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Tethering Software For Taking "bracketed" Exposures On D40

d40 exposure bracketing hdr tethering

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#1 SuzanneR

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone has tried something like this yet.

So first, I will mention software that allows you to control your camera shutter and settings from your computer.  I tried Nikon's first, and it was OK but it's expensive.  Now I read that there is something called digiCamControl that sounds promising, and is open source (=free).

 

Here's my question.  The D40 is a neat little camera and does *almost* everything I need, for now.  However, you cannot do exposure bracketing with it.  Upon learning about HDR processing, I understand that you need identical images but with differing exposures.  Some people have suggested that when you cannot do exposure bracketing with your camera, you can shoot in RAW, then create additional copies of the image with exposure compensation (+ or -), using Photoshop or whatever.  But others say NO, that's not accurate.  So, to do "manual" exposure bracketing to get multiple exposures, it sounds like kind of a pain because you have to be super careful to not bump your camera and all that.  So I was thinking, what not tether your camera (which is ideally on a tripod), then you don't even have to touch it when you add/subtract exposure compensation for subsequent images?

 

Has anyone tried this?  Please let me know how it worked out for you.

 

Thanks,

Suzanne

 

p.s. If anyone knows of a tethering app on an Android phone, let me know, that would be cool to use as well.



#2 richocampo

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:46 PM

Tripod + manual bracketing is the only way for D40 to get HDR photos. Personally, I don't see the need to tether. 


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#3 SuzanneR

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 10:24 PM

... Personally, I don't see the need to tether. 

 

I just KNOW I would bump the camera dialing in the exposure compensation between shots.   :P   I wouldn't have to touch the camera if I was tethered.  



#4 realtormartin

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:45 AM

Hi Suzanne,

I used the D40 to bracket for HDR with very good results - even handheld.  But the ones I shot on the tripod were sooo much better.  The alignment feature of all the HDR software I've tried will take care of whatever small movement you might impart to the camera.  Just make sure to shoot in shutter priority (so DoF doesn't change) and (if shooting handheld) hold one of the focus points in the viewfinder over something in your subject to realign the shot after making your exposure adjustment.  The software will have less aligning to do if you can keep looking through the viewfinder while making your exposure adjustments.  But don't forget (like I did more times than I would like to admit) to half-press the shutter button again before adjusting the exposure, otherwise you're scrolling through the playback, which I didn't notice, because my cheek was covering up the display :-/ .  One of the main reasons I upgraded to the D90 was the auto-bracketing feature.  Granted, the D90 will only bracket up to 3 frames this way, but when it fires off 3 in under a second, I'm over the moon!

Good luck!



#5 SuzanneR

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 01:01 AM

Thanks for your reply.  Just so I understand what you said, do you change your shutter speed to adjust the exposure level, or adjust exposure compensation for the bracketed shots? I'm thinking you do it strictly with exposure compensation, because in shutter priority, when you change the shutter speed, the camera will sometimes adjust aperture to compensate for the new shutter value (thus changing DOF, which you don't want).

 

A couple of weeks ago I got a D7100, which does in-camera (2-shot) HDR as well as additional bracketing options, so I may end up not doing HDR with the D40 after all, but I still want to understand how to do it.  I'm keeping the D40 so it will be fun to show someone else how to do it one day too.



#6 MrEye4get

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:58 AM

My Nikon D5200 does the same as your D7100 (Nice camera btw!). The in-camera HDR is just OK.  The AEB can take three photos from -2 to +2 but no more than three.  Some HDR pros suggest 5 to 7 photos in high dynamic (night, sunrise or sunset) situations.  I tried making pseudo-HDR exposures in Photoshop Elements 12 and Lightroom 5, but the results aren't the same.  I find it works best to manually bracket shots between (or around) the AEB settings.   If I shot three auto-bracket photos at -2/0/+2 I will manually adjust shots of -1 and +1 to fill in the gaps.  I use a tripod and carefully adjust the exposure setting on my camera.  It is a challenge but the results are obviously better. 

 

PS  I do plan to buy a CamRanger [soon] to test its capabilities to change camera settings remotely. It isn't cheap but might meet your needs. 

 

Check out: http://camranger.com/hdr/







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