OnQ Blog

HDR Photography on an S4 Smartphone

Feb 17, 2012

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a popular technique that blends a series of photos taken at different exposures and combining them into one image that looks slightly out of this world, similar to a 3D scene taken from a video game. It’s an attempt to overcome the limited dynamic range of most camera sensors, developing a full range of tones that, at most, only real human eyeballs can detect. Ordinarily, HDR enthusiasts would use an expensive DSLR camera and process these photos on a separate system using expensive editing software. But equipped with a powerful mobile processor, multiple photos taken at different exposures and software post-processing can all be done on a single device as small as a smartphone.

Snapdragon S4 processors are integrated with a powerful image signal processor (ISP), as well as a powerful “Krait” CPU, designed to make HDR photography quick and easy to use. Aim and shoot as you normally would, while remaining as still as possible (you want the three exposures to be exactly the same) . With the camera app’s direct hardware access, three exposures are taken in rapid succession (normal, underexposed, and overexposed) and then processed to produce a single HDR image. The results can be quite dramatic as shown from the HDR images below (furthest right), which were taken with a Snapdragon S4 equipped Smartphone. HDR turns your new Smartphone or tablet into a reliable camera and helps make you a better photographer in the process.

Engage with us on


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Related News

©2020 Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its affiliated companies.

References to "Qualcomm" may mean Qualcomm Incorporated, or subsidiaries or business units within the Qualcomm corporate structure, as applicable.

Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses. Qualcomm products referenced on this page are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Materials that are as of a specific date, including but not limited to press releases, presentations, blog posts and webcasts, may have been superseded by subsequent events or disclosures.

Nothing in these materials is an offer to sell any of the components or devices referenced herein.