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HDR Photography: How to use HDR Mode on your Android devices

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Aug 17, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

The present-day high-end smartphones, like iPhone, Samsung, and Huawei, come packed in with advanced camera features that can let you capture interesting and bright images having depth. To get this done, you first need to check if your smartphone has an HDR mode and if it does, how to use the same.

So, we are here to help you to learn in detail about HDR Android photography and how to use the HDR mode on your smartphone. Keep reading till the read and we assure you that you will be able to capture some breath-taking images with your phone.

hdr mode
In this article
  1. What is HDR photography
  2. How to tell if I can shoot HDR images on my Android devices or not
  3. How to Take an HDR Shot with Your Android devices
  4. How to Use HDR Apps android to take HDR photography
  5. Video Guide HDR on your Android device
  6. Pro tip: How to Edit HDR Video without Washed Out Color

Part 1: What is HDR photography?

First things first. Before using the HDR feature on your smartphone, let’s learn what actually is the function of HDR.

Standing for High Dynamic Range, HDR is an image capturing method where the dynamic range of an image is high. When we talk about dynamic range, it refers to the difference between the lightest and the darkest elements of a picture. Thus, in HDR images the range dynamic range of the image is greater than the actual capture and thus making the image look more real with higher contrast, colors, and saturation.

While using the HDR image capturing method, the subject is captured in multiple shots having different exposures. These multiple captured shots are then combined into a single picture thus making it look detailed and saturated.

Though HDR enhances the overall looks of an image it is not suitable only in certain situations and subjects like landscape, subjects captured in sunlight or bright background, low or dim light conditions, and more.

hdr mode vs non hdr

Part 2: How to tell if I can shoot HDR images on my Android devices or not?

HDR images can be captured using DSLR cameras, but you need to have a thorough knowledge of the camera and the process of capturing the HDR images. A simpler alternative to this is using an Android device. The principle of capturing HDR images using an Android phone is simpler in comparison to a professional DSLR camera and also quick. Using an Android device, the imbalance in the exposure is corrected and the details of the image background, as well as the foreground, are enhanced.

How-to steps to check the HDR camera Android feature

So now that you know that HDR images can be easily captured using your Android device, the next important thing is to check if your phone supports the HDR feature or not as not all Android devices have the HDR mode. Below listed are some of the options where you can the HDR option in the camera app of your Android device.

  • Check for the HDR option under the Shooting Mode menu (this can be found on high-end Samsung phones.)
  • In the devices like HTC One X, Desire X, and others with custom Camera apps, the feature can be found under the Camera Scenes section.
  • In case you cannot locate the HDR option in both the above methods then try looking for it under the Settings menu of Camera. Devices like Sony Xperia T and Xperia V have the option here.
  • For the Nexus 4 device that runs on Android 4.2 OS, the option of HDR mode can be turned on by simply long-tapping the viewfinder and then tapping on the HDR icon.
  • You may also find the option of HDR mode under the labels like Backlight HDR or Backlight Correction HDR. On the Samsung Galaxy devices, HDR is labeled as Rich Tone and can be located under the Smart Modes menu.

Part 3: How to Take an HDR Shot with Your Android devices?

Once you have found the HDR mode on your Android device, using the feature is simple.

Below listed are the steps to take HDR shots on your Android phone.

Step1 First of all, open the camera app on your phone and find the option of HDR.

Step2 Enable the HDR option on your device.

Step3 Once the feature is enabled, you simply need to capture images like you would normally do- point and focus on the image subject and click the image.

The rest will be taken care and your HDR shot image will be captured.

Note: ensure to hold your phone with stable hands while capturing the image or you can even use a tripod. In Samsung devices, two images will be captured- one with normal exposure and the other one with HDR (image name having HDR word). You can choose the one as required.

Part 4: How to Use HDR Apps android to take HDR photography

As we have mentioned above not all Android phones come with HDR function. So, if your device does not have this function, no need to worry as there are Android apps available for the same. You can search and download one such HDR-capable camera app on your device from Google Play Store and enjoy capturing HDR images.

One such widely used app is HDR Camera that simple to use and allows for capturing high-quality HDR pictures. Using the upgraded version of the app you can even edit your captured images.

Steps to using HDR Camera Apps

Step1 First of all, download, install, and launch the HDR Camera app on your Android smartphone.

Step2 The interface of the app looks like the interface of the Android camera and the majority of the screen is taken up by the viewfinder.

Step3 Next, simply start taking the picture as you would do normally by pointing towards the subject and clicking on the shutter button.

Step4 If you have opted for the advanced version of the app, you can even add a pre-set filter or edit your images as needed.

Step5 Finally, save the HDR-captured image on your phone.

hdr camera app

Part 5: Video Guide HDR on your Android device

If you are still not clear about using the HDR feature on your Android smartphone, the YouTube video tutorial will help you to learn the entire process.

Part 6: Pro tip: How to Edit HDR Video without Washed Out Color

In several situations, you would want to edit the HDR videos recorded using your phone or other device but the major problem lies when the editing makes your video washed out. So, to ensure that this does not happen with your recordings, we suggest using a professional tool and one of the best that we recommend here is Wondershare Filmora.

This is a versatile Windows and Mac-based software that can let you edit and customize videos simply and quickly. The software is known for its multi-video editing facilities, it comes packed in with all basic as well as advanced features that may be needed for enhancing your overall videos.

The software supports all key video formats and to further make the files look interesting, you can add multiple effects supported by the tool.

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Steps to edit HDR videos using Wondershare Filmora

Step1 Download, install, and launch the software on your system. Click on the Create New Project on the main interface.

edit hdr videos wondershare filmora 1

Step2 On the next screen that appears, tap on the Import Media Files Here button to browse and add the HDR video that has to be edited. Multiple files can be added here for batch processing.

edit hdr videos wondershare filmora 2

Step3 Next, drag and move the added videos to the timeline at the bottom of the software interface. After the videos are added to the timeline, you can edit using the editing tool as needed.

edit hdr videos wondershare filmora 3

Step4 When done with editing, click on the Export button, choose the target format, also, click the ‘Export Color Space’ drop/down icon from the ‘settings’ to change HDR video output quality (default quality is SDR - Rec.709). Then click on the ‘OK’ button once you're done to finalize the operation.

edit hdr videos wondershare filmora 4

Final Words

To take your mobile photography to another level and capture interesting and bright images, HDR mode is one of the great options to use. So, even if your smartphone does not support the HDR feature, install an app from the Google Store. When it comes to HDR videos and their editing, Wondershare Filmora works as the best tool as it helps to add those little tweaks and customize your files without worrying about the quality or washed-out color.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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