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iOS 4.1 Coming Next Week – To Include New HDR Feature!

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Earlier this week at the Apple Music Event 2010, Apple announced that next week we’ll see iOS 4.1.  We knew at that time that among the bug fixes that this release addresses, the proximity sensor problem will be fixed – something I’m personally very excited to see.  However, since the announcement, I’ve learned that Apple will give us at least one new camera feature as well – HDR!

For doing true HDR (high dynamic range) photos with a camera, you normally have a setting for doing exposure bracketing – this forces the camera to do three fast shutter releases, each with a different setting.  One photo will be a little under exposed, one will be a little over exposed, with one being in the middle.  Then the photos are combined (either in camera if the camera supports the feature, or ideally in post-photo software editing) in a manner which optimizes the exposure in every part of the photo.  Some photo editing software will allow you to achieve the same effect in a single exposure with a technique called “tone mapping” but the three photo technique is preferred and generally yields superior results.

iOS 4.1 will allow you to enable HDR mode, which will force the iPhone to take three quick photos at varying exposure levels and combine them for enhanced exposure, color, and detail – just like exposure bracketing works in a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera.  The problem I can foresee here is that it’s darn hard to do exposure bracketing and not use a tripod.  I’ll be curious to see the results one can achieve, but I’m going to guess it may be a bit disappointing in most photo taking applications because it will require a VERY steady hand.

I’ll report more next week after the iOS 4.1 update is released.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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  1. First Look At iOS 4.1 HDR on iPhone 4 | ThruMyLens - [...] This entire week I’ve been checking iTunes for the iOS 4.1 upgrade, and this morning it was finally available. …

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