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High Dynamic Range

1. A technique for producing images that have good detail in both bright areas and dark areas of a scene with high contrast.

For example, with traditional photography, a daytime photo of a bridge against a sky might be exposed so that clouds can be seen clearly, but the shadows of the bridge would be black. Exposing the photo so that details in the shadows could be seen clearly would turn the sky white. HDR would create a photo where both the sky and the shadows under the bridge could be seen with good detail.

HDR typically works by taking 2-3 photos rapidly at different exposures (one over-exposed and one under-exposed) and then digitally combining them to merge the best of both into one image.

Some phones can also apply this technique to video.

This is also known as computational HDR, to differentiate it from the other type of HDR (explained below).

See: Computational HDR

2. A video (or photo) format that defines at least a billion distinct colors, for greater contrast and detail, usually noticeable in the darkest and lightest parts of a scene. HDR generally means at least 10 bits per each of the primary colors (red, green, and blue) instead of the usual 8 bits for non-HDR content.

See: HDR10

Last updated Jan 22, 2022 by Rich Brome

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.

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