Samsung’s Exclusive Galaxy S24 HDR Photo Feature Now Available to iPhone Users

The most recent selection of Samsung Galaxy S24 smartphones commenced with the exclusive capacity to upload and present “Super HDR” images on Instagram. At this moment, iPhone users have the opportunity to participate, with help for HDR Instagram images starting to emerge on iOS gadgets.

Update from the 5th of March below—The March 2024 Pixel Feature Drop from Google includes Ultra HDR support on Instagram for specific Pixel devices, but there are ongoing problems preventing its operation.

HDR, or high dynamic range, Jpegs comprise additional inserted data, recognized as a gain map, that provides a significantly wider range of brightness levels (and optional additional color detail) than a typical Jpeg file. These images have the ability to deliver a brighter, more true-to-life look when shown on HDR-compatible displays, such as modern flagship smartphones, Apple Macbooks, and Windows PCs with HDR monitors. You can check out sample HDR Instagram photos here or on my Instagram profile (link provided below).

Instagram has been accommodating HDR videos since the introduction of the iPhone 12, but support for HDR images is just starting to roll out, officially limited to the Samsung Galaxy S24 series at the present moment.

However, there are alternative methods to upload HDR images to Instagram without requiring a Galaxy S24.

iPhones now have the capability to upload HDR images to Instagram, as well

Apple users are in for a treat as the inclusion of support for HDR images on Instagram has discreetly been integrated into the iPhone. As recently disclosed by photographer and educator Greg Benz from Greg Benz Photography, sharing an HDR image to Instagram from a compatible iPhone now showcases an HDR image on the Instagram application. Fortunate iPhone users are also able to view HDR Instagram images uploaded from alternate devices in complete HDR quality. For this feature to function, HDR images must be captured with the native iOS camera application as opposed to the camera choice within the Instagram application, according to Benz.

You have the ability to upload HDR images to Instagram from your desktop browser

If you don’t have access to a recent iPhone or Galaxy S24 device, you can still upload and view HDR images on Instagram using a Chromium-based browser on a compatible PC or Mac. This signifies that you can employ tools like Adobe Lightroom to modify pictures captured on any device and showcase them on Instagram in HDR mode—with a few significant limitations.

Uploading to Instagram from a desktop browser is straightforward; simply log in at Instagram.com and tap the Create (+) button. Then, drag and drop your image into the window for uploading. If your image is appropriately formatted for HDR, Instagram will accept it and process it as HDR for display.

Don’t panic if the HDR effect vanishes while you are creating your post; it will be reinstated after the process is done. Avoid applying filters to your post; currently, these filters are not compatible with HDR images unless you are using a compatible smartphone.

Only Chromium-based browsers, like Google Chrome or Brave, are presently compatible with Ultra HDR images. Other widely-used browsers such as Safari or Firefox are not operational.

Additional processing often becomes a necessity

Regrettably, Instagram is currently quite stringent regarding the HDR image files it will accept. HDR pictures that appear fine locally may still experience issues when uploaded to Instagram without adjustments.

For instance, if you use your desktop browser to upload HDR photos captured with a Galaxy S24 (or now, iPhone), the process should proceed smoothly. However, images exported from other applications, such as Adobe Lightroom, frequently encounter problems. More often than not, incompatible files are generated that display correctly in HDR on your local device, but not once uploaded to Instagram.

You can enhance the likelihood of your HDR upload being successful by adhering to black and white images or by utilizing Google’s publicly accessible libultrahdr code to process your images before uploading (although its usage is beyond the scope of this article).

How to Upload HDR images to Instagram, captured on non-Samsung devices, using a Galaxy S24-series smartphone

If you are fortunate enough to possess a Samsung S24 series phone, you can conveniently upload HDR pictures to Instagram that have been captured on other cameras and edited with HDR-compatible software, like Adobe Lightroom.

To accomplish this, transfer your HDR Jpeg file onto your Galaxy S24 device and edit it within the Samsung Gallery application. Sharing the end result directly from the Gallery app to Instagram should result in a successful HDR upload.

5th of March update—Google has unveiled that the March 2024 Pixel Feature Drop will bring Instagram Ultra HDR support to particular Pixel devices

Google revealed on Monday that the March 2024 Pixel Feature Drop will introduce Ultra HDR image and 10-bit video support on Instagram for owners of Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 8, Pixel 8 Pro, and Pixel Fold.

Recent Pixel smartphones have been capable of viewing HDR content on Instagram for a while now, but this latest update finally enables them to upload and share HDR content. Consequently, the Pixel range joins Samsung’s S24 series as the only two smartphone collections officially endorsing the feature.

Regrettably, the rollout of Instagram Ultra HDR support for Pixel devices seems to have encountered a few initial challenges. Following an initial app update from Instagram, it became impossible to post any images to the Instagram feed. A subsequent update then re-enabled posting but seemingly eradicated all Ultra HDR support from the app—including viewing Ultra HDR images posted from other devices, which functioned before installing the March 2024 Pixel Feature Drop. I experimented with the feature on two supported Pixel devices and encountered the same outcome, even though individual results may differ.

Pixel owners can search for the latest update by accessing Settings, Advanced, System update. International users should now begin receiving the update, while Pixel owners in the U.S. will have to wait until the 11th of March. The update size is approximately 740MB.

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