Another feature of my new Sony A55V camera is “HDR”, High Dynamic Range. The concept of this technique is to photograph the same scene at a number of different exposure levels, then blend them to get a picture with more range/detail than any one photo – bringing detail in to the shadow areas, without washing out all the bright areas.

Here is a single photo taken without HDR and with no editing; you can see that there’s not much detail in the sky, or in the shadows of the building:

Here is what the Sony took, with it’s HDR function active – it doesn’t look like the Sony does a very good job, and you can see “ghosts” of the moving people …

So finally, here is the first photo manually edited in Aperture; I brought up the shadows, then brushed in some darkening only of the sky – I prefer this version, without the ghosts!

2 thoughts on “HDR

  1. Bracketed HDR should only be used for non-moving scenes. It’s nice that sony is building this, as well as the auto-panorama, into the camera. The whole advantage of doing so is to be able to quickly capture all exposures with one actual shutter release and timing the sensor’s electronic shutter, to minimize movement. Looks like they don’t do this (do you hear anything between exposures?). I think apple does it right with the iphone’s built-in HDR.

    I understand you don’t want to normally shoot raw, but here’s an example of where you may want to switch when you have a high-contrast scene, the extra fidelity of the 14(?)-bit file gives you much more headroom when you pull back the highlights and shadows in aperture.

  2. Josh,
    The camera fires it’s shutter multiple times for this HDR; it’s not simply doing sensor timing – so while it’s quick, it’s limited by mechanics.
    I’ll try raw, some time 😉

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