization is only available on devices with a Neural Engine for hardware-accelerated machine learning, like iPhone 8 and later.
Spectre is available with a limited-time discount in exchange for $1.99, but be advised that pricing is going up shortly after launch.