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Android HDR Camera Apps
Despite the fact that many Android phones now ship with high-resolution cameras it is near impossible for them to take the same quality photos as you can with a purpose built DSLR. However, the HDR (high-dynamic-range imaging) technique can be used to compensate for this shortcoming and more accurately capture details in the dark areas of photos while not over saturating the lighter areas.
Technically you can apply the effect manually, but you will need a tripod, and the patience of a saint to take each photo at the right exposure; this is a task that is challenging to execute because even the top Android phones can’t take multiple photos in quick succession. However, you can simulate the HDR effect with a camera app. Here are some Android HDR camera apps that can apply the HDR technique to digital photos.
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Camera 360 Pro Ultimate
This app is capable of creating the HDR effect right in the camera app. Once you select the effect; specify whether you want it heavily or lightly applied and then take the photo, the app will go ahead and enhance the photo. There is no right or wrong setting to use, you will just have to learn by taking a few shots at the various settings and studying the results to see what works best for you.
In general the app will give shadowy areas more color and doesn’t wash out the lighter areas. However, if the photos have some really dark areas the effect may not work very well and may actually cause some pixelation. All things considered the app does work pretty well, and considering that it has many other photo effect features such as LOMO, HDR, axis shift, draft and ghost it is well worth the $3.99. Download link
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Photo Enhance Pro
This app has a simple interface that allows you to apply many types of photo enhancement effects, including HDR, to images that are on the SD card or in the image gallery. You simply select an image; specify the filter you want to apply, along with how aggressive you want the enhancement to be, and the app will do the rest. Once it displays the resulting image you can tap and hold to see the original image, which shows how much the filter has changed the image from the original.
This comparison feature often shows up just how weak the HDR effect of the app can be, since there is often no dramatically visible change in the HDR image when compared to the original. This can make the £2.99 price a deal breaker, if you only want an HDR camera app. Download link
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PicSay Pro - Photo Editor
There is no doubt that this is one of the more popular Android photo editing apps on the market. While PicSay can apply HDR effects like the other apps, it also has a large tool box of photo enhancement and image editing tools that are great for doing minor touch ups and corrections such as removing red eye and cropping images. The app can also also apply color splashes cross process, lomo, vignette, pencil sketch and tilt-shift. The app costs $4.13. Here is a download link for this Android HDR camera app.
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Reinhard, Erik. "High dynamic range imaging: acquisition, display, and image-based lighting." Morgan Kaufmann, 2006: P1-10
Image credits: Each image is the property of the respective app developer