Photo App Review: REXiG HDR Camera â€“ Good single-image HDR
REXiG HDR Camera
Price: Free until August 18, 2011
Bottom Line: I like it. It’s a good app. REXiG HDR Camera is one of the best single-image HDR apps I’ve tested and nicely enhances most images.
REXiG HDR Camera is a photo app that generates an HDR image from one image. It’s got multiple presets, but of the single-image HDR apps I’ve found, I think it’s definitely one of the better ones.
REXiG HDR Camera is FREE until August 18, but definitely worth a purchase after that date.
Real HDR photos require multiple bracketed exposures to bring out the details and color of an image without blowing out highlights and filling in shadows. Apple’s camera app does a decent job of this very quickly. Other third party apps produce better results, but require a commitment in time to create the shot and the image. Most single-image HDR apps create surreal colors and ugly artifacts.
REXiG HDR Camera is another app that generates HDR image from one picture. It has more than 20 presets to easily apply the HDR effects, ranging from natural to enhanced to freakishly overprocessed. In addition to the HDR presets, there’s a pro mode where you can apply basic effects. (saturation, brightness, contrast, color balance. There’s also a good noise reduction feature to help smooth the graininess that is sometimes also enhanced when filling in the details of shadows and 3/4 tones; it’s one of the features that sets REXiG apart from other apps in this class. It gives just enough NR to take the edge off the grain without sacrificing too much detail of the image.
REXiG HDR Camera isn’t a DRC app â€“ an image scrubber â€“ like Perfectly Clear. But it’s definitely one of the better single image HDR apps I’ve tested. The 20 or so presets are more geared toward HDR effects than the stylistic filter presets found in the excellent Dynamic Light. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.
HDR+1 is probably the setting I will use most in REXiG. It claims to produce similar results to Apple Camera’s HDR. I found my test images had a little more color saturation than Apple’s would have produced. Overall, the colors were bright, contrast good, and there were almost none of the highlight artifacts associated with other single and multiple exposure HDR apps. Skin-tones were smooth and showed more natural shading than in other apps of this class, such as HDR Effect Pro (another single-image HDR app). Other useful natural settings, such as the Backlight, Face-Overexposed, and Face-Underexposed settings produce useful, natural-looking enhancements with fewer or comparable artifacts when compared with other popular HDR apps.
Many of the other presets start to crank up the HDR and along with it the color and artifacts. These settings can be used to create extreme HDR effects.
The app isn’t perfect for ever image. For some of my poorly-exposed test images, it sometimes added some halo effects at lower processing.
REXiG HDR Camera supports oversized images up to 3072×3072 pixels, but it strips out most EXIF data including geotags.
Usually, I’m not a fan of single-image HDR apps. I think the concept is great, but most of the apps in this category ruin images by over-processing them. REXiG was a pleasant surprise. It has a number of filters that create usable, natural-looking enhancements. REXiG HDR Camera one of the best single-image HDR apps I’ve tested and nicely enhances most images.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.