The HDR Camera Setting on my Samsung phone is so good, I can’t take a picture without it!

imageWhen you’re taking pictures of pretty, outdoor places, you will often encounter a wide range of light. The shaded areas are dark, and the sun-drenched sky is bright. This is called a High Dynamic Range, and it requires special camera techniques to avoid overexposing the sun, and/or underexposing the shade. If you have an HDR setting on your camera – try it!

This picture was taken with my smartphone with the HDR setting Off:


Here is the same photo with the HDR setting On:


Pretty dramatic, don’t you think?!

Why the Galaxy S5 is the best!

I have a Samsung Galaxy S5, and it has the best HDR capability of any smartphone or tablet I have used. My iPad’s camera HDR setting will improve the picture, but nowhere near as much as the S5. Most camera HDR settings will not show you the difference until after the device ‘processes’ it. The Galaxy S5 shows you the difference, before you snap the picture. Just tap the place on the camera screen where you see the icon for HDR. If you don’t see such an icon, look in your settings. In addition to “HDR” it is also called “Rich Tone.” It is even available for videos!


The HDR setting is not available while using the front-facing lens, and I miss it! I love taking selfies, but I hate not having the HDR capability. I might just have to go back to asking strangers to take our picture!

Here’s another photo taken with the HDR option turned off:


And the same scene with the HDR option On:


Take a look on your smartphone’s camera. If there is an HDR setting – use it! Just remember it’s purpose … it’s to keep shadows and sunlight properly exposed. It doesn’t help indoor photos and should probably be left off while inside.


3 replies on “The HDR Camera Setting on my Samsung phone is so good, I can’t take a picture without it!”

  1. I am assuming the HDR option is not available on the Samsung s4? At least I couldn’t find it. I really really wish it were. I needed something like that when we were on vacation visiting national parks.

    • It is available on the Samsung S4, not as an option but as a MODE called “Rich tone (HDR)”. That means it must be set each time the camera app is opened since the MODE starts out by default each time as Auto. It works very well in situations where high dynamic range is needed, for example often when shooting outdoors or indoors with a window in the background. In other words it performs best when the scene contains both dim and well lit areas.

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