Flare for iPhone

HDR photos can make mundane still pictures look bold and exciting. HDR videos can transform the world around you into a psychedelic, acid-laced trip. Flare for iPhone record videos in HDR. Bring on the acid.

What is it?

Flare, $1, iPhone. It's a video recorder app that records in High Dynamic Range. Which means it allows for a greater range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image to bring a more detailed look at the world. I've always thought HDR photos, when done stunningly, exposed a living and breathing unreality that laid quietly underneath what we see. HDR videos take that to a whole 'nother level.


It's as simple to use as any other video recording app. Hit record and go, basically. There's also a slider to adjust how much HDR action you want to go on, pinch to zoom, tap to focus and simple sharing to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. The videos itself look a little bit crazy but it's very impressive. At the very least, it's uber fun to play around with. HDR, in most situations, is admittedly hokey but to have the option to shoot in HDR on your phone is just so damn awesome that I don't even care. And hey, maybe you can bring out life in lower light situations without pesky 'ol flash.

Who's it good for?

People who like to shoot videos. People who like to dabble in HDR. People who likes to show off interesting looks at the world.

Why's it better than alternatives?

Well, there are no HDR video apps for the iPhone. Flare is the best because it was the only one bold enough—technology be damned—to introduce it to your phone. The interface is super easy to figure out too as it's just click and fire away with an HDR level to adjust how crazy you want your videos to look. It's basically as simple to use as any other video camera app but does something no else does. It even works with iPhone 3GS!

Illustration for article titled Flare for iPhone

How could it be even better?

It's not exactly amazing HDR, which obviously is due to the limitations of the iPhone 4's camera. For some reason, the app doesn't rotate when your iPhone is on rotation lock (the regular iPhone camera does). I wish the HDR video was autosaved to my camera roll instead of having to send it there manually. Pinch to zoom is nice in idea but in practice, it makes video recording a little shaky. Some basic editing tools would be nice (think text and cutting). And maybe the option to take HDR stills would be cool (though probably unnecessary since your iPhone has that built in).

Illustration for article titled Flare for iPhone

Flare for iPhone | iTunes

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They (you?) say "It's a video recorder app that records in High Dynamic Range"

in actuality

"It's a video recorder app that records using a High Dynamic Range effect" it basically crushes the blacks, ups the white values and glows the edges. Different, yup. Neat, depends on who you ask. HDR, nope.

its technically not possible to record HDR video with a single camera.