How HDR mode helps you shoot amazing photos


The ASUS ZenFone 4 takes amazing photos with its wide angle lens, but there’s a lot more going on that helps final pictures turn out clear and beautifully. High Dynamic Range (or HDR) is a way for a camera to ensure that every part of a photo is properly exposed; the parts that are very brightly lit aren’t entirely washed out, and the dark parts aren’t entirely black.

How does HDR work?

HDR takes pictures at multiple exposures, and combines them so every part of the image is visible. Without HDR, a photo will set its exposure for one part of a picture, but not another. That means the main focus, usually close to the middle, will look fine, but other parts of the photo that are either much more lit or less lit will lose details.

By default, HDR mode activates automatically on the ZenFone 4 when it detects lighting circumstances that would ruin details. This happens most often when a light source is directly behind the subject you’re photographing. The subject might look great, but you’d lose a lot of details in the background. See the example below.

Comparison with and without HDR on ZenFone 4

Here we can see two photos: one on the left with HDR off, and one on the right with HDR on. Both were taken on the ZenFone 4’s front-facing selfie camera. Take a close look at the clouds in the background in each photo. In the first, the sky is simply white all across. In the second photo, the texture of the clouds is visible thanks to HDR technology. You’ll also see additional color in the reflection of the river behind. Most tellingly, the power lines are mostly lost in the first photo (you can make them out slightly against the hills). These are big details that are preserved when HDR mode is on.

How to switch on HDR mode on the ZenFone 4

Though high dynamic range shooting will automatically enable and disable by default, there’s an icon in the camera app for toggling between turning it on, off, or leaving it on auto.

Here are a few more samples of photos taken with and without HDR enabled. As you can see, it can make a world of difference in the right circumstances. Be sure to check out the ZenFone 4 product page to learn more about its intricate photography abilities.