I had this iPhone for one year but this is the first time I noticed this issue.
These are my specs: iPhone 5S 32GB - iOS 8.4 - ME435CS/A.

This is a photo made w/out flash:

photo without flash

This is a screenshot from a video:

screenshot from video

Is this even a bug or I'm missing something?


While it may be true that the 5S has lower quality low-light video recording than other iPhones, there is a fundamental physics fact that you have to keep in mind: To get more light in a picture –controlling for other factors such as ISO and aperture– you need more time for each picture, more exposure.

I just did a test on my iPhone 6, and the "problem" persists.

hand in low light condition - iphone 6 picture

hand in low light condition - iphone 6 screen capture of a video

The thing is, it is impossible for an image to look brighter with less exposure.

In the case of my pictures, the first picture is taken at 1/15 of a second, with an ISO of 500.

I can't find the ISO information on the video but I know the exposure: it has to be at the most 1/60 because I've setup video to have 60 frames per second. So it is 4 times faster -or 4 times less exposure- which explains the darkness.

Remember a video is just a series of pictures.

From the comments one of the links provided by Doc G.(emphasis mine):

When taking a digital image, there are 3 main factors - aperture (or f-stop), shutter speed and ISO (sensitivity). In manual mode on a 'proper' camera you can experiment with all of these to achieve a desired result. In automatic mode, the camera makes all the decisions hoping to manage a decent (fast) shutter speed to combat camera shake or motion blur, a low value ISO to reduce noise, and an appropriate aperture to get the best exposure.

Unfortunately, when shooting video one of these factors is set in stone. At 30fps your shutter speed will be set to 1/30th of a second, and at 120fps this will be 1/120th of a second. If you are talking about low light conditions, then you are required to open the aperture or increase the ISO to compensate. The iPhone 5s has an aperture of f/2.2, so that becomes another limiting factor. The only place left to go is an increase in ISO - meaning more noise.

Therefore the iPhone 5s is either hitting it's (reported) ISO 2500 maximum, or deciding on a compromise value to avoid excessive noise. In other words, if there isn't enough light to be shooting video, you shouldn't be trying to shoot video. At least not until sensor technology improves, which will happen eventually.


The substantial difference between the brightness of an iPhone 5s's low-light photographs versus the videos it creates under the same conditions is, as the annoying saying goes, a known issue.

This is my summary:

  • The performance of the 5s is inferior to the 4, 5, and 5c models
  • It's apparently due to a unique combination of hardware and software
  • There's no expectation it will ever be resolved

Here's a site where more information is available: http://www.imore.com/how-quality-your-iphone-5s-low-light-video

It includes several image comparisons of illumination levels substantially similar to yours, along with some replies from site visitors offering software workarounds: http://www.imore.com/how-quality-your-iphone-5s-low-light-video.

Here's the issue on the Apple Discussion site: https://discussions.apple.com/message/24210873#24210873


Here's your issue:

With video, frames must be captured with a minimum of 1/30s shutter rate (for 30fps video), and with photo, the minimum is 1/10s (for 10fps burst).

Because of that difference, iPhone can take a photo with a 1/15s shutter or anything faster than 1/10s, while for video frames, this shutter speed is 1/30s.

Slower shutter speed means darker pictures.

iPhone also doesn't raise its ISO speed for low light too high, as that creates noticeable noise.


This is not only problem with your device it is common.while you are switching to video mode scenes zooms a bit(which is due to video stablization)and less light is absorbed by sensor so video turns out to be little darker. solution:you can use apps like movie pro and select stablization off and you can have videos as bright as your photos.


There is no any problem in you phone just go to setting then general and then display accommodations turn off the auto brightness and then check the the video i think issue will be resolve as mine.

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