TrueHDR Review

HDR without frills.

by Pu on June 27, 2011

What does true in TrueHDR mean? That other HDR on iPhone is fake? Not really. In the case of Pictional’s app, true may stand for straightforward or even hassle-free. TrueHDR is an extremely basic tool conceived simply to do what it says: creating well exposed images by merging shots taken with different settings.

Main Features

  • Full resolution available;
  • 4 capturing modes;
  • In-app guide;
  • Send via email or share on Facebook and Twitter.

Appotography Opinion

TrueHDR has four different capturing modes to create your HDR images. One mode allows to load the overexposed and underexposed shots from your iPhone, while the other three entirely rely on the built-in camera.

Auto Capture takes overexposed and underexposed photos and does all the necessary calculations on its own. All you have to do to use the Auto mode is tapping on the shutter button while keeping your iPhone steady.

TrueHDR for iPhone by Pictional.

SemiAuto Capture asks you to indicate bright and dark areas of the scene you are about to photograph by placing two individual crosshair cursors around the screen before pressing the shutter button once. TrueHDR’s engine does all the rest.

In Manual Capture, you have to press the shutter button twice: first after defining a bright area in your scene, then after doing the same for a dark area.

In all modes, after the camera takes the necessary shots in rapid succession, you are presented with a thumbnail view in the lower part of your screen. You can tap on the Merge button to start the post processing or Clear to start over. After the engine is done with alignment and merging, you can save or share your image.

TrueHDR for iPhone by Pictional.

Underexposed and overexposed images taken in TrueHDR.

There are no actual differences in outcome using Auto, SemiAuto or Manual Capture: the quality of the final images remains the same. Auto Capture is the easiest to handle, especially without a tripod or other stable surfaces, while Manual Capture can be extremely hard to use if you are holding your device. TrueHDR is able to figure everything on its own, thus it’s unlikely you will need to resort to using SemiAuto and Manual in most instances.

TrueHDR for iPhone by Pictional.

HDR composite in TrueHDR.

How does it all compare to other HDR on iPhone, like Pro HDR or iCamera HDR? The most noticeable disadvantage of TrueHDR versus the other two apps is the total lack of control over the final image. Whereas in both Pro HDR and iCamera HDR you can set values as saturation, brightness, white balance and contrast (in iCamera HDR you can also choose a tone mapping engine, add special effects, and adjust many other parameters), in TrueHDR you can only save  the HDR composite, without the possibility to retouch it in any way. This means you cannot disguise or minimize flaws, like presence of halo artifacts. Nevertheless, in my experience, TrueHDR proved to be much faster, both in shooting and in processing, than its rivals. Speed in itself perhaps cannot make up for the lack of options, but it shouldn’t be overlooked either, at least as far as precision and time consumption are concerned.

TrueHDR is currently available in the App Store at the special price of $0.99 (€0.79/£0.59).


Name: TrueHDR
Developer: Pictional LLC
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. iOS 4.1 or later.
Price: £1.19||$1.99||€1.59
Vote: 4/5

TrueHDR - Pictional LLC

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