Combo Apps/Vivid HDR The Breakdown

Bleach - Dynamic Vivid HDR

This is the day I’ll write in detail about Vivid HDR. I’ve had the app for awhile and was suppose to write a review. I was also going back and fourth with the company with our opinions. My questions are…these…why is Vivid HDR so great ? What makes this app special ? Will this be the only HDR app I’ll ever need. One of the blog review I read did point out the major flaw in the app. Guess what I’m going to do…I’m going to rip this app apart. Then I’ll tell you what the different TIFF formats are, because you need to learn the difference. So later on down the road if you plan to print your master pieces, you will need some serious software to fix the problem.

Before I start writing out the blog post, I did do some serious research and found all the correct information. If you don’t believe what I’m writing, then Google it. That’s how I’m able to find the information.

*All of the photos were taken with Vivid HDR. No editing was done with the photos and straight form the app. Some were taken with CPL (circular porlarized filter).*

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You load up the app and these are the following screen shots. It’s a very simple app to operate. No bells and whistles just a cut and dry app.

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I wanted to show you that most of the photos I shot with were TIFF and not JPEG. There will be a JPEG photo shown in the blog because I want to explain compression and show you some examples.


This is the first photo I shot with Vivid HDR on my iPhone 6 plus. It’s a JPEG because I wanted to try the app first before putting my settings. As you can see, it full of color with deep saturations. I just shot it naturally. Now let me show you when you blow things up on a bigger screen.

Flower JPEG Compression  Vivid HDR

Do you see all the compression and noise when you blow up the photo at 100% ? You don’t see this on your iPhone screen but you will on your iPad, Laptop or Desktop. I don’t even see this on my iPhone 6 plus but there’s more.

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This is thee EXIF from Big Photo…so you know that I’m telling you the truth.

Dynamic - Bleach Vivid HDR

I do like the Bleach version over the Dynamic version but on my Laptop it tell me another story. These are both TIFF photos taken at Balboa Park on Friday. If you noticed the Bleach version is very washed out to the point that you’re loosing details in the photo. It looks great on your iPhone but not on the larger screen. This is the stuff that other bloggers don’t point out. All they care about is saying this is a great app…go out and buy it. People are really serious about printing their art work and want to print them big to sell them. By the way I’m a little pissed over these results because I thought the problems lie on my old iPhone 4S and not with my iPhone 6 plus.

Hazy - Glare - Vivid HDR - Ztylus CPL

Even when it’s hazy and the glare from the sun while using a CPL will not save your photos when you shoot with Vivid HDR. It still looks like crap. This is why it’s important to learn to take photos properly and not depend on apps to save you from your mistakes. If anything learn from your mistakes !!!


Here’s another photo I took with Vivid HDR and using a CPL. Do you noticed something in the right hand corner of the photo ?

Noise and Compression

This perhaps !!! That is lady and gentlemen what is called Noise and Compression. This is from a TIFF file.

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Here it is…EXIF doesn’t lie at all. You get some serious compression from shooting Vivid HDR. They said you can load lossless compression files with the app but what they fail to mention is…there’s compression when you take photos with the app.

Dramatic - Bleach Vivid HDR without Lazy

I read more on the website in the F.A.Q. Thought myabe the lazy mode makes all this compression and noise. Because they show you on the website and tell you the difference between the two mode settings.

Noise and Compression without Lazy

NOPE !!! You can see the compression where the black is on the top right hand corner and the green in the water.

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Look what Big Photo says, there’s compression in your photo. I think they need to add that these are LZW TIFF formats rather than TIFF because if the compression and noise.

Bleach - Dynamic - Black and White Vivid HDR

The only thing that is saving this app is Black and White conversion. It’s not true black and white because you’re shooting a color photo. Where as Hueless, MPro and a few other apps, you’re shooting straight black and white without any conversion.

Vivid HDR - CPL - Black and White

Like I showed in yesterday’s blog post, you get beautiful black and white results with a CPL.

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As you can see, it’s not as bad as color. Black and white is the most forgiving of all things in Photography. All you need to do is add some noise reduction and you’re ready to print.

My thing about Vivid HDR is if it’s fast and easy, what are you loosing ? You have to be loosing some type of quality if it’s a fast processing app. It shows you’re loosing qualities in the details of your photos. Vivid HDR in my opinion is a “Quick and Dirty” HDR app, compared to others I’ve used. You don’t see it until you view your photos on the larger screen. Again black and white is the only thing saving this app. But what upsets me most if how the fill you up with jargon, instead of giving you straight and simple answers. They figure if they use big technical words you will back down and hide in a corner. If you think I’m wrong by all means keep using the app, don’t plan to print your HDRs because you will be royal pissed with the results.

