Author Topic: Quickly taking HDR brackets?  (Read 12278 times)

geekneck

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Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« on: July 10, 2012, 07:43:45 PM »
Hi all,

I am just getting into ML, so forgive me if this is a dumb question....
I have tried the HDR bracket setting on my 60D and have had reasonable luck with it.  The problem is that the images are taken very slowly, requiring a tripod.  Is there a way to get ML to use the highest FPS setting possible so that I might use it hand-held?  Thanks in advance!

Paul

a1ex

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 09:04:27 PM »
... just use Canon bracketing.

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 06:30:56 PM »
I guess I should have mentioned that I want more than the three brackets offered by the Canon function.  ML doesn't help with Canon Brackets, right?

a1ex

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 06:58:52 PM »
Then, of course you need a tripod.

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 07:11:41 PM »
Not necessarily, I just want all of my brackets to be taken as quickly as possible.  If ML does not allow the use of 60D's high speed mode, that's fine. I just wanted to verify whether that is the case or that I am missing something in the manual.  Thanks!

CosmicSlop

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 04:57:15 AM »
I recently went thru this same "want/need" after shooting with friends with faster Nikon's and Canon 1D's - I have a 60D.

It seems that the buffer in the prosumer Nikon(s)  allows for faster shooting. The cameras will hold more shots in the buffer and write them later. The same goes for the Canon 1D(x).

One way you can take faster shots with the 60D is to use a higher ISO. This will introduce grain or noise onto your shots. :( Another solution is allow ML to change the ISO as it takes the shots - this could lead to strange focus issues if you're lens is shooting at anything less than infinity.

HTH

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 07:48:05 PM »
Thanks for the reply, but I don't think it is a buffer issue, as I can get 11-13 RAW shots into the buffer with no problem.  The issue is that I want ML to use what Canon calls "High-speed Continuous" shooting (5.3 FPS) when doing HDR bracketing.  ML seems to use the "Low-speed Continuous" (3 FPS) mode.

CosmicSlop

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 05:59:35 AM »
Weell, I'm not sure but I would think the speed of the shots can't be any faster than the time the shutter must stay open. If you go shoot in bright daylight you'll hear the 60D take fast(er) shots because the shutter speed is faster. However I do know what you're talking about compared to the cameras I talked about earlier - my 60D is very much slower.

Have you tried shooting 3 brackets with Canon built in AEB and then shooting 3 with ML to see if ML really is taking the shots at a slower rate?

Thanks for the reply, but I don't think it is a buffer issue, as I can get 11-13 RAW shots into the buffer with no problem.  The issue is that I want ML to use what Canon calls "High-speed Continuous" shooting (5.3 FPS) when doing HDR bracketing.  ML seems to use the "Low-speed Continuous" (3 FPS) mode.


STELYA

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 01:08:44 PM »
Well, if I understood correctly (slim chance) you want those HDR brackets to shoot as quick as possible like you would shoot in burst mode ?
You should disable Autodetect and select number of shots you want.

I just checked it on my 550d , set to 5 shots x2EV holding it in my hand, I press shutter once and camere takes 5 shots as if I was holding the shutter down...so fastest as possible and without delays.


geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 01:56:23 PM »
Sorry for not getting back sooner.  Sometimes this "life" thing really get in the way...

Here is what I did and observed:
1. Set 60D to Canon bracket mode and high-speed continuous shooting
2.  Point camera at a bright light and fire off the brackets.  Images taken very quickly!
3.  Set camera to M, f/1.8, 1/2000 sec (still in high-speed continuous)
4. Enable ML bracketing, 9 shots at 1 EV steps
5. Point camera at same bright light and fire off a shot
6. Images were taken, but much more slowly.  Not the time between shutter open and close, but the time between shutter close and shutter open of the next shot.

I apologize for not previously telling you my version.  This is all happening with Version 2.2 (XMas 22 Dec 2011).  Could it be that an upgrade will resolve this?  Thanks.

