Developer: macphun.com, LLC
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
HDR Camera — which is short for High Dynamic Range — is aimed in the direction of making your photos appear more lively and realistic by increasing the range between light and dark areas.
Some photo buffs devote considerable amount of time tinkering with Photoshop and other image editing techniques to create HDR images and the results are often stunning.
You can’t say the same for images that come out of your iPhone using HDR Camera. Nor should you expect to. HDR is a sophisticated technique that often requires taking a multiple of photos and layering them. What HDR Camera does is create a sort of synthetic or simulated. HDR. Under the right conditions, it will give you and idea of what might be accomplished if you pulled out a full-fledged digital camera devoted time and resources to produce what most hobbyist would consider a decent HDR image.
I think the problem here is that MacPhun, exaggerates what its app is capable of doing in its App Store description. That has led many reviewers to express their unhappiness with this app. I didn’t download HDR Camera with the same expectations as some people but I certainly don’t blame them for being unhappy.
HDR Camera, uses a nearly identical user interface as its ArtCamera, photo filter app, which is currently on sale for $0.99. I found that app also received more hype from MacPhun than it warranted, but at the new low price, it’s worth a look if you think processing photos is entertaining, as I do.
You can import a photo from your photo library or take a photo from within the app. Then, select a filter and apply it. You have the option of processing your image from 320 megapixel to 1600 megapixels wide. The higher you go, the longer it takes to process the image and the more likely you’ll crash the app. MacPhun says 800 megapixels is the most balanced between time and size.
You have seven possible filters to use: Art Contour HDR, Bloom, HDR Classic, HDR Color+, HDR Night Mode, More Colors and More Contrast. The pictures you see above were taken with, left to right, HDR Classic, HDR Color+, HDR Night Mode. The original is a well-balanced (color and contrast) headshot. Nothing out of the ordinary, in other words.
HDR Camera is fun to play with as much as any other photo filter app I’ve looked at. If you want to get a general idea of what HDR is all about, I’d probably do some online searching before paying $1.99 for this app. Maybe that will give you some idea of what to expect.