Before The Coffee » Photography

DSLR Cameras for HDR

One of the essential features that a camera must have for HDR photography is exposure compensation. At a minimum, the camera should allow you to manually change the exposure settings with relative ease. This will allow a camera mounted on a tripod to shoot HDR images. Trying to handhold and shoot HDR using exposure compensation is pretty much impossible because you have to fumble through the dials. That’s where Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) comes in. AEB is ESSENTIAL for handheld shooting as it allows you to fire off the entire HDR image set by pressing the shutter release for each image. No fumbling needed, just preset the camera, compose the image and press for each release of the shutter.

Another great feature to use with AEB is Continuous Shooting mode. With Continuous Shooting activated the camera will shoot all the frames continuously while HOLDING the shutter release down. This allows for steadier handholding and because of the rapid fire, helps reduce ghosting. Don’t get carried away about spending more money on a camera for HDR just for the high frames per second. Not worth it.

Some DSLRs allow you to choose the order of bracketing, for example, Meter/Under/Over. What’s the best? The best order of bracketing is Meter/Under/Over. The Under and Over exposed images are essential to HDR and when shot in succession with little time gap, can reduce ghosting. Just omit the Metered exposure and merge-to-HDR the Under and Over images. If they were shot in continuous shooting mode, all the better.

HANDHELD TECHNIQUE

Even if your HDR software can align images, when handheld shooting  good techniques are still needed. When shooting handheld concentrate on being steady. Look through the viewfinder and use one of the focus marks in the viewer and lock it on a feature in the scene. Press the shutter release on hold steady for all the shots.

Before you pay the full price, my Photomatix tutorial has a discount coupon for the program.

Generally Popular Cameras as of Jan, 2014:

In Camera HDR is a feature where the camera takes several images and combines them into one HDR image inside the camera. The output is  typically the 0EV image and the HDR image. This feature is usually available only in JPG. Confirmed as of this writing:
Nikon D4,  D800,  D600,  D5100,  D5200,  D7100:  Capable of taking three images and combining into one HDR image inside the camera.

Canon S120,  G16,  EOS 70D,  EOS 5D Mark III: Capable of taking three images and combining into one HDR image inside the camera.

Olympus OMD E-M1,

Sony NEX-5, NEX-6, NEX-7, a5000, A7/R, a99, a77, a65, a58,

Pentax K-3


Popular Cameras: Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB)
** These cameras are very suitable for HDR

**Nikon D800(E) - up to 7 images @ 1EV spacing

**Nikon D600 - up to 3 images @ 2EV spacing

**Nikon DF - up to 5 images @ 2EV spacing

Nikon D5100, D5200 - 3 frames @ 1/2EV spacing

**Nikon D7100 - up to 5 images @ 2EV spacing

Canon G16 - 3 images @ 1/3 spacing

Canon EOS 6D, 70D, 5D MarkIII - up to 7 images @ 3 EV spacing

Canon 700D, Rebel T5I, Kiss X7 – up to 3 images @ 2EV spacing

**Olympus DSLR’s – up to 5 images @ 1EV spacing

**Olympus OMD E-M1 - up to 7 images @ 2EV spacing and up to 5 images @ 3EV spacing. Very Nice!

**Olympus OMD E-M5 - up to 7 images @ 1EV spacing

**Olympus PEN EP-5 – up to 5 images @ 1EV spacing

**Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 - up to 7 images @ 1EV spacing

**Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 – up to 7 images @ 1EV spacing

**Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 - up to 7 images @ 1EV spacing

Pentax K-3 - up to 5 images @ 1/2EV spacing

Samsung NX30 - up to 3 images @ 1EV spacing

Samsung NX300 – up to 3 images @ 1EV spacing

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100II - 3 images @ 2/3 EV spacing

**Sony A7/R - up to 3 images @ 3EV spacing, 5 images @ .7EV spacing.

**Sony NEX-7 - 3 images @ 2EV spacing

Sony NEX-6 - 3 images @ 1/3EV spacing

Sony NEX-5T - 3 images @ 2/3EV spacing

Fuji X100s – 3 images @ 1EV spacing

Fuji X-M1 - 3 images @ 1EV spacing

Fuji X pro1 – 3 images @ 1EV spacing

 