Paul

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 02:53:47 PM »
I just checked it on my 550d , set to 5 shots x2EV holding it in my hand, I press shutter once and camere takes 5 shots as if I was holding the shutter down...so fastest as possible and without delays.

550D can shoot up to 3.7fps in continuous mode, while the 60D can shoot up to 5.3fps, which explains why the 60D's built-in exposure bracketing is faster (it uses high speed continuous rather than continuous).
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a1ex

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 02:58:32 PM »
To my ears, 60D's built-in AEB is even faster than high-speed continuous.

Bracketing in 2.3 is as fast as it can be without compromising reliability. It always waits until Canon firmware confirms the new settings before taking the next shot. The only way to make it faster is to use 3 AEB shots rather than 9 single shots (technically possible, but I don't see any point in shooting 9 exposures hand held).

The advice remains: for hand-held operation use Canon's bracketing.

screamer

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 03:13:13 PM »
agree with Alex,
9 exposures handheld make not so much sense
always trying to use the 100% of magic lantern..
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Malcolm Debono

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 03:36:10 PM »
I also agree with Alex's advise. For handheld shooting I'm using Canon's AEB, while for tripod shooting I'm using ML's auto bracketing.
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geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 06:30:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  It seems the consensus is that ML bracketing does NOT use high-speed continuous shooting.  That's fine, I just wanted to know if it was possible.

FWIW, I can see numerous cases for 9 bracketed shots, especially if shooting at 5.3 FPS.  I can hold the camera relatively still for 9/5.3=1.7 seconds if there is good light.  If I have a nice tree, wall, or chair that won't move on me, I can get a good series in so-so light! :-)

dave_bass5

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2012, 04:13:49 PM »
I assume the 2 sec delay isnt what you are talking about? This caught me out when i first tired HDR and now i have it turned off so there is no delay between shots.

hd1roam

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2012, 06:07:52 PM »
Paul,
...at risk of beating a dead horse...
After reading all the posts in this thread, I'm not getting what you are really after as a goal in the final processed shot. You are looking for high FPS and a high number of exposures. Why??
I can only guess or interpret as implied.
Maybe we can help you achieve your desired effect with other techniques.
or
Maybe you can help me understand what high FPS will gain in HDR.

I've done a quite few HDR panos and single frame scenes where frame speed helps because light and the scene can change but I've never felt burst type rates are required.
Look at what the HDR process can do for you and what you can gain from it.

A couple of points:
  • -In HDR relative FPS speed is important so your scene does not change but I can't see where higher FPS is going to help with focus or exp.
  • -HDR helps gain detail and light from multiple exposures. After looking at a few example posted in the forum mentioning 9exps, I still see quite a few shadows with no detail. That's fine if that is your goal. Otherwise 9 exps did you no favors and probably just added to processing time.
  • -When shooting HDR higher shutter speed can help with hand held attempts for sharpness. If I don't use a tripod for HDR (rarely), I was either in a hurry or testing in the field. Mostly my non-tripod attempts left me feeling lazy and disappointed later in post. You can pretty much bet lower shutter speeds are going to get a softer shot in the series than expected when hand held.
  • -Even when hand held shots are sharp, you still need an alignment process in post. Unless your going for that fuzzy or other effect.
  • -Tell us the speed/class of your memory card. To slow of a class may have a recording effect if shooting RAW or large files. Guessing the buffer would kick in when card is slow, causing 9 nine shots to stall. I shoot with a T2i/550D, class 6 SD, RAW and will witness it stall slightly using ML 5-shot auto exp-1ev, it might fire off 4 shots, then thinks about the last one. Sometimes not, and I have not seen any harm so far in the result.
  • -If you are processing 9 large tiffs through any HDR software app I hope you have a very fast workstation.

