You Can Now Edit HDR iPhone Photos in Photomator

Pixelmator 3.2

The latest version of Photomator will introduce full HDR support, allowing photographers to import, edit, and export HDR photos including those captured by the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

Version 3.2, coming later this week, adds full HDR import and editing support, a new smart HDR feature that allows photographers to convert standard dynamic range (SDR) photos into HDR, and of courese the ability to export HDR photos.

“Photomator offers a complete workflow for editing HDR photos from start to finish, letting you import, edit, and export HDR photos while preserving their HDR data,” Pixelmator, the company that develops Photomator, explains. “All tools and color adjustments in Photomator work seamlessly with HDR photos, and any edits you make are saved back to the Photos app, ensuring effortless syncing across all your devices.”

Imported HDR photos that are supported are RAW, iPhone ProRAW, 10-bit HEIC, 10-bit AVID, and 10-bit JPEG XL among other HDR formats. Photos can be exported as an HDR HEIC, HDR JPEG, HDR PNG, and OpenEXR, among other options.

Working with HDR photos does require more than just the updated editing software. In addition, photographers will need a compatible display and be using the iOS 17, iPadOS 17, or at least macOS 14 in order to take advantage of Photomator 3.2. The company says the best results are achieved when viewing on an iPhone 15 series phone, on Macs or iPads with XDR displays, or on the Pro Display XDR.

“The major update also brings full compatibility with iOS 17 and macOS 14 Sonoma. For users on iOS 17 and macOS 14, it brings an enhanced Select Subject algorithm for faster and more precise subject selections in photos and introduces full support for JPEG XL files. Additionally, Photomator 3.2 adds full AVIF file format support for all users.”

In addition to full support for HDR editing, Photomator has also added what the company calls Smart HDR which allows editors to take an SDR photo and “breathe new life” into it by turning it into an HDR photo.

“This makes the colors in images that feature clouds or sun reflections more vivid, reveals more detail in the brightest areas, and improves contrast. You can then edit and share the photo while keeping all the HDR data, just like any other HDR photo,” Pixelmator says.

In an unfortunate twist, Pixelmator notes that Apple’s Safari has limited support for HDR and as a result, the most convenient way to publish HDR content on the web is by uploading it as an HDR video. Unfortunately, those videos aren’t supported by Wordpress and as a result, PetaPixel can’t share them. In this case, those interested in the software will just have to check it out themselves. This problem exemplifies the current issues with widespread HDR support: it’s lacking.

Photomator is available to download for free from the App Store on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS for a monthly subscription at $5 per month or via a $100 lifetime license. The HDR update will arrive to all users on November 22.