Canon’s HDR In-Camera Review

After several years waiting for the Canon 5D Mark II’s successor, the last year it appeared the mark III. The substitute camera has enhanced Focus System, Video and fps, and more things… They have been included new features as in-camera multi-exposures and an HDR Mode too. So if you don’t know, cos you don’t follow me on Facebook, this is my new camera.

I am going to preliminary review (less than 10 days with my new toy) the HDR in-camera.

How to use HDR with Canon 5D Mark III:

The EOS 5D Mark III has a new button on the left-rear of the camera, called the ‘Creative Photo’. Marked with an icon of a paintbrush, it’s a short-cut to three commands related to image control on the EOS 5D Mark III: Picture Style, Multi-exposure mode, and HDR mode. Pressing this button, scrolling to the HDR icon and pressing the SET button instantly brings-up the full HDR Mode menu.

Another option is to select AEB in the shooting menu. Then, they are until 7 exposures available for shooting, more than 3 for HDR mode, but the camera doesn’t generate an HDR picture. Just let you to process the files later using third-party HDR software. HDR Mode shooting cannot be combined with BULB mode, so you need to set manually the exposures or do it automatically using SW like Magic Lantern or hardware like Promote Control.

Or you can select HDR Mode in the camera’s Shooting Menu > Select Bracketing to +-1/+-2/+-3 are available(-+2 by default).And an AUTO option,when the camera reads dynamic range and on its own makes a determination of the exposure compensation needed for three bracketed shots > Choose the Image Effect that you want in the finished picture ( I select ‘Natural‘ by default) > Select Continuous HDR if you want to have several HDRs, not only one (‘1 Shot On‘ option enable).

Another settings are:

– Select your camera to save files as RAW without compression.
– Set Aperture Priority Mode.
– Set other parameters in the camera like ISO or aperture as you wish.I usually select AUTO ISO for handheld exposures.The camera has the ability to automatically select the slowest shutter speed used before it starts increasing ISO in AUTO ISO mode and it does this based on your focal length.I select ISO 100 when I have the camera on a tripod.

The camera captures 3 consecutive shots at a fast fps rate (+2 EV , 0EV , -2 EV with default settings) and generates a JPG file with the processed HDR image. The camera software aligns the images (with Auto Image Align menu option activated), but doesn’t resolve ‘ghosting effect‘ due to objects in motion in the scene.The final HDR image has slight even if there was essentially no camera shake or movement during the bracketed shooting sequence.

Finally, we can compare the results of HDR images generated by the camera and another ones processed using Lightroom, Photomatix and Photoshop. The Canon HDR images have blue hues and more cropping than the processed HDR images. The shots were taken with Auto White Balance, so I think that if you compensate it in the camera you can get a best result. I corrected WB in Lightroom previously to HDR processing in Photomatix. Besides, I processed lens corrections ( chromatic aberration and lens distortion ) in LR5 Beta. Saving the exposures with LR presets as TIFF 16-bit files. To generate an EXR file, I used HDR Pro in Photoshop, selecting 32-bit mode and to avoid disalignment, choose the 0 EV exposure to avoid ghosting and correct camera shake for the hand-held exposures.

In conclusion, HDR mode in camera is useful to have an idea of how will be your HDR image and to know if you exposures cover all the dynamic range of the scene, but the cropping inside the camera, the problem with alignment and ‘ghosting’ do that it will be better to process yourself the images.

Tanusha Moored To Benabola Dock

HDR In-camera Version:

Tonemapped Version:

Tanusha Moored To Benabola Dock :: HDR :: DRI

Puerto Banús, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 17 mm | f/11, 1/125s, ISO 3200.HDR/DRI from 3 handheld exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

A Lambo Gallardo At Banús

HDR In-camera Version:

Tonemapped Version:

A Lambo Gallardo At Banús :: HDR :: DRI

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM @ 17 mm | f/11, 1/125s, ISO 400.HDR/DRI from 3 handheld exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

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Multi-multiexposures. We, photographers, love Photoshopping

If someone has wondered why I use HDR the respond is – as I commented a few days ago with a photographer buddy through Facebook – maybe, ‘cos we are crazy and we love editing pictures.

In fact, he was telling that he had problems manual blending the lights and shadows of a metallic tower structure. I suggest him blending it automatically using Fusion Mode, for example, in Photomatix and later doing little changes with the exposures manually in PS.

But on the other hand, from a technical point of view, the use of multiexposures techniques is due to the limitation of cameras. The human eyes can see more tones than a camera sensor. And scenes like night-shots have extreme highlights in the bulbs, for example, and dark in the sky. So it is necessary to cover all dynamic range to use DRI or HDR.

And we can go far away, and do it more complex with something that we can call with a new ‘term’ as multi-multiexposures. I am going to explain it with some examples:

HDR/DRI Pamoramas or Vertoramas: a composition of several images horizontally or vertically overlapped between them, taken 3 or more exposures for each one. Processing them individually and merging them later with a panorama edit program. Someones prefer another workflow – as you wish – each one has its advantages and disadvantages. See Klaus Herrmann.

HDR/DRI Time lapse. It this case, we combine images at different time but focussing the same spacial elements, so we capture how some objects are moving in the scene, for example the clouds motion and how the light changes in the scene in the static elements, for example the ground.

Stars trails. A composition of trails generated at different time intervals. For example, each interval for a bit of curve generated from an exposure of around 30s with interval of 5 s with the following one. Later, all exposures can be stacked with a special program like StarStaX, in order to generate curves (stars lights trails).

