iOS 7.1 for the iPhone 5S brings an automated HDR function to the camera app
posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 8:49 AM EST
HDR functionality is pretty commonplace on smartphones these days, and the iPhone has had one for a while in its standard camera app. However, so far most HDR options only had two settings: on or off. This meant the user had to switch the function on or off depending on the situation, which took time and could in the worst case lead to a missed shot. With iOS 7.1, Apple took to change this dilemma, by introducing an HDR Auto option that, just like an automated scene recognition mode, decides on its own when best to activate HDR or not.
As it is with automatic shooting modes, though, they are often prone to error as the software algorithms they rely on can hardly make out all the minute differneces between shooting scenarios that the human eye and brain are able to perceive. For example, will HDR Auto know that despite a high contrast situation, the fact that a moving subject is involved will render the scene unsuited for a double exposure, which is needed to create an HDR image? We can't be certain until the iOS 7.1's new automated HDR function gets tested.
Alternatively, if you don't want to rely on the iPhone's default camera app for your HDR photography, there are many dedicated HDR apps available in the App Store. Most of these will provide more fine tuning options than the standard camera app, but on the downside they often come at a price – especially the more elaborate apps. If you own an iPhone 5S, you can upgrade to iOS 7.1 right now. More info is available here.