Brief Pro HDR Review
By Matt Glastonbury, an independent blogger and accomplished Instagrammer who acts as a Contributing Editor to Ink361, providing great tutorials and App reviews. (Add Matt on Google Plus)
Ever looked at a beautiful flower with a gorgeous sunset or sky behind it and pulled out the phone to take a shot only to find the camera is seeing something that is very different from what your eye is admiring? That beauty just turned to a silhouette! Well, with HDR, you can capture the lighter background, and the darker foreground, and blend them together.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Pro HDR (v4.5.1, from eyeApps LLC, available on Android and iOS for $1.99) lets you capture two images; one exposed for the lighter areas of your scene, and another, exposed for the darker areas. It then automatically aligns, and blends, the images, giving you a single HDR photo.
Pro HDR extends the dynamic range (refers to the ratio/differences between the brightest light you can capture in a scene and the darkest light you can capture in the same scene) of your camera and produces great results in the right situations. Pro HDR has two modes, one automatic, and the other manual, letting you choose your own exposure levels by dragging blue squares around the scene. It also has the option of loading your own photos taken with any camera app, and that’s what interests me the most—full control over my exposures. I talk about that, here, in my MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY – Multiple Exposures for HDR tutorial. Regardless of what mode you use, the best thing about this app is that it allows you to capture scenes with high contrast, and also create some wonderful effects.
Allows you to capture photos that simply aren’t possible with one exposure.
Separate exposure/focus control
Basic adjustment tools
Great auto contrast
Ability to load other photos taken by other camera apps
Exposure and focus are not completely separated
Only loads two images, love to see the ability to load more exposures.
Not all image output is the same size
No mid-tone adjustment or advanced adjustment tools
Out of date filters.
No re-alignment tool.
No full resolution support.
I have been using Pro HDR for over a year now and it’s my main go-to app for scenes with difficult lighting that have little movement. You can really get the bright parts of a scene to be properly exposed and at the same time you can blend in the dark areas without under-exposing them. I’ve taken some screen-shots and posted the results so you can see for yourself.
Tip: When you change to manual mode, you will be able drag two blue squares around the screen to set the two exposures for your two photos. Remember, the last square you drag will set and lock the focus, this is a very handy feature.
Here, I held the phone upside-down to get the lens on the same level as the flower, (that’s why the app’s interface is around the wrong way) then I moved the blue squares to measure the light for my two exposures—one on the flower, and one on the sky. One the left, you can see Pro HDR took a light and a dark version and then blended them together at bottom left.
Tip: If you edit and load your two exposures taken with manual camera apps, into Pro HDR, you can sometimes get even better results.
Concluding… I’ve tried most of the other HDR imaging apps and have always returned to Pro HDR because it seems to get the most natural results, has the best blending-alignment, and lets you load photos from your camera roll. If you want to improve the capability of your mobile camera, and even capture very difficult, high-contrast shots, then I suggest you go and buy Pro HDR.
Really looking forward to where eyeApps takes this app in the future..
Big thumbs up from me!