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Author Topic: HDR bracketing  (Read 10864 times)

rocket_scientist

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HDR bracketing
« on: July 22, 2011, 11:52:59 AM »
I got a question for all those HDR lovers out there.  With Canon, one can only do auto bracketing (whether shooting in Aperture Priority or Manual) for three exposures.  For a lot of scenes that I come across, this seems to not capture the entire dynamic range of the scene.  My question is: How do you compensate?  Do  you manually expose 9 brackets and hope you don't bump your tripod or nothing dramatic changes in the scene?  Or, do you deal with only 3 exposures and if so, what is your typical range of compensation (ie +/- 1,2 stops etc)?
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HDR bracketing
« on: July 22, 2011, 11:52:59 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 12:01:36 PM »
Yes, you manually expose, adjusting shutter speed to cover the range you need with the number of shots you want to combine (e.g. 1 EV or 1.5 EV increments). 

With Canon, one can only do auto bracketing (whether shooting in Aperture Priority or Manual) for three exposures.

With most Canon bodies, that is - the 1-series bodies can take 2, 3, 5 or 7 bracketed exposures.
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rocket_scientist

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2011, 12:10:35 PM »
For some reason, the last time I looked at the 1D's (not that I could afford one), I saw only 3 exposure bracketing... Just checked at dpreview and I stand corrected, thanks for pointing that out.  I was a little worried that my friends with Nikon's would be able to do it on a D300s while no Canons could.  I hope the guys at Canon begin to incorporate this into other bodies (it is only a coding issue, I think). My buddy has a remote that does timed exposures, I wonder if that would do auto-bracketing without the need for touching the camera at more than 3 exposures.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 12:31:37 PM »
Nice idea, but unfortunately no, the TC-80N3 doens't allow you to get around the 3-shot, ±2 EV (or ±3 EV for some newer bodies like the 7D and 60D) limit.

One option, if you have an xxD or better with custom function(s) on the mode dial, is to set up different exposures as custom modes (Av-based).  That still means touching the camera, but setting up 2, 3, or 4 offset 3-shot AEBs (Av mode + C1-3 on a 5DII/7D) would allow you to cover a wide dynamic range with minimal touching of the camera.
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swiss

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 12:57:03 PM »
There are nice gadgets on the market that use the USB protocol to control your camera. With these you can make HDR's (and more) in any manner you want. Go on and google for promote control.

gferdinandsen

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 01:01:47 PM »
I just set it up in manual mode and  adjust downwards the length of the exposure.  Also I shoot a couple solid black shots before I begin and when I end, this helps in Bridge since I can see numersous shots bracked around the black and know that those shots were for HDR
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gferdinandsen

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 01:04:43 PM »
I should also point out, that ever since I went digital, I quit using automatic AEB.  I still bracket somewhat frequently, but I just use the dial on the rear to manually bracket; I find it easier than setting up AEB.  And with AEB you are more likely to end up with brackets that you don't like.  By manually bracketing, I can look at the shot and, more importantly, the histogram, to decide if that is how I want to bracket it.
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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 01:04:43 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 01:18:47 PM »
There are nice gadgets on the market that use the USB protocol to control your camera. With these you can make HDR's (and more) in any manner you want. Go on and google for promote control.

Great tip, thanks!  Makes sense as a dedicated gadget for someone who shoots a lot of HDR (which is probably a much bigger potential audience than for this dedicated gadget aimed at storm chasers).

I just set it up in manual mode...

...I just use the dial on the rear to manually bracket...

I wouldn't recommend doing that - in M mode, rotating the quick control dial (the 'dial on the rear') adjusts the aperture.  For HDR, you need to keep the aperture constant to have the same DoF in all your shots.  So, in M mode, rotate the main dial (the one behind the shutter button) to adjust shutter speed.

If you actually mean Av mode (not M mode), then the quick control dial is adjusting exposure compensation (EC), which as long as your ISO is set to a fixed value (i.e. not Auto), will adjust shutter speed only (unless you have the C.Fn for Saftey Shift enabled, in which case aperture might change).  The probelm with using just the EC change for HDR is that you're limited to a 4 EV range (metered ±2 EV) for most bodies, or a 6 EV range (metered ±3 EV) for the 7D/60D.  That's probably fine outdoors (especially the 6 EV range), but for many situations that's not sufficient dynamic range to cover the scene (e.g. dimly-lit interior with bright exterior windows).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 01:24:07 PM by neuroanatomist »
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aldvan

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 01:32:06 PM »

With most Canon bodies, that is - the 1-series bodies can take 2, 3, 5 or 7 bracketed exposures.

I confirm that. 2,3,5,7 bracketed exposures with my 1Ds MkIII.

rocket_scientist

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 01:32:38 PM »
The Promote Control was what I was looking for, although a little pricey.  It does more than I need (time lapse ,etc) but maybe something I can tell the wife I want for Christmas... Thanks for the tip gferdinandsen!!
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9 shots with spread of 5EV between each shot do you?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 01:57:09 PM »
Install the Magic Lantern firmware and you can get a burst of up to 9 shots with a spread of between 0.5 and 5EV between each shot.  Works on 550D, 600D & 60D.  Think they've got firmware for a couple of other Canon DSLRs too.

There's other good stuff too - auto focus stacking for macros, an experimental motion sensing mode, interval-o-meter, custom overlays in Liveview, settable time settings for bulb and more.  Loads of extra functions for video people too.

willhuff.net

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 03:16:48 PM »
It's a little annoying that Canon blocks out features like that via software. They've already done the work coding the firmware, it doesn't take much to just add it to other bodies.

dr croubie

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 08:34:22 PM »
in M mode, rotating the quick control dial (the 'dial on the rear') adjusts the aperture.  For HDR, you need to keep the aperture constant to have the same DoF in all your shots.  So, in M mode, rotate the main dial (the one behind the shutter button) to adjust shutter speed.

Not on my 7D, it was the first custom function i changed. In Tv the dial by the shutter changes time, in Av and M the dial does aperture, and in M the wheel on the back does time. Can a 60D or lower do this? (real question, not rhetorical).

it doesn't take much to just add it to other bodies.

No, it doesn't. But a 1Ds3 is 2-3x the price of a 5D2 with the same sensor. They have to justify the price differential somehow, like using better AF, built like a tank, more 'little' features. This is one of those nice 'little' features, not worth a grand on its own, but they all add up...
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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 08:34:22 PM »

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 08:47:03 PM »
I am not sure if they rectified it, but the Promote Control I recalled to have some issues when in bulb setting or anything with exposures greater than 30 secs. Plus I prefer the infrared rc-1 wireless remote over dangling cables out in the field. I did purchase it but returned it due to these two issues. Additionally with my attached L bracket, mounting on a tripod in a vertical position was difficult at times.

I still prefer to take 2-3 AEB bracketed shots or a total of 6-9 images for those larger dynamic range scenes.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 08:48:37 PM by Canon 14-24 »

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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 10:40:53 AM »
It's a little annoying that Canon blocks out features like that via software. They've already done the work coding the firmware, it doesn't take much to just add it to other bodies.

Amen!! they are acting like fat bankers / huges car dealerships that tell us what we need to have.  >:(
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Re: HDR bracketing
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 10:40:53 AM »