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08-07-2016, 11:21 AM   #1
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K-1 HDR Settings Question

I have never done HDR in either post or in camera. I would like to try the in camera HDR in my new K-1. There are five settings in menu 3 for the HDR function (in addition to off), Auto, 1,2,3, and ADV and I can't find any explanation or definitions of these in the operating manual. Any help in understanding these would be appreciated. Also, is there any reason not to use the auto align setting (landscape scene on a tripod)? Thanks.


Last edited by wanderer2; 08-07-2016 at 11:26 AM.
08-07-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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The auto-align is useful when shooting handheld, the camera will align the three bracketed shots even when shooting RAW. The Auto mode is a kind of exposure fusion rather than tone mapping of HDR, in Auto mode, my experience is that you get realistic looking photos and gain about one additional stop of dynamic range (protection the high lights). If you select extended dynamic range and HDR Auto, you then gain about two stops of dynamic range for the high lights. Regarding HDR Auto, 1,2,3, ADV, if you shoot RAW, you can later on select one of them or simply not use HDR at all in which case the camera will discard the bracketed shots and keep the normally expose one as in single shot mode. Note that the final rendering of the HDR shot is also modified by white balance etc..If you shoot RAW+Extended DR+HDR (regardless which one you select), you then have the full freedom in RAW to JPEG conversion to discard HR, or select a set of HDR that you prefer. The downside of HDR shooting ifor landscape is that it takes mode space on your SD cards, as every RAW HDR actually contains 3 RAW files.
08-07-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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You have two basic choices. The first is to use the in-camera feature as detailed above by biz-engineer. If shot as JPEG, the camera will do the merge. If recorded as a RAW file, the HDR merge must be done using the Pentax Digital Camera Utility that came with your camera.

The second option is to do HDR from a series of bracketed exposures and do the merge in software as part of post-processing. I use a free product called HDRMerge. Current versions of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom also provide the ability to do HDR from a series of bracketed exposures.


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08-07-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
I have never done HDR in either post or in camera. I would like to try the in camera HDR in my new K-1. There are five settings in menu 3 for the HDR function (in addition to off), Auto, 1,2,3, and ADV and I can't find any explanation or definitions of these in the operating manual. Any help in understanding these would be appreciated. Also, is there any reason not to use the auto align setting (landscape scene on a tripod)? Thanks.
For in-camera JPEGs, HDR 1 is the weakest and HDR 3 is the strongest. Auto picks one of the three, usually HDR 2 (not sure what it's based on). On top of this, you also get to choose the EV spread in the menu.

Advanced HDR is essentially HDR 2 with an additional boost to contrast and saturation. See an example at the bottom of this page:
Pentax K-1 Review - General Image Quality | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Or in the middle of this page, which compares a JPEG HDR to a standard RAW with a strong shadow/highlight boost:
Pentax K-S2 Review - General Image Quality | PentaxForums.com Reviews


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08-07-2016, 12:42 PM   #5
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I've found that ADV mode creates a very abstract look, like a hand-colored lithograph from 100 years ago. Highlights, for example, look like they were burned down in a darkroom by someone told to allow nothing to be blown out. Sometimes it works, other times it is frankly horrible...

The other modes are much more subtle and conventional, though, with varying levels of effect.

Oddly, so far I've only really used the ADV setting as I wanted the gimmicky look for a few things.

-Eric
08-07-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
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The information from all of you is very helpful, thank you all very much. I should have stated in my original post I am shooting in raw, although, at least in the beginning of my K-1 experience, I'm shooting raw on one SD card, jpg on the other. I'm also trying pixel shift and had to buy a couple of large capacity cards - this camera can produce some really huge files, especially in pixel shift and also HDR it seems.

The landscape IQ and resolution with this camera is spectacular! I'm so glad I bought one - worth every penny and more, even with having to buy all new glass. And this forum is a gold mine of useful information, I'm so glad it's here. It's makes the transfer to Pentax much easier. Thanks again.
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