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.