Puzzling HDR Queries


Oct 26, 2011
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#1
Hey guys,

Tried searching for info pertaining to HDR but the more I read, the more confused I get.

Just wondering;

1. Do most people use auto bracketing for HDR shots?

2. I came across this in a camera manual but I don't really get what this means --
"Exposure bracketing: 3 shots in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV" -- Could someone shed some light please?

What's the difference between the above and this: "3 continuous exposures selectable, in 0.3 or 0.7-stop increment"?

And what would be the difference between the above 2 and this: "3 shots +/- 2 EV, 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments"

3. Any advantages shooting manually over using auto bracketing?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Dec 12, 2012
871
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Singapore
#2
Hi from my limited experience with HDR, I would say that manually doing it will allow you to choose different exposure increment levels as opposed to when you use auto bracketing. Eg: with the auto bracketing you can only have the prescribed exposure levels that you mentioned.

lets say for a given scene you get the shot set up and want to use bracketing. You feel that on the overall, the sceme is too bright and decide that the base exposure value should be -1EV. Then, using your camera's prescribed 0.3 increment exposures will give you three shots at -1.3EV, -1EV, -0.7EV.

If you used the 0.7 Increments, for the same situation you'd get 3 shots of -1.7EV, -1EV and -0.3EV.

However, if you decide not to use auto bracketing, you can tell the camera what 3 exposure values you'd like to take of the scene eg -1EV-2EV and -0.3EV. After which, you can dump all three shots into a HDR software and get your very own HDR shot.

Hope this helps!

Cheers!
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
822
13
18
#3
Hey guys,

Tried searching for info pertaining to HDR but the more I read, the more confused I get.

Just wondering;

1. Do most people use auto bracketing for HDR shots?

2. I came across this in a camera manual but I don't really get what this means --
"Exposure bracketing: 3 shots in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV" -- Could someone shed some light please?

What's the difference between the above and this: "3 continuous exposures selectable, in 0.3 or 0.7-stop increment"?

And what would be the difference between the above 2 and this: "3 shots +/- 2 EV, 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments"

3. Any advantages shooting manually over using auto bracketing?

Thanks in advance!
HDR and auto bracketing are two separate issues. Older cameras may not have HDR ( in camera processing) but only auto bracketing. Now it's normal to include in camera HDR processing but
only in jpeg format as HDR requires memory and computing power with more powerful image processing chips inside camera.Previously you can only use stand alone HDR software like Photomatix and others to do HDR in RAW format which is superior in output. It is still the preferred method for high quality and flexibility. There are free HDR software that you can download with credible performance.

Auto bracketing is straight forward it will take anywhere from 3,5 or more exposures depending on how advanced the camera is after selecting exposure/EV settings. HDR is not the same, in less advanced cameras or even in better ones when you select HDR mode everything is preset, there is no need to set auto bracketing. It will take at least 3 continuous exposures which is the minimum to do HDR in jpeg format in camera.The exposure for 3 frames is as follow +1 stop over expose,0-normal correct exposure, -1 stop under expose. Numerically is +1 0 -1 .In advanced cameras it may go +/- 2 stops for greater dynamic range.This will be 5 frames in total. Stand alone HDR software can process more frames. The disadvantage of in camera HDR is that you can't
undo or reprocess the image. You have to accept the default result or image.

How to take HDR pictures - Normally pictures are of still life or landscape. It can be portraits also. This requires a tripod for good frame registration. Software can stitch frames as best it can.
Of course you can make exposures manually but it is faster and more convenient if it is automatic.
Less chance of camera shake and frame registration misalignment. Hope you can understand now.:)

PS there are online articles and tutorials for various HDR software. Do read for more
info.
 

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Oct 26, 2011
92
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6
#4
Thanks for the help people!

Truth be told, I'm still kind of confused.

COMPARING THIS:
"Exposure bracketing: 3 shots in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV" (Nikon D5300)

WITH THIS:
"3 continuous exposures selectable, in 0.3 or 0.7-stop increment" (Sony A55)

which would allow for larger increments in EV?

I know that for the A55, the maximum 0.7 increment means that at best, difference in EV can only be 0.7EV. So for example, (0.3 EV, 1 EV, 1,7 EV) or (-2.7 EV, 2 EV, 2.7 EV). (Pls correct me if I'm wrong)

What about the D5300?

I'm thinking the increments must be higher than the A55 else D5300 users will definitely be making a hell lot of noise just as what A55 users are doing, but this isn't the case.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#5
In this case it's simply the rounding off that is troubling you. Both are the same.