Full control of DOF. To clarify the situation, the example can be marina shot with artificial lights at blue hour. The approach can be an HDR or DRI to cover the scene but the problem are the boats on the foreground. As a night-shot, to get more sharpness and less noise, it is usual to shot with a small aperture, around f11-f16, and low ISO, around 100-400. But then, the long exposure time does that the boats near the photographer are moved and as consequence we have objects with blur. Then, to get them with sharpness you can shot with a wider aperture or increase ISO. You should take a compromise between reducing DOF or increase noise in a little zone … just the boat. That depends on your camera. Changing aperture to change the focal plain. So if you combine these images, you have the same result as in macro photography when due to little distance to subject only a little zone of the photo is in focus and you can blend different shots with different focus zones to get the overall image in focus.See Daniel Cheong.

Digital Art. Another option can be multiexposures for photo montages when you want different images to do a composition or transparencies or matte-paintings (see Giuseppe Parisi).

>Still< :: HDR :: DRI

Puerto Deportivo, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 8s, ISO 100.
HDR/DRI from 6 exposures:1 @ f5 and 2 @ f11: -2..0..+2, to get the boats without movement and the sharpness all over the picture.

Snapseed Review – Banús Reflections Like Watercolors

I am not an Apple fanboy. In fact, I was a Microsoft fanboy because I have tried Windows beta and pre-releases since Windows 2000 to Windows 7. But I can admit, that I am happy with the last 2 apple products that I have bought:

-The Macbook Air was my option for a robust and light laptop and I am impressed with its performances running Photoshop.
-And my last acquisition, the iPhone 5 is giving me a lot of fun with its photography possibilities.

I am using iOS camera to shot directly HDR, that it was not for the noise problem for iPhone small camera, it would be very useful for a professional use.

But, what I love more is to spend time when I am on a bus, or traveling or a coffee break… editing with Snapseed.

I am not going to give a detailed description of its features here, you can check some good reviews for example at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/snapseed. I just go to explain how is my workflow with this app.

Firstly, clarify that this tool is developed by Nik Software. Whose PS plugins ( Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro) I use a lot. As the PS plugins, you have a simple version for its U-point technology on this app that permits to do some local image adjustments like color, brightness and saturation. But in any case, I use this apps to do some just quick, funny and general image adjustments to my iPhone camera images.

In opposition to my usual workflow, I begin adding some sharpness and micro-contrast (structure) with the ‘Details’ tool. Later, I do some colors adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation and ambience) with the ‘Tune Image’ tool. And finally you can add some blur with the ‘Focal Point’ or ‘Tilt-Shift’ tools.

The following images compares the different editions in Photoshop and Snapseed.

Photoshop Version:
Processing: Lightroom for catalog > Hue/Saturation + Color Efex Pro + Noiseware + High Pass filter Sharpening technique at Photoshop CS6.

Banús Reflections Like Watercolors Panorama

Snapseed Version:
Processing: Details > Structure + Sharpness > Tune Image > Contrast + Ambience + Saturation.

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

iPhone 5 @ 4.13 mm | f2.4, 1/270s, ISO 200.Picture with iOS Camera app using Panorama capture option.

3 Sunrays Sunset

What do you think that is the most wonderful light for a photographer ? The blue or rush hour after the sunset or before the sunrise, when the sky is blue in contrast with yellow-orange tones of the artificial lighting ? The magic or golden hour around dawn or twilight ? Or what is know as transient light ?

Just for me, I have it clear, the transient light. It is a light that you suddenly find for example, when some sunrays are appearing across the clouds and you see how the rays are crossing the sky and proyect their light temporarily in a determinate zone on the ground, that as consequence is the focal point of your composition, ‘cos human eye tend to look for hightlights.

The following image from Marbella is a clear example of this light and the luck for a photographer. Before I did the photo-session, I was walking to this site with some rainy intervals and seeing in the distance how the sunrays were appearing and disappearing between the clouds.

I recommend you to read a book about light quality by Ian Cameron.

3 Sunrays Sunset #1 :: HDR :: DRI

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f22, 1/6s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

Midnight Sunset At Oban Harbour

Due to the high latitude of Scotland, during summers the nights are so short and the day is so long. In fact, I think that it is a eternal blue hour after sunset, the darkness does not go to the sky.

After visiting the Isle Of Skye, we came back to the Highlands, taking a ferri in Armadale, and we finished spending our night in a hotel near Oban – the harbour in the picture.

Midnight Sunset At Oban Harbour

Oban Harbour, Scotland (UK)

Panasonic DMC-FX9 @ 5.8 mm | f2.8, 1/4s, ISO 80.

Sunset @ Bajadilla-Venus Beaches Wavebreaker

Near the dusk, in Marbella, the fishermen go usually through the rocks on the beaches wavebreakers to catch some fish. I don’t know if it is the crisis or not, but there are sometimes a lot of them. In this case, I was between the 2 beaches, Venus and Bajadilla, that are located in the Marbella Centre, between the harbours: ‘Puerto Pesquero’ or ‘Puerto de la Bajadilla’ and ‘Puerto Deportivo’. The boy of the image was moving so fast and so much, jumping from a rock to another one, and in a moment that he stopped, I used him as my focal point and shot 3 exposures for this HDR.

Sunset @ Bajadilla-Venus Beaches Wavebreaker #1 :: HDR (revised)

Wavebreaker between Bajadilla & Venus beaches , Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f16, 12s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]