[Updated] I might get an iPhone 4 just for this – HDR

HDR photography with iPhone 4 and iOS 4.1: how good is it?
[Via Ars Technica]

Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed during the recent Apple media event that iOS 4.1 would add a new feature to the iPhone 4: high dynamic range photography. The technique has been widely used to create often dramatic images of landscapes, scenery, and still lifes using digital cameras. In fact, several apps already exist for doing HDR photography with an iPhone.

But what’s so great about HDR photography? And is Apple’s new HDR feature any good? Ars dug in to find out.


This is my favorite new development for the iPhone 4 and might be responsible all by itself for me upgrading my iPhone 3. The software takes care of all the details. Yes, maybe doing it in Photoshop or another application could produce some better results but, just like programmed exposure made camera use simple, so will this approach with respect to HDR.

I expect every camera will come with this sort of in camera processing, with some added bells and whistles, that will make things even more interesting. I wonder if the same sort of thing could be done with video and a really fast processor? [Updated: I did a face palm as soon as I posted this. Of course video will probably not work well as HDR is really only good for static scenes, not ones that are moving, which is what most video would be of. I guess HDR might be possible for time lapse videos but that is a pretty limited use of a camera.]