Today it is possible to recreate the Google Pixel Phone Camera HDR+ camera mode on the new Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Here’s how.
First let’s take a quick shot of my local church as shown above. This is actually a RAW photo image, and totally unedited and unprocessed.
But let’s say we now want to achieve the same look that Google’s Pixel camera achieves using the HDR+ mode. Well take a look below at the result.
Okay, its in a 16:9 aspect ratio instead of the default 4:3, but if you prefer 4:3 you can switch to this. The problem with Google’s HDR+ mode is sometimes you don’t want such a vivid HDR look. Well fortunately, you have options and can save a multiple of variations on the HDR theme.
Perhaps a black and white HDR finish as shown above. Or as shown below as more faded HDR option. In fact there are even more options in the HDR shooting mode.
All this camera prowess is done by ProCamera on iOS. It received a big update yesterday to enable the vivid HDR mode for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. With vivid HDR and its low light modes it takes multiple shots and blends them to make a better shot. The lowlight plus mode can merge up to 64 shots in to one photo. This merging of photos replicates what Google is trying to do with its Pixel phone.
In addition, the update to the app improved video capture quality noticeably improved for high frame rates (48 – 120 fps). A new zoom slider has been added with a sleek new design that gives you the option to switch between lenses on the iPhone 7 Plus (Wide/Tele) with a single tap.When shooting RAW photos, you may now save just the RAW file without the additional JPEG file. A new settings option that dims the screen while capturing long exposure photos. It prevents „light pollution“ caused by reflected light from your screen in LowLight Plus camera mode (LUX+).
ProCamera does a lot more too. Below are a list of its features –
– vividHDR – the world’s best HDR on iOS, enables you to take photos with more details in highlights and shadows – now with Scene Analysis for true-to-life colors. No tripod needed, capture brillant images every time, and even snap moving objects in full detail.
– LOWLIGHT PLUS – Capture stunning photos in low light with minimal noise, or use the long exposure feature to make your night shots truly come to life. Up to 64 exposures merged into one shot.
– INCREASED CAMERA CONTROL – The independent Focus and Exposure points create fast and intuitive control in photo and video modes. Or set exposure (EV) swiftly with easy swipe control.
– PRO CONTROL – Set specific values for exposure time, ISO sensitivity and white balance (colour temperature & tint). In Priority Mode, either dial in preferred shutter speed or ISO value, and ProCamera does the rest. Manually focus with easy swipe control.
– PRO EDITING WITH 78 FILTERS & EFFECTS – Editing on a new level: Seamlessly swipe between custom filters and an impressive array of editing tools.
– HD & 4K VIDEO – frame rates range from cinematic 24 fps to 240 fps for stunning slow-mo videos. Record in UHD (4K) resolution (iPhone 6s and above).
– Extras – FULL SCREEN TRIGGER, Broad range of capture formats (4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 3:1, Golden Ratio, 5:4) use maximum screen real estate for accurate composition.
– APPLE WATCH – Remotely control ProCamera on your iPhone.
– SHARE – Facebook, Twitter, EyeEm, and Instagram (with SquarePrepare function & support of high-res exports). Upload to DropBox and Vimeo.
– Other – RAW, TIFF, RAPID FIRE MODE, ANTI SHAKE, 3D TILTMETER, SELF TIMER and INTERVALOMETER, FAST STARTUP SPEED, VOLUME TRIGGER, HISTOGRAM, DIGITAL ZOOM, Adobe CREATIVE CLOUD connected, HAPTIC FEEDBACK, distraction free FULLSCREEN MODE, GRAY CARD CALIBRATION, SLOW-MOTION video player, dedicated LIGHTBOX, MANUAL, CODE SCANNER, EXIF/VideoMetaData Viewer, PHOTO COMPASS, and much more.
The app costs £3.99, however in reality you need to spend 2 x £2.49 (one for HDR, the other Low Light) and £0.79 for the San Fran filter pack. The app should just be priced at £9.99.
So as an example, using the low light mode on the church to reduce noise, I got the follow photo below.
And finally, just to give you an idea what happens when you post process a raw shot, the first photo was edited in Adobe Lightroom for iOS and shown below.
Personally, I do believe the developer is not being totally upfront honest with the cost of the app and it is one of the more expensive options. However, it does do some wonderful tricks with computational photography and it is one of my favourite photography apps.