I want to thank Ittiam for giving me a code for Vivid HDR. If you have any questions about this blog, please leave comments or contact me Have a very Happy Easter and see you soon…



About ashcroft54

Gallery | This entry was posted in Android, Combo Apps: Mobile Extreme Editing, iPhoneography, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Combo Apps/Vivid HDR The Breakdown

  1. creatiwu says:

    Nice post! Happy Easter!

  2. kimartino says:

    There aren’t any images? Maybe because I’m reading this on my iPhone?

  3. Ithalu says:

    Thank you for the review Tina. I was thinking to buy this app but now no anymore.

  4. Great write up, Tina. I suspect a lot of us feel some kind of pressure to give a positive review, or at the very least, not trash an app if we get a promo code to review. I respect the people associated with VividHDR, as they genuinely seemed interested in making a quality app. VividHDR is great upon first glance, but if you pixel peep, it isn’t as good as their competitors. The algorithm needs work still. If I knew how to fix it, I’d let them know, but I don’t.

    I’d be interested in seeing you dig into ProHDRX, which is what I’ve been using as an HDR camera lately.

    • ashcroft54 says:

      David, I just got the app and that will be next. Someone else asked me to look into that app. I’m going to compare the old vs new. I read a lot of mixed reviews about ProHDR X. You were like one of the few people I read that gave an honest review on Vivid HDR. I did a lot of digging & research on Google. I even asked people opinion on Instagram. It took a few months but it finally written up. I don’t think I trashed the app like people said. I’m just letting people know don’t be seduce by your iPhone screen.

  5. Thanks for the review, Tina. Very enlightening. Happy Easter!

  6. rjllane says:

    Hello Ashcroft54 (Tina).

    Life is too short and precious to “waste” time giving false or glossy reviews for products that do not meet reasonable expectations or what is claimed by others. The same can be said with respect to reading reviews. That’s why I read your reviews – I’m not wasting my time. Thank-you.

    My recipe for HDR shots … I use PureShot to take a set of 3 images with bracketed exposes, typically 5/3 Ev apart, and combine them with MobileHDR. Both are reliable and efficient.

    … MomentsForZen (Richard)

  7. rakusribut says:

    hi tina,
    your review was really interesting, though i am a bit surprised at why you should want to rip apart vividHDR. i love your blog because it is about mobile extreme editing, not about trying to produce dsrl quality photographs with an iphone. you convincingly showed how vividHDR sucks in that respect. but for me vividHDR is still a dream app, exactly because of the vivid colors and deep saturation it produces, a perfect starting point for my art work. i never use a vividHDR shot as it is, i mostly put it through some painterly apps or overlay it with several textures and then blend it with a couple of other similarly transformed images. processed in this way, the amount of noise or compression in the original vividHDR shot doesn’t affect the end result, which is always extremely printable ( i have some beautiful 60×40 cm and 50×50 prints on canvas and dibond brushed metal, based on vividHDR shots from my iphone 4)
    my most recent book can be viewed at
    helga aka rakusribut

    • ashcroft54 says:

      First someone recommended the app to me and then I was asked what I really thought of the app. Then thing is when you use photos that lost details. Then your edit them with other apps…your edits will muddy. You can always add saturation to a photo but you can app details once they’re lost. You might see the lost details because the iPhone 4 is only 5 megapixel, where iPhone 4S and up are 8 megapixel.

      The other thing and sad truth is a lot of people knew about the problem. Most bloggers raved on how great it was but never pointed out the noise and compression. What else is sad is the fact you could see all noise and compression when you read these blog posts. One guy pointed it out . He made a comment to me and I linked his blog. It’s like the comment I made about the spotted elephant in the room that everyone ignores. That’s what everyone did with Vivid HDR. I won’t be part of the bandwagon. I’m not worried about loosing readers over this post. But come on, why would you lie to people and tell everyone you love an app that has major flaws. What’s really bad was the developer used big jargon technical words on me. When he could of said, I see what you’re talking about it and work on some serious improvements.

  8. kimartino says:

    Great review Tina!! Maybe you could do one on Pro HDR X?

  9. eucalyptha says:

    This is a honest blog. Thanks for sharing and all the work you did!!

  10. imapurrson says:

    Thank you, Tina, for breaking it all down, and explaining everything so well, both visibly and with the written word. Your hard work, dedication, and expertise is very much appreciated.

  11. Pingback: Combo Apps/Vivid HDR The Update | COMBO APPS: Mobile Extreme Editing

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