iPhone App Review: HDR Fix
Bottom Line: Super-easy to use. It complements Apple’s HDR extremely well. It’s a great app to have for fine-tuning bracketed-exposure HDR photos.
I love the HDR function in Apple’s Camera app. I love the speed in which it takes an HDR photograph. No other HDR app available right now comes close. While not perfect, for some images, it saves the image by preserving the details in both the highlights and the shadows. It’s pretty dumb, though, in that there’s no variation on how it combines the exposures.
HDR Fix by SEB is a great utility for combining an original and HDR photos taken from your iPhone camera app (or a HDR app), giving you greater control over the HDR process and creating an optimized photo.
Using the app is very, very easy. Select the original and HDR photos from your photo library. Move the slider to combine the original and HDR photos. Save the newly created photo. It really is as easy as that.
Last night, I took a photograph of a light fixture on a deep red wall. What I saw with my eye was a great scene. What I photographed in HDR, though, was missing richness and vibrance of the color that I saw. The normal exposure photograph had great color, but the shadows were way too dark and the highlights were blown out. I wanted to add back some of the highlights and add a little more darkness to the HDR image but still hold the detail. I quickly and easily combined the two images using HDR Fix to add back some of the color of the normal version while losing very little highlight detail of the HDR version.
The slider allows you to blend from 0 to 100%. Overall, the app is fast and stable.
You could use it with any HDR app Pro HDR or True HDR, but because of the way Apple’s HDR works, saves, and doesn’t crop images, you’ll get best results using it with Apple Camera HDR. The problem with other apps like Pro HDR is that it takes so long between captures that your hand may move a little. Not a problem for Pro HDR which aligns and crops a little, but can create ghosting for HDR Fix which just stacks images and blends. See my samples from Pro HDR/HDR Fix below.
Although HDR Fix lacks advanced blending modes of other, dedicated double exposure apps, you can also use the blending tool to create double exposure style images.
HDR Fix saves images at their original resolution. If import images with two different resolutions, it will resample the smaller one up to fit the larger one. I like the way they’ve implemented that, rather than downsampling the larger image to Instagram-size. If you import images with two different aspect ratios, the app doesn’t crop anything — it tries to fit them together as best it can. It’s not a purpose I would use the app for, but that’s how it behaves.
There’s not much to write about the app. It’s inexpensive. It does its primary purpose very well. It’s super-easy to use. It complements Apple’s HDR extremely well. It’s a great app to have for fine-tuning bracketed-exposure HDR photos.
HDR Fix is 99Â¢ and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.