How Sony’s HDR mode works

Last night was a doozy when flash flooding left one of the major thoroughfares unpassable to light vehicles and it happened when there wasn’t any sunlight left. Normally you wouldn’t be able to capture such darkness (in the evening while raining) with any detail but HDR equipped cameras/cameraphones (in this case the Xperia M) can do it without having the need to stay still for very long.

You can see the technology at work in this new promo video at the 1:00 minute mark:

 

Basically it takes up to 6 successive shots with varying exposure levels and binds them all together into one with all the brightest items maintained. It is quite the useful tool in very low light but you do need to keep relatively still because image stabilization cannot work in tandem with this mode (at least for the Xperia M, not so sure about the higher flagship models).

Here is the image I took last night… you can hardly see anything in the preview window while shooting but knowing that the output would be like this, all you really need to do is push the button and try not to move too much.

EXIF says this was taken at 1/10 speed f2.8 at ISO 800 and at -1/3 exposure comp but if you tried shooting that scene with these values, I’m pretty sure this image wont come up. The image is a tad blurry but that’s the best I can manage handholding a thin phone with winds gusting at me.

A truly useful tool in unfavorable light conditions.

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