HDR photography on iPod Touch 4th Gen

When the iPod Touch 4th Generation was announced, it was disappointing to find out that the rear camera would be substantially lower in megapixels and quality than on iPhone 4, and would not feature HDR. HDR is high dynamic range photography. Your eyes are HDR, but a picture from a cameraphone is not because it takes pictures in a single exposure. Too long an exposure and all the dark areas have better detail with washout of lighter areas like the sky or light colored walls with patterns. Too short an exposure, and all the dark areas turn black, but details like clouds and cracks in white stucco come out. HDR is a way of combining elements of two or more pictures where the exposure is optimal for the particular region of the picture.

The result is a mix picture where all the elements in foreground, mid ground, and background get optimal exposure. The iPhone 4 has this mode of image taking -the only drawback is that because two pictures are taken, the camera must stay still. Alas, the iPod Touch did not come with this capability built in, but it wasn’t too soon before an App showed up in the App Store.

Pro HDR is the name of this app, and it’s great. The two images above were taken in the afternoon and the shots while not perfect, are good enough for the web. Pro HDR does a good job of stitching two images into one. At a &2.99, it is a great bargain.

iOS4 keeps the iPhone 3G relevant

The arrival of iPhone 4 has overshadowed the arrival of iOS 4. Many of us have held on to our iPhones despite quitting AT&T -this is a testimony to the greatness of the product in that previously, when I changed phones, the phones would be given away or put in a drawer or donated. The iPhone, when disconnected from AT&T, is still a wonderful device -more useful than the iPod Touch because of its great and handy camera. In fact, I call it my iPad Mini.

iOS4 promises multitasking to the iPhone 3GS and the most recent iPod Touch, but alas, not the iPhone 3G. What it does do after a long and convoluted updating process which included a period of time where I thought it was bricked, is make the device even more useful by offering folders which seen above during an App Store update, shows the folder contents with micro icons. When you tap on a folder, its contents show nicely just so:

This degree of intuitive folder behavior is …magical. The other thing that I love about the iOS4 update is the unified mailbox. All your mail accounts are consolidated in the unified box and organized by conversation thread!

The iPhone 3G is two years old, and even though it doesn’t multitask, the upgrades to the user interface and mail are worth it and keeps the device relevant. Even though I carry an HTC Touch Pro2 from Verizon, its days are numbered as I consider an upgrade to Droid X or the holy grail -the Verizon iPhone. The only other piece of technology that stayed in my pocket long after its release and freshness date was the Psion Series 5mx, which I reviewed before. When the Touch Pro2’s days are over, it will go into the dustbin.

BTW, this summer has been very busy, so apologies go out to regular visitors. I promise I will update this blog at least twice a week.