Halide Developers Launch New 'Mark II' Photography App
The developers behind the Halide camera app today announced the launch of Halide Mark II, a new photography app that combines everything from Halide with the technology that was introduced in Spectre, an app for capturing long exposure photos, also from the makers of Halide.
Mark II is described as an "elegant, intuitive camera" that can be used by casual photographers while also providing advanced features needed by expert photographers.
The interface is built on a redesigned version of the Halide interface, and it looks as simple as Apple's own built-in camera app. It offers up easy access controls with just a few taps. A tap on the AF button, for example, disables autofocus and activates manual focus tools.
Halide's developers say the Mark II app was designed with "Intelligent Activation" that causes new tools and options to appear based on need when using one of the Halide camera features.
The design is meant to use every pixel of the iPhone, and as an example, the histogram or waveform are displayed up next to the notch, while the bottom of the iPhone offers up location tagging and the last camera shot. All camera controls are meant to be within easy thumb reach to improve usability. There's a new interface for reviewing photos, which has a more feature rich set of controls. More information is provided at a glance, and photo metadata is accessible.
The Mark II app is designed to work with Apple's ProRAW feature, and Halide is adding its own tools to make shooting RAW photos easier on all iPhones. Mark II is able to capture classic RAWs and computational photos using a new "Coverage" feature. With Coverage, Halide users can take photos that use all of the advanced photographic capabilities in the iPhone (Smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion) while also making a RAW version available for those who want to do their own edits.
There's also an Instant Raw feature that uses machine learning to go through a 17-step process of developing a RAW file to get the best possible auto-edited result that enhances detail and color, ultimately providing something between a JPG and standard RAW file. According to the app's developers, Mark II is the first camera app that's able to visualize the full 14-bit RAW data in realtime, a feature it calls XDR Analysis. XDR Analysis offers a more accurate look at exposure and is enabled when the ISO or shutter speed are adjusted.
Along with these new RAW tools, Mark II offers new focus and exposure tools, including a visualization called Waveform. Waveform horizontally scans over an image and provides info on which channel colors are clipped.
To help users get the most out of Halide Mark II, the app features a 10-day learning course that highlights all of the app's available features and explains photographic concepts.
Halide Mark II can be downloaded from the App Store starting today. All existing Halide customers will get Mark II for free, along with a year of members' updates.
For new users, the app is priced at $36, but is on sale at launch for $30, and in the future, prices will be raised as new features are added. There's also an alternative membership option priced at $9.99 per year, which will go up to $11.99 after launch. Prior to making a purchase, there is a free 7-day trial available for users to test out the new features.
Update: While the Mark II update should be free for existing Halide users, there is currently a bug that is preventing those users from accessing the app. A bug fix update is coming as soon as Apple approves it, so existing users should hold off on updating for the time being if they can.