Testing out the inbuilt camera's HDR feature on the 8 plus

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Alexander.Of.Oz, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Alexander.Of.Oz, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017

    Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #1
    Just testing out the inbuilt camera's HDR feature on a flower that has plenty of highlight and shadow details to see what it can actually do!

    I set the 'Auto HDR' feature off in 'Settings' as you never actually know when the camera will choose to use it and then turned HDR on in the camera.

    This first image is without HDR and choosing to focus on the yellow bits of the iris flower.
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    This next one is with HDR turned on and choosing to focus again on the yellow bits of the iris flower.
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    There is a tiny bit more detail to this, but not the exponential leap that blending three exposures should actually create.

    This following image was taken using the PureShot app in Auto Exposure mode and by taking three bracketed exposures two stops apart, saved as a RAW file and assembled in Lightroom, with Auto Toning applied, and no other adjustments to it. I did not apply any sharpening or noise reduction to this following image at all. I used spot metering placed on the yellow bits of the iris flower and focused on that same point. It has exponentially more detail to it than using the inbuilt cameras HDR feature! This shows me that the iPhone 8 plus has a damn good little camera built in, it's just not being fully utilised by the inbuilt camera app and its HDR feature.
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  2. Alexander.Of.Oz, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

    Alexander.Of.Oz thread starter macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Some examples of the inbuilt HDR feature at work. The first image of each set is the untouched or normal version and the second image is the one where the HDR was applied.

    If any of these images don't actually appear in this thread, just click on the error image marker and select to open them in a new tab, they will appear then for you to look at and compare.

    As you will see, the HDR feature helps to recover the blown out highlights presented by the bright skies, and does a fairly good job of it, but still presents us with some blown out highlights, or sections of white that contain no details to them. HDR ideally, should also offer up more shadow details, but this inbuilt application of it doesn't seem to offer much in that regard. The HDR versions also tend to wash out the mid-tones, losing the contrast and details there, but for an in camera application, it's not too bad really.

    I will continue to use a third party app and take three exposures two stops apart, then combine them in Lightroom or Photoshop, but for the 99% of you that just want an instant result, this app isn't too bad and probably won't disappoint you all.

    With these examples, I deliberately chose very wide dynamic range situations to see what the camera and inbuilt processing could do.

    None of these images are edited in any way by me, they were just imported into Lightroom, no profile fixes were applied and then they were exported as jpegs, so they are basically straight out of camera.

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    My DSLR setup, where I took some long exposure images here in the Japanese Gardens in town today, in amongst testing out the iPhone 8 plus camera.

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    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2017 ---
    Continued...

    Again, if any of these images don't show here on this forum, just click on the error image marker and select to open them in a new tab, so you can view and compare the before and after shots.

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  3. macTW Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    #3
    Seeing as I don’t have a photography background, I don’t fully understand the differences or see them... but all the photos look amazing.
     
  4. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
  5. Alexander.Of.Oz thread starter macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    Continued...

    And yet again, if any of these images don't appear on this forum for whatever strange reason, just click on the error image marker and select to open them in a new tab so you can view and compare them.

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    I hope this has been of some assistance to some of you.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2017 ---
    Basically, just look at the first copy of each image and notice the white sections then compare that to the next image and see where it now contains colour and details.

    Thanks, and no, these are all taken handheld.
     
  6. Italianblend macrumors 68000

    Italianblend

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Fatima
    #6
    Is there a free camera app that you would suggest we use instead of the Apple? Thanks.
     
  7. Susurs, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

    Susurs macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #7
    Great tests!

    Could you possibly, please, take some sample images of the same scene with some DSLR and 8 Plus?

    P.S. I wonder how much X’s OIS for both lenses and f/2.4 telephoto will improve it further...will it be noticable...
     
  8. macTW Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    #8
    And is that using an app like Lightroom that allows you to have the raw image versus the iPhone camera app’s auto HDR?
     
  9. Nathan King macrumors regular

    Nathan King

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    #9
    Take a peek at the areas of strong highlight (such as clouds and reflections). The detail that was lost in the original images has been retained in the HDR images.
     
  10. Nemesis90 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    #10
    No, he just turned off HDR in Camera settings on the iPhone. There’s also a setting to save both the raw and HDR images like it did automatically in prior iOS versions.
     
  11. Alexander.Of.Oz thread starter macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    None that I can recommend wholeheartedly, unfortunately. The best of the free lot is supposed to be VSCO, but it has a big focus on a subscriber based community. It is supposed to be able to offer you full control over your inbuilt camera, but I've never used it to verify that this is still the case. It also has a steep learning curve, like using a DSLR on manual for the first time! I don't know if it can save RAW files. it does however offer a myriad of free filters for one click finishing of your photo's, which is quite popular on Instagram, if that's your thing.

