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iOS 7 camera HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature more subtle than I remember

Apple added the HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo feature way back in iOS 4.1 (Fall 2010). After playing with this photo option for a couple of weeks, I stopped using it. With the release of iOS 7 last week, I decided to take another look at HDR on my iPhone 5. However, my first test pair of photos (iOS provides the option to save a normal photo along with the HDR photo) barely seemed to be different from one another (normal vs. HDR) – [see below for the first photo pair].

I ended up creating a test scene that would be sure to look different when comparing a normal photo to the HDR one. The photo above is that test scene. The photo on the right is the HDR version. This time I could see the difference.

My recollection is that the HDR photos produced in the iOS 4.1 version of the photo option produced more dramatic (though not necessarily better) HDR photos.