What is HDR in the phone phone?

1. Seen at home, but not visible sky
Updated: 07/22/2020

Available about HDR: not only in phones, but also for cameras

Updated: 07/22/2020

First Short version For those who are just interested in the question, what is HDR mode in the phone

On the Internet (in particular, in Yandex Kew) they write that this mode helps to achieve improved quality or depths in the picture. This is not quite so.

How does he work?

In this mode, the phone camera makes several pictures with different brightness settings and combines them into one. One photo of the usual size is obtained at the output. During the shooting, you should not move the phone, as there are several pictures immediately.

Why is it needed?

As a rule, it makes sense to use HDR mode when very bright and very dark objects, for example, a bright sky and dark greens of trees on the city landscape are simultaneously.

So that everything is uniform brightness and in detail, the HDR mode comes to the rescue.

Especially for you now approach the window and make two ordinary pictures and one HDR (no additional processing).

1. Seen at home, but not visible sky
1. Seen at home, but not visible sky
2. Seen sky, but everything else is dark
1. Seen at home, but not visible sky
3. HDR - clearly visible at home, and the sky
1. Seen at home, but not visible sky

Look mine Selection of phones With the HDR feature with delivery from shops nearest to you.

And here Good phones With delivery from China.

We will discern more what HDR is and how to use it in the phone and in the camera

First need to be distracted by such a thing as Dynamic range (DD) .

I will try to explain the most simple as possible.

Our eyes and the brain are so arranged that they can see in detailed items at the same time and very bright objects, such as a bright sky, and very dark - for example, a dark door to the house, it is worth only to translate a look.

Several pictures with different exposures are reduced to one
Several pictures with different exposures are reduced to one

Let's look at the picture above and agree that we will take it in 0 on the conditional scale of brightness, and the brighter is 100. Let us assume that the eye sees all shades anywhere in the scale. This is its dynamic range.

When it comes to cameras, such concepts appear as "narrow / wide DD", "good / poor DD" and so on.

No camera can cover the entire range so that in detail it is to transmit and elements with brightness 0, and elements with brightness 100. The camera will display only a portion of this range - 30%, 50% or possibly 70%. The more, the wider the dynamic range of a specific model, the easier it will work with it, the better the camera (at least according to this parameter).

What is HDR in the phone phone?

What to do a photographer in such a situation? For example, we have such a frame as you have seen above. If you make a plain picture, depending on the choice of automation of the camera or the sky will be clearly visible in the details (but then the greens and the house will be too dark), or the greens will be normal brightness (but then the sky will be solid white).

Here the photographer must decide what is more important for him to transfer the sky or house in the picture - and adjust the exposition accordingly.

If we are talking about the phone, you can poke your finger at the right frame on the screen, and then the automation will navigate and correctly exhibit exactly the object that is in this place. That is how I made test pictures from the window.

What makes HDR and what is its advantages?

So we realized what a dynamic range and which restrictions it imposes. What does HDR do?

Casting in HDR mode is a kind of way to combine the limitations of DD. "Good," as we say, - "If we cannot immediately cover all 100% DD, then let's apply our 45% camera coverage three times to different locations of the scale. "

What is HDR in the phone phone?

That is, the camera first removes the very dark part, exhibiting it normally, then the middle part, then the brightest.

How to enable and use HDR mode?

The phone needs to press the appropriate button during the shooting. The smartphone camera itself will make some pictures and will reduce them into one.

In the case of a camera, the photographer itself must manage the settings. But it is easy.

1. Go to manual mode M.

2. Select the optimal values ​​of exposure and aperture, focusing on the "Opinion" of the Camera Automation, and make the first frame.

3. Slide the exposure in one direction, for example, by increasing the setup value by a third of the foot, and make the second frame.

4. Return to the values ​​selected by automation in step 2, and now slide the exposure to the other side, for example, by reducing the value of a third of the foot.

5. Then it will be necessary to reduce the pictures in one HDR snapshot on the computer

The latest camera models can do it immediately inside independently when the appropriate mode is turned on. Look My selection such cameras.

Also read in the instructions for your camera, how to configure and work with automatic bracketing. It may seem more convenient for you to make HDR snapshots with it. For example, in my chamber bracketing there, but I did not make friends with him.

What is the result?

As a result, using the HDR-shooting technique, we can get photos with such a detail of the contrast sections of the frame, which cannot be obtained during the usual shooting.

And it looks like a very big plus. But there are several minuses.

1 minus - mess around a lot. If the phone does everything for you, then you will have to think about the frame in advance, make a few pictures, coming home to remember what I wanted to make one HDR from such a personnel, glue them on the computer, and only then rejoice in the result.

2 minus - on my taste HDR landscapes look too unnatural. Our eye, although perceives the whole DD, but already used to see contrasting landscapes precisely contrasting, imagining the missing snapshot details in the crossed or dark sections in the head. When a snapshot is bright and contrast, but everything is seen in it equally well, the subconscious replicates it as something difficult to perceive.

Look at the examples of the works of HDR photographers.

What is HDR in the phone phone?

That is, HDR snapshots are more appreciated as a separate direction of photography, fashion for which, it seems to me, has already passed. HDR snapshots can normally exist next to the same HDR, in separate thematic directories and forums, compete with each other who has Header Hadeeriiness :)), etc. But you should not put them in one row with conventional landscape pictures.

I hope that now you have become more to understand what HDR is at least in mobile, even in classic photography.

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HDR (High Dynamic Range) - a smartphone camera mode, which is responsible for the balance between dark and bright areas in the photos. It is created to improve the pictures from the camera of mobile phones and does not require user intervention.

What is HDR technology, why it is needed and how it works on smartphones.

What is HDR and why is it needed?

HDR is a special shooting mode that is required to balancing the brightness. For example, it is hard to take a photo if the sun is blind or the background on the image is too dark.

In this case, the included HDR mode will help. It makes several pictures with a different exposure, and then gives one finished snapshot, which will reach the correct brightness balance. With HDR, dark sections of photography cease to be too dark, which means small parts will remain visible. The bright areas will not look like blurred white spots, but will get clarity.

HDR in the phone chamber - what is this technology?

