The other day we took at look at the Windows Phone 8 photography app HDR Camera. The app had potential for creating HDR images with your Windows Phone camera but was plagued by several bugs that messed up image alignment, had the app crash frequently and distorted the camera viewfinder.
An update was released today for HDR Camera, taking the app to version 1.02. The update changed the Exposure Compensation terminology from "steps" to "EV" and contained bug fixes. Not really sure what the pressing need to change "steps" to "EV" (which I assume is short for exposure value) but we were curious if the bug fixes addresses the alignment, stability and distortion issues we experienced with HDR Camera.
Quick recap on HDR Camera is that the app takes three images of the same picture at different exposure levels. The bracketed exposure images are then stacked or merged into a singular image that should have greater dynamic range for colors. It should give your colors a little more pop and pull more colors out from the shadows.
The previous version of HDR Camera failed to align the three images and even if you manually aligned the three images, you ended up with photos that looked like this.
The other two major issues we had with HDR Camera is that after creating an HDR image, when you would go to create a second image the app would crash. Secondly, every so often the viewfinder would seem compressed as if the app was struggling to initialize the camera.
Well... the update seems to have corrected the alignment issues. I took about a dozen HDR images and each were aligned correctly. Granted a little work on the saturation and brightness levels would help, the alignment was good and held throughout the post-processing.. I did try to tweak the saturation and brightness in the processing screens but the image faded too quickly to a grayscale image. I think if the app dialed down the saturation levels on the initial processing just a tad that would help.
The update also appears to correct any compression with the viewfinder.
While the update does improve the app with regards to alignment, it's still very frustrating to have the app crash after every photo. Without a trial version, HDR Camera is probably one update away from being worth a shot.
HDR Camera is currently running $1.99 and is available for your Windows Phone 8 device here in the Windows Phone Store.