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HDR Video – Everything You Need to Care About [Updated]

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In the past few years, 4K video continues to increase in popularity. And HDR video is another trend in display technology recently. What is HDR video? You have to create a video in HDR by yourself? The article just shows everything you should know about HDR.

What is HDR Video

HDR Video Comparison

Before the explanation for HDR video, you should know more detail about HDR or High Dynamic Range of photography first. What is HDR video? Usually the HDR video mentioned is a HDR stylish video with a special filter as a post-production. But some HDR camera has super cool dual 3D lens or HDRX mode, which is able to shoot for the same stuff with different exposures, and then merges them into a HDR video.

If you take it for granted that video HDR is similar as photo HDR, it should be beyond your imagination. Actually video HDR is differs from photo HDR in significant ways.

Usually the HDR photographs are taken for static stuff, which will avoid any blur for the merged HDR photograph. When you film a HDR video, you cannot use a tripod or make sure the shutter speed between each frame.

HDR video is purely a HDR filter applies to the original video to apply a HDR stylish video. HDR videos should be taken as flat as possible, and then the HDR effect is applied to take heavier color grading and processing in post-production.

As for the HDR video merged by dual lens or even shoot by two HDR cameras with different exposure. It should be a difficult procedure to set up the HDR cameras to shoot for exactly the same stuff with different exposure.

How to Create Video in HDR

There are multiple methods to create an HDR video with different exposures. You need some special skills and devices. Just learn more detail about how to create video in HDR.



If you need to create an HDR video, a professional HDR camera should be the easiest method. The HDR camera support HDRX mode can provide a second, under-exposed frame (known as X Frame) right after the first frame (known as A Frame). And then the X Frame is combined with the A Frame in post-production to create an HDR video with an extended dynamic range for color grading. Because the videos are commonly recorded in a frame rate of 24 frames per seconds, which might still cause some blurs the output an HDR video.

Dual 3D Lens

Dual 3D Lens

When you have two HDR cameras, you can also create an HDR video by setting up them differently. You can use underexposure for one video while overexposure for the other. And then pointed them at the same stuff. In order to make a perfect HDR video, you should also adjust beam splitter to avoid any visual offset.

How to Apply HDR Filter

Even if you need to apply HDR filter to create a video HDR, it is not an easy procedure. You should either use ISO based bracketing method or HDR time lapses to get an HDR video footage first, and then you can edit the captured HDR video footage similar to an HDR video.

The ISO based bracketing is a way to capture HDR video footage with Magic Lantern and a DSLR Camera. Rather than modulating the exposure with shutter speed, Magic Lantern’s solution brackets the exposure using ISO.

HDR time lapses are something that can be captured by almost any DSLR. If you’ve got a non-Canon DSLR or want a less hacky intro to HDR video, playing around with HDR time lapses is a great option.

HDR Video Format


HDR10 Logo

HDR10 is the first HDR video format and widely supported by all TV brand. For HDR video content, HDR10 is also the default HDR format on Untra HD Blu-ray and all OTT video streaming services which include Netflix, Amazon Video and Vudu. Moreover, the game consoles like Sony PlayStation4 Slim/Pro and Microsoft Xbox One S/X can handle HDR10 output.

Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision Logo

Dolby Vision is not universally supported HDR video format. TV makers like Samsung and Panasonic and movie studio like 20th Century Fox do not support Dolby Vision. However, as Dolby Vision is clearly established as the premium HDR format, all premium Ultra HD TV should be with it. That would make Samsung and Panasonic reconsider the compatibility with Dolby Vision. In content support, Ultra HD Blu-rays with Dolby Vision has released since the middle of 2017. And most important streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video and Vudu offer Dolby Vision content.


HDR10+ Logo

HDR10+ is the dynamic metadata extension to HDR10 developed by Samsung. In March 2017, Samsung announced their HDR format would be a license-free open standard. And then Aamazon announced to be the first HDR10 content and service provider partner, coming up by Panasonic and 20th Century Fox as other two members. HDR10 has been a hot topic on HDR video format in these years. However, there is no content with HDR10 compatible yet. The same situation happens to Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The most mentioned HDR formats would be HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Only rarely other two relevant formats are mentioned which is HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Philips/Technicolor SL-HDR1. These two are not widely used as the HDR standard format in the market currently.

Where to Get HDR Video Content

In fact, Netflix and Amazon video would be the first place to look for HDR. Most video streaming sites lack HDR content, even on the few that have it, only a handful of shows and movies (much fewer than ones in 4K resolution.) are actually in HDR. Please keep in mind all HDR content is 4K, but not all 4K content is HDR. Here are all the major places you can find HDR content today.

Amazon HDR Video

Amazon HDR Video

Amazon has the most content today among all the streaming services. And HDR programming in Amazon will have a little HDR logo with it or one for Dolby Vision. You can look for the “Ultra HD” version of the show to find it. What you may need would be a Prime subscription or money for individual movies.

Netflix HDR Video

Netflix HDR Video

Netflix has less content in HDR right now than Amazon, you can search for “HDR” which may not return all the HDR titles. You will need the 4 Screen Netflix plan to get the HDR content.

Vudu HDR Video

Vudu HDR Video

Movies with HDR in Vudu would have the Dolby Vision logo, but not on the main search page, only on the movie’s page. Vudu only offers Dolby Vision HDR that means only certain LG and Vizio TVs can display its HDR content. Vudu’s HDR movies are not available on any external devices yet, so you can watch Vudu in 4K on some Roku boxes.

YouTube HDR Video

YouTube HDR Video

YouTube, which is the most popular streaming video service on the web, is the latest on this list to support HDR. The service offers just a couple of HDR videos right now, although you can find plenty of videos labeled HDR on YouTube (actually most of them are not HDR video). Since any creator can upload HDR video to YouTube, it may not easy to identify if it is real HDR video or not currently.

Small Tips

Besides HDR video, if you want to add HDR effect to your photos, you can try a simple and advanced HDR photo editor which can turn your photo into HDR photography. This professional HDR software can offer HDR parameter setting, support RAW and JPEG formats taken by most types of DSLR cameras or smartphones and more. Learn from the following video tutorial to add HDR effects to your photo or edit HDR photography.

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With the advanced technical, HDR video will be easier to achieve. In the near future you might use your mobile phone to create a true HDR video as professional HDR photographers. If you have more detail about HDR video, you can share the information with us.

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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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