iPhone X No Smart HDR

peejay1977

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2015
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121
I’ve been playing with my XS Max for the last few hours, taken pics and videos in various lighting conditions and it doesn’t seem to using HDR even though normally it would (on my old X).

I have the Smart HDR turned on and the option to keep original photos and yet not a single photo so far appears to be in HDR. Don’t get me wrong the pics are stunning but I would normally have expected to see some in HDR.
 

Bigserver1

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2012
262
112
I think they said that they no longer notate photos as HDR unless the HDR effect is so extreme that it warrants labeling it. My understanding is that every photo taken on the Xs/Max use Smart HDR.

Could be wrong though, that's definitely possible.
 

peejay1977

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2015
109
121
Yeah I get that, but what I mean is I have the option turned on directly below the Smart HDR option to keep the original pics and I have no original pics which implies none of them are HDR if that makes sense?

Like if it’s not notating them that’s fine but the option below Smart HDR seems like it’s redundant or not even working.

 
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UnifiedMelody

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2017
204
87
Australia
Normal photo and hdr photo are both saved at the same time. If u turn off smart hdr u hv the option to enable hdr in camera app manually. With smart hdr on it does it automatically

This was a feature by default in 8 plus and 8 and x where hdr was on by default... out of box. Altho u have the chance to disable that automatic hdr if u dont want it
 

peejay1977

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2015
109
121
So I managed to find that HDR photos are still notated as such when you browse them in the same way Portrait ones are, evidently I just hadn’t hit a scenario where it needed to use full on HDR. There must be varying degrees but I’ve definitely had a photo on this Max which is labelled as HDR and it also saved the non HDR version too, that’s with both options turned on.
 

i.am.lost

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2018
2
1
Normal photo and hdr photo are both saved at the same time. If u turn off smart hdr u hv the option to enable hdr in camera app manually. With smart hdr on it does it automatically

This was a feature by default in 8 plus and 8 and x where hdr was on by default... out of box. Altho u have the chance to disable that automatic hdr if u dont want it
You haven't tried this out an XS / XS Max, have you? What you're describing is how it worked on my 8 Plus and X: you either havwe Auto HDR on when the phone would only use HDR when appropriate, or you could turn Auto HDR off to manually control it in the Camera app - Auto, force On, force Off (see picture)

On my XS Max, having Smart HDR on works the same way where iPhone decides when to use HDR and when not to use HDR. However turning that off just gives the option of HDR On and HDR Off in the Camera app (see GIF). HDR On is still not "forced" on, it behaves just like the old Auto option where iPhone decides whether to use HDR or not. There is no way to force HDR On on my XS Max.

Could it be a bug, or is this some strange limitation of the new Smart HDR...?
[doublepost=1537607740][/doublepost]
So I managed to find that HDR photos are still notated as such when you browse them in the same way Portrait ones are, evidently I just hadn’t hit a scenario where it needed to use full on HDR. There must be varying degrees but I’ve definitely had a photo on this Max which is labelled as HDR and it also saved the non HDR version too, that’s with both options turned on.
Agreed, but you can't "force" HDR to be always on for every picture, like you can in every other iPhone. It's really bugging me.
 

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UnifiedMelody

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2017
204
87
Australia
You haven't tried this out an XS / XS Max, have you? What you're describing is how it worked on my 8 Plus and X: you either havwe Auto HDR on when the phone would only use HDR when appropriate, or you could turn Auto HDR off to manually control it in the Camera app - Auto, force On, force Off (see picture)

On my XS Max, having Smart HDR on works the same way where iPhone decides when to use HDR and when not to use HDR. However turning that off just gives the option of HDR On and HDR Off in the Camera app (see GIF). HDR On is still not "forced" on, it behaves just like the old Auto option where iPhone decides whether to use HDR or not. There is no way to force HDR On on my XS Max.

Could it be a bug, or is this some strange limitation of the new Smart HDR...?
[doublepost=1537607740][/doublepost]
Agreed, but you can't "force" HDR to be always on for every picture, like you can in every other iPhone. It's really bugging me.
I think smart hdr is better in the long run personally... I have seen smart HDR pop up more often in places where the image has a lot of harsh shadows and highlights [eg direct sunlight 12pm kind of day]... i have the iPhone XS Max with me right now and whilst I don't see the [hdr] pop up often and sometimes I rather not see that because then i just take photos as it should be, most of the images i take on a case by case basis looks appealing to me and I'm quite satisfied with the improvements despite what some might claim is a huge price hike or atrocious [256GB is more than enough for me, 512GB is just... lets not talk about it]

when i disable Smart HDR on the On/Off Switch in the Settings>Camera section, then my camera app has the HDR option to be turned on/off in the camera app itself. however if you want to force HDR and a normal photo out [ie two images every shot] then you need to turn on Smart HDR AND Keep Normal Photo.
[doublepost=1537632283][/doublepost]
i dont like this either.
isnt that what smart HDR is supposed to be? to be used in harsh lighting scenarios [eg broad daylight]... not sure but this is what I personally think how smart HDR should work. If the distribution on the histogram is even [from shadows, to highlights], then HDR isn't really needed.
 
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peejay1977

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2015
109
121
So I’ve been out today to get a screen protector fitted and to take some more shots, none of them are tagged with HDR but then I can’t complain, the quality is excellent!









Whether or not the smart hdr is always in effect I’m not really bothered, it just seemed odd that out of a ton of photos only 1 so far is marked as HDR.

