Friday, January 28, 2011

iPhone 4 Camera and HDR

One of the features of the iPhone 4's rear facing camera is the ability to take HDR images. Considering the poor dynamic range offered by the tiny sensors of cell phone cameras that is a nice feature to have. I don't have any great samples, but I think these two images will get the idea across. The first image is a standard shot, without the in phone HDR effect applied, and the second photo is HDR.

Non-HDR Image

HDR Image

Outside of whatever processing the iPhone's built in camera app does, no alterations have been made to either image. In the non-HDR image you notice the poor white balance, but in the HDR image the white balance does seem better, at least to my eyes. You can clearly see that a lot of detail has been recovered in the HDR image, specifically in the bright area on the right, which in the non-HDR image is totally blown out. On the shadow side, you can see more detail in the lens in the HDR image. The side effect of the HDR effect is slightly more noise, but no loss of fine detail, at least from what I can see.