Overview:

Pro HDR by eyeApps is an HDR photography app which takes high dynamic range photos using your iPhone camera. As iOS 4.1 brought this functionality to the iPhone 4, it left 3GS owners out in the cold. No worries, as Pro HDR is one of many apps that give you this functionality, and then some.

iPad finalLet me start out by going over what HDR actually is. If you’ve ever taken a picture with your iPhone, you’ve noticed how dark some areas end up in order to brighten up another area. HDR is the process of taking multiple shots at different exposure settings, and intelligently blending them into 1 image. The result is a clear picture just as your eye sees it, but your camera cannot.

Note: Pro HDR is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 3GS only.

Features:

Pro HDR features Automatic, and Manual photo capture. Automatic mode automates the process of taking multiple shots, and blending. Manual mode has you take each shot, and choose the exposure for each image.

There is also Photo Library support, where you can work with existing pictures from your Photos app. With the inclusion of Live-updating, you can fine tune your HDR photo by tweaking image adjustment sliders for the perfect amount of brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and tint. If file size is important to you, you’ll be glad to find the option to output images at 3, or 5 megapixels. Images can be shared straight from the app via email.

The Good:

It’s no secret that the App Store is full of apps that promise HDR. What makes Pro HDR so significant is that it actually takes multiple shots, rather than manipulating a single shot to look like HDR. It’s as authentic as it can get for an iPhone.

vasetuneI found Pro HDR to be much more capable than the built-in the iPhone 4 version. Instead of Apple’s ‘you get what you get’ method, Pro HDR actually lets me customize the image further after the fact. Even though the app does a good enough job taking photos in Automatic mode, I found it handy being able to fine tune the shot just in case I needed to.

The interface is very minimal and easy to navigate; Automatic mode is pretty much a one step process. All you really need to worry about is keeping your hands still while Pro HDR does its thing. While Manual mode does a fine job at producing high range photos, I found Automatic to be sufficient enough to ditch Manual.

The Bad:

Upon launching Pro HDR, I noticed the “Library HDR” option. I wondered how this would work, given the fact that you need two shots taken at different exposure settings. I thought it may just manipulate single shots like I had mentioned about other apps. Turns out you actually do need to have two existing shots, and I doubt many people have that in their image library.

prohdroptionsThe amount of time it takes the app to analyze, then take 2 pictures takes up to 12-15 seconds on an iPhone 4. During this period your hands need to be very still as the app tells you during the process. This can be very difficult for some people, so if keeping your hands still for that amount of time is a problem, you may want to re-consider as your shots are not going to look very pleasing.

The sharing option left much to be desired. With Twitter and Facebook integration being so common within apps these days, I don’t see why it was left out. I won’t judge too harshly though, as it may likely be added in a future update.

Verdict:

If you’re a disgruntled 3G S owner upset over being left out of the HDR party in 4.1, your solution has arrived. Pro HDR, while not as painless as Apple’s solution, offers features that are essential to good photography. With Auto and Manual modes, along with scalability in Brightness, Contrast and more, it has enough reasons for iPhone 4 owners to make the switch as well. Pro HDR is a should buy!