Normal and HDR with iPhone 4

I just got a new iPhone 4 this week, and have been playing with the camera on it. It’s much better than the iPhone 3GS camera, and it has HDR. So, here are some photos from around my neighbourhood. For each pair, the 2nd photo is HDR. What do you think?

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

12 responses to “Normal and HDR with iPhone 4

  1. Sharon

    I believe they are much better. Brighter, clearer.

  2. 1 – HDR is better but there is a weird blur in the car, presumably due to motion between the sequential shots necessary to do the HDR processing. Also seems to have tinted things more yellow than the standard shot, but it’s tough to tell which white balance would be more true-to-life.
    2 – both look lousy. Sky is definitely better in HDR version, but silhouettes are better in standard version.
    3 – foreground items (plant life, etc.) looks much better in standard version, background items (sky, etc.) look better in HDR. Odd that their HDR algorithm couldn’t do that one better since it’s got a distinct and sharp divide between light and dark areas, so the merge should be easy.
    4 – Look nearly identical, though sky is a little better in HDR version.
    5 – Sky is clearly better in HDR version (can see power lines, etc.), but dark areas are so-so (green bushy areas at right are still too dark and lacking contrast.) Probably more a limitation of the tiny sensor and number of shots it takes for the merge than the algorithm itself on that one.

    • I did notice that the sky looked better in them. Better detail, especially with power lines. In the 2nd one, I was just seeing how it handled having the sun in the picture.

      Now, I’m not sure if iPhone 4 is truly doing HDR, or if it’s just doing an algorithm to simulate HDR. I’ll have to check that out.

      • I seem to recall reading that they were experimenting with having it just take one long shot (i.e., over-exposed) and save the picture data a few times while the shot was underway to provide the lower-exposure shots to get improved resolution of the bright areas. Not sure if that’s what they ended up going with in the final model, but based on the blurry car in your first picture it must be using multiple exposures and not just adjusting levels in a single shot. There are some cheap “HDR-style” apps out there that do just adjust levels to simulate HDR, but they generally look like absolute crap.

  3. I wish i could auto-delete my non HDR images…too freakin white. But the HD ones are beautiful ever when enlarged on my 24″ monitor 🙂

  4. There’s definitely a noticeable improvement. Improvements are good. 😉

  5. Even though the camera does take three different shots and slaps them together, the processing leaves a lot to be desired – they end up looking like shots with selective color adjustment and not like HDRs.
    But apart from the third photo, the results do look better.

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