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DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12 (Read 2388 times)
steve
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DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
11/08/08 at 06:58:19
 
This version adds some nice tweaks. The top screen has some helpful hints. After I did two sequences forgetting to switch to bulb mode, I realized some reminders would be nice. We've removed the scary dserial warning message, and replaced it with more helpful feedback The software now calculates the total time a bracket sequence will take, including delays between shots. This way you can see the effect insurance or mirror lockup will have and help you budget your time. (Many, many thanks, Blake!) Speaking of time, there's now a check box for noise reduction. Of course, this will not actually turn on or off noise reduction in your camera, but will delay taking the next shot in order to give the camera the time it needs to do image processing. You'll need to turn on or off noise reduction in your custom function menu to use this. I prefer to leave it off.

The confusing references to the gigapixel mount controls have been grayed-out. I'm not quite ready to remove them yet, but I'm sure we'll need the UI room in the near future, becasue this simple little program is getting more and more complicated. If you are new to the party, (we have six users at the moment), you should go back and read the release notes for prior versions because they explain many of the other functions. We're not ready to do a user's manual just yet, because the software keeps changing as requests come in.

If you are experiencing a phantom shot at the beginning of sequences, this is because the software needs to wake the camera, if an interval wait is used, for example the camera will either go to sleep (preferred), or run down the batteries quickly, so the DS tries to send a short pulse to wake the camera from its slumber. Unfortunately, especially with mirror lockup enabled, it often creates a very quick exposure. If there is a desire to always force a quick shot to act as a sort of bookend to help you identify sequences, let me know.

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« Last Edit: 03/02/10 at 19:17:56 by N/A »  
 
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Kirt
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Re: DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
Reply #1 - 11/10/08 at 02:11:16
 
I really like this revision of the software!  it was easy to download and install! Thanks!

I especially like:
A - the instructions at top  (but over time, it'd be nice if I had the option to have this on or off. not critical, but would be nice.)

B - Total sequence time... excellent! Love this!

C - graying out the Astrophotography/gigapixel thing is nice... but would like the use the screen real estate for other things in the future.  Maybe any astro photogs can have their own dowloadable version of the software?

D - I do like the new Noise Reduction and Shot insurance options as well! Thanks for giving us a choice!
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Now onto my areas of concern/confusion...

E - I just don't get the logic in your buttons across the top:  1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, etc... I kind of see how they work and the resulting increase in shots...
but if you can explain your ideas about the first set of numbers... 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x   
then, if you can explain what the 2nd number means for each one of those?
x-1, x-2, x-3  Then I can maybe understand your logic.

(Sorry for my lack of understanding here.. part of this confusion also lies with the white lines in between the 3 golden triangles... I understand that they more white lines, the more shots...

but if you hit the 1-1 button for example... there are 3 triangles... and 3 white lines.. that give you 4 shots total.  So therefore, one can deduce that the white lines represent breaks between the four shots... so far, so good. However, I am looking at the spacing/relationship between the 4 gaps and the 3 triangles and they are uneven... two of my white lines are on the right side.. one is on the left.  If I have entered my "normal" metered exposure, then I would expect two shots would be OVER adn two shots would be UNDER. right? The graphics don't seem to support that.. so I am confused.

Finally, I am thrown off/unclear on your "steps" button as well...  (One to Six) is the option... "One" seems to be 1/3 of stop..."two" seems to be increments of 2/3 of a stop...  so does "six" mean that you are bracketing TWO FULL STOPS between exposures? (This is exactly what I generally want and need to do... there's not much purpose in bracketing in anything less that one full stop... (1-stop for Jpg) (2 stops for RAW) is my normal way of shooting.

So, if you can clarify these things for me/us, that'd be very helpful. Thanks!

Kirt
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steve
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Re: DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
Reply #2 - 11/10/08 at 07:22:51
 
Kirt,
Those preset buttons pretty much work as you observed, and the odd behavior you are seeing is really what had to be done when attempting to divide the "indivisible". We've got 1/3 stop steps for each shot, so if you put the first arrowhead on a time, and the middle arrowhead on a time, say, two thirds of stop longer, and set the steps to a value greater than 2/3 stop, then the software pretty much either has to ignore your steps request or your arrowhead, it can't do both and get an even set of exposures.

Essentially what this means is that the white stripes are your real shots, and if they aren't even with one of the arrowheads, then they will likely skip right over the shot the arrowhead is pointing at. The alternative is to make the DS ignore one of the other arrowheads, (right now it gives priority to the shortest shot), or force it to take the white stripe stepped shots as well as the arrowhead shots, at which point the DS is likely to cut off all life support systems and attempt to eject you into the vacuum of space. One source of confusion might be that the arrowheads are drawn after the white stripes, so they may hide a stripe or two. I guess I should tweak that.

There is actually another alternative that hasn't been implemented; that would be to ignore Canon's shot timings and allow the user to create their own arbitrary exposure scheme, letting you create, say, 1/12'' shots and 1/13'' shots, or probably a decimal-based designation, like 0.125 seconds, etc. Let me know if this is something you'd really prefer to do.