Increments of 0.3
.... -1.3,-1.0,-0.7,-0.3,0,+0.3,+0.7,+1, ...etc

Same as increments of 1/3
....-1 1/3, -1, -2/3, -1/3, 0, +1/3, +2/3, +1...etc

They are exactly the same. Just that one is a decimal representation and the other is fractional representation.
 

Oct 26, 2011
92
0
6
#6
In this case it's simply the rounding off that is troubling you. Both are the same. Increments of 0.3 .... -1.3,-1.0,-0.7,-0.3,0,+0.3,+0.7,+1, ...etc Same as increments of 1/3 ....-1 1/3, -1, -2/3, -1/3, 0, +1/3, +2/3, +1...etc They are exactly the same. Just that one is a decimal representation and the other is fractional representation.
Does that mean the A55 has larger EV increments than the D5300 in the auto-bracketing function? If that's the case, why aren't the D5300 users complaining?

Saw this in DPreview and it seems to tell a different thing: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3592660
 

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edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#7
Does that mean the A55 has larger EV increments than the D5300 in the auto-bracketing function? If that's the case, why aren't the D5300 users complaining?

Saw this in DPreview and it seems to tell a different thing: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3592660
...Whether or not it is larger or smaller, people usually get the camera and deal with it. Entry level cameras usually have more limited bracketing functions compared to advanced ones.

You are really being too concerned about a simple number, which means next to nothing in practical use - it's not as if there is no workaround. Autobracketing is useful IF you intend to take handheld HDR shots but all these cameras are DSLRs which means that they will most definitely have a Manual mode and you can adjust manually from there. That's what I do, because I believe in using a tripod to shoot HDR, and also using the timer mode or remote mode to reduce camera shake from the mirror slapping.

...And I certainly hope you are not considering Nikon D5300 and Sony A55 with the autobracketing function being the deciding factor. That's like comparing a Toyota and Nissan and saying that the door handle will allow you to decide which car to buy.
 

Oct 26, 2011
92
0
6
#8
...Whether or not it is larger or smaller, people usually get the camera and deal with it. Entry level cameras usually have more limited bracketing functions compared to advanced ones. You are really being too concerned about a simple number, which means next to nothing in practical use - it's not as if there is no workaround. Autobracketing is useful IF you intend to take handheld HDR shots but all these cameras are DSLRs which means that they will most definitely have a Manual mode and you can adjust manually from there. That's what I do, because I believe in using a tripod to shoot HDR, and also using the timer mode or remote mode to reduce camera shake from the mirror slapping. ...And I certainly hope you are not considering Nikon D5300 and Sony A55 with the autobracketing function being the deciding factor. That's like comparing a Toyota and Nissan and saying that the door handle will allow you to decide which car to buy.
Rest assure that I'm not deciding merely based on the AEB function.

I do intend to use AEB a lot as opposed to manually adjusting exposures because of ease of convenience/ time issues.

Possible to clarify my doubts?

Thanks for your tips!
 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
6,042
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38
The Universe
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#9
Rest assure that I'm not deciding merely based on the AEB function.

I do intend to use AEB a lot as opposed to manually adjusting exposures because of ease of convenience/ time issues.

Possible to clarify my doubts?

Thanks for your tips!
Go to the shops and try out the camera lor. That's the fastest. I don't think many people here have both the A55 and Nikon D5300. You could always ask separately in the Sony and Nikon sections.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
822
13
18
#10
Rest assure that I'm not deciding merely based on the AEB function.

I do intend to use AEB a lot as opposed to manually adjusting exposures because of ease of convenience/ time issues.

Possible to clarify my doubts?

Thanks for your tips!
What's the fuss about? You have not understood my post either.Like I said HDR and auto bracketing are two different topics.In camera HDR processing will only do 3 frames and if you can select
the EV stops,choosing a finer step will not help as you need a larger EV step which is +/-1 in addition to normal/correct exposure to give good dynamic range.( Which is probably the preset settings ).

For auto bracketing if you have finer EV steps the better and it's really a firmware/operating
system software of a particular camera.You can ask users to petition a manufacturer to change
or implement a feature you want subject to memory requirements in the camera ( just adding a few lines of code ) but most manufacturers will not accede to such requests.Change will only come about when competing brand offer better features so they are "forced" to do so out of economic necessity.

In reality whether you have fine steps or not is inconsequential as you can correct exposure up to some limits in post processing.So really don't tear your hair out over this.:)But if it bothers you then get one with fine steps.Do remember bracketing means more pictures ( if maximum megapixels is selected ) although now you have big memory cards to choose from.Also longer writing times to memory if you are using entry level camera which may impact on certain types of photographic situations like sports/action but of course you can use a faster memory subject to camera hardware limitations.
 

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