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12-08-2014, 06:58 AM   #1
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HDR & Bracketing

How do they work together in the K3? I'd like to have one of my user settings to be HDR. Any recommendations as to how you guys would set it up? Thanks.

12-08-2014, 10:37 AM   #2
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I think you are mixing two different things unless I am misunderstanding you.

The HDR function in the camera combines a number of shots to produce an HDR image. It does so mostly automatically and only works, AFAIK, in jpeg mode. The result, when I tested it, was OK nothing special and better than no image at all. It can be used hand held but is better on a tripod or support.

Bracketing is a shooting mode that will take a series of images while changing the exposure for each. You can use this in difficult lighting and then select the best image. You can also take all of the images and using computer software such as Photoshop or Photomatix combine them into a tone mapped HDR image. You can use jpg or RAW for this but obviously RAW would be greatly preferred. This is almost always done off a tripod although the software has some ability to remove ghosting and movement. But if you are going to all that trouble you might as well use the tripod and do it right.

If I have missed your question please clarify what you need to know.

Last edited by jatrax; 12-08-2014 at 11:47 AM.
12-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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Nope, that explains it. What confused me is, I'm reading "Understanding Exposure" and the author mentions that he does HDR using Bracketing. He's using a Nikon so, that shows Pentax has its own way.

Thanks for Pentax explanation!
12-08-2014, 11:40 AM   #4
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I believe the K-3 will save the HDR Mode shot(s) in RAW. Check out this thread for more info:

I don't have a K-3, but I've got the FX button on my K-5II configured for exposure bracketing.

12-08-2014, 11:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MyTZuS Quote
author mentions that he does HDR using Bracketing. He's using a Nikon so, that shows Pentax has its own way.
I believe he is doing the actual HDR in the computer from bracketed shots, not in the camera. At least as I remember, been awhile since I read that book last. So the process is identical no matter which camera you use. K-3 allows 5 shot brackets which can be an advantage over the 3 shot brackets many other cameras use.
12-08-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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It's the same for Nikon and Pentax.
To have the maximum control and do actual HDR (tonemapping) I'd suggest you bracket some shots and then use a software like Photomatix to "mix" them and fine-tune the look.

A couple of important things:
1. it's very easy to get carried away and overdo it. IMHO nothing is uglier than over-the-top HDR
2. Bracket shots with a +-1EV difference between them, not more. If you want to space them 4 stops apart, you'll need 5 shots (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2), otherwise you risk banding and artifacts when create your HDR composite. Three shots (-2, 0, +2) won't probably be enough. If your camera can only shoot 3-image brackets, you can either limit yourself to a 2-stop difference (-1, 0, +1) or shoot 2 sets with a different EV compensation (e.g. -2, 0, +2 with EV comp set to 0 and then the same with EV comp set to, for instance, +1, which means that you'll get -1, 1, +3: that way you'll have -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)
Can be more difficult to get right if your scene includes moving subjects, but there's deghosting anyway.

It's a pretty compressed explanation, so if you need me to clarify/expand on some points ask away!
12-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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I utilize HDR when the scene calls for it or I can't get the detail I want on both ends of a shot. My end result is usually a higher dynamic range as I purposely let one end or both ends clip for the final image, but it happens on my terms. The result is a more detailed and natural looking photograph, which still has the contrast to make it look natural.

On my K-5 I had a USER mode set to be my bracketing mode. It was based on aperture priority and a 5 shot bracketed series of shots. I actually use a 1.5 stop spacing such that there is a 6 stop difference from end to end. It works well, but it definitely requires a tripod since the 6-stops is made up through the shutter speed. 6-stops leaves a user needing a fairly slow shutter speed in many situations.

Often times, I don't need the full series of exposures, so I'm able to use 3 or 4 of the exposures for my HDR in some cases. LensBeginner mentioned using a 1 stop spacing, which would probably work for me 99% of the time.

With my K-3, I've essentially set the Fx button to shift to bracket mode as I find it a little better than making a user mode. My user mode would always stick in the same f-stop and ISO at the start, which was not ideal to me. I do wish using the Fx could toggle the bracketing on and off. It seems to only set things into bracket mode such that I have to go through the menus to go back to single frame shooting otherwise. Maybe I'm missing something for that.

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