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12-12-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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Pentax K-3 HDR

I have used in camera HDR on the various settings and I'm not sure that the photos are not much different that taking a photo properly exposed without HDR. How successful is in camera HDR with out any post processing software? Any comments on proper use of in camera HDR would be appreciated.

12-12-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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HDR jpegs should have a noticeably different look compared to non-HDR jpegs, but if you were to shoot a normal raw file and process it (lifting shadows, etc.) it would probably end up looking a lot like the HDR jpeg.

Remember that the camera gives you a number of options regarding the strength of the HDR effect, so play around a bit until you get the results you're looking for.

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12-12-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
HDR jpegs should have a noticeably different look compared to non-HDR jpegs, but if you were to shoot a normal raw file and process it (lifting shadows, etc.) it would probably end up looking a lot like the HDR jpeg.

Remember that the camera gives you a number of options regarding the strength of the HDR effect, so play around a bit until you get the results you're looking for.
K-3's in-camera HDR works OK and offers more exposure latitude. The problem is the in-camera processing that you see is somewhat conservative and biased toward the middle exposed shot by default. The results in your K-3 display can be subtle though. You can see the additional lattitude when looking at one of the large HDR-RAW files in Lightroom and seeing a lot more shadow and highlight material via the histogram.

My tip is to use the Digital Camera Utility to separate out the separate RAW files and re-merge them with Topaz, Lightroom or NIK plug-in to suit. See https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/photo-articles/pentax-dcu5-hdr-merging.html for further details.

Last edited by johnhilvert; 12-12-2015 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Wrong link
12-13-2015, 04:40 AM   #4
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I think the biggest thing about HDR -- either in camera or with free standing software -- is that it is best used on high dynamic range images. If you take a photo in a normal situation, you don't need the extra dynamic range and HDR doesn't really change things very much. On the other hand, if you are taking a photo of a sunset or some of other time when you need a lot of dynamic range, then you should see a much bigger difference.

I shoot multiple exposures and combine them in Photomatix, but the concept is the same. But honestly, for the majority of my photos, I get just as good or better results bumping the shadows in Lightroom.

12-13-2015, 07:41 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone and from my limited experience with HDR I also agree with your comments and suggestions. I'm going to experiment with your suggestions and determine which is best for my shots. Thanks again.
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