September 25, 2023

Photomator update coming with full support for HDR content on new iPhone 15

The just-released iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models feature highly advanced displays, fully optimized for viewing HDR content. The latest iPhone 15 stands out as the first non-pro device offering a professional-grade display with 1600 nits of peak brightness, perfect for viewing and capturing HDR photos. To make the most of this powerful display technology, Photomator will soon offer full HDR support – from import to editing and export. We’re already in the final stages of HDR development, and we’re excited to share a sneak peek at HDR support with you.

The showcased result will vary among devices, with the most striking effect visible on the newest iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, Macs with XDR displays, and Pro Display XDR. If the effect is not visible, open the video in the YouTube app or open it in another browser.

Watch video on YouTube


Compared to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR), High Dynamic Range (HDR) takes the viewing experience to an entirely new level. HDR allows you to bring back more detail in bright and dark areas of photos and to see a broader range of colors. This translates into outstanding contrast, brighter whites, and richer colors, letting your photos mirror real life more closely. When compared side by side, SDR photos appear flatter and less vivid, whereas HDR photos are notably more vibrant.



Why Edit Photos in HDR?

As display technology evolves, editing and exporting photos in HDR effectively future-proofs them. HDR is already more or less a standard in video post-production and video games, and HDR is breaking into photography as a new norm, too. When HDR editing comes to Photomator, you’ll be able to preview your photos in HDR with a single tap of a button and all your edits will stay in place when changing between SDR and HDR modes. So, when exporting photos in HDR, simply check how the photo will look to someone viewing it in SDR or on a display with limited HDR capabilities. You might need to tweak the colors to ensure your photo looks great in both SDR and HDR but, when viewed in HDR, the colors in the photo will be on an entirely different level.

Current Limitations

  • Hardware. In order to work with HDR, first and foremost, you’ll need a compatible display. The latest iPhone 15 stands out as the first non-pro device offering up to 1600 nits of peak brightness for HDR content, matching the abilities of professional-grade displays. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro, Macs and iPads with XDR displays, and Pro Display XDR are also equipped with powerful displays suitable for viewing HDR content. MacBook Air, iMac, iMac Pro, Studio Display, and MacBook Pro models not equipped with XDR displays provide limited HDR support with peak brightness ranging between 300 and 600 nits. Check out this article on recommended HDR monitors for photography to get a more in-depth overview of HDR displays.
  • Operating System. To work with HDR photos in Photomator, you’ll need to update to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14. On older macOS versions, HDR support may be limited or unavailable, and for those using older iOS and iPadOS versions, HDR editing is entirely unavailable.
  • Software. Full HDR support with import, editing, and export will be available in Photomator and Pixelmator Pro. Currently, HDR is fully supported in Apple Photos, Final Cut Pro, and Motion. Given the pace at which Apple is promoting HDR content, we’d expect HDR to be supported on all system apps, including Preview, Finder, and Safari, in the near future.

We’re launching full HDR support soon, along with updates to support iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, and the latest Apple devices. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when we launch these exciting new features!

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