Petco Park in HDR

HDR is all the rage these days. Doing whatever it takes to get the true intensity of colors in a photo makes a lot of sense, as it can really add to the drama and beauty of photos you've taken.You can do this on a computer, and you can also do it on your phone.

HDR Camera+ takes a series of pictures in rapid succession (five or so), fuses them together, and then increases the range of colors in one single, high- resolution picture.

There's a built-in image stabilizer, so you don't need to try and keep your hand unflinchingly steady while all of the pictures are taken. In fact, the only time I saw a blurry picture was when I dramatically swung the camera around after I'd started the process, which speaks volumes about how strong the stabilization and merging processes are. And as always, lighting will play a key factor.

There's also a settings menu where you're able to change things like the color vividness, local contrast, micro contrast, exposure, and noise reduction, so you can tweak your newly HDR'd photos to your liking, before you've taken a single shot.

HDR Camera+ does cost a premium price of $3.99, but for the ability to take high quality HDR pictures all from your phone, that's a small price to pay.

We've got more examples of some HDR shots and download links after the break.

HDR Camera+

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There are 39 comments

Shygar says:

How does it do in darker situations? I would love to be able to take better pictures in the dark without a flash (for a more natural picture).

_BigJerm says:

I went out tonight to take some pictures with HDR Camera and it did pretty well with no flash (the free version doesn't let you use flash anyway).

The quality wasn't near as good as it was during the day or in well lit areas, but it was definitely a huge improvement over the normal picture.

Here are some comparisons during the day: http://peregrineplatform.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/hdr-camera-vs-camera360/

TimmyB says:

Hey, Joshua, could you please post some of the original pics side-by-side with the HDR pic, so we could see just how great this app is? That would be very helpful. Thanks for considering.

Joshua Munoz says:

I'll try to get some new shots with non-HDR versions for you by tomorrow.

TimmyB says:

That's awesome. Thanks for the quick reply!

_BigJerm says:

This should help. HDR Camera + Camera360 (two modes) + Original Pic

http://peregrineplatform.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/hdr-camera-vs-camera360/

Turns out HDR Camera does a really good job.

patfactorx says:

not trolling but I feel like you guys could be taking better pictures. Reviewers say the Droid 3 camera is subpar but I really feel like its on the shooter. This macro shot is from my stock Droid 3 camera.

http://s1-04.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/440021718.jpg

sveilien says:

Those pictures look like what a non-phone camera without HDR would take. The fire hydrant is the only one that appears to have a slight HDR look (to me).

gtg465x says:

HDR photos aren't necessarily supposed to have an "HDR look" to them. That only happens when HDR is overdone, usually for artistic effect. HDR is useful in preventing certain parts of photos from being completely blown out. Often you'll see a normal looking landscape and completely blown out white skies in pictures taken with phones, or a normal looking sky and a completely dark landscape. Here's an example of HDR helping a photo. http://www.flickr.com/photos/luilainez/5380470738/

Eazy123 says:

For even better results, take the result from your HDR Camera+ shot and run it through another premium app I found called Photo Enhance Pro. You'll really get that HDR feeling.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-47w892kOjzo/ToOqYTkZoAI/AAAAAAAAAJc/f...

mlynn5 says:

I notice that there's a free version. What's the difference between the two?

_BigJerm says:

The free version only uses 3 (vs. 5 in the paid version) and the free version has a lot less control. One huge difference is the ability to use the flash in the paid version

Oskiee says:

I honestly feel like I wasted my money on this app back when i bought i a couple months ago...

ben dover says:

Red Ring of Death-o-lantern!

sdreelin says:

This is one of my favorite apps. I love using it in weird light/dark lighting situations and it does a good job. You do have to remain steady while it takes the photos because it takes three photos in a row and combines them. It does a good job of improving the color in a picture. It doesn't seem to do the hard contrasting that HDR effects will do in standalone apps like Photoshop though.

Example without HDR effect: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-gpKYVK-ATidQt0mkyffqQ?feat=direct...

Same pic through HDR+: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/8FufLb7pc4XvE9cdiF5rzQ?feat=direct...

As you can see the color is better from the stock Droid3 camera.

TheBigFerret says:

This is not real HDR, it's basically a novelty effect to look like HDR.

gtg465x says:

Um... no. It's real HDR. Hence the app taking multiple pictures at various exposures and then combining them.

ydaraishy says:

How can it be when the API and/or hardware doesn't even support the proper setting of exposures? (exposure compensation from the Camera.Parameters API is not the same as a true exposure setting; also see http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=5692)

I bought this app when I had an EVO 4G and it did some amazing pics, but the camera on the EVO 3D doesn't give anywhere near the same high and low range, the pics all come out looking like I just took a quickie pic.

Cubfan says:

There really is a need for a phone photo review site somewhere that has actual photographers testing, comparing, and reviewing. The pictures here do nothing to demonstrate how this app works or doesn't work.

