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02-04-2014, 02:06 AM - 1 Like   #1
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In camera HDR vs post processing HDR?

I've tried out the in-camera HDR on my Pentax K-30, and while it improves my shots, it is nothing compared to the fantastic HDR shots I've seen on the forums. I'm wondering if the post-processing makes that much of a difference. Also, I've been shooting in jpegs... I guess I should use raw and that will help with my shots.

So basically, can someone give me advice about how I should do HDR (I have photoshop - not sure if that's good enough but don't really have the budget to buy a really expensive program ATM) and also about when to take raw (and raw+?) (I know you might say all the time - but don't they take up a considerable amount of space?)

Thanks. I appreciate your feedback and also your stunning photos

02-04-2014, 02:22 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Just set you camera to bracket, set you bracketing EV steps to reflect how dramatic you want the HDR and check out Luminance HDR. I have never liked in camera HDR. There are so many facets you can control within PP software.
02-04-2014, 02:30 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
Just set you camera to bracket, set you bracketing EV steps to reflect how dramatic you want the HDR and check out Luminance HDR. I have never liked in camera HDR. There are so many facets you can control within PP software.
Thanks.

So I downloaded Luminance HDR and the computer (mac) won't open it. Is there something special I'm meant to do or did wrong?
02-04-2014, 02:32 AM   #4
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You do have a Apple computer correct? I have not used it on the mac side as I am a PC guy, it should be in DMG format which you may have to mount it first.

02-04-2014, 02:50 AM   #5
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I have to agree with the OP. the In camera HDR is fine for indoor realestate work like i do part-time , where the images are reduced for virtual tours on web pages, but when i try to use the the full size image, the three exposures needed to create the HDR cause way too much blur. Even on a tripod with 2s mirror up delay. Post processing seems the best. But for web based virtual tours, the in camera HDR is fine.
02-04-2014, 02:51 AM   #6
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Post processed (manually adjusted in software) HDR has basically the same advantages as shooting RAW. You get a lot more control before final output than in camera HDR. The disadvantages are the same too, in that if you're bad at the pp work you get a bad or fake looking image. With a K-5 you can do decent hdr from one RAW exposure. Take it 2 stops underexposed and process from there. However, I think you'll usually get better results from bracketing at least 2 shots. I've tried 2, 3, and 5 shots. 5 doesn't seem to yeild any significantly better results than 3 unless you're really spending time on it. I usually bracket +2, 0, -2.

As for software, you can do it all in Photoshop if you're proficient, but there are plug-ins and stand alones that are faster and easier.
NikSoftware's HDR PRO is cheaper since Google bought Nik and a great program.
Photomatix is also popular.
For a good free tutorial go see what Trey Ratcliff has to say at stuckincustoms.

I'm sure lots of people here would be glad to help more if you need it.
02-04-2014, 03:02 AM   #7
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OK, thanks all for the great responses. Next shoot with a tripod I'll try some RAW and HDR photos. I'm not sure what I did wrong with the Luminance HDR program but once I downloaded it gave me an error message, firstly that it was downloaded from an unreliable source (or something like that - I just downloaded it from the website) and then later I clicked a different part and it said I didn't have the right program to open it with. Do a need a special program to open it with? And PANGU_yien - thanks for the program suggestions - once I've got some RAW photos which I want to combine into a RAW file I'll see what I like/what best suits my needs.
02-04-2014, 03:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
OK, thanks all for the great responses. Next shoot with a tripod I'll try some RAW and HDR photos. I'm not sure what I did wrong with the Luminance HDR program but once I downloaded it gave me an error message, firstly that it was downloaded from an unreliable source (or something like that - I just downloaded it from the website) and then later I clicked a different part and it said I didn't have the right program to open it with. Do a need a special program to open it with? And PANGU_yien - thanks for the program suggestions - once I've got some RAW photos which I want to combine into a RAW file I'll see what I like/what best suits my needs.
Just a thought, what camera will you use?

Also, Nik and Photomatix auto align your exposures whether they're from a tripod or handheld. I've gotten some more than acceptable 5 exposure handhelds aligned perfectly with no effort in Nik.

02-04-2014, 03:52 AM   #9
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I use Photomatix for the most part. I have Nik Collection, which has an HDR software package in it, but I don't like it as well. I do like to shoot on a tripod if possible. The software can line things up, but if you happen to have a little camera shake in one of your images, it can make things not turn out. I also like to shoot at low iso and there, tripod is helpful too.

The big difference between in camera HDR and post processing is that you control the look. So, you can make things subtle or cartoony as you please.
02-04-2014, 07:13 AM   #10
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But please don't use Trey Ratcliff's work as an example of what HDR should look like. I think he often gives interesting advice on methodology, but on 3 different monitors and 2 tablets I have found his pictures to be far too exaggerated in their colour rendition.

Maybe they would be good for TV adverts or SF paperback covers, but I find them somewhat disturbing.
02-04-2014, 07:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
OK, thanks all for the great responses. Next shoot with a tripod I'll try some RAW and HDR photos. I'm not sure what I did wrong with the Luminance HDR program but once I downloaded it gave me an error message, firstly that it was downloaded from an unreliable source (or something like that - I just downloaded it from the website) and then later I clicked a different part and it said I didn't have the right program to open it with. Do a need a special program to open it with? And PANGU_yien - thanks for the program suggestions - once I've got some RAW photos which I want to combine into a RAW file I'll see what I like/what best suits my needs.
Hi ausmoose,
I'm also a mac user. I downloaded Luminance and it crashes, seems that the image file is corrupted. I'll let you know if I find the solutions
Greetings
02-04-2014, 07:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ausmoose Quote
OK, thanks all for the great responses. Next shoot with a tripod I'll try some RAW and HDR photos. I'm not sure what I did wrong with the Luminance HDR program but once I downloaded it gave me an error message, firstly that it was downloaded from an unreliable source (or something like that - I just downloaded it from the website) and then later I clicked a different part and it said I didn't have the right program to open it with. Do a need a special program to open it with? And PANGU_yien - thanks for the program suggestions - once I've got some RAW photos which I want to combine into a RAW file I'll see what I like/what best suits my needs.
Hi again ausmoose;
from the Luminance website "For Mac OS X users, Luminance HDR has been compiled on Maverick (10.9) and should be compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 as well." Which Mac OSX are you using?
On OSX 10.7.5 doesn't work, you have to upgrade your OS (not a bad idea) or look for some other HDR processing software.
02-04-2014, 01:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Patan Quote
Hi again ausmoose;
from the Luminance website "For Mac OS X users, Luminance HDR has been compiled on Maverick (10.9) and should be compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 as well." Which Mac OSX are you using?
On OSX 10.7.5 doesn't work, you have to upgrade your OS (not a bad idea) or look for some other HDR processing software.
Actually, I have 10.9.1 - more recent than the 10.9. Could this be my problem? - I think it's just an upgrade from the 10.9 though..
02-05-2014, 08:38 AM   #14
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I have tried in camera HDR and not thought the results were even HDR. I think it's a post processing HDR that makes the photos look like HDR. Just my opinion.
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