what is hdr, Auto HDR y Smart HDR en el iPhone, if it is necessary to activate it and how it affects the quality of the photos?

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Smart HDR mode, as the name suggests, is equivalent to normal HDR, but smarter. The feature first appeared on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max y iPhone XR en 2018. Take full advantage of all camera sensors, the power of the A12 Bionic neural network chip, machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision and the latest advances in mobile photography. Con Smart HDR, all iPhone users can effortlessly take photos in bright light and high dynamic range.

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No need for the user to delve into fine adjustments; just press the shutter button and the iPhone itself will do the rest. But behind such a simple function is sophisticated technology that takes full advantage of Apple-developed processors and graphics chips.. This hardware is optimized to work with camera software, so you can take beautiful pictures effortlessly.

Previous iPhone models already featured Normal HDR and Auto HDR, but Smart HDR debuted on the iPhone XS series / XR.

Smart HDR provides better color quality and enables more light and dark details in photos

The function cannot be implemented on older models due to the lack of the necessary fast sensors, shutter lag and other new improvements. Users mainly use Auto HDR to capture a highly detailed moment in time and take sharper, more realistic photos..

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what is hdr?

The acronym itself literally stands for high dynamic range.. It is the name of a digital photography technique that enables you to capture large images in high-contrast scenes.. HDR makes it possible to combine the tones of several similar images to extend the dynamic range beyond the built-in capabilities of the capture device. This function works best when taking pictures of a shady subject against a bright background..

Only HDR makes these types of shots feasible: excellent detail in low light, no too bright sky on the right side of the photo

With traditional DSLR cameras, you must select between a background that is too bright or a subject with shadows. HDR, Besides, enables you to do both. With this tool enabled, iOS quickly takes three consecutive photos, each with a different level of exposure. One for normal level, one for the brightest part of the scene and one for the darkest part. The best parts of each exposure are combined into a single frame with enhanced dynamic range. HDR is especially useful in difficult lighting conditions, like highlights.

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The following pictures clearly show how the HDR function works.

In the first image (left), exposure balanced to get the best representation of the sky. The theme was too dark for that. In the second image, shutter speed balanced to better capture the subject in the foreground. This made the sky overexposed or too bright. HDR blended all three shots to boost detail in the snippets and present them in bright and mid tones.

As you can see, HDR took the best parts of the overexposed and underexposed shots and combined them with a third shot taken with a normal exposure. This produced a detailed photo (It's on the right) with high contrast.

The sophisticated screens of Apple devices are capable of displaying a wide range of colors. The cameras of these devices are also capable of creating it. They can increase the dynamic range of HDR images by a 60%.

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Auto HDR on iPhone X, iPhone 8 Y 8 Plus

on iPhone X, iPhone 8 Y 8 Plus and newer models, the feature is enabled on iOS by default. The latest models of Apple smartphones actively use HDR not only in the main camera unit, but also in the front when the device considers that it is feasible to improve the photo. But this behavior of the iPhone can also be disabled. Auto HDR switch can be set to off in camera settings (app Settings → Camera), and HDR.

As mentioned previously, devices like iPhone XR, iPhone XS / XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max have improved camera sensors and chips that provide HDR enhancements. Taking advantage of these advantages, Apple has created an even better version of Auto HDR. It's called Smart HDR for a reason.

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Smart HDR en iPhone XR, iPhone XS / XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone SE 2, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max.

Smart HDR is enabled by default whenever you need it to boost image quality based on shooting conditions. Unlike previous HDR modes, It is, Smart HDR, works with more types of scenes. Some of them couldn't use traditional HDR: portrait and portrait lighting modes, panoramic and burst shots, live photography and other real-world scenarios.

All HDR images taken on iPhone X (iPhone 8/8 Plus) or later models are marked with a distinctive HDR icon in the same corner. On iPhone XS and newer models, Smart HDR intervenes in the configuration of almost all photos, but the icon appears at the bottom of the photos only when significantly processed.

Below is an example using two different Apple devices to demonstrate how Smart HDR technology improves images using faster sensors, better chips and improved processing algorithms in newer devices.

Left: Auto HDR on iPhone X; right: Smart HDR en el iPhone XS. Notice the overexposed clown in the photo using Auto HDR.

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The difference is obvious. The iPhone X image is clearly frustrated in places with difficult lighting, but the iPhone XS looks much better. This is exactly due to Smart HDR. Please note the opportunity to read “Shelton Theatre” in the back of the clown's mouth. But you can also disable Smart HDR in the camera settings so you don't have to activate the feature every time you press the shutter button in the Camera app.. To manually control HDR, do the following

An iPhone XR, XS / XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, I KNOW 2, 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max, turn off Smart HDR on the way: Camera → Settings.

on iPhone X / 8/8 Plus, turn off auto HDR on the go: Camera → Settings.

On older models, turn off HDR on the way: Camera → Settings.

On all iPhone models that support HDR, this feature can be controlled directly in the Camera app without the need to go to Settings. To do this, just click the HDR icon on the top bar and select Upon O Outside.

Note: On iPhone XS and later, there will be no HDR switch on the camera itself when Smart HDR mode is activated.

All iPhone models prior to iPhone 8 they always save the normal exposure image in the Photos app along with the analog one in HDR. This is because the technology has not yet been perfected and the photos have not always been perfect.. Decidedly, store two versions of a photo at the same time, normal y HDR, doubles the amount of memory needed for each photo taken.

If space availability is an obstacle, you can save only the HDR version, discarding the original. To do this, go to Camera → Settings and activate the option “stay original”.. And the latest iPhone models with advanced chips and sensors, like iPhone XS and above, by default they do not save the image with normal exposure together with the HDR version of the photo.

In reality, here's the main thing you need to know about HDR on iPhone.

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