iPhone Photography: to HDR or not to HDR?

I’m testing the new Olympus XZ-1 (report coming soon) and enjoying the creative possibilities of this high end digital compact, but bemoaning its miserably poor battery life. I’m currently in Washington DC attending meetings with the elected Massachusetts delegation and, as tends to be the case in DC, photo ops abound… particularly now as the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Reaching for the XZ-1, I was surprised and disappointed to see that the battery life had depleted, leaving me only with my trusty iPhone 4 to capture images. One of the nice features of the iPhone 4 is that you can shoot in HDR mode. Readers of 2 Guys Photo know that I’m a fan of high dynamic range photography and so am glad to be able to tap the on screen HDR button on the phone’s camera to enable the capability. I don’t know whether the iPhone actually merges multiple renditions of a photo (with software induced variable exposures), which seems pretty unlikely, or just simply employs technical wizardry to mimmic the effect. Either way, I’ve been pleased with the ability to pull details out of shadows… but not so pleased with the artificial, cartoon-like appearance of some of the images.

The two photos below illustrate. The first was in “normal” mode and the second in the iPhone 4’s HDR mode. Which do you like better?

Posted by Rey

– Posted via BlogPress/iPad

This entry was posted in Images, iPhone/cell phone, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to iPhone Photography: to HDR or not to HDR?

  1. Ed Spadoni says:

    Definitely like the latter version, much “cleaner” in the highlights. The first is somewhat “muddy”. Say hello to Bo.

  2. The normal mode seems to dark and the HDR mode seems too bright. But of the two I like the HDR mode one better.

    Proprietary battery I guess? Most of the weight in my camera bag is spare batteries…sigh.

  3. Kara Stewart says:

    I like the 2nd one better also. It may be my laptop screen (don’t have my bigger monitor plugged up at the moment), but the difference between the 2 seems to be light. I’d need to see it larger, I think, to tell that the 2nd one is HDR.

  4. Howard says:

    I also like the 2nd one better although it looks slightly overexposed, the first looks underexposed.

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