16
Jun
12

HDRtzn: Imaging Issues

primaryImageAfter becoming used to the ability to create HDR Screen Capture (9)images on my Symbian based Nokia N8 I was left a little wanting when I switched to my Windows Phone based Nokia Lumia 800. As time has passed, the limiting factors seem to have been the result of restrictions imposed on developers by the Windows Phone 7 platform design.

During my latest trawl through the Windows Phone Marketplace I came across HDRtzn from CodeMigrant, which is the first self proclaimed HDR application for Windows Phone with the only options being to “Share” or “Buy”, with no option for a “Trial”. Based on it’s sub £2 price tag I was interested enough to pay the price only to find that the app didn’t live up to expectations (see example image capture below).

edit tab

On opening the app you are welcomed by the “edit” tab where tapping the screen opens the standard image browser. At any other time a tap on the camera icon in the bottom soft button bar achieves the same result. Once an image is selected, the options in the soft button bar are:

  • select (camera icon) – Return to the standard image browser.
  • fix (magic wand icon) – automatically create a synthetic HDR image.
  • edit (pencil icon) – Manually change brightness, saturation, contrast and sharpness.
  • save (floppy disk icon) – Save the modified image.

Screen Capture (8)    Screen Capture (7)    Screen Capture (13)    Screen Capture (10)

From left to right the images above show:

  • The initial edit tab.
  • An original image selected from the image browser.
  • The same image after using the fix (magic wand icon) function.
  • The manual edit screen providing brightness, saturation, contrast and sharpness sliders.

I think all will agree that the post “fix” image (above) is not a HDR image and is of poorer quality than the original.

Screen Capture (12)effects tab

Additional to the edit functionality, the “effects” tab in HDRtzn provides four simple effects, namely: Black & White, Sepia, Invert and Sharpen.

expectations

My expectations for this app were that it would make 2 – 4 duplicates of the original image with different exposure levels. These would then be fused back together, with a little bit of “magic” to create a synthetic HDR version of the original.

Otherwise I expected that the app would use the camera to take a bracketed set of 3 – 5 images with different exposure levels to post fuse to create a true HDR image. This post process fusing could be done on or off device. On device would be nice, but has it’s limitations due to the processing power required based on using and testing Symbian HDR apps in the past. Off-device, PC based, post process fusing would remove the hardware limitations but stops the HDR image being available to the user at time of capture.

verdict

Sadly the HDR functionality, if that is what it is supposed to be is very disappointing. If the “fix” button is not intended to create a synthetic HDR version of the original file then the app name should be changed as it is very misleading.

Even if the “fix” button is just another image correction function, then there are other apps which achieve this much better, including the functionality build in the Windows Phone OS.

Moving on the the effects tab, the available options seem very limited when compared with the competition.

The result, is that HDRtzn is not worth the price tag of £1.29 in the Windows Phone Marketplace and would not stay on my device even if it was free as I don’t even find it current incarnation worth the drive space it takes.

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1 Response to “HDRtzn: Imaging Issues”


  1. 1 CLTSchwarz
    June 18, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Ouch! No HDR in the HDR app. I didn’t look very close but it looked like it added a white line on borders.


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