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05-17-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
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Whats the difference between 'exposure bracketing' and HDR?

Ive been reading about exposure bracketing for my k-30 tonight, and from what i can tell it just does the same as turning on HDR only it gives you more precise control over the 3 photos taken?

05-17-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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Exposure Bracketing outputs 3 or 5 shots with different sequential exposures. HDR takes it a step further and combines them into one image
05-17-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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Exposure bracketing gives you the number of images separately with each having a different exposure setting.

HDR takes all of those bracketed images and combines them into one.
05-17-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MADDSNIPER Quote
from what i can tell it just does the same as turning on HDR only it gives you more precise control over the 3 photos taken?
Not at all. Can't add much to the explanations above. However, exposure bracketing has been around for a long time. Used with film in tricky lighting situations so you could be sure of getting at least one good shot. Today it can be used for the same purpose, taking several images at different exposures to get one correct or it can be used to take images that will then be combined into an HDR image using software.

The in camera HDR combines several images with different exposures into one HDR image. It gives you little control over the process and I have not been too impressed with my (very limited) test of it. But a good bracketed shot then combined in software like Photomatix can give very good results, depending on your taste.

05-17-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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I would like to add to what enoeske and crew1 already said: In camera HDR only work in JPEG, while you can shoot raw with multi exposures which give you more control.
05-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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No difference if you shoot RAW. You have to take those exposure bracketed shots and either blend them by hand or plug-n-chug them through software that does it for you aka HDR software. Take 5 or 9 bracketed shots, plug them through the software and you can join the obnoxious, hello-2006-called, looking picture club.

Last edited by tuco; 05-17-2013 at 09:36 PM.
05-18-2013, 04:35 AM   #7
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Really no one has actually put the differences out clearly. Exposure bracketing is taking multiple shots of the same image, in order to find the optimum single shot for the exposure.

HDR is combining multiple different exposures for the purpose of expanding the dynamic range of the camera.

Typically exposure bracketing will be tightly controlled over a small range of values.

HDR can cover a very wide range . This range covers the deepest shadow detail, all the way through to the brightest highlights all shot centred in the histogram
05-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Thanks alot for all the replies guys, that helps alot.

05-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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Exposure bracketing is a technical process that has been around for decades and allows one to hedge one's bets exposure-wise. HDR is a fad that needs to go away.

"Stop me before I HDR again!"

When used judiciously and very subtly, combining several images can produce a beautifully exposed photograph. Unfortunately, more often than not, HDR is poorly executed and ends up ruining what could otherwise be a great photograph.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 05-20-2013 at 06:52 PM.
05-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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There is also a pseudo-HDR technique (also known as local tone-mapping) that uses just a single image. Try the free AutoHDR program by Martin Sykes. Again, used conservatively and judiciously, it can nicely provide some life to dull pics.
05-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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One last thought, HDR is almost, but not quite, the same as using a reverse contact mask with film to flatten out the exposure.

Try for example by making a mask layer as a direct copy of the main layer of a shot. Then convert it to a variable transparency B&W layer and simply adjust the overall range of the mask layer. The result , after a little tweaking will be a flatter histogram of the main image. I.e. higher dynamic range
05-26-2013, 04:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
One last thought, HDR is almost, but not quite, the same as using a reverse contact mask with film to flatten out the exposure.

Try for example by making a mask layer as a direct copy of the main layer of a shot. Then convert it to a variable transparency B&W layer and simply adjust the overall range of the mask layer. The result , after a little tweaking will be a flatter histogram of the main image. I.e. higher dynamic range
This sounds very interesting but ive yet to study histograms so its a little lost on me right now, ill get around to histograms soon enough though.
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