Get HDR on Your Android with these Apps

By Steve McFarlane

Real life scenes often have a wide range of light intensity, which are challenging for a camera to naturally handle and do justice to – well-lit scenes have a tendency to look washed out, while inadequately lit scenes tend to look dark, shadowy and lacking in detail.

The HDR photography technique allows the photographer to capture details in bright and dark areas and have them merged into a single photo. This technique is widely used by professional photographers but can be used on Android phones once they have a HDR app.

HDR requires that several photos be taken at different exposures and then be precisely aligned and fused to create a stunningly rich image.

Owing to the fact that some time elapses between shooting each image, a good HDR solution must compensate for moving objects and the inevitable shaking of the camera.  Without this compensation the final image will include some ghosting/fuzziness.

Here are some Android HDR apps that have a powerful algorithm that makes HDR a feasible solution on mobile phones.

HDR Camera+

HDR Camera+ needs a zooming option and depending on your phone’s processing prowess it may be a bit slow, but if you are willing to tweak the settings a bit you may just be able to produce some stunning photos.

Some of the app’s best features include:

  • Real HDR: exposure bracketing and tone mapping
  • Simple: take a HDR image in one tap
  • HDR images fused and tone mapped on device within seconds
  • Hand shake compensation
  • Correct handling of moving objects, de-ghosting
  • You can control tone-mapping parameters: contrast, micro-contrast, color vividness, exposure
  • Save original exposure bracketed images
  • Location tagging
  • Option to mute the annoying shutter sound can be muted
  • Support for Flash on/off/auto

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Camera360 Free

This is one of the top-rated Android camera and photo-editing app, and rightly so – it can apply effects such as: LOMO, Retro Effect, Dreamlike Effect, Art of Black and White. If you find its many types of effect a bit much, do a long press to get more information on each effect.

The HDR effect itself produces great looking images. It also includes Unique Funny Mode: Effects like Surrealistic B&W Paining, Vertical/Horizontal Left Symmetry, Vertical/ Horizontal Right Symmetry, Ghost are available.

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PicsIn Magic Effects

This free Android HDR app has many effects such as Stenciler, Cartoonizer, Sketcher, Orton, Lomo, Vintage, Cross Process, HDR, Fattal, Pencil, Holgaart and more. Good as a standalone as well as complimentary to Picsin Photo, Draw and Share app.

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