Concerning the telescope mount controls, they will disappear as soon as we have come up with something else we need to place there. The whole interface is due for another overhaul, because it starts out clean then has to be bent around to accommodate new functions as they are suggested. The major holding point right now is that I don't want to create two branching versions of the code and have to keep track of updating changes for both programs. I would like to add a 2nd screen for some of these lesser used functions so that the main interface remains clean, but this means rewriting all of the original code for everything currently on screen to add the ability to hide/unhide them all.

What else...oh, yes the steps setting goes to a pretty high number simply because it can. So, 6 would get you two stops. Remember that you do not have to use the presets, you can set your shortest shot, the steps you desire, and the longest shot and ignore the rest if you like. The metered shot can be simply used as a guide to the exposure the camera thinks your shot should be, or it can be entirely ignored depending on your preferred workflow.
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Kirt
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Re: DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
Reply #3 - 11/10/08 at 13:08:41
 
Hi.

Please don't take my previous/current posting personally. I love this device!  Just trying to get my head around how it works, so I can use it more efficiently.

A few more comments in light of your post.

A) Would it make more sense to rename the top buttons (that are currently 1-2, 3-1, etc) to something like 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 so we just know how many shots it will take in total?   I keep thinking they are related to F-stops and EVs or number of substeps per stop...  Sorry, I just find this confusing.

B) The Steps Button... Should that be renamed EVs or F-stops?

C) Furthermore, I personally know of no reason why you would want or need to shoot every 1/3 or 1/2 half of a stop for anything related to HDR.  If you need/want to shoot JPGs, then the "normal" way of shooting is One F-stop increments (EV's)... for RAW, every TWO f-stops is sufficient...   
So, from a screen real estate perpespective, there is a lot being used up for tiny increments that aren't generally beneficial IMHO.   Is this a need speficially for Astrophotography? (I am just curious) Or am I missing something?

D) As this product is currenty only for Canon users... (right?), then we're all limited to a maximum of 3 shots for autobracketing. (Except for one/some of the highest end Canon's?)  Most times, three shots is fine... but there are certain situations where I need 5, or 7, or even 9 shots (all shot 2 f-stops apart).

Therefore, if I could enter my metered (normal) exposure, then just hit the 5, or 7, or 9 button... I wouldn't have to worry about what the actual exposures were.. I just just hit "go" and let it do its thing.  Related to this though, it would be nice to have an "exposure compensation" dial for the above listed situation.
For example, if shooting a very dynamic range scene like a aircraft cockpit, I may need to skew my set of bracketed shots to the left or to the right of the "normal" shot in order to get the values that I need.

(Yes, I realize that there is a current limitation of 1/20 of a second. I hope that can eventually be overcome!)  Grin

If you use the buttons across the top, you get options like 4, 6, 8, and even 22 shots...  maybe sticking with odd number sequences would help the previously mentioned issue with 4 shots and 3 bars/3arrows?  Then, the normal exposure would always be lined up with the center arrow... and that would alleviate some possible confusion?

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Another possible software idea that might be helpful?  Set a "normal" exposure value... then hit a button that says "bracket as many as possible!"... <stopping at 30 seconds?)

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Being a Nintendo DS newbie... something else I am unclear about... the proper procedure for exiting the program? I just shut it down and restart each time.
Is that the "correct" way of working? or does there need to be an exit button in the sofware somewhere? (A little X in the corner?)

Kirt
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steve
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Re: DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
Reply #4 - 11/10/08 at 21:43:11
 
No worries, please don't hold anything back.

On your points of discussion:

A - I'll rethink my approach

B - STEPS I could reword this to say something like +1/3 , +2/3, +1 etc. If it you think that would help.

C - The logic here: One shot equals not much dynamic range. Two shots, three shots  = better but not as good as it could be. Nine shots = good dynamic range sampling. At some point there is probably a diminishing return, but the logical extension is the more images the better the "data." I think the cost of allowing fine increments is cheap, and you could set the DS to not take these increments if you want. (?)

D - I'll try and work this out. "I may need to skew my set of bracketed shots to the left or to the right of the "normal" shot in order to get the values that I need." I'm fairly sure you can already do this by lowering or raising the time values with the arrows next to the longest and shortest shot boxes on the bottom screen?

(Yes, I realize that there is a current limitation of 1/20 of a second. I hope that can eventually be overcome!)  Tests with the 50D indicate Canon's engineers are not doing anything revolutionary with their new designs. Once I have a 5D2 I'll look for changes. (Unless the new Red Scarlet moots everything.)

... the proper procedure for exiting the program? I just shut it down and restart each time.
Is that the "correct" way of working? or does there need to be an exit button in the sofware somewhere? (A little X in the corner?)
I will add some escape route in the future, but right now since the DS boots so quickly, powering off is the preferred method of exiting the program.
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steve
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Re: DS SOFTWARE RELEASE: HDR bracketing software v1.12
Reply #5 - 11/12/08 at 00:13:08
 
I see now, you are referring to the glaring and obvious bugs in the preset chain. See the next versions for fixes, and thanks for being patient.
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