Freakishly Good HDR, from a Phone!

My Desk at Night, iOS 4.1 in-camera HDR

My Desk at Night, iOS 4.1 in-camera HDR


Updated, more photo examples after the jump!

I’m mostly unimpressed with what was announced at yesterday’s Apple Music Event. Still prefer my 80 GB Clickwheel iPod, it’s a design classic now. Feeling no need to rent TV crap and get it streamed to an AppleTV. iTunes morphed into a textbook example of creeping featuritis with “Ping”. “Let’s graft a social network on it” seems to be the motto of this update. Can’t be good for stability. And I’m still a bit miffed that they overloaded the name of a network utility. Now even less people are going to understand you if you tell them “Wait, I’m going to ping your mailserver for you.”
The one improvement announced yesterday is the iOS 4.1 update. Finally, “Back”,”Start/Stop” and “Forward” buttons on my Motorola bluetooth headphones are registered by the iPod app on the phone.
Still, the highlight (sic!) for me is the new HDR function in the camera app. The lead photo shows a lot more shadow details around my iMac’s screen compared to the non-HDR version below.

HDR off

HDR off


Colors are a bit wonky, but what do you expect from a screen calibrated to daylight color temperature and gloomy incandescent room lighting?
My jaw dropped when I looked at the HDR version at 100%:
HDR version at 100%

HDR version at 100%


Highlight detail is astonishing, you can read my Twitter feed (be my guest!), and grain is looking natural in both highlights and shadows. The color palette is still typical for HDR, there seems to be a thin veil over everything, but that might just work for some photos. As soon as it gets light outside, i’m going to take some landscape photographs and see how that works with Apple’s new HDR camera.
Well, here’s a typical pair: HDR version on top, exposed to preserve the highlights below:
Tonemapping Looks Good

Tonemapping Looks Good



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One Response to “Freakishly Good HDR, from a Phone!”

  1. World Wide News Flash Says:

    Freakishly Good HDR, from a Phone!…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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