How To Enable iOS 4.1 HDR Photos In iPhone 3G, 3GS

The latest firmware update for iPhone, iOS 4.1 features HDR photography, an uber cool feature that lets you take photos capturing a wide range of light on iPhone 4. When you enable the HDR(High Dynamic Range) setting, your iPhone camera app takes 3 pictures in quick succession with multiple exposures, and then finally overlaps them into one giving you a better photo.

Unfortunately this does not work by default for iPhone 3GS or iPhone 3G. However you can enable HDR photos in your iPhone 3G or 3GS if you jailbreak it. Yet another reason to jailbreak 🙂


Here is how you to get HDR photography in iPhone 3G, 3GS iOS 4.1:

1. Jailbreak iPhone 3GS (PwnageTool) or 3G (using redsn0w0.9.5b5-5).

2. Install OpenSSH via Cydia.

3. Connect your iPhone with your Computer and SSH into it.

Install either CyberDuck for Mac or WinSCP for Windows.

Get your iPhone’s IP address from Settings –> WiFi –> ‘Name of your network provider’.

Here are the login details to SSH into your iPhone.

For CyberDuck:

Server: IP address of your iPad/iPhone.

Protocol: SFTP

Username: root

Password: alpine

For WinSCP

Hostname: iPad IP address

Protocol: SCP

Username & Password: Same as for Cyberduck.

After you SSH into your device, be sure to change the password from the default ‘alpine’ using the passwd command.

4. Next copy the plist file from your device to your Computer as follows:

iPhone 3G: /System/Library/CoreServices/

iPhone 3GS: /System/Library/CoreServices/

5. In the Capabilities section of this property list file, add a key named ‘hdr-image-capture’ with a boolean value of ‘true’.

6. Save the file and copy this modified property list back to your device via SSH replacing the older version.

7. Restart Springboard or reboot your device, and you should now see the HDR setting in your iPhone camera app.

Soon there may be a Cydia app which will give you HDR on iPhone 3GS or 3G in a single click. But until then this is how you can have the HDR photography.

[via RichyRich]

Update 1 – Cydia Tweak To Enable HDR Photos

A Cydia app is now available to enable HDR photos in iPhone 3GS, 3G iOS 4.1.

Update 2 – Jailbreak iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G

Here is how you can jailbreak iPhone 3G on iOS 4.1 using redsn0w 0.9.6 Beta.

For iPhone 3GS, we now have GreenPois0n or Limera1n jailbreak tools.

Jailbreak iPhone 3GS iOS 4.1 using GreenPois0n

Jailbreak iPhone 3GS using Limera1n

Update 3 – Enable HDR in iPod Touch 4G

iPod Touch 4G users can now enable HDR after jailbreaking with either GreenPois0n or Limera1n.

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17 Responses

  1. Nik says:

    Tested it no work.

  2. Luilli says:

    It doesn’t work. Tested in an iPhone 3G with 4.1 and jailbreak.

  3. The Phizzle says:

    I put the HDR setting in the photo settings area. There is no way to toggle it on and off and it doesn’t save the original photo for comparison but the photos do come out looking much crisper than they did before.

  4. The Phizzle says:


  5. randomtask16 says:

    Tested on 3Gs 4.1 jailbroken
    Did not work.
    Also the cydia app Does not work either, seems to be specifically for iPod 4G

  6. stone says:

    does not work on iPhone 3gs 4.1 jb

  7. heyyah says:

    Does not work on iPhone 3GS.

  8. Tom says:

    What a piece of S***!!!!! always the same!!!!!

    Nobody test this staffs first!!!!!

    OK guys, that´s right keep on this way, you´r doing fine!!!!


  9. Gheorghe says:

    1. The presented algorithm is doing what it say. The settings are available in the Setting-Pictures and allow the appearance of settings for HDR.
    2. For iPhone 3GS jailbreaked and unlocked (new boot…), using iOS 4.1, this setting has no effect in Camera.
    3. Using proHDR (you can buy it for 1.99 USD from AppStore or take it using installous – I tested both versions and of course I keept the paied one) was my choice after I undo the original N88AP.plist file.

    proHDR pros and cons:
    1. A fantastic picture in comparation with the default one (the normal one push camera picture).
    1. To take a picture you have to wait, unmoving your camera, more than 15 seconds (calibration and tacking 2 pictures).
    2. After that you have to wait other 20-30 seconds until the two images are merged.
    3. At the end you have to decide and approve the saving of the picture or you can ”distroy” all work using your own settings.
    4. There will be on memory 3 pictures at the end: one dark, one light and the final one, merged between first two.

    Conclusion: If you choose well a focus point in your scena before to make the photo using the normal Camera application delivered by Apple and you accept to make a ”two touches” picture, you can obtain the same effect at the final, just one picture and more faster.

  10. Dude10 says:

    Thx man it” s work on iphone 3g 4.1 and 4.2.1

  11. Sangokudbz79 says:

    Totally works! The cydia tool dosen’t work, but adding the line to the NA88.plist works! 3gs old boot 4.1 with sn0wbreeze.

  12. iNerd says:

    Just install myOs from cydia. Then enable in settings. Done.

  13. alikh says:

    f**k you,you stuck me at apple logo

  14. Chan le says:

    Tried on 3GS. The ‘hdr on’ button appear in the camera app, but the photo quality aren’t change

  15. justin says:

    Tried on 3GS iOS 4.2.1. The button shows up on the camera app, but it doesn’t appear to affect the photo produced. Too bad.

  16. babooshka says:

    been trying this since it came out, it’s never worked, it does what Justin says, places a HDR toggle on screen but it does jack sh1t, the pictures are no better than the default app. pro HDR used to be good but crashes constantly and true HDR is a pile of crap. best advice is learn to compose your shots properly 🙂