HDR is needed to automatically set the brightness and contrast settings depending on the conditions of the specific image. In addition, the mode itself makes several pictures, combines them and gives the most optimal result, which is difficult to achieve independently. HDR allows not only to correctly distribute the light, but also to keep small parts that would otherwise be too dark or damned.

How to use HDR in a smartphone camera?

HDR is a fully automatic mode that makes several snapshots with different exposures, and the user gives the ready-made frame. To work with the mode, it is enough to open the camera menu and click on the corresponding icon on the screen or select the HDR item in the photography settings. If the "AUTO HDR" function is present on the phone, the smartphone will determine itself, in what conditions it is necessary to include this mode depending on the lighting.

To get the highest quality pictures, HDR must be used in the following situations:

  • When shooting a landscape. Usually there is a suitable lighting for good snapshots. However, too bright sun or too dark shadows from objects can spoil the photo. In this case, it is recommended to enable HDR mode to balance the brightness and not losing the clarity of the snapshot;
  • With insufficient or too bright lighting. If the photos are noticeable too dark or too light spots, it is worth a snapshot again, but with the HDR mode on.

It is important to remember that due to the specifics of HDR has several serious disadvantages:

  • The mode cannot be used for quick shooting. Since HDR makes several pictures, and then combines them, it needs time for work. It is not recommended to shoot moving objects with this mode, since as a result can be obtained low-quality and blurred images;
  • HDR mode does not give additional light - it correctly "distributes" existing lighting. Therefore, pictures at night or with poor lighting without a night mode will be poor-quality or too dark;
  • When using the HDR, the brightness of the final snapshot will be lower than it actually is. If the user is not sure if you need to enable the mode, it is recommended to make two pictures - one with HDR enabled and one with off.

HDR in the phone chamber - what is this technology?

In addition to these flaws, you need to remember about situations where the use of HDR will be useless or even worsen photo quality:

  • You should not use the mode if the lighting is so distributed evenly;
  • If the focus in the photo should be given to bright colors, use HDR is not recommended - it makes bright objects more faded.

HDR should not be used constantly. This is a mode that corrects certain disadvantages of the mobile chamber, therefore it is necessary to apply it only for the balance between dark and bright parts of the photo.

It is also important to understand that the final quality of the mobile photography depends on the huge number of factors and characteristics. For a better understanding of the process, we recommend reading the material of our colleagues.

In applications, cameras for smartphones you can find a wide variety of features. Here and shooting panoramas, and face decoration, and artistic filters, and sometimes fine settings available in professional mode. All of them are usually familiar and simple for understanding. But probably among this diversity you saw the Mysterious HDR abbreviation on the menu - it can be found in all modern mobile devices. From the article you will learn what this function is to apply it to correctly, and in what situations it will be useful to you.

All HDR-shooting nuances we will look at the example of the Honor 9 smartphone equipped with two rear cameras. One of them is monochrome with a 20-megapixel sensor, the second - color, 12 megapixel. Both are equipped with a lens with Lights F / 2.2. With this advanced smartphone, we will take a picture of all difficult shooting situations.


In Honor 9, the HDR feature must be turned on manually when the owner will feel its need.

All that is useful to know about HDR

What is hdr.

The HDR abbreviation is decrypted as High Dynamic Range - this is the function of expanding the so-called dynamic range, on which it depends on how precisely the camera is transmitted on the photographs of the tone of the removable scene. Namely - whether it is capable of reproducing them from the brightest (lights) to the darkest (shadows).

If the pictures lack the brightest tones in the pictures, you will not be able to see the details of the wedding dress, white blouse or tablecloths, all the beauty of the clouds on the sky or texture of a bright wall of a bright illuminated building. The darkest tones, being incomparable, will hide from you the details that were in deep shadows.

All that is useful to know about HDRCreate without hdr.  All that is useful to know about HDRHDR included

A narrow dynamic range remains one of the main problems for smartphone cameras that are equipped with tiny sensors. Distortion of color reproduction and digital noise problem to be stopped - modern processors are effectively coping with their correction. But when the sensor did not fix the brightest and dark tones when filming, even the most powerful processors are powerless: they simply have nothing to correct in lights and shadows - there is no information about the details, and there is only absolutely white or black.

If the sensor is not capable of fixing all the tones of the scene taken - how to be? But how to make several pictures with different exposures - at least three. On the "normal", all the tones will be reproduced correctly, except lights and shadows, details in the shadows will be well developed, and on the "too dark" - all the details in the lights. The HDR function itself gets such pictures by making a quick series. Next is the case of technology: smart electronics will collect information from several pictures and will combine into one, on which all tones will be reflected in the best form.

Theory theory, but let's figure it out when the HDR function can come in handy? There are a lot of such situations. Sometimes in smartphones there is an auto-HDR option - the camera itself will decide when to use this function, but much more often the owner of the smartphone needs to make a decision on the use of HDR.

When HDR will save a snapshot

We all love to go to the southern countries where the hot and dazzling bright sun shines. And very often, especially when shooting in the temple complexes, monasteries and old towns with narrow streets, on a sunny day, the plots removable have a very high contrast. Below on the street or in the doorways - thick shadows, and the walls of the upper floors and towering objects (for example, the temple or tower) are lit as brightly that they look very white on the screen, like the sky, turning into solid "milk".

All that is useful to know about HDRStandard mode  All that is useful to know about HDRIncluded HDR

Another common situation is: in the foreground - a weakly lit object or a person, while the back plan looks much brighter - there is a window, a bright wall, snow, the beach and so on. Without the use of HDR, it is also not to do here, otherwise the dark object will be released only in a silhouette on a light background. And sometimes the snapshot turns out to be unsuccessful, even when the building was not in the most dense shadow - after all, I want to see him in all its glory.

All that is useful to know about HDRStandard mode  All that is useful to know about HDRHDR work is not so obvious

A similar situation arises and when shooting a landscape, if the light is oncoming, and some objects (for example, trees) are located in the foreground, and you want to use them as an improvised frame.

All that is useful to know about HDRPhoto without HDR  All that is useful to know about HDRHDR slightly "leisure" foreground

In the landscape shooting, the situation is often found when all the details located at the bottom of the frame (city, field, forest, water, etc.) are lit and worked perfectly, but in the sky - "milk", and beautiful clouds overlook the wool slices . And how many utilized snapshots turned out to be ruined when, instead of a neat solar disk, among the luxury of shades, the "puddle of light" was one third of the sky?

