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HDR mode in the cell phone camera: what is it for and when should it be used

If you look at the Photographs ten years ago, you can see that something has changed with respect to the impressive photos that are achieved today thanks to the technology of the smart phones. This is not only due to technical evolution. It also implies aesthetic decisions made by manufacturers to achieve more spectacular photos and videos.


With the first digital cameras, so-called computational photography was born. These devices they use a programmed image processor to create a certain aesthetic in the photos.

One of the main differences that still exists between standard cameras and phone cameras is that older cameras tend to show a more realistic reality.


But, in recent years, phone manufacturers have paid special attention to improving the technology of the imaging systems in which their devices are found. Although most users look at the lens and resolution of the camera, few are aware of the usefulness of HDR mode found on modern smartphones. What is it and what is it for? Next, TechMarkup explains everything in detail:

What is the HDR mode of the cell phone camera


Instead of taking a single photo, HDR mode takes three snapshots captured with different exposures. Then, with the help of softwarethese three factors are combined into one and thus the best of them is put into play.

Therefore, the goal of HDR mode is to try to get as much dynamic range as possible with the mobile phone camera, managing the lights and shadows as best as possible. This is intended to give a little more light to the dark areas of the photo.

HDR mode tries to make the camera of the smartphone be as natural as possible, so it has nothing to do with leaving the shadows and highlights at the same light level. The end result is usually a photo that resembles what you see with your own eyes.


When is it ideal to use the camera’s HDR mode?

Although most modern cell phones have an HDR mode activated by default so that the user can use it in the situation they want, in the photo scene style, the use of this mode is more recommended. In fact, the images of the sky, the earth and the mountains are very contrasting.

It is also highly recommended for portraits in direct sunlight, with the backlight that sometimes makes faces very dark, especially when there is a lot of sunlight or bright reflections.

The best image formats to take photos at sunset

Although it seems like a waste of time to many people, shooting with DNG format from the cell phone is one of the best options that exists.

It is true that computational photography driven by the format jpeg either HEIC is getting more and more impressive, but in low light situations the format mentioned at the beginning is still necessary.

This will make it easier retrieval of light and shadow information. And avoid, if possible, the misunderstood pictorial effect of HDR in which many cell phones fall, where the shadows are almost as bright as the light.

Or, if you have a iPhone next generation, you can enjoy the benefits of photography and RAW computing with Apple ProRAW.

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