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So why is there no True HDR carmera app on android yet?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by snapper.fishes, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    iPhone users have been playing with HDR photos for a long while now, but it seems like Android users are still eating the dust. Google added exposure support in Froyo, but so far there isn't a single app that takes advantage of that. (PicSay Pro does allow exposure adjustment, but you have to take the pictures separately, and then combine the two.)

    It just seems odd that no developer are interested in such a project, particularly since Apple did it a long while ago.
     



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  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    HDR photography with iPhone 4 and iOS 4.1: how good is it?

    Only in tech could September 2010 be a long while ago. :)

    My guess would be that there aren't Android phones with fast sensor hardware.

    The other thing missing related to that is the commonly called sports mode - a single shutter release makes multiple sequential exposures.
     
  3. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch!

    I have not seen any of the iPhone results, but I would be willing to say they would be mediocre at best. The sensor size and quality (even the best ones) on camera phones will not lend itself well to HDR images.

    To get a good quality HDR image requires 3 or more shots of one scene with different levels of exposure (not a single shot with exposure adjustments applied to it) which are then combined to create the "hyper real" effect that HDR provides. An HDR image with just two exposures is going to give up a lot of information necessary to properly post process the image, you ideally need a minimum of one step below and above the "correct" exposure. This also makes HDR best suited for still shots, it is almost impossible to do if there is more than slight movement in the subject matter or camera shake.

    What it all boils down to is camera phones are toys, while the pictures are getting much better there are too many limiting factors in the technology right now. If you want to play around with HDR I would suggest a mid to upper level point and shoot at minimum.
     
  4. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Well it's been 5 months since then. That's still still quite a bit of time.

    That's what the iPhone does though. It quickly takes 3 pictures with different exposure limits and then combine them. The effects are actually pretty decent for a phone camera. I have seen examples of them. Slight movement might be a problem, but I am sure it's not too difficult to find a way to stabilise the phone even without a tripod. (Blue tac should do a pretty good job of it.)
     
  5. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    SamuraiBigEd - that Ars article suggests the iPhone is using 3 exposures. The article cites the same pitfalls but does go on to say that with the HDR feature, the middle of the three is the one with the "right" exposure(*) and that's usually the keeper when the HDR effort fails.

    I'm personally very impressed with the iPhone camera - I think it's an pretty-good point and shoot and does give very decent color quality.

    Here are some of Caloy's snaps with the Evo - http://androidforums.com/htc-evo-4g...avigation-camera-battery-life.html#post874896 - I think we'd agree that many Android cameras are pretty ok.

    So - I'm on two sides of the fence on your post. On one hand - agree - get the quality before adding bells and whistles. On the other - disagree - if the hardware and software can support a feature, put it out there and let people learn. If it opens a door into a larger world of photography, what's the harm in that?

    (PS - Here's a convenient link for your archives next time you're discussing megapixels with people - http://androidforums.com/htc-evo-4g/131153-htc-evo-poor-picture-poor-sound-quality.html#post1311932)

    (*) Note - lately, I've been quoting things. I tend to hate that (per Dave Berry if you've read his take on that) and in this case, I'm pointing out that the article referred to the right exposure and ask that we simply accept by context what they were meaning to say.

    No sarcasm or criticism intended my brother. It's true.
     
  6. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I suppose we are expecting updates faster and faster nowadays. There used to be a time when one update per year is the norm (though Valve is taking it way too long~ As this rate EP3 will become the new Duke Nukem Forever.)

    I just hope the lack of developer support for HDR isn't just because of the lack of Froyo phones.
     
  7. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch!

    My point exactly, pretty decent for a camera phone, but mediocre compared to a camera. And yes, you can stabilize any number of ways, I was just throwing that in for example. With a still scene you can take your time with the shots, the only limiting factor at that point becomes light if you are using natural lighting. Also, you may notice ghost images in many HDR prints, the unfortunate side effect of a pedestrian, pet, blowing trash etc. passing through one of the exposures if you take your time between shots.

    Early, your responses are always a welcome sight.

    I am not saying don't do it, just don't expect real camera results. You are right, the more people you bring into the fold, the better.

    I have given in-depth explanations on the design and workings of camera sensors in another thread, it is a subject I am very familiar with. novox77's post is a great example, I will have to save that, it illustrates the difference between an APS-C sized sensor at 329 mm squared and a 1/6" sensor (almost all camera phones) at 4.32 mm squared perfectly. And the thread later touches on the biggest drawback, you won't be blowing any of your camera phone pics up to 8x10, at least not with good results. I wouldn't classify it as a point & shoot.

    More megapixels don't make things better unless you have the sensor size to make use of those megapixels.

    Hail to the king baby!

    Not sure on that one, but I expect it will be forthcoming.
     
  8. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    (honest question) Is that because of semantics or something I'm missing in the accepted definition for point&shoot?
     
  9. SamuraiBigEd

    SamuraiBigEd Under paid Sasquatch!

    In the simplest sense of the term you could call it that, but point & shoot
    has begun to be used to refer to a specific group of cameras, the Compact Digital Format that have a sensor measuring 1/2.5" or 1/2.3" on average, some slightly larger, a few slightly smaller.
     
    EarlyMon likes this.
  10. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    It would still "extend" the range of the built-in sensor though. I wouldn't simply dismiss it.

    Anyone expecting DSLR performance from any camera phone will get what they deserve. It's a given that no camera phone can meet the performance of a DSLR given the differences in sensors and optics alone.
     
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