All that is useful to know about HDRStandard mode  All that is useful to know about HDRAnd so with HDR

The scenes with very high contrast are found not only on a sunny day, but at night, when the plot is adjacent to the barely illuminated places and islands, filled with bright light. When the dark part prevails in the frame, the bright areas turn into a stain almost without details.

All that is useful to know about HDRWithout hdr.  All that is useful to know about HDRHDR in this case was appropriate

If the bright area prevails, dark areas will hide in solid black. And here we will again rescue HDR, restoring the details of the image, respectively, in lights or shadows.

All that is useful to know about HDRStandard mode  All that is useful to know about HDRHDR is turned on, look at the arch

Another important point at night shooting: As a rule, even a very "smart" camera, recognizing the night scene, uses a special program with long exposure and honestly warns that the camera needs to securely. And then when shooting from hand, you have little chance to get a non-shy frame. Turn on the HDR function, quickly shooting a series of frames on a short excerpt, and even if individual frames are wary, when they are combined, the clarity of the final picture will be higher.

All that is useful to know about HDRSnapshot without hdr.  All that is useful to know about HDRWith HDR shot more sharp

How to understand what is worth applying hdr

So when to include the function if auto-HDR mode is not selected? We list the most typical situations.

If you are brought the smartphone camera to some object (no matter, in the afternoon or at night) and see not all the details (something important looks too light or too dark), it means you are trying to remove the scene with too high contrast for your smartphone. They saw this - boldly turn on HDR and remove.

The opposite situation - you shoot something on a cloudy day. It seems the object is pretty, but it looks like a braid on the screen. Try to activate HDR, and the colors in the picture will become more saturated and bright.

All that is useful to know about HDRSnapshot without hdr.  All that is useful to know about HDRWant more details? Turn on hdr.

Night shooting. An interesting city scene, but you have no tripod with you and not to rely on what - when shooting from hands in a special night mode, it will certainly work out to be lubricated. You can raise the ISO, but then there will be a noisy frame with bad details. But if you use HDR, automation, making a series of pictures, it may well give a clear picture with saturated colors.

Is HDR always useful

Yes, applications of all modern smartphones offer the HDR function, but it works in different ways on different devices. Be sure to conduct experiments and examine the character and HDR habits in your smartphone.

We met the devices, which in the shooting not enough lit scene simply lazy it: the details in the shadows were worked out better, but all the nuances were lost in the lights. This is not HDR, but deception.

It happens that the HDR has a "tendency" to correction only by light or only dark sites. Having learned this during the experiment, you will be understood for what type of scenes the use of HDR will be useful, and where it "will not fool."

And finally, there are devices (for example, Honor 9), which even in autorem remove so good that the inclusion of HDR at first glance does not change anything. But this function gives a "final cut" by a snapshot, adding important - with attentive viewing - parts in lights and shadows. But in the case of this apparatus (as with many other), it is necessary to take into account that with the active function of HDR, the pictures are not made as much as possible.

All that is useful to know about HDRWithout hdr.  All that is useful to know about HDRWith HDR - there is almost no difference

The maximum resolution of the pictures in Honor 9 is 20 meters, and the HDR-shooting is carried out at 12 megapixel. So, if the transfer of the smallest details is important for you, do not forget to take a tripod with you and switch the camera into a professional mode where it is possible to set optimal settings. We will tell you more about the professional mode of mobile shooting in a separate article.

Even a brief acquaintance with HDR capabilities can convince in high utility of this function. Very often, it literally saves the shooting of interesting plots in problematic situations for smartphone. But do not forget that the implementation of HDR depends on the specific apparatus - its belonging to a certain price category and the novelty of the electronic filling. In any case, it is better to study the HDR habits in your smartphone and apply this function where it really will be useful.


In the preparation of the article, we failed to make the most visual pairs of images of the type "It was terrible - it became normal." Such more often obtained with budget apparatus. We, rather, demonstrated the pair "It was good - it became very good." It happens when shooting a high-end device, such as Honor 9.

You once again advise you to spend time on mastering the HDR function in your smartphone. Having studied her opportunities in theory, use HDR in a variety of difficult situations, and after some time you already at the intuitive level will be understood: "Now without HDR can not do." From this point on, when shooting in the ski resort, on vacation "in the southes" and any other difficult shooting situation, you will be able to qualitatively capture any unique moment, because you use the capabilities of photographing in your smartphone in full understanding.

Like more about Honor 9

A source: 4pda.ru.

Smartphone Cameras Pixel and Nexus Line and Nexus have never been anything outstanding, but over the past four years made a powerful jerk forward and now occupy the first line of ratings. Why did it happen? Because Google has introduced a software post-processing mechanism called HDR +. In this article we will tell you how it works and how to activate HDR + on your smartphone, regardless of its brand.

What is hdr.

For a complete understanding of the principle of operation of HDR + will have to be able to deal with the usual HDR.

The main problem of all smartphone cameras is a small size of the matrix (or rather - photoees) and, as a result, insufficient coverage of the dynamic range. To correct this disadvantage, the HDR algorithm (High-Dynamic Range) was developed, the principle of operation is as follows: the camera makes a frame with a standard exposure level for this scene, then it makes an under-off-planned frame, which will clearly see only cross-shown in the original image. Overexposed snapshot, on which only darkened parts of the initial picture are visible, and everything else is bred. Next, the pictures are superimposed on each other and are combined with special algorithms, the quality of which depends on the manufacturer of the camera's software. As a result, it turns out a snapshot with good part of the details both in the shadows and in brighter places.

The disadvantages of HDR are obvious: a long time shooting leads to the fact that the moving objects that have fallen into the frame will double, and even a small shaking lubricates a picture.

What is hdr +

Smart heads came up with an algorithm deprived of the drawbacks of HDR. However, the name with HDR is only the name.

HDR + is decrypted as High-Dynamic Range + Low Noise. He received his fame over a number of outstanding opportunities: the algorithm is able to eliminate noise almost without loss of detail, improve the quality of color reproduction, which is extremely important with poor lighting and on the edges of the frame, along with this it strongly expands the dynamic range of photographs. HDR +, unlike standard HDR, is almost not afraid of shaking smartphone and movement in the frame.

