iPhone 12: How to shoot Night mode selfies with the front-facing TrueDepth camera

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup features a number of improvements to the camera systems and one of those is Night mode expanding beyond the standard rear-facing wide lens and landing on the ultra wide lens and the front-facing TrueDepth camera. Let’s take a look at how to take Night mode selfies on iPhone 12.

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Up until the iPhone 12, Apple has used the screen to create a flash for selfies taken in low-light. However, this often doesn’t produce the best results, especially if you’re wearing glasses. Apple has brought its valuable Night mode to the front-facing camera on all of the iPhone 12 models this year for much improved low-light selfies.

Here’s how Apple describes Night mode selfies with the TrueDepth camera:

Night mode comes to the front camera, bringing all that low-light detail and natural color to your favorite subject. Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, and Dolby Vision recording are now on the TrueDepth camera, too. So you’ll look your best in any light.

How to take Night mode selfies on iPhone 12

  1. Open the Camera app
  2. Tap the circular arrows icon in the bottom-right corner to use the front-facing camera
  3. Look for the moon icon in the top-left corner (bottom-left or top-right if using in landscape)
  4. Yellow means it’s auto turned on, and you can take Night mode selfies right away with the shutter button
  5. If the moon icon is white, you can tap it to turn it on manually (if there is too much light in your environment, the moon won’t show up at all)
  6. You can also tap the moon if it’s yellow to manually adjust the exposure time with the slider just above the shutter button (maximum is set automatically)
  7. Tap the shutter button and hold your iPhone as still as possible

Here’s how these steps look:

Note: if you don’t see the moon at all (yellow or white) it means there’s too much light in your environment and you don’t need/can’t use Night mode.

Holding still during the shot is key to getting the best results. If you can place your iPhone on a solid surface or even a tripod, you’ll get the best Night mode selfies.

While it may be difficult to match the results Apple shows in its marketing, there’s no doubt Night mode selfies create a huge improvement to what’s been previously available.

Here’s the difference between a Night mode selfie, selfie with no flash, and selfie with the screen flash.

Left: Night mode selfie, center: no flash selfie, right: selfie with flash

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