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02-03-2013, 08:32 AM   #1
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HDR Capture

I am trying to use HDR Capture, but the results I am getting are not what I was expecting.

What I get is an image that is very over exposed.

I shoot in manual, so what I do is set the exposure for the scene, and then go to HDR Capture, and set it to HDR (three bars) and then say yes to Auto Align.

I've read somewhere that I should increase the shutter speed when in HDR Capture - but by how much? And for that matter..why should I need to?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

02-03-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cowbelle Quote
I've read somewhere that I should increase the shutter speed when in HDR Capture - but by how much?
-1ev will get you there (I shoot left even when bracketing and adjust in post), use the ev-+ display scale when in hyper manual mode to see in real time [while you are actively changing shutter speed] where your exposure is at.

QuoteOriginally posted by cowbelle Quote
And for that matter..why should I need to?
You don't need too.

Post some pictures of the results you are currently getting.
02-03-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
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In camera HDR is not very good. Keep it at "auto" or the lowest setting, otherwise it just turns everything grey.
What you want to do is go to Av mode, set aperture to f8 or something, focus, then set to manual, do exposure bracketing, and then use computer software to make a single tonemapped HDR image. There are many "HDR plugins" or softwares, and they use different algorithms. Search these forums for some other threads on this, I think we've had a couple.

I only use in-camera HDR for "night HDR" in scn. If I have a tripod and a manual lens. Basically, I find that with the current Pentax DSLRs you don't even need HDR, just shoot raw and your photos will probably have enough data to make them look HDR-ish
02-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to the Forum!

There are two methods to do HDR with Pentax. It also helps to know what specific camera model you are working with. Also, a tripod is recommended for both, or at least setting the camera on a hard surface and holding it very still.
  • The first one is what is referred to as "in camera HDR", since the camera does everything - takes 3 images and combines them together, with the end result being a single JPG image. I am guessing that is what you may be referring to. In many ways you get what you get as a result. As Joe and Na have posted you can make some adjustments in terms of the ev and somewhat experiment. I see it as a gimmick and not really useful.
  • The second way is referred to as "Bracketing", and is listed as such in your user's manual. In bracketing, the camera takes 3 to 5 images and stores them individually on the sd card for later (post) processing using other PC utility software. Depending on how you have your camera setup, you may need to maintain the shutter pressed down (or the external shutter release) until the camera is finished taking all 3 or 5 images (on the setup of the mode, you are able to specify either 3 or 5 images depending on what camera you have - also you can specify how much separation you want in terms of ev (1/3, 1/2, 1, or 2 ev)).
I personally use the second approach. I have never even tried the first. After the camera takes the images, you load them on the PC and then use a program to process them into a single image. Yes, its an additional step, but the results are 10000000% better, and you can control what the final image looks like. There are LOTs of software out there for HDR processing. I have used a lot of them. The best one that I like (and there is a lot of personal preference here), is Oloeno. They have a free 30 day trial, and two versions. Its worth a try - the results are controlled by you. Its pretty drop dead easy to use - point and click.....There is a LOT of other software too, some of it free for use that is available. Here are some lists and reviews....
... hope that helps....



Last edited by interested_observer; 02-03-2013 at 11:51 AM.
02-03-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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The in-camera HDR is usable with the right adjustments...very low post processing needed to obtain acceptable results..."real" HDR software is better, but how often will you take the time to use that workflow?

Shoot auto or lowest setting as Na Horuk already mentioned. Set exposure compensation to -1 as Joe.Penn recommended. I sometimes compensate even more.The attached image was made at -1.3.

Then in any editing software add contrast. I know that goes against the very reason HDR is used--to reduce contrast. In camera HDR flattens contrast while narrowing dynamic range of the image. Add back the contrast you want and the image improves. I tickle the midrange exposure a bit too and recover decent images with less than 1 minute of total post processing time.
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02-04-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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Thanks to all of you who replied to my query - I will try out all of your suggestions in the next day or so. Unfortunately, I couldn't make time today. I'll post here in the next day or so as to how it went..and also post some examples of my efforts. Lucky you! Oh and by the way, My camera is a k5.
02-04-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Hi and welcome to the Forum!