The first smartphone with HDR + support became Nexus 5. Because of the best balance of white and small aperture hole (F2.4), the camera of this smartphone was considered no more than a strong middle manner. Everything changed with the release of Android 4.4.2 update. It was it that it brought with it the support of HDR + regime and the amazing quality of night shots. Although they did not differ in the large brightness throughout the entire field of the frame, but thanks to HDR + practically did not contain noise while maintaining small parts and possessed excellent (for smartphones in 2013) the transmission of colors.

Nexus 5 + HDR +
Nexus 5 + HDR +

(Image in source capacity)


How did the company who has never been involved in the chambers created the algorithm that wonders create, using the usual, according to flagship standards, Nexus and Pixel cameras?

It all started in 2011, when Sebastian Trunne (Sebastian Thrun), the head of Google X (now simply X), looked for a camera for the appropriate reality of Google Glass. Majorbaric requirements were presented very hard. The size of the camera matrix was supposed to be even less than in smartphones, which would be extremely bad on the dynamic range and would lead to the appearance of a plurality of noise in the photo.

The exit remained one - try to improve the photo programmatically, using algorithms. This task was to solve Mark Leva (Marc Levoy), a teacher of the Faculty of Informatics of Stanford University, an expert in computing photography. He was engaged in the capture and image processing technology on the basis of software.

Mark formed a team known as GCAM, which took up the study of the Image Fusion method based on the combination of a series of pictures in one frame. Photos treated with this method were obtained brighter and sharp, had a small amount of noise. In 2013, the technology debuted in Google Glass, and then, in the same year, renamed HDR + appeared in Nexus 5.

Another night shot with Nexus 5
Another night shot with Nexus 5

(Image in source capacity)

How HDR + works

HDR + is an extremely complex technology, to disassemble in detail what is impossible within this article. Therefore, we will look at the general principle of work without stopping on the details.

Fundamental principle

After pressing the shutter button, the camera captures a series of underexposed (with short shutter speed) frames (this is necessary to maintain the maximum number of parts in the picture). The number of frames depends on the complexity of the lighting conditions. The darker of the scene or the more details in the shade you need to light up, the more frames performs a smartphone.

When a series of pictures will be made, it is combined into one shot. Here it helps the low exposure, thanks to which each photo in the series looks relatively clear. Of the three first frames, the most acceptable in terms of both sharpness and details are selected for use as a basis. Then the resulting pictures are divided into fragments and the system checks whether it is possible to combine the adjacent fragments and how to do it. Finding unnecessary items in one of the fragments, the algorithm removes this fragment and chooses similar from another frame. The resulting images are processed using a special algorithm based on the method of successful exposures (mainly it is used in astrophotography to reduce the blurring of images caused by the flickering atmosphere of the Earth).

Further, a complex noise suppression system is entered into business, which includes both a simple method of averaging the color of pixels based on several pictures and the system of predicting the appearance of noise. The algorithm works very gently at the borders of the trial transitions to minimize the loss of detail, even if the price of the presence of a small amount of noise in such places. But in areas with a uniform texture "Noise" aligns the picture up to almost an ideally uniform tone while saving the transition of shades.

The work of the noise in difficult conditions. Left to processing, and on the right - after
The work of the noise in difficult conditions. Left to processing, and on the right - after

(Image in source capacity)

But what about the expansion of the dynamic range? As we already know, the use of a short excerpt eliminates us from cross-places. It remains only to remove noise on the dark plot of the previously described algorithm.

At the final stage, a post-processing of the resulting image is performed: the algorithm makes the minimization of vignetting, due to the light on the matrix under an inclined angle, corrects the chromatic aberration of the replacement of pixels in high-contrast edges to adjacent, increases the saturation of greenery, blue and purple shades, shifts in the side of the blue, ) And performs a number of other steps that improve the quality of photography.

Illustration of the work of the HDR conveyor algorithm from the Developer Report
Illustration of the work of the HDR conveyor algorithm from the Developer Report

On the left photo from the stock chamber Samsung in HDR, and on the right photo created in GCAM in HDR +. It can be seen that the algorithm sacrificed the detail of the sky for drawing objects on Earth.

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

HDR + update in Google Pixel

In Google Pixel, the algorithm has undergone significant changes. Now the smartphone starts shooting immediately after starting the camera and depending on the degree of lighting makes from 15 to 30 frames per second. This technology is called ZSL (Zero Shutting Lag) and was invented in order to make snapshots. But Pixel uses it for HDR +: when you click on the descent button, your smartphone selects from 2 to 10 frames from the ZSL buffer (depending on the lighting conditions and the presence of moving objects). Then, from the first two to three frames, the best is chosen, and the rest, as in the previous version of the algorithm, layers are superimposed on the main one.

Along with this, a separation of two modes appeared: HDR + AUTO and HDR +. The latter takes the highest number of pictures to create a final photo. It turns out more juicy and bright.

HDR + Auto makes less photos, thanks to which moving objects become less blurred, the influence of the shaking of the hands is lower, and the photo is ready almost instant after clicking on the shooting button.

In the Google version of the camera for PIXEL 2 / 2XL, the HDR + AUTO mode was renamed HDR + ON, and HDR + became known as HDR + Enhanced.

In the second generation of Google Pixel, a special coprocessor appeared, called Pixel Visual Core. Currently, the chip applies only to accelerated photo processing in HDR + mode, and also provides third-party applications to perform images in HDR +. As a photo taken by Google Camera, its presence or absence does not affect.


Google uses HDR + even to eliminate problems with iron. Due to the design error, Google Pixel / Pixel XL could take a photo with a strong light. Google has released an update that HDR + uses to remove this light, combining pictures.

Advantages and disadvantages

We highlight the main advantages of HDR +:

  • The algorithm remarkably eliminates noises from photos, practically not distorting details.
  • Colors in dark plots are much rushing than with single-frame shooting.
  • Moving objects in the pictures are less common than when shooting in HDR mode.
  • Even when creating a frame in conditions of insufficient illumination, the likelihood of lubrication pictures due to the shake of the camera is minimized.
  • Dynamic range is wider than without using HDR +.
  • The color rendition is preferably obtained natural than with single-frame shooting (not for all smartphones), especially in the angles of the picture.

