What are HDR, Auto HDR and Smart HDR, and why are they needed?

Smart HDR technology is like HDR, but smarter. Smart HDR was first introduced at the presentation of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

The technology is based on advancedcamera sensors, the power of the neural engine of the A12 Bionic processor, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the latest computing photography technologies. With Smart HDR, anyone can take beautiful pictures with great light and dynamic range.

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You just need to press the button, and youriPhone does the rest. This is possible thanks to its own central processor, GPU and ISP Apple. Now you can take amazing pictures without any effort.

Unlike regular HDR and Auto HDR, the functionSmart HDR is not available on older iPhone models. It supports only the iPhone XS line. This is due to the fact that older models are not fast enough sensors. With Smart HDR, you can freeze a moment in time in the smallest detail.

what mean HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.

This is a digital photography technique that helpsTake great photos with high contrast. HDR processes photos to expand their dynamic range. Best technology can cope with the shooting of shaded objects on a bright background, like a sunny sky.

On ordinary DSLR cameras you have to choosewhat will be the emphasis - on the object or on the background. With HDR, you can capture both elements. When HDR technology is active, your device takes three photos with different exposure levels, and then combines the best elements of each photo into one shot. Technology is especially useful when shooting in low light.

From the images below, you can clearly see how HDR works. On the left, the exposure is adjusted to the object, and therefore the sky turned out to be too bright, and on the right - under the sky, so the object is too dark.

As you can see for yourself, the technology took the best of both shots and combined them into one photograph, which turned out with good contrast and details.

And thanks to Apple's wide color gamut screens on the iPhone and iPad, HDR photos look 60% better.

Auto HDR on iPhone X

On iPhone X, HDR technology works on autopilot. It is supported by both the main and the front camera of the iPhone X. The function activates itself when it is needed, but you can disable it if you wish.

We mentioned above that thanks to the improved camera sensors and processors of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, the HDR function has become even better.

Using all the power of the new cameras, Apple has developed an advanced version of Auto HDR, which is called Smart HDR.

Smart hdr

Smart HDR is automatically activated forImproving the quality of photographs depending on the shooting conditions. Unlike previous versions of HDR, Smart HDR also works with portrait shots, panoramic shots, Live Photos and action shots, as below.

Smart HDR is so good thatalmost every photo on the iPhone XS / Max / Xr is taken using it. All HDR images on old models are marked with an “HDR” icon in the corner, and on new smartphones Smart HDR is essentially used for all photos, and the most intense ones are marked with an icon.

Below you can see a comparison of the technologies of the iPhone XS and the iPhone X. From the pictures it is really noticeable how much better the HDR technology has become.

Smart HDR can be disabled in the camera settings. To control HDR manually:

  • iphone XS, iphone XS Max and iphone Xr: Settings → Camera → Smart HDR.
  • iPhone X, iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus: Settings → Camera → Auto HDR.
  • Old models: Settings → Camera → HDR.

On all iPhones that support the HDR function, it can be controlled manually in the Camera app. Just click the icon. HDR top and enable / disable the function.

All iPhone models older than the iPhone X retain original images along with HDR images, since the HDR function on them does not always work correctly. Accordingly, it clogs the device memory.

If you want to save only the HDR version, go to Settings → Camera and click on the switch next to Leave the original. Newer models with advanced sensors do not preserve original pictures by default.

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