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Old Oct 6, 2009, 8:28 AM   #1
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Default Best $500range DSLR for HDR

Looking for the best bang for your buck DSLR for HDR photography


I Want auto bracketing and raw
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 8:53 AM   #2
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Your choices are going to be limited with a $500 budget.

Most of the entry level models only allow 2 or 3 photos with Exposure Bracketing, and some models (for example, Nikon's entry level dSLR models like the D40, D40x, D60 and D3000) don't even have an Exposure Bracketing feature.

You also want to consider the maximum difference (in EV) between photos in a bracketed sequence. For example, some models only allow 1/3 or 1/2 stop (EV) difference between photos, which won't do you a lot of good for HDR purposes (as you'd want more difference between the darkest and brightest photo in a set for maximum dynamic range when combining photos later).

IOW, I'd look for the ability to go +- 2EV (at a minimum) with a camera limited to 3 photos in a set, so you'd have at least 4 stops between the darkest and brightest image in the set, ending up with 3 photos taken like this:

-2EV, 0, +2EV.

I'd have to do some research to figure out what camera models might offer that much range. Perhaps some of our members will chime in with their knowledge.

But, you could always change settings and take more photos if you don't find a camera you like with the desired Auto Bracketing range. You're going to need a steady tripod, no matter what solution you choose for that type of photography.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 9:12 AM   #3
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I could go as high at $600 if that makes a difference I want something that will get the job done

How are the Sony a230'S


Last edited by pollardhimself; Oct 6, 2009 at 9:15 AM.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 9:33 AM   #4
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pollard-

I you are willing to set up the series yourself, manually, and to use a tripod. The Sony A-230 is a very viable choice IMO.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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If you can find one, check out the now discontinued Pentax K20 - it is close to your price range, and would have the auto bracketing capability you are looking for (3 or 5 shots, can set up to 2 stops between frames, though the second underexposed shot is only 3 stops under-exposed, as I recall, can be set to take all 5 shots with one touch of the shutter or separately, separate button on the camera body to activate). It's an excellent camera for the close-out prices they've been offering (was originally over $1,000 when it first came out around 2 years ago). While it's been replaced by the new Pentax K-7 (which is even better at auto bracketing and has an in-camera HDR capability but is also a whole lot more expensive) it uses the same sensor and is an outstanding performer. A really good buy for what it is currently being sold for.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
pollard-

I you are willing to set up the series yourself, manually, and to use a tripod. The Sony A-230 is a very viable choice IMO.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce

??? I'm confused Sarah the A230 does allow Bracketing --3 images shifted by 0.7 steps...why would he have to do it manually??? What am i missing here?

BTW I haven't yet dabbled in HDR - but will
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:43 AM   #7
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Morning, You can also check out any of the Pentax models (K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K20D). For instance the K100D is 6MP (Sony sensor, same as the Canon 40D) and they can be found for about $300 (you have to look, as the prices can be all over the map). The problem with dSLRs is that you also need a lens. Pentax kit lenses 18-55 can be found on ebay for around $50.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....ci_sku=9348752

You can also find pretty good deals on...

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...s-marketplace/

hope that helps ...
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
??? I'm confused Sarah the A230 does allow Bracketing --3 images shifted by 0.7 steps...why would he have to do it manually??? What am i missing here?
Because that's not enough range between bright and dark to get a good HDR image.

IOW, you'd end up with only 1.5 stops between the darkest and lightest image in the frame, with a 3 shot sequence looking something like this:

-0.7, 0, +0.7

Auto Exposure Bracketing was originally designed to allow you to select the [one] best shot in a sequence to allow for metering problems in difficult lighting, not for combining images to create a High Dynamic Range photo.

About the best you're going to do with a $500 - $600 budget is 3 photos at 1 EV apart (for example, the Canon XSi can do that), ending up with a sequence that looks like this:

-1, 0, +1

But, that would only give you 2 stops difference between the lightest and darkest image in the set. You really want a lot more for a High Dynamic Range image in difficult lighting.

But, to get more range between the darkest and lightest image in a set (either by allowing more than 3 photos in a set, or by allowing a greater EV range between photos) , you really have to move up to the Advanced Amateur market niche (which would be over the OP's desired budget), unless I'm overlooking a model somewhere.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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Shooting raw, you may get a bit better results, even though the range is not as wide as desired. But, for better results using Auto Exposure Bracketing, you'd want to move up to a more expensive model with more range between the darkest and lightest image in the set.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for the explanation Jim...it was helpful in my (want list)...I know its above the O posters $$$ range, but I just checked the D5000 to ensure it's auto bracketing covers the range you suggested ...it does..+/- 2.0EV

Last edited by littlejohn; Oct 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM.
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