On the below placed illustrations on the left there is a photo with the stock camera Galaxy S7, and on the right side - a photo in HDR + through Google camera on the same device.

Night photos of the city. It's perfectly clear that HDR + gives us the opportunity to get a distinct image of a group of citizens located under the signboard Beeline. The sky looks clean, the road sign is clear. Grass, as it should be green. Signboard Beeline with proper transmission of colors. Reclous drawing of balconies, wires and crowns of trees. It is important - the study of parts on the trees on the right (in the shade) at HDR + is somewhat worse than the stock chamber.

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

Pay attention to the drawing of the sculptures, the composition of the paints of clothes, the lack of critical noise. However, the drawing of objects in the shade again leaves much to be desired.

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

Urban outlet. Dull lights of the lanterns are enough to draw HDR + surface of the building wall.

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

Morning photos. In difficult conditions, the morning shooting with brightly pronounced, the color looks naturally, the drawing on the tree trunks is distinct, the image of the bush and herbs in the shade of the tree is visible in the depth.

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

(Image in source capacity)

The disadvantages of HDR + is not enough, and they are incomplete for most plots. First, to create HDR + photos, there are many processor resources and RAM, which leads to a number of negative consequences:

  • The battery consumption increases, and the device is heated when a series of pictures is combined;
  • It is impossible to quickly make several pictures;
  • Instant preview is unavailable; The photo will appear in the gallery after the end of the processing, which on Snapdragon 810 lasts up to four seconds.

Partially these problems have already been solved using Pixel Visual Core. But this coprocessor is most likely to remain a goat of Google Pixel.

Secondly, for the work, the algorithm must at least two photos, and on average, the seizure of four or five frames. Therefore:

  • necessarily there will be situations in which algorithms will fail;
  • HDR + slightly loses the classic HDR on the coverage of the dynamic range;
  • Creating one photo and its processing using a quick ISP-coprocessor will be preferable in action-scenes, because it avoids the doubles and lubrication of objects with low shutter speed.
Disadvantages of HDR + from the report of its developers
Disadvantages of HDR + from the report of its developers
Night photo with many moving objects
Night photo with many moving objects

(Image in source capacity)

Which devices work HDR +

Purely theoretically HDR + can work on any smartphone with an Android version not below 5.0 (Camera2 API is required). But for marketing reasons, as well as due to the presence of some optimizations that require special iron components (Hexagon's coprocessor in Snapdragon), Google deliberately blocked the inclusion of HDR + on any device except Pixel. However, Android would not be Android, if enthusiasts did not find a way to get around this restriction.

In August 2017, one of the 4pda users managed to modify the Google Camera application in such a way that the HDR + mode can be used on any smartphone with the Hexagon 680+ signal processor (SNAPDRAGON 820+) and the Camera2 API enabled. The first time mod did not support ZSL, and in general it looked damp. But this was enough to improve the quality of photographing the Xiaomi Mi5s, OnePlus 3 smartphones and others to the previously unattainable level for them, and the HTC U11 was so at all the opportunity to compete with Google Pixel.

Later to the adaptation of Google Camera on third-party phones, other developers joined. After some time, HDR + earned even on devices with Snapdragon 808 and 810. To date, almost for each smartphone based on Snapdragon ArmV8, working on Android 7+ (in some cases and Android 6) and has the ability to use the Camera2 API, there is a portable version Google Camera. It is often supported by a separate enthusiast, but usually several such developers are several.

In early January 2018, the XDA MiniUser123 user managed to run Google Camera with HDR + on his Galaxy S7 with the Exynos processor. A little later it turned out that Google Camera also worked on Galaxy S8 and Note 8. The first versions for exynos were unstable, often fell and hung, the optical stabilization of the image and ZSL did not work in them. Version 3.3 is already quite stable, supports optical stabilization of the image and ZSL and all the Google Camera functions, with the exception of the portrait mode. And the number of supported devices now includes several Samsung SAMSUNG smartphones.

How to get HDR + on your device

If you have a smartphone on Exynos, then the choice is small. Go to the topic of discussion on the XDA, open the spoiler V8.3B Base (if you have Android 8) or Pixe2Mod Base (for Android 7) and download the latest version. You can also visit the team in Telegram, where they promptly post all the Google Camera updates.

Holders of smartphones with the Qualcomm process will have to search. Enthusiasts are actively supporting the versions of Google Camera with HDR + for a variety of smartphones. I will give the most famous models:

If the list is not your model, I recommend to take a walk along the topics of the camera and the device itself on 4PDA and XDA. At least there will be users trying to run HDR +.

To all of the above, it is mentioned that there is a page on the Internet where almost all versions of Google Camera are collected, on which it is convenient to test various GCAM on little-known devices.


HDR + algorithm serves as a bright demonstration of mobile digital photography features. Perhaps today it is the most effective of image image processing algorithms. HDR + is enough one photo module to create a picture, in terms of the quality of the double photo models of some gadgets.

Before the appearance of HDR (High Dynamic Range - an extended dynamic range), manufacturers were chased by increasing screen resolution and increasing pixel density, and now this trend is still observed. But HDR is a technology much more useful: even high resolution does not affect the quality of the picture, as HDR does.

An extended dynamic range allows you to make an image much more brighter, realistic and detailed, especially in the brightest and most dark fragments that the usual SDR screen is "bumping". These sites cease to be just stains, you can see the details in them. Shades are obtained more than halftone, the image is getting rid of the "acidity" and becomes more voluminous, pleasant to perception.

In detail about the principles of the work of HDR in the TVs, we have already written. The human eye is usually able to perceive broader gradations and brightness than the SDR screen can pass, and new technologies just help reproduce a picture without loss of quality, with high brightness and detail.

So, if you take the image of a man standing on the background of a light area, then the usual display will show relatively light and even illuminated background, but the 4K + HDR TV will discern the details on this background. Or take a picture with a sunset: with orange stripes throughout the sky, shaded by the general plan and the brightest almost illuminated sun, which goes beyond the horizon. On the SDR screen, the general plan will have little to distinguish, the bands are somewhat in a single integer, while with the help of the HDR picture will become more detailed: it will be possible to see the outlines of the sun, in the shade of the general plan there will be distinguishable at home or trees, and each strip in the sky will be well drawn.

