Now here in beta: HDRapp created for the Nokia 808 PureView

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Where there's a need, often the tools will get created. In this case, it's a HDR (High Dynamic Range) utility for the Nokia 808 - which includes the camera interface to create 'bracketed' exposures but not the rendering software to do anything with them. HDRapp is reviewed here in a fair amount of detail even though it's still in beta testing [update: now available]. It's not terribly clear as to the resolutions supported and any tradeoffs, but I'll review it properly once released and finished, of course.

HDR, as you'll know from previous coverage, combines deliberately under and over-exposed images of the same scene to give you the maximum detail in both dark corners and bright highlights. The result can often look a bit artificial, but also dramatic and worth experimenting with.

From the review of the beta of HDRapp:

Hand held or tripod
HDR software has to combine 3 (or even more) shots to get the result you want. Therefore all HDR software so also this HDRapp has to align those shots and that’s only possible if they don’t differ too much. You have to keep your smartphone steady while you shoot your bracket.

Fortunately the Nokia 808 in the PureView 8 MP, 5 MP or 3 MP mode writes  pictures to the phone’s mass memory rather fast. That speed enables you to keep your device steady. It helps to lean with your body against a wall, a tree or something. Or you can perhaps sit down which often also gives an interesting view for your pictures. Working this way normally the HDRapp will be able to correct the differences of the shots. And it does it remarkable fast.

As with all new software you have to try it out. The speed of the HDRapp permits you to see the results within 1minute. When you are not satisfied you can take another bracket and try to keep your phone more steady. It is wise that Jeff has not tried to build in a so called deghosting feature (for moving objects in the scene like walking people, cars etc). That would cost too much processor power and even desktop dedicated HDR apps has big trouble to give good results in many situations.

The final word
It was a real pleasure to test the HDRapp of Jeff Shaw and Alexandro Lacadena. It’s amazing that Jeff was able to write the code in such a short time while doing his normal work and things. And Alexandro made a nice looking interface. It was a pleasure to test because the app is working so smoothly and the workflow is very straight forward. It’s real an app for in the field.

To summarize:
- The HDR app for the Nokia 808 PureView is a serious high quality piece of software
- The app is fast, straight forward and reliable
- Options to align or not and where to align are build into the app
- It can be used in the field to share your beautiful HDR pictures with the world
- The HDR pictures this app makes are of high image quality. But keep in mind “garbage in, garbage out”; the quality of your bracket shots determines the quality of the HDR you get
- Editing your HDR in the app are limited but that’s no problem. Most of the time the resulting HDR is already of good tonality and has dynamics in lights and shadows. And if the sliders of the app don’t give you what you want, you can use the editing possibilities that are standard build into your Nokia 808 PureView

To end
To see bigger sizes the HDR pictures that were made for this review go to: Flickr

Here's an example of HDRapp output, lifted from the Flickr gallery:

HDRap example

I can't wait to see this released in full. [update: here's the beta] Even if I do have to start carrying around my tripod a bit more!

Source / Credit: PureView Club