HDR

New Vivid app doubles brightness of mini-LED screens for Mac

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The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
The new app Vivid can just about double screen brightness on mini-LEDs for Mac (but not iPad).
Photo: Jordi Bruin

When you watch HDR videos on the mini-LED screens of a Pro Display XDR or a 2021 MacBook Pro, the displays can crank out up to 1,600 nits of brightness. But under most conditions, they’ll emit about 500. So a new app called Vivid, by developers Jordi Bruin and Ben Harraway, now offers to double usable screen brightness under all conditions.

“Full Brightness, System-Wide,” reads the app’s tagline.

Bring vivid HDR effects to your photos with one click [Deals]

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Photomatix Bundle
With one-click presets, HDR styles and streamlined settings, this HDR software bundle makes image enhancement easy.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

One of the easiest ways to make any photo pop is to process it with High Dynamic Range, or HDR. Basically, it combines high and low exposures so that your photo represents a wide spectrum of light and color. HDR gives you a ton of creative options, which you can easily explore with the three Mac apps and plugins in the Photomatix Pro Plus Bundle, which we’re currently offering at an unbelievable discount.

Apple’s USB-C AV dongle gets a 4K HDR upgrade

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Apple-USB-AV-dongle
It's finally fit for 2019.
Photo: Apple

Apple this week upgraded its official USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter to support 4K HDR video at up to 60Hz.

The newest model, numbered A2119, boasts HDMI 2.0 connectivity. That means you can enjoy HDR10 and Dolby Vision content when outputting video from a compatible Mac or iPad Pro.

Watch HDR YouTube videos on your iPhone X

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Displaying an HDR YouTube video on a non-HDR screen is impossible.
Unfortunately, displaying an HDR YouTube video on a non-HDR screen is an exercise in futility.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s a whole YouTube channel devoted to HDR videos, and the iPhone X can now display them as they are meant to be seen.

High Dynamic Range offers a greater span of colors that most screens can display. The OLED display in Apple’s flagship device is up to the job, though.

Nvidia unleashes 65-inch TVs fit for gaming

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NVIDIA gaming TV
NVIDIA's BFGDs bring ultra-fast gaming to the big screen.
Photo: NVIDIA

CES 2018 bugNvidia has unleashed the world’s first lineup of big-screen TVs fit for gaming.

They’re called BFGDs (Big Format Gaming Displays) and they’re capable of displaying 4K content at an ultra-fast 120Hz. They boast support for Nvidia G-Sync and HDR — and they have a Shield TV built right in.

tvOS 11.2 fixes Apple TV 4K’s biggest problem

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Apple TV Siri Remote
Sound sync woes will be a thing of the past.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple TV 4K has a video output problem. It’s pretty serious when your main purpose is to output video. But after listening to user complaints, Apple has fixed the issue in tvOS 11.2, its next major software update.

Apple TV 4K is almost picture-perfect [Review]

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Apple TV Siri Remote
Sound sync woes will be a thing of the past.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple TV has finally caught up with the 4K revolution.

It may be late to the game, but Apple’s newest set-top box pulls out all the stops to be the best on the field. It’s packing incredibly powerful new hardware that leaves competitors in the dust, and a much-improved tvOS platform that is years ahead of its rivals.

It may seem pricey starting at $179, but with amazingly sharp videos and great apps and games all rolled into one, Apple TV 4K is well worth the upgrade.

Watch our Apple TV video review:

This week on The CultCast, catch our iPhone X event reactions!

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CultCast AirPower
Catch our reactions to Apple's newest gadgets.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: We react to everything announced at Apple’s iPhone X press event! Plus, we’ll tell you all we now know about iPhone X, iPhone 8, the new Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch Series 3, the AirPods update, and the new AirPower charging mat. It’s a packed show. Better hit play, fam.

Apple’s September 12 keynote is all but confirmed

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook and Co. are ready to take the wraps off the next great iPhone.
Photo: Apple

It’s looking increasingly likely that Apple’s next big iPhone unveiling will happen on September 12.

Following a rumor last week that circled the second Tuesday of September as the date for the big iPhone 8 keynote, two more reports from reliable sources have practically confirmed that the next Apple smartphone will be revealed in just two weeks.

Lightroom Mobile’s new HDR mode means even better iPhone photos

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Lightroom Mobile from Adobe now has HDR to balance shadows and highlights in contrasty settings.
Lightroom Mobile from Adobe now has HDR to balance shadows and highlights in contrasty settings.
Photo: Adobe

Your iPhone photos can look more spectacular than ever, thanks to an update to Lightroom Mobile that brings an HDR mode capable of capturing three RAW DNG files.

We’ll explain all the acronyms in a bit, but here’s the gist: Adobe Systems’ popular image processing app can now capture the kind of rich photographic details you previously could get only with a conventional digital camera.

Google Pixel first impressions: Solid build, fugly back

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Google Pixel
It's in talks to buy HTC, maker of the Pixel lineup.
Photo: Google

Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are ready to do battle with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and based on the first hands-on reviews, Apple could learn a few things from the new devices.

Apple’s shadow loomed large during today’s Google event. Exec from the search engine giant threw plenty of shade at the iPhone-maker for its lack of a headphone jack and storage limitations. Even though Google’s new devices look like total iPhone ripoffs the initial reaction has been mostly positive.

We’ll have to test Pixel in the wild before making our final judgement but here are some of the first reactions to the device from people that got to play with it:

Macphun makes its HDR app more dynamic

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Aurora HDR 2017 pulls a beautiful and natural image from the brink of dullness.
Aurora HDR 2017 pulls a beautiful and natural image from the brink of dullness.
Photo: Serge Ramelli/Macphun

The iris in the human eye sees more than what your camera records. Photo-imaging software company Macphun seemed to solve this problem last year with Aurora HDR, an easy-to-use tool that gives a final photograph the luminosity experienced by your eye.

On Wednesday, Macphun rolled out a new version of the software that can make a single natural-looking image from three exposures in as little as one click.

HydraPro Easy HDR Pictures [Deals]

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hdrcomposition-640

One of the coolest parts of digital photography is being able to use software to make your photos better than you could ever had imagined. I’m not just talking about fixing exposures or adding special effects—both of those things are very cool—I’m talking about things like HDR photography.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is entails taking several images (one correctly exposed and several over and under exposed) and combining them into a new image that make the picture much more like how we see the world. And how is this done? Software. Software like Hydra Pro

How Does Apple Get Its Amazing Product Shots? [Video]

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Apple's product shots come from real cameras, but that's not the whole story
Apple's product shots come from real cameras, but that's not the whole story

Have you ever wondered how Apple gets such beautifully clean, crisp product shots for its various devices? Are they real photos at all? Or are they just computer-generated images? The truth is somewhere in between, and shows that Apple’s obsessive attention to detail carries over to everything.