On the left - the image on the SDR screen, on the right - on HDR

By the way, there is an opinion that to understand all the advantages of HDR, you only need to view the corresponding content. But in fact, and ordinary images from the video look at the display with an extended dynamic range better than on the SDR screen - the picture is more bright and contrast. But, of course, all the advantages of this technology are noticeable only when reproducing the appropriate content.

It is impossible not to say about HDR formats - they are supported not only by televisions, but also mobile devices. There are two popular standards on the market now: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. HDR 10 is the most common outdoor format in which the user can change the brightness and other image settings. It is supported by default in 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray discs (for game consoles including). The standard characterizes the color of 10 bits on the RGB channel and the peak brightness of 1000 kD / m2.

Dolby Vision format is created by Dolby, and it is it that is called the standard of the future. Self-configuration by the user is already excluded - it is understood that the video and so perfectly calibrated. The TV with support for this format is equipped with a special hardware chip. The color of 10 bits for Dolby Vision is a minimum, and the allowable value is 12 bits. The Dolby Vision content is mastered with the peak brightness of 10,000 cd / m2, but taking into account the capabilities of modern equipment it is at the level of about 4000 cd / m2.

As for HDR content, the direction is now actively developing. TV series and entertainment content in Dolby Vision format make Sony Pictures, Universal, Warner Bros. Both other companies can be found on Amazon, Netflix, Ivi.ru, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube. Many showrooms are already removed by HDR.

Modern consoles (Sony PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One X) and even some computers support HDR10 format, especially if we are talking about high-budget games.

HDR in mobile devices

In mobile devices, the HDR technology is also aimed at ensuring that the visual content is more detailed and bright, but fully sensitive, like when watching a video on a 65-inch TV screen, the user will not receive. However, improved color reproduction is clearly noticeable on small displays, high detail in solar and poorly lit scenes, no lights.

Modern smartphones (True, there are a bit for now) support HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats, but a new standard has appeared for Mobile HDR Premium mobile devices - Ultra HD Alliance has been developed at the beginning of this year. The standard implies that the device must have a screen resolution from 60 pixels per degree, maintain a 10-bit video, have a dynamic range from 0.005 to 540 kD / m2 and cover up to 90% DCI / P3 color gamma. Content, working on this standard, will be marked with the corresponding icon.

Some with skepticism belong to HDR on small screens: it is believed that it is not always possible to estimate all the advantages of a smartphone display with a wide dynamic range, especially if we are talking about OLED matrix. After all, with a smartphone, we do not sit in one place, as it usually happens when watching TV, and moving - the lighting, the viewing angles change. Also, brightness can be automatically changing on the display depending on the lighting conditions. However, manufacturers assure: these features are taken into account by and hardware filling - the user is guaranteed the best visual perception. Well, in normal conditions, we usually look at the video content on a smartphone at a right angle, therefore the disadvantage associated with the change of viewing angles can be called insignificant.

Another complaint is that high peak brightness requires an increased battery consumption. But in fact, the average unit must be put on charging every evening, and the decline in autonomy is noticeable if you are watching HDR content in non-stop mode. In addition, top models usually equip fast charging technology.

Most likely, HDR in smartphones will become the standard for the flagships in the near future. In any case, the prospects for the technology are good: unlike a few people right now, HDR gives real advantages in terms of image quality. Yes, and the trend towards an increase in the streaming services that support HDR is clearly outlined.

Smartphones with HDR.

Separate manufacturers, as we said, have already implemented HDR technology into the screens of their top models - it's coming first of all about LG, Samsung and Apple. We will tell briefly about smartphones whose displays are fully fully supported by the extended dynamic range.

Samsung tried to run HDR in Galaxy Note 7, but as a result, the first normally working smartphone with a full-fledged extended dynamic range was LG G6 (reference to our review). It supports both standards - HDR10 and Dolby Vision, like TVs of this brand. Notable here IPS-screen with a quad HD + resolution, in which everything is in order with the viewing angles and, therefore, hypothetical disadvantages of HDR are leveled.

"Cherry on the cake" was supported by the HDR10 and the new smartphone of the South Korean company LG V30, as well as its V30 + modifications. The device retained the ratio of the parties 18: 9, taken from its predecessor - for example, films in format 21: 9 on it have a much smaller framework than on the displays with a ratio of 16: 9. By the way, on the Poled Matrix, which is used here, these frames are invisible. Display V30 with a resolution of 2880 × 1440 pix. It is capable of displaying 148% SRGB coverage and 109% of DCI-P32 coverage. In Russia, the devices have not yet appeared and are expected by the end of the year.

New iPhone X (read our review) received an OLED display with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, as well as TRUE TONE technology, that is, it not only provides the visual accuracy of HDR, but also changes the color temperature depending on the lighting. The contrast here is declared very high, 1,000,000: 1, brightness - up to 625 kD / m². By the way, from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also expected full support for HDR, but Apple stated that users of these smartphones will be able to see when playing the content of the contents improved dynamic range, contrast and wider color coverage, but only the iPhone X display can show the real capabilities of this technologies.

The screens of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 + were first certified by the above-mentioned Mobile HDR Premium standard, they also support HDR10 and DOLBY VISION. Both smartphones have bright amoled displays with high details and resolution of 2960 × 1440 pix.

*** / HDR / Galaxy.jpg

From left to right: Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8 + and S8

But if the peak brightness of Galaxy S8 is about 1020 kD / m2, then the new smartphone Galaxy Note 8 (read our review) this indicator is already equal to 1200 cd / m2. Its 6.3-inch amoled display has a color coverage, which is almost 1.5 times more SRGB space, and on this screen films with HDR will look more interesting than on the S8 and S8 + display, although the difference is not so significant on mobile devices.

The matrix HDR support Price
LG G6.

IPS 5.7 "

2880 × 1440 Pix.

565 PPI


Dolby Vision.

from i39 990.
LG V30 / V30 +

Poled 6 "

2880 × 1440 Pix.

538 PPI

HDR10 from i50 000
Apple iPhone X.

OLED 5.8 "

2436 × 1125 Pixes.

458 PPI


Dolby Vision.

from i79 990.

