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I have Sony a580, which offers an HDR feature, but not with the raw image type.

The only thing they offer with raw choice is exposure bracketing, but you can only choose 3 images with 0.3 EV or 0.7 EV shift, which is never enough for even most simple cases.

How can I solve this problem? I know there is an option to manually shift the exposure, but then you always move camera a little. This is not as practical, and is unsuitable for medium-speed scenes.

What can I do? I was thinking there might be some "hack" that a professional might be aware of.

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It's probably not much better than what you're doing now, but could you use a single RAW file like photo.stackexchange.com/questions/683/… suggests? –  drewbenn Oct 3 '11 at 19:05

3 Answers 3

While it doesn't appear to support Sony cameras at this time, I came across the Promote Control that, according to their website, offers the following:

Promote Control propels HDR imaging forward by offering unparalleled flexibility, allowing for bracketing step variability previously not possible with in-camera bracketing modes. Promote Control can also automatically put the camera into Bulb mode as appropriate when performing bracketed exposures longer than 30 seconds, requiring no further user intervention. *

A review of the device used with Canon cameras is available here.

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The best pro trick is to get a good tripod. You will need it here because even with the remote trigger and self-timer you have to touch the camera between exposures.

Then go to Manual exposure mode, then:

  • Select the aperture you need
  • Set the focus and and lock it by going into MF mode
  • Set the white-balance to any setting other than Auto (unless shooting RAW only and you do not mind a wrong preview)
  • Find the shutter-speed that gets you a good exposure.
  • Shift the shutter-speed (NOT the Aperture) three to five stops down and shoot.
  • Move to the normal shutter-speed, shoot again.
  • Shift the shutter-speed three to five stops down and shoot again.
  • Repeat shifting above and below if your scene has a HUGE dynamic range.

NOTE: There is no need to do smaller steps, the camera already has data since you get a large number of stops with each shot. You only risk introducing inconsistencies. Going to 5 EV steps when you needed 3 is not a problem, the reverse is.

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I never use any auto exposure bracketing or HDR features of cameras that I have. I simply use one of the program modes such as A or S on your A580 then rip though a few images quickly using the wheel to increase or lower the exposure.

Start at -2, then scroll the wheel till it gets to 0, and finally till +2. You have a nicely bracketed set of images, that will allow you to produce an HDR image later using software.

If your camera is moving a little, it sounds like your tripod is not up to par. Today's HDR image processing software typically has an option to check off if you would like it to auto align the images as well, which you may benefit from.

One final note, if your scene is medium speed or faster, you may have to do a bit more Photoshop type work to get a result that is desirable. You may need to mask out certain areas of the image that are moving quickly and select one of the original non HDR images to get a proper final image. This gets a bit more into the post processing aspect and not necessarily the "how to capture" piece.

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