Camera Recording Format AEB Frames & Range AEB Max Spacing Maximum EV range in AEB mode Exposure compen-
sation (dialed-in)
Maximum Frames per second
Canon
EOS-1D Mark IV
JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG 3 frames up to 3EV spacing, Can change to 2, 5 or 7 frames
5 frames@2EV: (-4, -2, 0, +2 +4)ev
7 frames@2EV: (-6, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, +6)ev
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over
3 EV spacing

1 or 2EV spacing is sufficient for HDR18 EV

Note: The tick marks of the entire EV range are displayed in the rear LCD panel.+/- 3 stops10 fpsCanon
EOS-1DS Mark IIIJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 3EV spacing, Can change to 2, 5 or 7 frames
5 frames @ 2EV: (-4, -2, 0, +2 +4)ev
7 frames @ 2EV: (-6, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, +6)ev
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing

1 or 2EV spacing is sufficient for HDR18 EV

Note: The tick marks are indicated up to +/-3EV in the top display only, however all frames are taken, no rear display.+/- 3 stops5 fpsCanon
EOS-1D Mark IIIJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 3EV spacing, Can change to 2, 5 or 7 frames
5 frames @ 2EV: (-4, -2, 0, +2 +4)ev
7 frames @ 2EV: (-6, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, +6)ev
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing

1 or 2EV spacing is sufficient for HDR18 EV

Note: The tick marks are indicated up to +/-3EV in the top display only, however all frames are taken, no rear display.+/- 3 stops10 fpsCanon
EOS-1Ds Mark IIJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 3EV spacing, Can change to 2, 5 or 7 frames but REQUIRES tether to computer, personal functions
5 frames @ 2EV: (-4, -2, 0, +2 +4)ev
7 frames @ 2EV: (-6, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, +6)ev
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing

1 or 2EV spacing is sufficient for HDR18 EV

Note: The tick marks are indicated up to +/-3EV in the top display only, however all frames are taken, no rear display.+/- 3 stops4 fpsCanon

EOS-1D Mark II N JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 3EV spacing, Can change to 2, 5 or 7 frames but REQUIRES tether to computer, personal functions
5 frames @ 2EV: (-4, -2, 0, +2 +4)ev
7 frames @ 2EV: (-6, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, +6)ev
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing

1 or 2EV spacing is sufficient for HDR18 EV

Note: The tick marks are indicated up to +/-3EV in the top display only, however all frames are taken, no rear display.+/- 3 stops8.5 fpsCanon

EOS 7DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 3EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing6 EV+/-5 stops8 fpsCanon

EOS 5D Mark IIJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3.9 fpsCanon

EOS 5DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3 fpsCanon

EOS 50DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops6.3 fpsCanon

EOS 40DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops6.5 fpsCanon

EOS 30DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops5 fpsCanon

EOS Rebel T2iJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops – only displays +/-2 stops3.7 fpsCanon

EOS Rebel T1iJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3.4 fpsCanon

EOS Rebel XSiJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3.5 fpsCanon

EOS Rebel XSJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3 fpsCanon

Digital Rebel XtiJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3 fpsCanon

Digital Rebel XTJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2 stops3 fpsCanon

PowerShot G7JPEG3 frames up to 2EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/- 2stops2 fpsCanon

PowerShot S3 ISJPEG3 frames @ 2EV spacing Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/- 2stops2 fpsCanon

PowerShot TX1JPEGNo AEBNo AEBNo AEB+/-2 stops2 fpsNikon
D3, D3s, D3xJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops4-7 fps

depends on format chosen, FX, DX, 5:4Nikon
D700JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops4-5 fps

depends on format chosen, FX or DXNikon
D300JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops6 fps

8fps w/ battery pack

D300S=7fpsNikon D2XJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops8 fpsNikon D2XsJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops8 fpsNikon D2Hs JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0,+1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Can change order from
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops8 fpsNikon D200 JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops5 fpsNikon
D90JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 2.0EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops4.5 fpsNikon

D5000JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 2.0EV spacing
Meter/under/over
Under/meter/over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops4 fpsNikon