AMOLED 5.8 "/ 6.2"

2960x1440 Pix.

568/531 PPI


Dolby Vision,

Mobile HDR Premium.

from 49 990/54 990

AMOLED 6,3 "

2960x1440 Pix.

522 PPI


Dolby Vision,

Mobile HDR Premium.

from i59 990.

Source: zoom.cnews.

By buying a modern smartphone, we are not least looking at the possibility and quality of his camera. It so happened that telephones with cameras today had almost completely supposed ordinary amateur cameras. However, to get high-quality pictures to users no less, but maybe even more than before. Manufacturers are perfectly understood and therefore very hard compete in this area.

But be that as it may, and constantly increasing the capabilities of the camera will not work. It is impossible to infinitely increase the resolution, the size of the sensor, its light, and so on. In the end, the manufacturer will face with the physical limitation of the form factor of the smartphone, and with its strongly overestimated final cost for the buyer. But how to be if the hardware of improvement is already exhausted, and still need to get around competitors? That's right, use modern processing algorithms.

You probably have been heard more than once, and maybe even used the HDR mode. It is just one of the modern photo processing algorithms. Previously, only top smartphones could boast a similar mode, but today the HDR is present in almost every one, even the budget telephone. What is HDR in the phone chamber, for which it is intended and how to use them correctly, we will try to tell you in this article.

What is HDR?

If you decipher the HDR abbreviation, then we get high dynamic range, which in Russian means a "high dynamic range", although the "extended dynamic range" says more often, and this is also a correct definition. The dynamic range of cameras is a kind of their possibility of correct transmission at the same time and dark, and bright parts of the scene taken. Or, if we speak in other words, the dynamic range determines how well the camera recognizes individual tones lying between white and black sections. If you have with a picture of a light scene, the details in the shadows are indistinguishable or in a dark scene all the bright areas merge into a white spot, then in such cases it is said that the dynamic range is "narrow".

As can be understood from the above, HDR allows you to take pictures with a high contrast and at the same time not to lose in the study of the image details. HDR in a smartphone chamber can function a little differently depending on the manufacturer and a specific one-grain system used, but the main principle of operation is the same. The camera makes several consecutive snapshots with different exposure settings and exposure. Then all the photos taken are combined with the algorithm so that the image is turned out to be the most contrasting, clear and detailed.

"If you have no HDR on your phone, then you yourself can try to improve your picture. Make several snapshots of one scene, while experimentally select the most appropriate exposure value and shutter speed manually. A full-fledged extended range will not be replace, but from several photos you can definitely choose one with more correct shadows and light. "

How does HDR work?

Now that we learned what the HDR is by definition and what basic principles are used in it, it is time to pay a little time about the technical details of its work. Despite the fact that, in essence, the expanded range is the post-processing algorithm, it also imposes highly high requirements for the hardware of the smartphone.

First, it should be noted that when working with HDR, a very large load falls onto the chamber's autofocus. Before sending data to post-processing, the camera should accumulate some amount of data on the scene and the items that are placed in it. Autofocus must quickly visit different parts of the frame to make clear pictures of distant and neighboring objects, as well as objects with different degrees of illumination. The faster the focus works, the more information will receive a smartphone and the better the final result of processing. So, HDR support is not possible without autofocus. Moreover, the autofocus must be as fast as possible, otherwise the processing quality can be quite dubious.

Secondly, HDR technology is very demanding of the mechanisms for setting up and exposure. Since each frame is removed with the different settings of these parameters, the electronic shutter is perhaps working no less than autofocus. The shutter adjusts the amount of light, which eventually reaches the camera's matrix, and the layout of the picture on this parameter allows you to better process dark and bright areas.

Then the program part of the smartphone is already entering the game, or, in other words, its software. All taken images are processed and component to obtain the highest possible result. The algorithm is always finalized by the developers under the specific possibilities of the hardware of the chamber, as well as under the one-grain system used. For this reason, it is almost impossible to meet the same HDR in different smartphones. On some models, it can work perfectly, on the other to be barely noticeable. On some devices, the snapshot can become more rich and "color", and on others there is practically not to lose the naturalness of the paints. Or, as possible in some budget models, the image simply lights up, which is difficult to name a full HDR. How exactly the process of processing and laying photos in a particular particular smartphone, to track, unfortunately, is impossible.

When do you need to use HDR mode?

It is believed that the high-quality chamber mode of the extended dynamic range is not particularly needed. On the one hand, we fully support this point of view, because, indeed, modern sensors from the same Sony are capable of issuing a great picture and without the use of HDR. On the other hand, not all smartphones can boast such modules; In addition, in some cases, the photos with HDR will still look better than the photo without processing.

The first such case is definitely a landscape shooting. If there are close objects in the frame and at the same time the oncoming light, then in most cases the back plan of the landscape will turn out well, and the foreground will be too shaded. The high range mode allows you to pull out close objects from the shadows and make them more detailed. Also, the HDR function in the phone will not be superfluous to apply in case of a general plan, when the bottom of the frame takes the forest or the city, and the bright sky is located on top. In such cases, the high contrast of the snapshot leads to the fact that the lower part of the frame, again, can be completely dark or, on the contrary, the sky will be too bright and at the same time will lose all parts on the clouds by making them lifeless.

The high dynamic range mode will help us bring high quality pictures from excursions or resorts. In such trips, we often need to remove lively streets with a well-cordoned hill or, on the contrary, capture a high building, while in the dark alley. Unfortunately, with such a shooting from the camera lens, an unforgivable number of parts is lean, so HDR in such cases is not even recommended, but strictly mandatory to use the mode. In addition, the high range will help to make the clarity of buildings with a large number of small parts, as well as a little better to work out the salons standing on the street of cars.

With a portrait shooting of HDR also notable. It would seem that portraits - this case, when there is nothing complicated at all, but it happens that with such a task the camera is hard to cope. Especially obviously, this situation is evaporated at the staged portrait shooting, that is, at moments when it is necessary to take a picture of not only a person, but also objects for its back. In such a situation, a bright background, such as snow, sand or a trite open window, can strongly spoil the picture, hiding the details and turning a person in the foreground in almost simple silhouette. Sometimes an inverse situation occurs when an object in the background is very shaded and practically merges with the background. In such a situation, HDR helps not so clearly, but the snapshot everything becomes exactly better.

