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07-12-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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K-7 In-camera HDR

I am not an HDR guy (most of it looks like a video game) but I thought it would be fun to play with it a bit since it is in the camera. Here are some shots of my ubiquitous cottage in a high-constrast lighting:

Single exposure:


HDR 1 (weak) setting:


HDR2 (Strong) setting:


Me trying to get the same effect using the single exposure in PP dropping contrast and raising shadows:


It is easy to do, but you of course need a tripod, and the scene cannot change at all.

07-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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thank you. Looks like HDR is not a gimmick and works great.
07-12-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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Interesting feature indeed. However, HDR is not required for that type of scene because there is enough DR to capture both the shadows and the highlights. Could you do similar test with sun in the frame during the sunset?
07-12-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Maffer Quote
Interesting feature indeed. However, HDR is not required for that type of scene because there is enough DR to capture both the shadows and the highlights. Could you do similar test with sun in the frame during the sunset?
I like the HDR2 picture the best - it has great shadow detail and color saturation. I doubt that this could be done with one exposure even in this rather benign situation.

07-12-2009, 03:55 PM   #5
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Yes indeed, HDR versions have greater detail in the shadows. I just think shadows are shadows for a reason The single exposure has enough detail in the shadows on my calibrated display and looks more mysterious due to the diminished detail in the darker areas. Generally, with subtle HDR one can avoid total silhouettes or black spots but still retain interesting shadows.
07-12-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Maffer Quote
Interesting feature indeed. However, HDR is not required for that type of scene because there is enough DR to capture both the shadows and the highlights. Could you do similar test with sun in the frame during the sunset?
You are correct maffer. I tried to select the highest contrast scene I could think of at the moment, using my trusty cottage. I was not completely successful because the DR of the scene fit the histogram.

Sorry about that. But at least it gives an indication of what the HDR fuction does. I'll try to select a better lighting situation and try again.

EDIT: I went back and tried to get a very wide DR of lighting that would clip at the low and high end. I learned that you can't adjust the multi-exposure settings of the HDR feature to make the exposures wider apart. This limits you to using the HDR function if the highlights or shadows are just barely clipped. If they are strongly clipped, you cannot expand the exposure range to capture everything. Therefore, if you are into HDR, it is probably better to just use multi-exposure, and use software postprocessing.

Well, no big deal. I am not into HDR anyway. So ends my interest in this feature.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-12-2009 at 10:37 PM.
07-13-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
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PentaxPoke.... Good post on the hdr feature. I shoot real estate on a part-time basis to pay for my equipment and florida vacations. I generally do 3 exposures and merge/adjust them in photoshop. when i saw your test results i took your hdr 'weak' image and used the image/adjustments/levels slider in cs4 to make a small adjustment and then a touch of the burn tool for the background. Its looks like using the hdr feature will shorten my initial and post processing times. I'll be trying this out on the next shoot. Thanks for the post, i'm always looking for a way to reduce the pp and produce a nice image! Heres the result:

Last edited by ivoire; 10-04-2010 at 03:59 PM.
07-13-2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivoire Quote
PentaxPoke.... Good post on the hdr feature. I shoot real estate on a part-time basis to pay for my equipment and florida vacations.
<sarcasm>
Wait. Are you suggesting that you get paid for taking pictures with your Pentax gear? Surely not! You can't possibly do that, since Pentax doesn't make a Full Frame Sensor, and everyone knows you have to have that to make money!
</sarcasm>

More on-topic: The in-camera HDR was one of the things that almost tipped the wagon in favor of the K-7 for me. It looks very interesting. I'm going to have to get my hands on one and play with it. Thanks for the provided images, OP.

07-14-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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I was struck by how tasteful the built-in HDR is in these pix. I should have known that Pentax wouldn't offer a feature to make normal images look awful!
07-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #10
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I think my wife has the same David Winter cottage.
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