    If you are interested in editing your images, I suggest using PureShot and saving the images as RAW files, which do require editing to get the best from them.

    I do have an image of the Japanese garden I took on my DSLR that's basically from the same POV, so I'll post it and the HDR version here in a little bit for you to compare.

    Personally, the half a stop difference of the telephoto lenses on the 8 plus and the X is pretty small, it will allow slightly faster shutter speeds on the X, and I'm sure that the OIS will make a slight difference too. We won't know exactly how much of a difference, until proper comparison testing is done. A user with good technique can take stellar images using a telephoto lens without OIS, I used to have a manual 400mm lens with no OIS on it and it took amazing images, when I got the technique right! By the same token, a user with poor technique, even with OIS will probably take poor images and be disappointed in them.

    RAW image is a file format that requires editing to bring out all the wonderful colour, detail and vibrancy contained within it. HDR is a combination of three different exposures, and using the inbuilt camera app, they are in either the new HEIF format or jpeg format. HEIF is better than the current jpeg format, both in image quality and in image size compression. It's about half the file size actually.

    There is no option in any iOS version that allows you the ability to save RAW files, a third party camera app has always been necessary to achieve this. I have no idea why Apple have made it this way, but they have! o_O

    Lightroom is an expensive option for the hobbyist. If you want a free app to edit your RAW files, look no further than Photo's! It's more than capable of basic edits to bring them to life with simple clicks, using the little previews of what it will do, if you click something you don't like, just click 'undo' and it's gone, or even 'revert to original' to get back to the original before any editing was applied if you are wanting to restart it over again.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2017 ---
    That's not actually correct. iOS has never offered the ability to save images as RAW files, you need a third party camera app to achieve this!

    I think you are getting confused with their option to save the original balanced exposure as well as the HDR version. Both of which are jpeg's in the older versions of iOS and in iOS 11 can be either HEIF or jpeg formats. This format choice is found in the 'Settings' menu, under 'Camera.'
     
  12. Alexander.Of.Oz thread starter macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #12
    Not exactly a scientific comparison, but here's roughly the same image presented three ways, first from the iPhone 8 plus inbuilt camera app as a single exposure, then as an HDR version, and finally from my Canon 6D as a single exposure. Even the DSLR struggled with the wide dynamic range presented yesterday here with all the reflective glare off of the raked pebbles.

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  13. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    #13
    the iPhone pics have a depressing feeling to them, compared to the Canon pic ;)
     
  14. Alexander.Of.Oz thread starter macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    I wish I had have taken a series of bracketed exposures using the PureShot app, with them saved as RAW files and then assembled them in Lightroom as a comparison of what a real HDR image could look like. That would have opened up the shadows a lot and retained all the detail to the clouds.

    This is a good little camera, when a third party app controls it and saves the images as RAW files!

    I'll see what I can do tomorrow, I'm headed out to the country for some bird photography, so will try some comparisons of using the inbuilt HDR feature versus taking three RAW exposures and blending them at home.
     
  15. Susurs macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #15
    Thank’s a lot!
    I was thinking that the textures on iPhone 8 would look a lot worse in comparison to the Canon
     
  16. akash.nu macrumors 604

    akash.nu

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    May 26, 2016
    #16
    Think the HDR is working pretty well there.
     
  17. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    #17
    at first i was like: "i don't really see a difference between the HDR and non-HDR version of the pics..."

    but now that i have studied these pictures, my eyes are finally schooled to spot the difference.. it's very obvious now!

    i guess i was focusing on the wrong things.
     
  18. IP8 macrumors newbie

    IP8

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    Sep 30, 2017
    #18
    If you get a chance I would love to see some comparisons between the bracketed raw exposures vs DSLR camera.
     
  19. sdwaltz macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Indiana
    #19
    Great shots! Here's my takeaway. HDR or no HDR, photoshop or no photoshop, lightroom or no lightroom, it's really really hard to take a crappy picture with the 8 Plus.
     
  20. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    PVB, Florida
    #20
    While I will critique the zoom and image quality.. credit where credit is due.. some images I took with the iPhone Camer app and other 3P camera apps.. I deleted the 3P apps. The HDR adjustment on the few I took was awesome.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 5, 2017 ---
    While I will critique the zoom and image quality.. credit where credit is due.. some images I took with the iPhone Camer app and other 3P camera apps.. I deleted the 3P apps. The HDR adjustment on the few I took was awesome.
     

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19 September 22, 2017