iOS 4.1 HDR Photo Capabilities Previewed on Video

Apple released their iOS 4.1 final version which will be available next week, and one of the new features in iOS 4.1 is the capability of HDR photography, HDR meaning High Dynamic Range. Apple has already seeded iOS 4.1 to developers and we have a video preview for your viewing pleasure today.

The video which can be viewed below is a preview of iSO 4.1 HDR photo capabilities and comes our way courtesy of the guys over at the Daily iPhone Blog and by way of iPhone Land and lasts just over five and a half minutes.

Basically when you shoot an image on your iPhone 4 you shoot it at several exposures and then combine them into a single image which apparently delivers a really nice picture, although to me the original image looks better than the HDR image.

Anyway the guy in the video explains it so much better, so all that remains is for you to hit up that video preview and check out iOS 4.1 HDR Photography on the iPhone 4…enjoy.


4 thoughts on “iOS 4.1 HDR Photo Capabilities Previewed on Video”

  1. Carl says:

    I say wow!
    At first sight, photos seem more washed-out indeed. However, the purpose of HDR is not to give you a likable shot right away but rather an image which contains a maximum amount of information for later treatment in Photoshop (I meant Aperture of course). From your images, it seems the iPhone does that pretty well.

  2. None of these photos have any colors outside of the gamut of a regular exposure, except for the ones with the sky at the end. The sky pics do look better, which is the main use case for this anyway. Using HDR techniques when they aren't needed just lower the contrast and saturation of the image by definition, because HDR is a fancy name for compression and brining the white/black point closer to a photo's gray point. It looks like it is performing where it's supposed to, but it is disappointing that the software doesn't gracefully understand when HDR is not necessary. It would be very easy for it to figure out when and where to apply the HDR technique, and a person could easily spot if they needed it or not on a regular histogram.

  3. martijn says:

    It’s not very useful for taking ordinary pics. It’s useful for shooting pictures in very contrasty environments, for example of a building with a bright sky as a background. It will bring back the blue sky and the clouds instead of washing it all out into a white area. In normal situations it will result in the dull pictures you got.

  4. DarkStar says:

    Based on my initial tests it appears that the iOS 4.1 HDR is not true HDR, I think they are doing something close to single-image processing. One clue to this is that when "you save original image" you only get one image saved with the built-in HDR.

    Pro HDR gives demonstrably better results in every test I have run so far (I haven't been able to try a low-light, high-contrast test yet). I bought Pro HDR AFTER trying out iOS 4.1 because I was not really that impressed with the results. Yes it helps you see in the clouds better in your daylight photos, but the iOS 4.1 HDR tends to wash out the overall photo.

    It remains to be seen how reliable Pro HDR is so I cannot advise that you rush right out and buy it but if you care about your photo's I urge you not to stop at the built-in HDR in iOS 4.1 — either take 2-3 images yourself and mix them down off-phone or try something like Pro HDR.

    Pro HDR is absolutely 10 times SLOWER but when the results matter to you the time is worth it.

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