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10-15-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Help with HDR

My K-5 has been problem free and a joy to use. One exception is the HDR feature. I'm not really big on HDR images but I can see a place for them. I've put the camera in HDR mode and used the auto adjust feature so that it will work without a tripod. The problem is the colour. I expected to see dramatic colour but I received the opposite. I've tried this in various places and the result is always the same washed out image. It seems unlikely that the software is at fault as corrupted software would likely cause other problems rather than just HDR. So it must be me, but what am I doing wrong. Below are two images. The first one uses the K-5 HDR feature and the second one was taken in raw, imported into Lightroom and exported as a Jpeg without any other changes.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
This one is HDR (the subject person's eyes are closed from blinking, not looking into the sun)


This one was taken in raw.


10-15-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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One problem with your colors comes from your frames not matching up, you'll want to try some comparison photos with a tripod. I'm not familiar with the auto adjust feature, but you can tell your frames aren't lining up. Also, when you choose to do an HDR photo, the SR is disabled, so any longer exposures will possibly keep your colors from lining up and giving you that 'pop' feel you are looking for. My K7 seems to produce fairly good HDR photos, although no in-camera processing can produce great HDR images from what I've seen.

Hopefully my rambling has helped you at least a bit!
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10-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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Hi
First and foremost this is not the sort of motive HDR was designed for. Select a scenery with more static contend and one with high dynamic differences. Work (as a test) through all the different HDR settings and decide which one works best for you. Then do some more with similar dynamic ranges, develop a mental picture of the severity of the dynamic range of each test shot and its corresponding in-camera HDR setting so that next time you remember and lock in this setting quickly when confronted with a problem scenery.

I am not certain but I think you actually have to "offer" this feature a high dynamic range "challenge" to see it work properly. I have just tested my HDR on a pretty evenly lit scene and it comes out like yours, however when truly dynamically challenged the pics look fine.

Greetings
10-15-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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The K-5's in built HDR is rubbish. It's there to add to the feature list. I wouldn't bother with it

10-15-2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
The K-5's in built HDR is rubbish. It's there to add to the feature list. I wouldn't bother with it
Absolutely right, get photmatix or one of the other dozen competitors. You can then tailor your hdr to your own tastes, far more satisfying.
10-15-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
The K-5's in built HDR is rubbish. It's there to add to the feature list. I wouldn't bother with it
True

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Absolutely right, get photmatix or one of the other dozen competitors. You can then tailor your hdr to your own tastes, far more satisfying.
Precisely.

I never bother with the K-5 inbuild function, that's why I had a quick tryout before answering this post to see what it actually does. (Not much)

Greetings
10-16-2011, 01:54 AM   #7
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i dont really see the point of the built in HDR anyhow, the k-5 has such amazing dynamic range that simply shooting in raw, exposing for highlights and then boosting in PP would provide just as much dynamic range as a multi-exposure jpg shot
10-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
i dont really see the point of the built in HDR anyhow, the k-5 has such amazing dynamic range that simply shooting in raw, exposing for highlights and then boosting in PP would provide just as much dynamic range as a multi-exposure jpg shot
Thanks for the comments. I don't have a need for the feature but since I has not heard that the built in HDR doesn't work well I thought there might be d something wrong with my K-5. It seems it is kind of a gimick. I'll stick to raw and use some other tools, and a tripod, if I want to experiment with HDR.

10-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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Yep. Much better off shooting RAW and doing your own thing..

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10-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #10
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Ditto

You will get better results with RAW especially with the scene in your sample. If you are interested in HDR the bracketing feature of the k5 works well and Photomatix Pro can be downloaded for about $85 if you search the internet for a coupon code.
I recently started bracketing a bunch of stuff. After processing an HDR I found I could sometimes get better results from one RAW exposure.

I used to use the HDR mode of the k7 and got very few usable results even after processing in Lightroom. I haven't even used the k5 version since not much has probably changed.
10-16-2011, 12:20 PM   #11
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+1 + tripod

QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
...
First and foremost this is not the sort of motive HDR was designed for. Select a scenery with more static content and one with high dynamic differences.
This how I think about in camera HDR +tripod. I think that hand holding is near impossible, but I would like to be proven wrong.
10-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arizona Dave Quote
You will get better results with RAW especially with the scene in your sample. If you are interested in HDR the bracketing feature of the k5 works well and Photomatix Pro can be downloaded for about $85 if you search the internet for a coupon code.
I recently started bracketing a bunch of stuff. After processing an HDR I found I could sometimes get better results from one RAW exposure.

I used to use the HDR mode of the k7 and got very few usable results even after processing in Lightroom. I haven't even used the k5 version since not much has probably changed.
I think the only thing they changed is the ability to turn on an alignment feature which will align the 3 images. Any time I tried the HDR on the K7, even with a support, one frame was always misaligned. Then again, I only tried it once, I didn't care for the fact that it discards the RAW files.

10-18-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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75% of my HDR images are done hand-held and usually at 4 to 5 frames. A lot of software is really good at the auto-alignment.

Speaking of which, if using the built-in K-5 HDR, be sure to have the auto-align selected. It makes a big difference.

Example of a hand-held HDR image processed with Photomatix:
10-20-2011, 07:14 PM   #14
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Several of the replies above are spot on. The in-camera HDR is garbage. But beyond that, what most people don't realize is that most of what people think of as the "HDR Look" is accomplished by applying tone-mapping (a separate step) after the exposures are merged. And this can be used to accomplish a similar look even on non-HDR images.

If you are interested in HDR, I second the suggesting of Photomatix made above, since its HDR align/merge and tonemapping funcitons are both top notch. Nik Software HDR effects pro is also quite good for tonemapping.

Like anything in photography, using HDR effectively takes practice. The key with HDR is moderation. Really, once you get past the wow factor, the majority of images out there suing HDR apply it WAY too heavily, often to images where it is not appropriate, resulting in some pretty grotesque images. When it is done right, however, the results can be fantastic. Unfortunately, in my experience, for every great image, there are several that are absolutely terrible.
08-19-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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I find Oloneo software to be quite good. I am using a trial version and considering purchasing.

Neil
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