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06-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #1
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the 3 forms of HDR on Pentax K-x?

hi there, i looked around and couldn't really find much on the 3 HRD methods that the K-x is capable of doing, so thought i'd start a thread for it, as i am a bit confused about it...

so, the pentax k-x, along with the recent pentax cameras have a digital built in filter that does an HDR imitation, which works pretty well. the effects usually are fairly subtle, so nothing seems too over cooked. but you do get the odd picture here and there that seems over processed. but this method only works by taking one picture, and over and under exposing the different shades on it.

then Pentax k-x also does HDR through its menu system. here it gives you the option of either 'STRONG' or 'STANDARD'. this works very easily. you press the shutter button once, but the camera takes 3 pictures, one right after the other (sometimes its a delay if its a dark environment). and then internally the camera overlaps these three pictures.

now the third method is what other cameras do, which is done through the 'drive' mode where the camera automatically sets the exposure and takes 3 pictures, but it doesn't overlap it, so we have to manaully overlap it on our computer.



so my question is, what exactly is the difference between the second and the third option of the HDR option? i mean, aside from the camera over lapping them in the former, and you manually overlapping them later on? and in the second option, is it possible to change your expossure to whatever you like, or does the camera not give you the option to overlap em?

and last question, are there any free online programs that overlap pictures? i used to have microsoft pictureit and i LOVED it. but got my computer reformatted, and for some reason the new windows didn't come with it...always hated photoshop....

06-23-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
and last question, are there any free online programs that overlap pictures? i used to have microsoft pictureit and i LOVED it. but got my computer reformatted, and for some reason the new windows didn't come with it...always hated photoshop....
One that I like that has enough useful features and layering is paint.net. It was originally a mentorship project that matured into something that Microsoft ended up sponsoring and developing further. Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing
06-24-2011, 01:48 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote

now the third method is what other cameras do, which is done through the 'drive' mode where the camera automatically sets the exposure and takes 3 pictures, but it doesn't overlap it, so we have to manaully overlap it on our computer.
Are you referring to just bracketing here? Bracketing is more to produce 3 images with different exposures from which you'd select the "best" although you could use the images for manual HDR. Bracketing isn't specific for HDR. It's more of an age-old technique to have a range choose the most appropriate exposure. It was often done with 1 stop under, neutral and 1 stop over but the default in the k-x is 1/3 under and over with the ability to change that.
06-25-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bill_R Quote
Are you referring to just bracketing here? Bracketing is more to produce 3 images with different exposures from which you'd select the "best" although you could use the images for manual HDR. Bracketing isn't specific for HDR. It's more of an age-old technique to have a range choose the most appropriate exposure. It was often done with 1 stop under, neutral and 1 stop over but the default in the k-x is 1/3 under and over with the ability to change that.
aah! thats helpful!
now i just need to figure out if pentax built in HDR allows for changing exposures. or am i stuck with the default exposures that pentax allows for?

06-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
aah! thats helpful!
now i just need to figure out if pentax built in HDR allows for changing exposures. or am i stuck with the default exposures that pentax allows for?
k-x has just 2 settings that I think are non-adjustable. k-r has 3 and an auto that picks the setting acoording to the dynamic range of the scene (plus the night scene hdr program).
I'm not sure what the actual settings are but they might go as far as
+/- 3. You could bracket for control,
06-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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Exposure Bracketing

I always look for Bracketing in the index, and it's never there. Pentax calls it Exposure Bracketing instead. Page 110 in the K-x manual, or on the camera, Up on the 4-way controller selects Drive Mode. Then Exposure Bracketing is all the way on the right.

The user interface here is great; you see an Ev bar, and spin the e-dial to select the steps between the images. The camera takes 3 shots, up to plus or minus 3 Ev apart. You can also use exposure compensation combined with Exposure Bracketing, so you could have three images, all underexposed.

On the K-7, you can choose between 3 and 5 images, and up to 5 Ev apart, but if your subject is still enough, the K-x can duplicate this by repeating Exposure Bracketing with different compensation.

Exposure Bracketing won't combine any of the shots in-camera; you'll need software for that. But it is way more flexible and customizeable than the in-camera method. I prefer it, because I can experiment and see what I get if I only use overexposed shots or whatever.
06-25-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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The in-camera HDR processing on the KX sucks. I was not impressed with what the in-camera processing did to pics. Easiest is using the bracketing feature.

On the software front, GIMP is damn nice and is free. For HDR, High Dynamic Photo has a demo version of their software that is unlimited, except for the watermark that it leaves at the bottom. There are some free packages such as FDRTools and there is one other which I cannot remember the name for. I think it's up to the user as to what software they should go with as each package has it's own benefits and drawbacks. And if you want to stay totally cheap, just layer your exposures in GIMP and work on them from there.
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