Here’s how Galaxy S10 camera’s Night mode and Pro mode differ

Many asked Samsung for a dedicated camera mode for nighttime photography on the Galaxy S10, and the company obliged. The first version of Night mode on the Galaxy S10 camera didn’t impress us much, and it was great to see Samsung release a software update with an improved version of Night mode, along with a few other camera features (like being able to take Night mode pictures with the ultra-wide camera).

However, while many of us wanted a dedicated Night mode, some of our readers were quick to point out that one can simply use Pro mode for better pictures and a Night mode isn’t needed. But, in our opinion, it is needed: It’s like a Pro mode for the average Joe (or Jane), with the phone itself making the necessary changes to camera parameters like shutter speed/exposure time and ISO value to take brighter and cleaner pictures in low-light situations.

But thanks to the comments we’ve seen here on SamMobile, we decided to do a little test: We took a photo in Night mode, then took the same photo in Pro mode with the shutter speed, ISO and aperture set to the same values Night mode had selected for that particular scene. And as we expected, Night mode is more than just a Pro mode wrapped into a one-click solution for low-light photography.

Night mode gives you brighter results with the same settings

We took two photos for this test and the Night mode version came out brighter for both compared to the version we got in Pro mode with the same camera parameters, and we’re guessing multi-frame processing is what helps the former. What multi-frame processing does is take multiple images of the same scene and then combine data from all those images for a final picture with high clarity and low noise. Samsung introduced multi-frame processing with the Galaxy S8, and it’s what the automatic Photo mode uses to quickly give you the best picture possible.

And Night mode seems to do the same, only with longer exposure times for the multiple images it takes before combining them into the final picture that you see, which is why it takes a few seconds for the phone to save the picture. Pro mode, on the other hand, doesn’t, as it’s supposed to capture images based on the defined parameters, and multi-frame processing would defeat that purpose. And that’s why Night mode pictures come out brighter with slightly more detail than Pro mode photos with the same settings, making it quite useful.

Here are the two photos we first captured in Night mode and then in Pro mode with the same exposure time/shutter speed and ISO value reported in the Night mode photo’s details. Swiping right will show you the Night mode photo and swiping left will show you the Pro mode photo. For those interested, the first photo has exposure time/shutter speed of 1.4 seconds and ISO value of 640 and the second one has the same exposure time but an ISO value of 500. The aperture is set at F1.5 for both.

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Night mode and Pro mode can coexist peacefully

Two camera samples may not seem like much, but they should give you an idea of how Night and Pro mode differ; they also reaffirm our belief that a dedicated Night mode is a very useful feature. And companies like Google and Huawei think so as well, and the latter’s phones are perhaps the main reason why Samsung brought a Night mode to the Galaxy S10 lineup.

Samsung’s Pro mode gives you a lot of room to play with if you are an advanced user, but for those of us who don’t want to tinker with camera settings and yet get brighter pictures in low-light situations, the Night mode is great to have. Here’s hoping Samsung brings it to older flagships, like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, in the future, considering they use the same camera hardware as the Galaxy S10 trio.

What do you think of the Galaxy S10 camera’s Night mode?

  • Model: SM-G970F
  • Dimensions: 69.9 x 142.2 x 7.9mm
  • Display: 5.8” (146.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS F1.5/F2.4 (77°) & 16MP, CMOS F2.2 (123°)Ultra Wide
  • Model: SM-G973F
  • Dimensions: 70.4 x 149.9 x 7.8mm
  • Display: 6.1"(157.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP.CMOS F2.4 45° Telephoto & 12MP F1.5 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide
  • Model: SM-G975F
  • Dimensions: 74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8mm
  • Display: 6.4"(162.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP.CMOS F2.4 45° Telephoto & 12MP F1.5/F2.4 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide

View Comments (20)

  • I expect this update to come to galaxy note 9. I hope samsung will also feature the night mode feature of the old flagship ship devices! Because samsung is very heavy about it.

    • Yes, hopefully. It should be possible. Usually camera updates like this are actually introduced to the last generation Note and S models. I'll be upgrading my Note9 to Note10 in 3 months time anyway so it will probably arrive after that.

  • Having issues with the update.
    The screen freezes. Well it's not actually freezing, the thing is the inputs are getting recognized with a delay. After I click something, it opens after 15 or 20 secs. Nothing works in between. It's like the phone takes this much time to process the command. A reboot is the only option. That too, I have to do it using the manual power and volume button for 8 or so secs. So planning to revert back to the previous os.
    Anybody facing this issue?

    • Uninstall facebook and messenger .. It's one stop solution for all the smartphone problems..

    • may b you are right
      saw alot of posts on reddits alot of people were complaining and faciing issues
      sammobile should also post an article about the new update issues

  • This so called alleged feature does not exist in North America. S10 MODELS.
    Canada or the USA. Articles only mentioned are exynos.

  • "But thanks to the comments we’ve seen here on SamMobile"

    Thanks to my comments.

  • "And as we expected, Night mode is more than just a Pro mode wrapped into a one-click solution for low-light photography."

    Night mode is using AI ?

  • "Here’s hoping Samsung brings it to older flagships, like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, in the future, considering they use the same camera hardware as the Galaxy S10 trio."

    I think Galaxy S10 have another camera hardware.

  • Only dumb people will say Night Mode is not needed. Pro mode doesn't allow for handheld photography at night. Even a handheld 1s exposure is not possible to pull out shake free.