More HDR Photo Options for Your iPhone
As previously mentioned, I really like the camera on my iPhone 4. It's great for snapshots and even a little creative work. This is especially true since I always have it with me, which increases the odds that I can take a shot.
I've found myself a big fan of the iPhone's HDR (high dynamic range) function for its camera, which attempts to create a more dynamic image by taking 2 quick shots at different exposures and merging them. It's a bit slow, and depending on the subject matter, doesn't always offer a major improvement over the default JPEG settings, but I leave it on for most shots. (We're seeing more and more HDR photos from Digimarc for Images customers, so I'm not the only one who enjoys this technology.)
There are a couple of iPhone apps that also do multiple exposures and merge. Pro HDR and TrueHDR each cost $1.99 and offer an automatic mode with some manual settings. Neither is any faster than the Apple HDR and both require you to hold the camera in position far longer. Of course, compared to setting up a shot using a DSLR, tripod and then post processing it's like using an old instant Polaroid vs. Kodak Instamatic with a 24hour drive-thru processing service.
Be that as it may, I think these apps offer some very interesting options to play with your images. The subject matter really influences the automatic settings' results, and initially I had thought that Pro HDR was a little too aggressive. As you will see in my samples, TrueHDR can be pretty aggressive as well.
Overall, I like the simplicity of the Apple HDR, especially for a quick shot.
I think both TrueHDR and HDR Pro can produce really interesting and cool results, but so far I can't say one is better than the other. I'm going to need more time to play with their manual modes, but of you really need an opinion on this matter, ZDnet has one.
Here are 4 versions of a shot I took with my various iPhone options; all using the default auto settings and resampled down to 12" wide. From left to right; Apple Normal, Apple HDR, Pro HDR and TrueHDR
Before you decide which is best, the photo of the corner at the beginning of this blog was taken with ProHDR and Subject matter is everything with auto settings. Besides, I think even high-end HDR image results are very subjective, so no single $1.99 app is going to be your artistic solution. My recommendation? Indulge yourself $3.98 for both apps is barely a cup a coffee at Starbucks and start taking HDR photos.
For you "full disclosure" folks: I don't know either of these developers; I just think they are doing some cool stuff.