Best apps for slow shutter speed photography

While your iPhone is fantastic at snapping a clear, fast photo in the moment, it can sometimes be a wee bit harder to capture that epic, vibrant light trail of a passing car, that blur of a runner zipping by in neon, and so much more fluid movement on camera.

TLDR: Slow shutter speed with an iPhone is tough.

While there isn't a built-in setting (yet…) that allows users to easily snap a slow shutter speed masterpiece with their iPhones, there are a couple of reliable apps that can get the job done in a snap (pun sort-of intended).

Here are the best apps for shooting slow shutter speed photography on your iPhone!

Slow Shutter Cam

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If you're looking to capture beautiful, abstract moments of movement with just the simple press of a button – while still being able to preview the movement of your image without any alterations as you capture your slow shutter photo in real-time! – then you might want to consider downloading Slow Shutter Cam by Cogitap Software.

Allyson Kazmucha, The App Factor:

The reason I use Slow Shutter Cam is because it's specifically meant for long exposures and has great tools that other apps don't. Not only can I see a live preview of what I'm capturing (including picture in picture views), I can edit and see the final result immediately. That makes a big difference and means there's less post-editing, which makes everyone happy. I've found a few other long exposure apps in the App Store but I don't find them as intuitive and as easy to use as Slow Shutter Cam.

Slow Shutter Cam has three different capture modes that can be used to snap the perfect slow shutter snapshot including Motion Blur, Light Trail, and Low Light. You can also pick and set your shutter speed, play with 'freeze' and 'blur strength' controls, sync the app to your Apple Watch to use as a handy self-timer, and so, so much more.

If you're hesitant to buy this app because you don't know how the photos will turn out or if it's even worth $1.99, then check out the #slowshuttercam tag on Instagram to creep a couple of photos that people have captured using the app.

Marty Yawnick, Life In LoFi:

It's one of those rare photography apps that creates effects that few others are capable of, and it does it easily and with better results.

Download: Slow Shutter Cam ($1.99)

Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO

Transform your iPhone into the slow shutter cam of your dreams and play around with exposure, contrast, and so much more with the Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO by Niels Hlawinka!

The Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO is relatively simple to set up and start using: simply launch the app from your home screen, tap to adjust your capture mode, shoot your picture, adjust freeze and contrast levels on the spot, and go on your merry way.

With Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO, you can easily adjust the capture mode to be automatic, manual, or to work with light trails. You can also tweak and adjust the shutter speed for that perfectly exposed photo.

Other options allow you to turn on the app's self-timer, meaning you can easily set-up and shoot your slow shutter masterpiece or take some really unique, bizarre, blur-tastic selfies! PRO TIP: Try shooting your selfies with a string of old Christmas lights and Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO. You're bound to capture some super cool, slow shutter selfie stuff!

Download: Ultra Slow Shutter Cam PRO (Free)


Looking to experiment with slow shutter photography on your iPhone, but don't know which app is worth downloading first? Well LongExpo by EyeTap Soft is free to download, has plenty of camera controls, and can easily be used to snap the ideal slow shutter snapshot!

With LongExpo, you can effortlessly capture long exposure and light trail photos, add colorful camera effects and details after capturing your slow shutter pictures, and play and tweak camera settings to snap the perfect mobile photo.

LongExpo gives users three innovative shooting modes, including standard mode, low light mode, and light trail mode depending on what you're shooting! Standard mode is great for basic long-exposure photography, low light mode is great for darker shots, and light trail mode is ideal for capturing bright bursts of light or passing flashes of light.

You can also adjust shutter speed with LongExpo, the quality and size of your photo, use LongExpo with your front camera for selfies, fix exposure time span, create motion trail effects using motion gradient and freeze functions, enable the grid to shoot a straight photo, and so, so much more.

Download: LongExpo (Free)

Slow Shutter Insta

The first thing you'll notice with you open Slow Shutter Insta by Initied Studios is the ISO, FOC, AND EXP reading on the top of your screen: this slow shutter speed app actually feels like you're shooting with a professional camera!

Slow Shutter Insta allows users to capture slow shutter photographs in three modes: automatic, manual, and light trail. You can effortlessly adjust shutter speed for the perfect long exposure photograph, along with zoom-in speed for a bit more creative control over the subject you're shooting. You can even adjust auto-focus to your liking.

After you're done shooting your slow shutter speed masterpiece, you can edit right from the comfort of your Slow Shutter Insta app with functions like…

  • Enhance (backlight, night, balance, etc)
  • Effects (sepia, vivid color, b&w, retro, etc)
  • Add stickers
  • Change orientation
  • Brightness controls
  • Secondary Contrast controls
  • Saturation levels
  • Sharpness
  • Add captions and text
  • Red eye reduction

... And so much more!

Oh, and the best part about Slow Shutter Insta? It's totally free! (But if you want to remove your ads, you can for an additional fee).

Download: Slow Shutter Insta (Free)

How do you shoot in slow shutter speed with your iPhone?

Is there an app that you love for shooting slow shutter speed? Is there a trick you've figured out with your camera app?

Let us know your tricks to shooting and capturing your slow shutter snapshots on the go and we'll be sure to try them out!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau