Tag Archives: HDR

HDR Photograpy Software Review (True HDR, Pro HDR)


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After tweeting about my test results on Twitter (and subsequently posting photos to my blog later that day), I decided to do a somewhat-live demonstration of the iPhone’s leading HDR software. It’s true that iOS will bring HDR capabilities to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and (presumably, when it gets a camera) the iPad – but sometimes dedicated apps handle things better than features tacked-on to default apps. Despite the crash, my choice remains Pro HDR.

Using High Dynamic Range photography (or HDR) allows you to capture details in both the foreground and background of any given location. You will soon become familiar with this acronym due to iOS 4 and the support it has for HDR. I used two apps I purchased over the weekend to demonstrate this capability.

TrueHDR “expands the iPhone camera’s limited dynamic range by automatically aligning and merging two photos taken at different exposures, with a result that has vivid colors and details in both bright and dark areas.” TrueHDR gives great balance between dark and lighter areas of a scene.

The app isn’t bad. However, it leaves images looking washed out. They take quite a while to process and doesn’t let you save revisions of the edits you make.

ProHDR “captures an image exposed for the highlights and another exposed for the shadows. It then aligns and merges the images, giving you a gorgeous 3- or 5-megapixel HDR image like nothing you’ve ever seen from such a tiny device.”

I like this app better because it gives me sliders which allow me to adjust things such as the brightness. It also does well with contrast and saturation. This one is definitely my choice of HDR applications.

If you know of anything that works better, please let me know in the comments section.

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HDR iPhone Camera Test – True HDR vs Pro HDR

With this week’s announcement that HDR filtering was coming to iOS devices in the next revision (4.1), I thought I’d try taking a photo of my living room with my iPhone 4 and True HDR:

iPhone HDR Camera Photo Test

Not horrible. But, here’s the same angle as snapped by Pro HDR:

Pro - iPhone HDR Camera Photo Test

The difference is like night and day (or, indoors and outdoors). “True” gave better balance between dark and lighter areas of a scene, but “Pro” produced a substantially more vibrant photo. I needed to try it again. Again, with default settings in True HDR:

HDR Test - True HDR

And, again with Pro HDR:

HDR Test - Pro HDR

It was subsequently suggested that I take an outdoor photograph (where True HDR would allegedly shine). So, I walked outside and snapped the two following images. Adjusting for the brightest spot of the composition:

HDR Photo App Test - Brightest Spot Sample Image

And adjusting for the darkest spot in the composition:

HDR Photo App Test - Darkest Spot Sample Image

Here’s how Pro HDR handled the pair:

HDR Photo App Test - Pro HDR Sample Image Output

And this is how True HDR fared with the same two sample images:

HDR Photo App Test - True HDR Sample Image Output

Ick.

If I had a couple of bucks to spend again, I’d stick with Pro HDR. Not to say that it took perfect shots, but at least I’m given sliders to better adjust output.

I honestly wish I hadn’t purchased True HDR, as even in “enhanced” mode, it continuously left images looking flat and washed out, it always took longer to process, doesn’t have an adjustment mode, and also doesn’t allow you to save revisions of edits.