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HDR on the iPhone: What is it, what is it for, where can I find it?

What is HDR on the iPhone? HDR technology has been with us for years, although it is in recent iPhone models where it has become very significant. We encounter HDR on the iPhone whenever we take a photo, record a video or even watch a movie on its screen. Join us and we'll be sure to answer all your questions!

What does HDR on the iPhone mean and what is it?
The acronym HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Traditionally applied to photographs, but as we shall see, HDR is present on the iPhone when taking photos, recording video and even in the quality of the screen.
HDR is the ability to capture or display images and videos with much more colour and brightness information. This is also known as contrast. Therefore, a photo or video in HDR will be of higher quality and the details, colours, and shadows will be sharper.
HDR is particularly effective in "difficult" situations like a sunset, a photograph against the light, or even a selfie with the sea in the background. Surely, this sounds familiar: You take a picture and either your face comes out too dark, or if you come out brightly lit, the background immediately turns white. If it were an HDR photo this wouldn’t happen.

HDR photography on the iPhone
If you have an iPhone, you already know that everything is done in a simple and intuitive way. Ever since the iPhone Xs, HDR photography has played an enormous role. The iPhone is capable of performing millions of operations per second. What does this mean? When you take a single photograph, in reality many more have been taken. Each one with a different brightness, with more saturation, one with less, and so on. And then it puts them all together so that every part of the picture is perfect. It's incredible, and it all happens in less than a second!

HDR photography on the iPhone

How to turn on HDR photos on the iPhone
HDR on iPhone is enabled by default, but if you want to check it you can go to App Settings> Camera> HDR. Just take a picture to check it out – the quality is amazing!

HDR video on the iPhone
Until the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, HDR video was a feature only found in professional film cameras. Like HDR in photos, HDR in video on the iPhone captures 60% more colour, reaching 700 million colours. The level of detail and brightness is absolutely astounding. The difference is as big as when HD video arrived.
How to activate HDR video on iPhone
To enable HDR video on your iPhone, you have to go to Settings> Camera> Record video> HDR video. Remember that it is only available from iPhone 12 due to the powerful processor it needs to capture so much data.
HDR display on the iPhone
We have already seen that the iPhone is able to take HDR photos and record HDR video. Naturally, you need an HDR display to be able to view it properly. All iPhones with OLED display, that is to say, from iPhone X onwards have HDR display. This way you are guaranteed that your memories will look better than ever.

HDR display on the iPhone

What if I want to play HDR content on a non-HDR display?
Let's say you send the photos and videos to a non-HDR device or view them on a computer monitor that doesn't have HDR. No problem! The photos will look pretty much the same, while the video will be converted automatically. Remember though, if you've recorded or taken photos with HDR on an iPhone, ideally you'll want to view them on an HDR-enabled screen.
Now that you know all the benefits of HDR on the iPhone, are you ready to go out and take pictures and videos befitting of the most professional people?