D3000JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEGNo AEBNo AEBNo AEB+/-5 stops3 fpsNikon D80 JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 2.0EV spacing
Meter/under/over
Under/meter/over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops3 fpsNikon D70s JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 2.0EV spacing Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops3 fpsNikon D50 JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 2.0EV spacing Meter/Under/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-5 stops Nikon D40JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEGNo AEBNo AEBNo AEB+/-5 stops3 fpsPentax K-7JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG5 frames @ 2.0EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 EV stops5.2 fpsPentax K-XJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 3.0EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over3 EV spacing6 EV+/-3 EV stops4.7 fpsPentax K10DJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG5 frames @ 2.0EV spacing
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing8 EV+/-3 EV stops3 fpsPentax K100DJPEG and RAW3 frames 2.0EV
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2EV stops3 fpsPentax K110DJPEG and RAW3 frames 2.0EV
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over2 EV spacing4 EV+/-2EV stops3 fpsFuji Fine Pix HS10JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing3 EV+/-2 stops7 fpsFuji Fine Pix S5 ProJPEG and RAW3 frames (-1, 0, +1) EV
5 frames (-2, -1, 0 +1, +2)EV
7 frames (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)EV
9 frames (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4)EV
Meter/Under/Over
Under/Meter/Over1 EV spacing8 EV+/-5 stops3 fpsFuji FinePix S3 ProJPEG and RAW3 frames @ 2EV spacing2 EV spacing4 EV+/-3EV stops2.5 fpsFuji FinePix S9600JPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing
Meter/Over/Under1 EV spacing2 EV+/-2EV stops1.5 fpsFuji Fine Pix S9000/S9500JPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing
Meter/Over/Under1 EV spacing2 EV+/-2EV stops Fuji FinePix S6000fd/6500fdJPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing
Meter/Over/Under1 EV spacing2 EV+/-2EV stops2.2 fpsOlympus E-3JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 1EV spacing
5 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing4 EV+/-5EV stops5 fpsOlympus E-620JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing4 EV+/-5EV stops4 fpsOlympus E-30JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 1EV spacing
5 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing4 EV+/-5EV stops5 fpsOlympus E-1JPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing
5 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing4 EV+/-5EV stops3 fpsOlympus E-330JPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing2 EV+/-5EV stops3 fpsOlympus E-500JPEG and RAW3 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing2 EV+/-5EV stops2.5 fpsOlympus E-410JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing2 EV+/-5EV stops3 fpsOlympus E-510JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ 1EV spacing1 EV spacing2 EV+/-5EV stops3 fpsSony A900JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ .7 EV spacing
5 frames @ .7 EV spacing.7 EV spacing2.8 EV?5 fpsSony A850JPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ .7 EV spacing
5 frames @ .7 EV spacing.7 EV spacing2.8 EV?5 fpsSony A100HJPEG and RAW, RAW+JPEG3 frames @ .7EVspacing.7 EV spacing1.4 EV+/-2EV stops3 fps

Copyright 2010 Ferrell McCollough

bob fox - July 26, 2012 - 4:13 pm

I do not use Photoshop or Lightroom. Does your book provide suggested settings for Aperture?
Hi Bob, actually the book covers more about HDR techniques. It does cover some on photomatix settings but I’m sure you will find as you dig deeper into HDR, the settings vary from image to image. I do explain what’s involved with the various sliders, such as strength, micro-contrast and luminosity etc. There is a “default” settings button in HDR software but that’s just a suggested start.

Bill - September 1, 2011 - 4:58 pm
Canon DSLR - July 4, 2011 - 6:13 pm

You have a GREAT blog!
Thanks for the useful information!

HDR FETISH - June 25, 2011 - 10:24 pm

It will be nice if you can include a list of mirrorless cameras. In my humble view, the violent flapping of the mirror mechanism in DSLRs are detrimental to making good bracketed shots.

Of course one can also use LiveView with the same effect.

HDR Fetish: Or “mirror up” command that can stay in position for the entire image set. -Ferrell.

buy kitchen scale - June 18, 2011 - 9:35 am

What theme are you using? I really like this.