There are two methods to do HDR with Pentax. It also helps to know what specific camera model you are working with. Also, a tripod is recommended for both, or at least setting the camera on a hard surface and holding it very still.
  • The first one is what is referred to as "in camera HDR", since the camera does everything - takes 3 images and combines them together, with the end result being a single JPG image. I am guessing that is what you may be referring to. In many ways you get what you get as a result. As Joe and Na have posted you can make some adjustments in terms of the ev and somewhat experiment. I see it as a gimmick and not really useful.
  • The second way is referred to as "Bracketing", and is listed as such in your user's manual. In bracketing, the camera takes 3 to 5 images and stores them individually on the sd card for later (post) processing using other PC utility software. Depending on how you have your camera setup, you may need to maintain the shutter pressed down (or the external shutter release) until the camera is finished taking all 3 or 5 images (on the setup of the mode, you are able to specify either 3 or 5 images depending on what camera you have - also you can specify how much separation you want in terms of ev (1/3, 1/2, 1, or 2 ev)).
I personally use the second approach. I have never even tried the first. After the camera takes the images, you load them on the PC and then use a program to process them into a single image. Yes, its an additional step, but the results are 10000000% better, and you can control what the final image looks like. There are LOTs of software out there for HDR processing. I have used a lot of them. The best one that I like (and there is a lot of personal preference here), is Oloeno. They have a free 30 day trial, and two versions. Its worth a try - the results are controlled by you. Its pretty drop dead easy to use - point and click.....There is a LOT of other software too, some of it free for use that is available. Here are some lists and reviews....
... hope that helps....
As interested_observer said, there is a lot of room for personal preference in HDR programs. I love Oloneo but have found it's not very good at aligning the images. I rarely use a tripod so Oloneo hasn't worked out for me. If you DO use a tripod then I'd have to agree it's really good and easy to use. I have used it successfully using Photomatix to do the aligning and then opening up the resulting HDR file in Oloneo to tone map it, but that's a lot more work.

A lot of people like Photomatix. That's what I used at first but it tends to give that over processed, grungy, haloed look that I don't like so much anymore. I like my HDR to look more natural now.

Currently I'm using Machinery 2.5. It's great at aligning images, easy to use, and gives natural results. But...it's slow and requires a lot of computer to tolerably run it. You can look at my albums here on the forum to see examples of what it can do.

interested_observer gave some great links. I'm sure you'll find something you can use. But for the best quality, I wouldn't use the in camera HDR. The software approach is harder, but the results are worth it.

Hope this helps...
02-05-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by post_eos Quote
As interested_observer said, there is a lot of room for personal preference in HDR programs. I love Oloneo but have found it's not very good at aligning the images. I rarely use a tripod so Oloneo hasn't worked out for me. If you DO use a tripod then I'd have to agree it's really good and easy to use. I have used it successfully using Photomatix to do the aligning and then opening up the resulting HDR file in Oloneo to tone map it, but that's a lot more work.

A lot of people like Photomatix. That's what I used at first but it tends to give that over processed, grungy, haloed look that I don't like so much anymore. I like my HDR to look more natural now.

Currently I'm using Machinery 2.5. It's great at aligning images, easy to use, and gives natural results. But...it's slow and requires a lot of computer to tolerably run it. You can look at my albums here on the forum to see examples of what it can do.

interested_observer gave some great links. I'm sure you'll find something you can use. But for the best quality, I wouldn't use the in camera HDR. The software approach is harder, but the results are worth it.

Hope this helps...
I just took a look at Machinery and indeed it does look to solve some shortcomings with Oloeno. I normally do shoot on a tripod most of the time. Even with that, I have had some shots not align correctly (had to turn auto alignment off) caused by moving traffic on evening low ambient light shots. I too like the more natural looks. Photomatix has been hit and miss for me for whatever reasons.

Thanks for the Machinery link. I had not run across it, and it does look very interesting...

The K5 is wonderful at bracketing. I use ISO 80 in AV usually at something like f8, and let the camera figure the rest out. I have be able to capture some really nice shots.



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