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I've recently bought a Canon 200D which has an integrated HDR mode and unfortunately it is quite disappointing: you cannot tune it in any way and the results can only be saved to a JPEG. I've been trying to take sequences manually by switching to TV mode and moving the wheel between each shot, but it's a slow process and shadows/people can change by the time I'm finished.

Is there any way to e.g. write a script that would tell the camera to go ahead and take a sequence of photos with increasing shutter speed? Perhaps some sort of an external device that can send the right signals to the camera?

  • What other format would you expect the camera to store an HDR image in? – Robin Oct 3 '17 at 17:27
  • @Robin several independent HDR files? Turns out the functionality exists :) – JonathanReez Oct 3 '17 at 17:30
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Lookup exposure bracketing in the manual. (Sorry, I don't have a 200D manual handy at the moment.) This is what you want. It is implemented on just about every Canon DSLR, if not every one. It's typically found in the menu options related to exposure.

  • Wow, wish I knew that before! Thank you, it indeed exists for my DSLR. – JonathanReez Oct 3 '17 at 16:59
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Is there any way to e.g. write a script that would tell the camera to go ahead and take a sequence of photos with increasing shutter speed?

Yes, there is. In fact, Canon has already written such a script and included it in your camera's firmware. It's called Auto Exposure Bracketing. Instructions on how to do AEB can be found on pages 176-77 of the EOS Rebel SL2/EOS 200D Instruction Manual.

p. 176
p. 177

By default, the camera will take the middle exposure first, then the dimmer one, then the brighter one. Some Canon cameras will allow you to alter the sequence order to dimmer, middle, and then brighter but your 200D does not appear to have that capability. Other models also allow for more bracketed exposure frames with a wider range between each one.

For best results when bracketing with the intent to do HDR, save the files in raw format. You'll get a wider dynamic range from your three shot series set at a maximum of two stops apart. You'll then need to use an application on your computer that can do HDR processing to combine and tone map the frames. Canon's Digital Photo Professional included with your camera includes an HDR Tool.

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