I shoot HDR with a Canon 40D. I often use more than 3 RAW exposures, which is a hassle on the 40D since the auto bracketing only supports 3 exposures.

I'm aware of the CHDK project, but it doesn't support the 40D (yet), and I'm also aware of the Magic Lantern project, but it also doesn't support the 40D. The Promote Control will do it, but at over $300 is a bit out of my range now.

So this is a bit of a stretch, so, aside from going into manual mode and spinning the top dial between shots, is there a way to get more than 3 bracketed shot with a Canon 40D?


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    Come on now, it's not that big of a hassle! I've been doing it for years! If you are doing a multi-shot HDR you should be using a tripod anyways, and thus spinning the dial is no big deal. I just had to poke fun at you:) – dpollitt Jan 20 '12 at 16:13
  • I do use a tripod and it can be a hassle. Lets say I'm set to 2 second, with +- 2 stop, so my first shutter press gets me 2, 4 and 0.5 seconds, then I turn the wheel how many times to get 4 stops above 0.5 seconds? Yeah, that would be 12 times. PITA... but +1 for making me smile! – Paul Cezanne Jan 20 '12 at 17:19
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    I wish Canon would just make this a custom function. But in your example Paul, I wouldn't use the 1 shutter press for 3 shots, I would just start out in M mode and each time roll the top wheel 2x or so then take a shot, etc. Maybe that is faster then switching in and out of auto bracketing? Just maybe.. – dpollitt Jan 20 '12 at 17:40
  • oh, I keep auto bracket on all the time... – Paul Cezanne Jan 20 '12 at 19:01

How about some variation of tethered capture? If you're willing to hook up a laptop, you should be able to control exposure over a series of shots w/o disturbing the camera.

You may also be interested in an Android-based DSLR controller that hit the market last year. The 40D is one of the gray-area cameras that's supported, but not with full functionality (its OS doesn't expose as much functionality as the newer cameras, I guess). This app is still in "beta" testing, so although it does list an HDR mode right now, discussions in the support thread on XDA Developers indicate that there are still some teething problems. Still, the concept seems to have a lot of promise once it matures a bit.

Finally, this would be a bit of a long shot, but there's a project / product called CameraAxe that's really designed for high-speed event-triggered photography, but it's got an intervolometer function where you can specify a number of HDR stops, such that you'll wind up with a bracket of photos (up to 10), though you're limited in how the shots are exposed (the bracket is computed by doubling the Tv for each shot in the bracket).


If you don't wish to adjust each shot manually then you could get five bracketed shots on a Canon by doing the following:

1. Go to camera menu and enable auto bracketing (AEB)
2. Set AEB exposure to be -1 0 +1
3. Take your first three photographs
4. Go to camera menu and set AEB exposure to be -2 0 +2
5. Take three more photographs.

You now have six shots of your subject, five at different exposures (-2 -1 0 +1 +2) and one duplicate exposure shot (0).

  • hmmmm, interesting idea but spinning the dial seems faster. Plus, when I want more exposures, I typically want a much wider range. I do a lot of night time shooting with tremendous variation is brightness. It isn't uncommon for me to have the "center" exposure at 4 seconds and go all the way up to 1/100th or so! – Paul Cezanne Jan 23 '12 at 23:55
  • but +1 for the excellent idea for others! – Paul Cezanne Jan 23 '12 at 23:56

If you have a sturdy tripod, just move the shutterspeed forward.

I have successfully done that on a 5D MK II to do 40+ image exposures. A series of three, move the shutter two notches forwards (steps of 1/3 stop), another 3 exposures, move forward and so on until done.

  • that's what I already do, I specifically say "aside from going into manual mode and spinning the top dial between shots." I want something better than that. – Paul Cezanne Jan 20 '12 at 13:52
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    Ups, something I overlooked in your post.... but short of using a computer of some sort, i do not think it is doable. – DetlevCM Jan 20 '12 at 14:35

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