If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging, it is a process that involves taking multiple photographs at various exposures levels, and merging them together. The resulting image more accurately represents the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight. Thankfully, there are many different applications available on the App Store that will allow you to use such a technique with your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Everimaging Ltd.’s iCamera HDR joined the family of High Dynamic Range applications a little while ago, and it has had a plethora of updates. Today, I will be reviewing what makes this application a contender against True HDR and Pro HDR. Hit the jump for the full review.
iCamera HDR packs quite a few features. When you first load the application, you are presented with this screen:
Figure 1: The opening screen when you launch iCamera HDR
Apart from the eye-catching logo, the opening screen is very minimalistic. Next, if we take a look inside the options screen, we’re presented with a lot of changeable options:
Figure 2: The options screen
Most of these options are self explanatory. However, it’s worth noting that these are the global options, meaning that these are applied automatically (before you take the photo). Options can be changed before you capture your image.
This application also allows you to apply some effects on your photo, which is a real positive. Many HDR applications simply do not allow this. Let’s take a look:
Figure 3: After you have taken a photo, you have the ability to apply some effects
The options available are:
- Tone mapping
- Shadow and Highlight
- Black and White
- Color Balance
- Lens correction
- Special Effects
- Comparing the Original and Edited Images*
*Only available in single image mode.
As you can see, there are 13 different options available to us. With the addition of the image editor, I’d consider it to not only be your typical HDR application, but a camera replacement application altogether.
Before we finish with the features, lets take a look at post-processing:
Figure 4: Options that are available before you capture your image
Anti-shake, which is indicated by the ‘buzzing’ dot, doesn’t exactly work as expected. It hasn’t worked for me (unless I’ve missed the point) but normally, it detects any shake, and doesn’t take a picture until it’s reasonably still. For me, it doesn’t do anything. The camera icon takes a picture, and the cog icon allows us to configure the settings. Finally, the 4 squares icon allows us to quickly open our camera roll.
After we have taken a picture, we are presented with another screen with two buttons:
- “Save and take another set of photos” – this allows you to quickly take more photos if you’re capturing special-moment images.
- “Continue to create HDR photo” – applies HDR and other effects.
I am frustrated without the ability to neither save, nor create a HDR photo. If I don’t like the results I get, rather then having a back (or even recapture) button, I have to quit the application. Then remove it from multitasking, and relaunch it again. Additionally, the speed of the processing has been dramatically improved in recent versions of the application. It takes only 9 seconds to render a HDR image (excludes actual capturing time). This is very impressive, and is a major boost compared to other HDR applications, which take a bit longer.
Overall, I am impressed by the sheer amount of features that are available to us in this application, and puts it well-over par against the other High Dynamic Range applications that are currently in the App Store.
Graphical User Interface
I have covered most of the GUI in the above screenshots of the application, so this is going to be brief.
The interface is very simple, and everything is well-organized. When I first purchased the application, I didn’t need to spend very long looking where to find the options. However, you may or may not be aware that to access the rest of the options (in the editing screen), you have to drag the options panel down, which wasn’t very clear to begin with.
It’s a very clean application in terms of design, I love the black styled colour scheme they’ve gone with, and I personally think it suits the application really well. I also think that the developers/designers have spent a long time carefully placing and organising everything. This makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for.
Overall, I am impressed with both the feature set, and the interface of the application. I believe out of every HDR application in the app store, this is the best one.
Graphical User Interface: ★★★★
I personally use this application for every image. If I want to take quick under-over exposed images, I use bracket mode. I then pass them to iCamera HDR, which processes them quickly.
The main reason I use this application is because I consider it to be an image editor, allowing you to configure multiple options with just a single image, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be HDR.
Reuse Value: ★★★★★
Value For Money
iCamera HDR is well-worth the money! It has been on sale for a long time now, and it doesn’t look set to change. I personally bought it for more, but for the current selling price it’s worth every penny.
Value For Money: ★★★★★
I enjoy camera applications, anything that helps enhance the photos taken with the iPod Touch 4th Generation. I believe this application is a major step forward for the future of HDR applications, and I hope any others that come along are as good as this. Although there are a few problems, it’s an all around success.
- Features: ★★★★★
- Graphical User Interface: ★★★★
- Reuse Value: ★★★★★
- Value for Money: ★★★★★
† All prices are in US currency unless stated otherwise.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Overall scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All applications and accessories were purchased at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.