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DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software..out of alpha (Read 948 times)
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DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software..out of alpha
10/16/08 at 05:58:48
Set your desired aperture, iso, etc. and put your camera in Av mode. Set the lens to manual focus. Use your camera's built in metering or other metering system to obtain a suggested shot length. On the DS, use the up/down arrows next to the METERED field. to set the matching shot length. Place the camera in BULB mode, then make sure the aperture value matches your desired number.

Use the preset 1,2, or 3 to automatically set a bracketing range of 1, 2, or 3 stop brackets on either side of the metered value, which is automatically entered into the LONGEST and SHORTEST fields. Alternatively, enter your own desired shortest and longest shot lengths using the up/down arrows next to each field. If you wanted, you could take a sequence of images covering the entire range available, but that might take a long time.

The minimum shot length in BULB mode is about 1/20 of a second - 50 milliseconds. I believe the camera's firmware might be programmed to ignore shot times shorter than 1/20, perhaps the thinking is that anything shorter than this might be a mistake? If you need a darker image than 1/20" is able to provide in bright sunlight, consider using a neutral density filter to allow less light into the camera. A polarizer also works to drop the exposure level by about 1 stop. I use two linear polarizers, stacked, so that when I rotate one it creates a variable effect, and can go from nearly black to nearly wide-open.

You can control the increment of each shot length using the STOP RANGE STEPS field. A value of one will take the shortest, i.e. fastest shot then increment 1/3 stop slower and take that picture, then continue imaging the bracket range you entered until it reaches or steps past the longest time you entered. A value of 2 in the STOP RANGE STEPS field increments the exposure by 2/3 stop, etc. You can see the number of shots that will be taken next to the TOTAL SHOTS field.

Note that depending on the STOP RANGE STEPS you enter, the incremental exposures might possibly "jump over" the LONGEST value and take a slightly longer image. This is a "quirk" that we plan on modifying a coming  revision. This is not a bug, you are just telling the camera to do two different things that might not be possible: take x number of bracket steps from your shortest shot, which may not "land" on your longest shot. I think the simplest solution would be to have the STOP RANGE STEPS buttons automatically modify the LONGEST field as you increment the steps.

A new addition to this version: an option to use Mirror Lockup. If a delay is entered in the Mirror Lockup feature the camera will lift the mirror, wait the number of seconds you entered, then take the shot. This allows the camera to settle for a moment so that the mirror movement does not shake the camera. NOTE: to use this feature you must activate the Mirror Lockup function in your camera's settings. See the DS Custom Function Cheat Sheet program for your camera model for more info.

If you wish to use the INTERVAL WAIT timer to take time-lapsed HDR ranges, you'll need to press an invisible button in the gray square below "Off" to make it say "On". The invisible button will magically appear in the next revision of the software (when we fix the bug!) Use the hours and minutes wait time fields below INTERVAL WAIT to tell it how long to wait between bracket-range captures. The reason this is not an "intervalometer" function is that you might set a very long exposure time that takes longer than the interval you enter, leading to an unpredictable result. To prevent this, the INTERVAL WAIT timer only starts after the final photograph of an HDR exposure range is taken.

Once you've set these values, which should actually take only a few seconds, use the back "shoulder" buttons on the DS to start photographing. There is a short delay before photography begins, allowing you to set the DS down without shaking the camera during shooting.

Once you have offloaded your images and are ready to process the images in an HDR program such as PhotoMatix, use the STOP RANGE STEPS value you entered to tell the software how your images were exposed. Note that because of a quirk in the camera's internal firmware, the exif data enters a very rough approximation of the shot timing, so this exif value can't be relied on to process the HDR result.

Phew, that sounds like a lot. You'll find that once you have setup your camera, attaching the DS and setting up these values will take only about a minute. Happy shooting, and consider posting your results in the discussion forums for everyone to share and enjoy.

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« Last Edit: 03/02/10 at 19:23:48 by N/A »  
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