How do YOU get the best HDR results with EM-5 ??

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by nang3, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. nang3

    nang3 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2013
    I've tried bracketing shots at different EV's which seems to work most of the time on static scenes - anything with traffic or the ocean or people always ends up a bit less than crisp however.

    I've also tried adjusting the raw file EV values in PP which (understandably) yields sharper results yet the resulting image never looks quite right.

    Which method do YOU personally find to give the best results and what tips/tricks would you recommend? I'm about to head off to Indonesia and want to try and get some nice jungle forest/nighttime ocean/temple etc type HDR shots.
  2. Trinurse

    Trinurse Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I've actually converted back to single image HDR. The dynamic range of the E-M5 is so good that I can usually get 7-9 ev's from one well exposed image usually with very nice results and much sharper IQ than with conventional HDR.
    See below (one caveat being the left side of the ocean image is out of focus - my fault):
    Kennebunk Ocean View.jpg

  3. JCWOlson

    JCWOlson Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2014
    Can you explain what single image HDR is? Or do you mean just taking a picture as normal?

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2 app will take one photo and do HDR on it. I used HDR in my Canon 5D3 to create the 3 raw files and produce the output jpg file as a reminder of what is possible. But I would run the 3 raw files through Nik where I had much more control that I could get with any in-camera HDR feature. I will likely do the same with my E-M1.
  5. JCWOlson

    JCWOlson Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2014
    How close do the pictures have to be? Like if you have three wavery(but sharp) handheld shots, does it figure it out?

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The software will line up shots just fine, and the better packages have relatively smart software for correcting 'ghosts' (halos from elements that don't quite line up). For a lot of scenes, a single RAW file exposed to the right will do just fine. However, some scenes with extreme contrasts (certain landscapes where you want/need more detail out of the shadows) are best shot with bracketed images. Not too close (at least 1 EV spacing for 5 shot, 2 EV spacing for 3 shot would be ideal for me), otherwise there's not a whole lot of point to it.

    A lot of scenes folks use HDR for don't really need HDR, but it's also a matter of taste. I use it to try and recapture the scene as I saw it then, since my eyes can handle the detail in darker areas AND the bright highlights much better than the camera can (this is for landscape), or for 'interiors' (like Ehud's wonderful cockpit shot, or a church, or urbex type settings) where there's very bright light coming in from outside. Most of mine have been shot handheld, and it works decently well.

    As to the 'best' processing, it varies. Although most HDR software will take RAW files, I actually find I get the best results by processing my RAW files in my processor of choice (DxO Optics), however turning OFF all the 'smart lighting' type of features; I may even create 'extra' brackets by shifting the EV slider one way or another. Export those to 16 bit tiff, and import the tiff files to HDR Efex Pro, Photomatix, whatever. This gives me all the powerful lens corrections, optimal lens-profile based sharpening (in DxO, really very nice, doesn't give me sharpening artifacts that unsharp masking or 'normal' sharpening dose) DxO Optics Pro has to offer, allows me to adjust vingetting, adjust color/white balance (although you really should lock down WB and ISO when shooting) and apply noise reduction (sensibly) to the source images.
  7. JCWOlson

    JCWOlson Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2014
    Well, thanks for such a detailed answer!
    One of the reasons I went with the E-M5 is that it would force me to do HDR and panoramics myself, forcing me to learn and grow as an artist, to spend more time learning post processing. I'm glad resources like thus forum are so readily available for teaching those who are new to the craft!

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
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