Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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For those with a steady hand, Hydra is a convenient photography solution for when 8-megapixels just isn’t enough. It’ll produce slightly higher quality photos than the stock app, but only if your hands are steady.
Working much like other conventional photography apps, Hydra doesn’t take long to figure out. A sliding bar takes you through the options - HDR, video-HDR, lo-light, zoom, and hi-res - each being quite self explanatory. Once you’ve picked an option, further settings open up through a sliding bar to the side. At times it’s a bit too easy to hit the wrong option but you can always correct this.
While the lo-light mode does a reasonable if not overly exciting job of improving things when you’re in a darkened area and zoom is a marked improvement over conventional means, it’s the hi-res mode that’s going to capture your attention the most. It produces better photos than the other modes and certainly much more so than the stock app. It does this by taking multiple images of the scene before combining them into one shot. That’s why a steady hand is imperative, otherwise you just end up with a blurry image. Combining such images works too, with results looking better and being heftier in size than usual. It does mean that this is a method that won’t work for action shots, such as when taking snaps of your kids or pets.
However, extra pixels is Hydra’s key selling point and it’s understandable why that is. It might lack post enhancement effects, but who really needs yet more samey filters? More pixels is much more useful and makes a significant difference depending on what you’re snapping. In a world where we all increasingly use our iPhones rather than carry a separate camera, this is an app that achieves that and makes the replacement all the easier. Do bear in mind, though - bizarrely, it does an awful job of detecting your location. Instead of placing my photos in Wales, it decided on Eastern Europe.