Apple Adds Auto HDR to iOS 7.1… If You Have an iPhone 5S


Apple introduced Hight Dynamic Range (HDR) capability into the iPhone all the way back in iOS 4.1, but until today that feature was either set to on or off. All of that changes with the addition of Auto HDR in iOS 7.1… at least for iPhone 5S owners.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.02.52 AMIf you’re like me you tend to keep HDR turned off on your iPhone, because while the feature — which combines multiple exposures to bring out parts of an image that might be too dark or darken parts of an image that might be blown out — can come in handy here and there, more often than not it’s unnecessary.

Plus, why use that when apps like Pro HDR do a better job and don’t create unnecessary duplicates of every single photo I take (although, to be fair, this can be turned off in the settings).

In the newly-released iOS 7.1, however, iPhone 5S owners won’t have to deal with any of that. A new setting called HDR Auto is now available to automatically analyze the scene and turn HDR on or off as needed. It’s a small settings tweak, and only available for the iPhone 5S at that, but it could come in very handy for those people who want their phone photography to be as automatic as possible.

(via TUAW)

  • Todd Wiseman

    This is terrible.

    Apple continues to be convinced that it knows better than its users. That they can’t be trusted. This is a small thing but a symbolic smack to serious iPhone photographers. I know most won’t use the native camera app, but regardless, this philosophy of denying users control has become central to Apple products and I find it maddening. Of course they ditched the super-customizable Final Cut Pro 7 for the iMovie-esque FCPX. Of course they started hiding the library folder by default on your Mac.

    I’d been sitting around hoping Apple would open up the camera to manual control of the shutter speed and ISO but we can just forget that now. All signs say they’re moving ahead full speed in the opposite direction.

    Probably time to change phones. How’s that new Samsung looking?

  • BDWT

    I agree that they make too many assumptive choices for users, but that being said I eventually came around to FCPX and while there are still a few things about it that bug me, it has saved my ass on tight deadlines time and time again. It’s really good for edits that need to be done asap, mostly due to the fact that it does background transcoding and rendering. There are also tricks and ways to use it like FCP7 which I do, because I just don’t like the “storyline” concept at all.

  • SteveJobsGhost

    Apple has been telling you what to do and how for years now. I’m not sure why this surprises you… Forget Samsung, the HTC M8 is looking to have a really impressive camera. Check back 3/25 when they formally announce it.

  • iAwani

    looks like i’m gonna choose iPhone 5S as the next device for my street photography activity

  • Anonymoused

    I do not understand why anybody would dislike this addition. All phones should have auto-HDR; to claim it’s unnecessary is ridiculous. Phone sensors SIGNIFICANTLY lack dynamic range, and even with HDR turned on, the dynamic range is still pretty low.
    Is it the best new feature? No, but we should take improvements where we can get them.

  • Uchechi Emuchay

    why is the HDR auto feature only on the iPhone 5s?