The photos look "ok", but you're better off taking regular photos and then editing them using programs like Photoshop, Picnik, Paint.NET and others. You'll have more control of the way you want the picture to look like.

sample shots with Nexus S and basic editing with Paint.NET:

Original:
https://picasaweb.google.com/113896662508462735269/TheCity?authkey=Gv1sR...

Edited:
https://picasaweb.google.com/113896662508462735269/DropBox#5670843039831...

crxssi says:

Your second link is broken

sota767 says:

Yeah the before & after pics look like it's just adding a HDR-ish effect to the photo.

Joe H. says:

What's the difference between the free HDR app and the $3.99 HDR+ app?

Cruiserdude says:

I'd like to know this as well. I've been using HDR Camera Free on my Droid Charge for a little over a month now, and it is simply amazing. People simply cannot believe the quality of the images and that they were taken with a mobile phone. I love it. However, I can't find much information about what exactly the Pro version brings to the table other than Geo-tagging.

I know the free version takes just 3 pictures, whereas the OP said something about it using 5 pictures, so is this an added feature in the paid version as well?

Cruiserdude says:

I'd like to know this as well. I've been using HDR Camera Free on my Droid Charge for a little over a month now, and it is simply amazing. People simply cannot believe the quality of the images and that they were taken with a mobile phone. I love it. However, I can't find much information about what exactly the Pro version brings to the table other than Geo-tagging.

I know the free version takes just 3 pictures, whereas the OP said something about it using 5 pictures, so is this an added feature in the paid version as well?

jonyah says:

These HDR pics are very unimpressive. They all look like normal pics. If it has to take up to 5 pictures to get that quality, it's not doing a good job.

icebike says:

It depends on your subject matter.
On a bright day, when you want to include clouds in the sky and shadows you are going to get One or the Other. Not both.

Your normal snap shot? Nah, not worth it.

But you can see the difference where there is a large range between light and dark portions.

See these samples: (Open them in separate browser windows for comparison)

Normal shot:
http://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr151/icebike/sample.jpg?t=1320358181

HDR shot:
http://i479.photobucket.com/albums/rr151/icebike/SampleHDR.jpg?t=1320358181

Notice that the camera surrendered the dark areas in the bushes while trying to bring out the clouds in the normal shot.

The HDR pulled those out.

Saneless says:

Anyone have any results on the EVO 3D? This POS camera can't handle 1 picture without blurring, or snap a picture quickly, I can't imagine 5 in a row quickly working out whatsoever.

kalimotxo says:

I use this app on the Evo 3D and I can assure you, it is worth every cent. I went on vacation to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes two weeks ago and took several stunning pictures of lighthouses and shoreline that got rave reviews even from my photography snob friends. Trust me, if you have the right conditions for a good photograph and good composition (something no camera or app can fix if missing) then you can take gorgeous pictures. I noticed a dramatic improvement in color and contrast, which are terrible with the 3D's stock camera app, when taking photos with this app. Try out the free version and buy the full version if you like the results.

Joshua Munoz says:

All of my example shots were taken with an EVO 3D.

nanor says:

I tried taking some photos with HDR Camera Free and was disappointed. If you are willing to spend some money give Pro Camera HDR a try instead. It gives you more controls like on the exposure, flash, etc right on the camera interface rather than going deep into the settings with more clicks. And also, Pro Camera HDR gives you better HDR quality photos than HDR Camera and gives you the ability to immediately adjust the brightness, saturation, etc of the photo you have just taken and you can then save what you have adjusted immediately with no fuss!

ksmith0034 says:

Here is one I did with the free version a couple months ago. It is of the Santa Maria replica in Columbus Ohio. This was using my HTC Evo 4G.
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f183/ksmith0034/SantaMariaHDR.jpg

leaponover says:

That pic is badass! Nice job!

arrigob says:

Thanks for reviewing the app. I bought it for my Droid X and ran multiple tests in multiple lighting. This app seems to take the best pictures on my phone. Camera 360 was 2nd using their HDR (Heavy) setting but the colors where still far off from this app. This app is not the best for quick shot scenarios since it takes 3 shots to form one image. But if you want great pictures and have a minute to take steady up and find good lighting, the pictures are excellent! So this and paper camera are now my favorite camera apps.

august829 says:

I also bought this app for my Droid X, and every shot comes out blurry. I even checked the "Re-focus on each shot" setting..but still no luck. I contacted the developer, but they have not responded.

jolugo#AC says:

Here are some pics that I took with my 3D before and after HDR. Sometimes its worth it, some times, it blows up the colors.

https://picasaweb.google.com/sr.santoyo/Evo3DHDR?authuser=0&feat=directlink

_BigJerm says:

I'm really confused by this review and all of the pictures taken. None of the pictures really have that "HDR feel" that I've become accustomed to.

I have been using Camera360's HDR (heavy) feature and I've been getting some awesome, imo anyway, HDR-like photos. Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/big_jerm/6252481185/in/photostream/lightbox/

The only thing that I don't like is how much noise I've been getting in my pictures. I'm looking for a way to reduce the noise or an app that does it better.

From the looks of this post and the free version of HDR Camera I don't think this does it better at all?

Does anyone have some good shots using HDR Camera+?