It is not entirely obvious, but the HDR mode will be very useful at night shooting. Usually for shooting in the dark, special settings with a very long exposure are installed in order to avoid the appearance of noise in the frame. In this mode, it is very difficult to shoot without a tripod, since any, even insignificant, movement quite strongly lubricates a photo. We use an extended dynamic range and get a series of snapshots with a very short exposure. If the Camera autofocus works fast, then after uniting all the pictures to one, we can get a much clearer photo than with ordinary photographing.

"If you do not know or not sure when you need to use HDR, you can use the auto-HDR function, which is currently available in almost every smartphone. With this function, the smartphone will solve himself when it is better to apply the scene processing. "

When is the HDR mode is useless?

The high dynamic range mode is completely optional. Often there are situations when this feature is either useless or even able to spoil the snapshot.

If you are shooting in a room with good lighting, HDR with a lot of probability will not give you anything. Also when shooting on the street, when the sun smoothly illuminates all objects in the frame and there are practically no contrasting sites. In addition, there are situations where this mode can frankly spoil the snapshot. The most vivid example is attempts to make an HDR shot in motion. Most likely, you will not succeed and the frame will be simply lubricated.

In addition to the fundamental restrictions, the features of this regime in specific models of smartphones may not be removed in HDR. As an example, you can take Xiaomi Mi5. In phone Xiaomi. The usual HDR is used, which copes very well with its task, and sometimes even "saves" a photo. Nevertheless, by virtue of software restrictions, sometimes he, on the contrary, rather spoils a snapshot, making it overly light, so you need to use such a mode with the mind. In other smartphones there may be different problems, for example, they can work well only with dark or only with bright areas, which is why they also need to get used to them and know exactly when the HDR will help you, and when not.

Cons hdr.

In addition to indisputable advantages, the extended dynamic range mode has a considerable amount of disadvantages that you must know before using them.

  • Fall of brightness image. Due to multifaceted software processing, the brightness value of all parts of the snapshot is averaged. Thus, in the HDR mode, the image in the photo can be significantly less bright than you expected.
  • Motion blur. Since the camera makes several consecutive snapshots for processing in the extended range mode, then to achieve maximum quality and the object of shooting, and the photographer itself must be as static as possible. If any movement occurs in the frame, some objects in the final version of the photo may be strongly lubricated.
  • Reducing the speed of photographing. Since in the HDR mode, the camera does not alone, but at once a few snapshots, and then also processes them, then the speed of photographing is much reduced in this mode. Almost always after a snapshot must pass for a while before the author sees the result.

"Remember that HDR, in fact, is just another feature in your smartphone, not a panacea. Despite its indisputable benefits, it is not necessary to apply it on an ongoing basis and especially where it is inappropriate. "

How to enable HDR in the application?

On this HDR mode in the smartphone we have everything. We only add that it is very easy to enable HDR in the phone. For this you just need to go to the application "Camera" and choose this feature in the list of available options.


We hope you wonder what HDR is in the phone chamber, be it xiaomi or any other modern smartphone. This technology is undoubtedly very useful and sometimes able to save a snapshot, which seemed to be simply by definition could not get good. On the other hand, in some plan, it still has a lot to work. This is especially true of the program part, because not all smartphones cope well with complex scenes in this mode. Nevertheless, the widespread introduction of new technologies cannot but rejoice. Let's hope that in the future the HDR will become no less familiar for us than the autofocus or digital zoom today.

In Xiaomi smartphones, the HDR option is present in all models, since this mode is a built-in software function. The name is the name as High Dynamic Range, i.e. High dynamic range. About what HDR is in the Xiaomi phone camera, you will learn from our article.

How does the mode work?

To prevent losses in the quality of professional photography, only light or dark parts of the image are often removed. The task of HDR is to make photos with contrasting dark and bright areas.

To this end, the camera makes instantly several photos, and the sensitivity and exposure indicators differ markedly. Then the software algorithm comes into effect, which of several images of the images form a new picture. At the same time, those indicators of brightness and contrast, which were on the source photos are taken into account.

This allows you to take pictures even complex panoramas, for example, on the background of a light sunshine, it will be possible to clearly remove any object, even if it is in the shade.

Note that for shooting and subsequent picture processing you need some time. For a few seconds, the device will prepare the perfect photo. However, the object of shooting should be constantly in a fixed state, otherwise the likelihood of the appearance of blurring or the appearance of duplicates increases sharply.

How to activate HDR on Xiaomi?

This requires to go to the "Camera". In the upper left side of the screen, the corresponding inscription is on which you need to click. A pop-up window will appear, which will offer two options for action: Enable or put on automatic triggering. Please note that artificial intelligence mode will remain in active state if it is turned on.

Enable HDR mode on Xiaomi phone

Then you need to bring the camera to the object and click on the descent button. The smartphone must be held in the hands still. The fact that the photograph is completed will communicate the appearance of a white circle around the snapshot at the bottom left of the screen.

Software allows you to perform HDR video on Xiaomi phones.

When is it worth shooting with HDR?

There are several cases when the photography will be particularly successful:

  • Portraits with sunlight. If there is too much light on the face, glare, shadows and other defects will inevitably appear. When using this regime, all such drawbacks will be eliminated, and the face will remain light and clean.
  • Landscapes. Landscape and portrait shooting looks particularly effectively with HDR due to the maximum detail of the picture. An example of landscape shooting with HDR and without it on the phone Xiaomi
  • Scenes with rear backlight and insufficient illumination. It is worth using the mode if there was too much light on the back background or the photo turned out to be too dark.

When not to use HDR?

The quality of the pictures may worsen if the shooting of the scenes is carried out:

  • With high contrast. If it is assumed that the photo will focus on high contrast, this mode can be smoothed it. Naturally, the consequence will be the loss of the desired intensity of contrast.
  • With movement. Even a small movement in the frame, for example, the fluttering of leaves or raising hands becomes the reason for the appearance of blur in the frame.
  • With bright colors. If you want to keep the brightness and juiciness of shades, then HDR can cause more dim transmission.

The main rule is that it is worth shooting with HDR to Xiaomi in cases where excellent detailing of fixed objects is required.

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