HTC One M8 Video is dark compared to pictures (in low light), how can I fix this?


AC Question

HTC One M8 Video is dark compared to pictures (in low light)

I have tried this on about 10+ HTC One M8 phones (telus) on Android 5.01 and 6.0. Issue only seems to be present in low light condition. When I first open the camera app (in pic mode) everything is reasonably bright in in the camera feed, as soon as I shift it to video there is a drastic difference in the live camera feed and things look very very dark. The recorded video is dark and the images grabbed while video recording is also very dark.
Shifting back to picture mode fixes it. I have used the native camera app as well as the google camera app


Feb 23, 2011
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Re: HTC One M8 Video is dark compared to pictures (in low light)

This can happen because of different exposure times. When taking a picture in low light, the camera can leave the sensor active longer (equivalent of leaving the shutter open longer on a film camera), to take in more light for one image. With video, it can't do this. It has to keep exposing a new image 30 times a second. If you're recording at 60fps, then it's exposing a new image twice as fast. That means it can't compensate as well for low light situations.

It's not a problem per se, but the physical limitations of video vs photos. If you've ever watched the making of a high speed film shot, you'll see they often have extra bright spotlights on the subject they are filming. That's because they are exposing each video frame for extremely short times and the videos would be too dark if not brightly lit.


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Feb 4, 2016
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What you are saying makes 100% sense but something that I am really finding difficult to wrap my head around is that the picture preview is MUCH brighter than the video preview. Both are fairly smooth with no lag or jitter at all. The fact that the phone is not having any issues showing dark scenes in its preview in picture mode is really whats bothering me. Which means that in theory i can reconstruct a much brighter view ony by grabbing frames from the picture preview and stitching them together.
After your comment I tried taking pictures in continuous shoot mode. Took 20 pictures in a matter of a few seconds. The come out fine too. Much brighter than the video.
Then I downloaded a third party video app called LG Camera, revved down my video to 2fps. Same issue. Still very very dark.
I have been using the same feature on the HTC m7 and M9 as well. both seem to have no difference in picture/view quality.

I am surprised no one else brought this up. The difference is quite dramatic and in some cases the picture shows enough details where as the video shows nothing at all.

Moreover I updated the exposure and other settings in the camera app to a point that the picture preview became almost too bright. But when I apply the same settings to the camera, it seems like they dont even apply or take effect. Still dark.

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