Kitchen Scale: I’m using ProPhotoBlog, so far I’m very pleased with the product. Easy to use, lots of options and affordable. http://www.prophotoblogs.com/ -Ferrell

minthet - May 4, 2011 - 9:24 am

how abt A290 ? did you happen to know that AEB settings can be done?

Ferrell - February 15, 2011 - 10:04 pm

In theory it should work, but in practice you will have to deal with the very slight mis-alignment that occurs when scanning film. Certainly stick with as few images as possible, even 2 might get the results. Also utilize the alignment function in your HDR software, but whether it’s able to deal with the “non-flat” film surface is something you will need to try. Good Luck, please post again and let us all know your results. Links to the images are welcome.

I Paul - February 11, 2011 - 1:30 pm

Kindly give some detail on canon 60D for taking HDR photos

Antonio - January 30, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Can I shoot HDR with my Hasselblad 500ELM or my Nikon F4 ? These are film cameras as you know. I do not have digital. Seems like it should work if I scan each negative, taking 3 to 5 exposures in the modes described. Thanks,
Tony Montes,
cameraman220@aol.com

HDRI Basics – Part II:The Tools - September 9, 2010 - 4:24 am

[...] place to start.  I could easily do a 50 page thesis on cameras for HDR, but in this case, I think google knows best.  I will keep it as short as possible [...]

William - August 12, 2010 - 5:48 am

Great presentation. A really useful decision aid. I am surprised the Nikon D90 only brackets 1 stop each side of meter – seems primitive for such a sophisticated camera.

Eef Berkers - December 11, 2009 - 5:28 pm

Konica Minolta 7d Dynax ?!
Btw: great pictures !

Digital SLR Camera reviews - June 30, 2009 - 1:03 pm

Good compare information for DSLR Camera.
Thank you for article.

Jim Caldwell - May 7, 2009 - 11:43 am

I currently use the 5D MK II (as well as the 1D MK II N) and it works great for HDR, same as the original 5D – AEB, 2EV spacing, selection of meter/under/over or under/meter/over

EOS? - December 14, 2008 - 4:43 pm

Amazing information! And even more amazing photos.
Have you heard anything about the Canon EOS 5D Mark II when it comes to creating HDR images

Avernar - July 4, 2008 - 2:24 am

The Canon EOS-1D Mark II N can also be set for 5 or 7 shots. At 3 EV spacing this will give you a 18 EV AEB range just like the Mark III.

scott - April 28, 2008 - 6:48 pm

HDR looks very very fun. I’ve always wanted to create pictures that capture most of what we see, but thought it just wasn’t possible. I stumbled on this site and WOW!, I’m looking forward to creating my own HDR images. I’m new to the DSLR game and, as it turns out, I bought the only DSLR listed above that does not have AEB! I like the D40, but had I known this, I would have saved up for the D80. I can still get the LDRs I need, but it’ll just be a little more difficult.

I don’t think the D40x has AEB either. Same camera, just more pixels.

oktyabr - November 13, 2007 - 2:38 pm

Nice blog! The following tip:

“What’s the best? The best order of bracketing is Meter/Under/Over. The Under and Over exposed images are essential to HDR and when shot in succession with little time gap, can reduce ghosting.”

is simply GOLDEN! I’ve read many tutorials on HDR and none made such a simple point about exposure order so clear… I always used to shoot under/meter/over just so sorting thumbnails made sense but not any more!

Thanks for the great tutorials!

erik west - September 6, 2007 - 3:41 pm

very helpful list. I’m new to DSLR and definitley want one w/ AEB. What about the Nikon D40x?

Bill Conway - July 25, 2007 - 12:01 am

Ferrell,

Nice presentation. Nice pictures from down under.

Don Becker - May 14, 2007 - 5:47 pm

Ferrell,

Excellent presentation at the SSCCon Thursday. You got me really interested in the HDR process, and your tutorials on your web site are excellent. I look forward to doing some of my own soon.

You mention that CS3 will also do HDR but have not said much on your website about it. Is the process similar to what you show for Photomatrix? Will it do as good a job with HDR as Photomatix?

Thanks again.

Don Becker
http://www.donbeckerphoto.com (currently switching servers so may not be available or completed)
http://www.ballet-photography.com

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*

Back to TopEmail MeShare on FacebookTweet thisPinterest