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Will A Better Sensor Allow You To Take Fewer Bracketed Photos For Hdr?

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#1 rwjones

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 10:54 AM

Hello everyone   :)

 

I joined the forum specifically because I like to take HDR.  Here's the setup to my question:

  • I have been using a micro four thirds (MFT) with the capability to bracket up to seven shots.  I like to use at least five.  Normally I shoot -2EV, -1EV, 0, +1EV, and +2EV.  More if I have a lot of light or in low light.  The MFT sensor is very small and can give me problems with noise, so I upgraded to a Nikon D5300 recently.  This camera only allows three bracketed photos at a time.

So, here is the question in a nutshell:

  • Will the three bracketed photos on my Nikon D5300 give me the same tonal range as as five or seven on my MFT?

I've read both sides and there does not seem to be a solid consensus.  Some people say the more EV's you have, the better.  Another photographer said she has good luck with just three.  Having said all that, the more sophisticated Nikon's actually have the larger photo brackets.  For example, the Nikon D7100 can go up to five.  The D610 only uses three brackets.  The D750 has nine brackets.  There does not seem to be a correlation between the sensor quality and the bracketing ability on Nikons.

 

Any thoughts and input is appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

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#2 P Bender

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 11:20 AM

Welcome to the photography forum RW, very well composed picture. It does look just a tad too much editing. Back it down a little and it will be a great shot.
Paul

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#3 rwjones

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:06 PM

Welcome to the photography forum RW, very well composed picture. It does look just a tad too much editing. Back it down a little and it will be a great shot.

 

Glad to be here . . . Be patient, I'm just learning.  This photo took a lot of processing time.  I'm new to this, but also because there was a huge contrast between the sun glow on the left and the details in the grass and on the right.  It generated enough noise to both blind and deafen me.  Thus, the over processed look.  I took this with a Panasonic Lumix G5 (MFT) and the kit lens (14-42mm).  Since then I've purchased a Nikon D5300.  But it only lets me bracket 3 shots.  

 

Stay tuned . . . more to follow.

 

Thanks,



#4 RAH1861

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 02:45 PM

Interesting question. I suppose one could argue that a better sensor would allow you to cover ALL the gradations in dynamic range in fewer shots, so perhaps you could not bother to take the 2 exposures on the far ends - i.e. don't take the very darkest bracketed shot and the brightest bracketed shot.

However, HDR is often used to take photos where no camera's dynamic range could come even close to what is in the scene. For example, taking a photograph of the interior of a room with a window showing a sunny day outside. Here you want both the interior of the room perfectly exposed and the outside world seen thru the window perfectly exposed. For such a shot, I think it would be foolish to try to skimp on the shots you take just because your camera has somewhat better dynamic range than another.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'd bracket from very dark to very bright images and throw the ends away in PP if it turns out that they don't help much.

I think that leads to the conclusion that a m4/3 sensor camera might be just as good as an APS-C or full-frame sensor for HDR (forgetting about noise for this discussion) because you are getting the dynamic range via the bracketing and not so much via the capabilities of the sensor. IMHO. I repeat - IMHO. Don't hit me!! ;-)
 


Rich


#5 JestePhotography

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 04:04 PM

With the D7100 you can actually bracket 9. Set up U1 for a 3bracket exposure U2 for 3 and manual mode for 3.

#6 rwjones

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 08:08 PM

With the D7100 you can actually bracket 9. Set up U1 for a 3bracket exposure U2 for 3 and manual mode for 3.

 

Do you have any problems keeping your camera steady when resetting to those different brackets?



#7 JestePhotography

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 08:46 PM

Turn of a dial, if your tripod is locked down and weighted it should not be an issue. I don't really shoot landscapes at the moment. Currently using a D4S and 400mm for wildlife. It is on the bucket list of things to do though.

#8 P Bender

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

Sorry, did not mean to be harsh.
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#9 rwjones

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 02:22 PM

Sorry, did not mean to be harsh.

No offense taken.  I came here for more interaction with the pro's.  Just wanted you to know it was a first stab at things and not necessarily a final piece of art.  So always let me know what you think.  That photo is probably as good as I'm going to get with a MFT.  I'm planning some comparative test shots between my two systems.  If anything noticeable comes from them, I'll post the two sets for everyone to see.







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