I have also noticed that 4K 24fps recording on this phone is jerky as hell when compared to my X, to the degree I have changed to 30fps. I know the cinematic look has some blur or motion to it but it’s so jerky that it looks like the camera has a fault.
 

i.am.lost

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2018
2
1
none of them are tagged with HDR but then I can’t complain, the quality is excellent!
We can and should complain! Improved HDR was one of the most talked-about improvements this year, and the fact is it's not even being applied 75% of the time. I agree the camera is the most impressive yet on iPhone, I've been taking some awesome shots - but I can't help think if they'd be even better with HDR... At least give us the option!
 

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Nextup12

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2018
43
38
I’m surprised, too, that literally none of my photos taken yet have the HDR tag. I remember reading a review of the Xs and it said almost all photos were now taken using HDR, so I’m not sure what’s going on. The pictures are very good nevertheless, but it is odd.
 

Nextup12

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2018
43
38
I’m surprised, too, that literally none of my photos taken yet have the HDR tag. I remember reading a review of the Xs and it said almost all photos were now taken using HDR, so I’m not sure what’s going on. The pictures are very good nevertheless, but it is odd.
I’ve gone over this thread again and tested out what happens when I manually control HDR in the app. I pointed the camera towards a light and toggled HDR on and off and the difference was significant-it blows out completely without HDR. However, when I took the photo still no ‘HDR’ tag. Which is fine, at least I know it is actually applying HDR now, but it is a bit strange that it would only notate HDR on photos that have used the effect to a high degree.
 

M33-1

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2010
276
153
Yeah I get that, but what I mean is I have the option turned on directly below the Smart HDR option to keep the original pics and I have no original pics which implies none of them are HDR if that makes sense?

Like if it’s not notating them that’s fine but the option below Smart HDR seems like it’s redundant or not even working.

You should be getting a second picture. Try taking a photo inside your place during the day, with all lights off, looking out the window on a bright day. It will definitely take two pictures if your smart hdr is working. I take photos of family members standing in front of our sliding glass door and always get two pictures. I do this as a test to see if it is working.
 

Mobster1983

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
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Have any of you
We can and should complain! Improved HDR was one of the most talked-about improvements this year, and the fact is it's not even being applied 75% of the time. I agree the camera is the most impressive yet on iPhone, I've been taking some awesome shots - but I can't help think if they'd be even better with HDR... At least give us the option!
Can you manually apply HDR? Why don't you take a photo with Smart HDR and then use the option for HDR on to take the same picture. See if there is any difference. (I don't have an X so not sure about the controls).
 

Azathoth123

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
718
465
Fountain City
Partially dissenting opinion here. I’ve been an amateur photographer from large format sheet film days right up through today. The first digital camera that I used was Sony Mavica that recorded images to a 3-1/2” floppy disk.

HDR is a solution to a problem, holding detail in shadows and highlights - If the particular image has good shadow and highlight detail, HDR contributes nothing and over-done HDR can make images look garish and unnatural, just like too much contrast and saturation. More does not equal better here.

Apple has one of the best stock image processing secret sauces that there is IMO, and they’ve very likely established when HDR is needed and when it isn’t in the algorithm. There’s nothing bad about this, it’s a desirable feature for most people and most images. They could put a slider on the HDR control to give us an option of ‘bad images’ though.

Now if you want more flexibility, you have options, shooting RAW and processing the images entirely yourself, or shooting several RAW images manually and using a software solution on a desktop to roll your own HDR/focus. This is so much effort you simply won’t do it for most images. What’s easier and better for general iPhone photography is just to import the images to an iPad (where you can see better) and use a good image editing program to adjust the white and black points and to adjust highlights and shadows with a curve.

Cheers, Azy
 
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MashaT22

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2018
1
1
Bronx, NY
I’ve been playing with my XS Max for the last few hours, taken pics and videos in various lighting conditions and it doesn’t seem to using HDR even though normally it would (on my old X).

I have the Smart HDR turned on and the option to keep original photos and yet not a single photo so far appears to be in HDR. Don’t get me wrong the pics are stunning but I would normally have expected to see some in HDR.
Did you ever figure this out? I have the same issue and it’s driving me nuts!
 
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Azathoth123

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
718
465
Fountain City
I don’t know if this will help, I don’t have the XS or XS Max, but the HDR effect on the X is rather mild as it should be.

Couple of other comments about HDR, I am a long-time hobbyist photographer. One, HDR lowers overall contrast so normally out-of-range values will fit on the histogram, or range of the sensor. If the image does not have blown highlights or blocked shadows, there’s really nothing for HDR to do. So, on some images with a good tonal range to begin with, well-done HDR will not be very evident if at all. I can set up some objects in a photographic light box with even lighting, and the HDR image is indistinguishable from a non-HDR image. Second, overly strong HDR corrections don’t look natural you want an HDR paintbrush not an HDR sledgehammer.

Hope this helps!
 

peejay1977

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2015
109
121
Did you ever figure this out? I have the same issue and it’s driving me nuts!
Sadly not! Although I'm happy with the pics that my XS Max takes, just found it odd that out of the several hundred pics I've taken so far only 1 has the HDR tag when you view it in the gallery. I remember seeing the HDR message popping up on the view screen when taking pics quite often on my X but I've never seen it once on the Max.

Perhaps it's as has been described that the Smart HDR is always on, but it would be nice to know for sure!
 
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