Halide Mark II brings pro camera features to the average Joe

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Halide Mark II is for professional photographers and beginners.
Halide Mark II sports a new UI intended to make the camera software easier to use and more powerful.
Photo: Lux Optics

Halide Mark II brings a significant revamp to a popular alternative camera application for the iPhone. The developer redesigned the software to make it even easier to use for beginners. But it also comes with professional-grade features built in, like new tools for working with RAW images.

“Mark II is more than an update: it’s a new camera,” promises Ben Sandofsky, one of the developers at Lux Optics, creator of Halide. “An elegant, intuitive camera casual photographers can enjoy, while providing the most advanced features expert photographers demand.”

At first glance, this software looks much like the standard iPhone Camera app. But there are many more controls, like manual focus.

As an aid to neophyte photographers, Halide Mark II briefly shows users what each control is. For example, a tap on one button brings up a note that it’s the “color histogram” control.

Halide Mark II goes all-in on RAW

A feature that endeared the original version of this application to professional photographers is its support for RAW mode. The update released Thursday takes that further.

Most notably, the app captures both RAW images and computational photos in a single burst in a feature Lux Optics calls Coverage. This gives the user the option to later either go in-depth with the image or easily share it.

And this application offers a way for beginners to use RAW files. “Instant RAW develops your RAW file in one tap,’ said Sandofsky. “Halide goes through a 17-step process of intelligently developing your file to get the best possible result.” He calls is compromise between an unedited RAW files and a heavily processed JPEG. That sounds very close to what Apple is doing with its new ProRAW format, which will debut on the iPhone 12 Pro series.

And that’s not all. The viewfinder in this camera software can display 14-bit RAW data in real time. Most apps show 8-bit data, which can give the user bad information on what their photograph will look like.

Halide Mark II is available now on the App Store. It costs $29.99, or there’s a $9.99 Lux Plus subscription.

Source: Lux Optics