No intent to criticize here, just not sure what anyone might gain leveraging what you want.
ML is new to me. I just used it in the field the last few days and will post some results when I get back to the studio in a few days.

Anyone else please shed light here too if I'm off in space somewhere or just want to discuss more.

Chasing the light,
Dave

ML ver. 2.3: mostly still photos, HDR, pano, and some video. Targets of choice; Art, landscape, wildlife, collector vehicles, events. Equipment; EOS 550D/T2i | EF 100-400mm L USM - EF-S 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS - EF-S 55-250mm IS - Win7Ult., Lightroom, Photomatix, Topaz Labs, Hugin, GIMP, Smugmug

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2012, 07:14:37 PM »
I assume the 2 sec delay isnt what you are talking about? This caught me out when i first tired HDR and now i have it turned off so there is no delay between shots.
While not what I was worrying about, I didn't know you could turn it off.  Excellent tip!

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2012, 07:36:44 PM »
After reading all the posts in this thread, I'm not getting what you are really after as a goal in the final processed shot. You are looking for high FPS and a high number of exposures. Why??
Thanks for the reply, Dave.  I don't necessarily shoot 9 brackets every time I do an HDR.  I have had occasions where a 3-shot bracket at +/- 3 EV just wasn't enough to capture the entire scene.  Also 3EVs apart is just too much for a smooth HDR.  If I'm on a tripod I'd usually go for 1.5 or 2 EV.  Because of this, I would certainly consider a 5-shot HDR handheld because I think I could get good results.  I would also consider a 9-shot bracket if I had a reasonably steady platform, like a tree or fence post.

The reason high speed is important is for the following reasons:
1. I have a higher chance of keeping the camera steady and pointed in the same exact location if I only have to hold it for approximately half the time.
2. The scene changes less from the first to the last shot.  Very important for shot with moving people or blowing trees!

hd1roam

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2012, 05:48:50 PM »

The reason high speed is important is for the following reasons:
1. I have a higher chance of keeping the camera steady and pointed in the same exact location if I only have to hold it for approximately half the time.
2. The scene changes less from the first to the last shot.  Very important for shot with moving people or blowing trees!

Paul,
I expected this is what you where after but confirmation of goals helps narrow down the path to success. I've learned both of your reasons are challenges to HDR processing. So how to over come them? Here is what I do now. Basically one could say, "The stove is hot, don't touch", but that is not in our nature as it blocks our ambition to achieve better.

Your item #1; If I have to hand-hold the cam, keep the shutter speed as high as possible while maintaining image quality. Motion blur would be your enemy here. Then in processing alignment of the frames can be achieved so hopefully and movement you had shooting will be compensated. Photomatix does this well as an option, I can't comment on others.

Your item #2; I expect even with high FPS you will have trouble with moving objects.  I've thought of complex ways to tackle this but have not gone there yet. My easiest solution was to synthesize multiple exposures in Lightroom from a single frame by exporting with different EV steps, then process with your tool of choice. Example below. A pretty good result capturing extreme motion.

Although this involves no leverage of ML, I'm sure there are other ways to accommodate moving objects for HDR with ML.
Would like to hear from other users how they do it.



Other hand-held examples here:
http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=1957.0

Good Luck!
Dave
ML ver. 2.3: mostly still photos, HDR, pano, and some video. Targets of choice; Art, landscape, wildlife, collector vehicles, events. Equipment; EOS 550D/T2i | EF 100-400mm L USM - EF-S 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS - EF-S 55-250mm IS - Win7Ult., Lightroom, Photomatix, Topaz Labs, Hugin, GIMP, Smugmug

Digital Guy

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2012, 07:49:14 AM »
Paul, in your golf shot did you capture the ball in the other shots as well?

I also noticed that ML's 3x was slower than Canon's 3x bracketing. I did try 9x and found that the camera went out of range anyway unless you use ISO shifting. Usually 5x is ample for me.

For handheld bracketing you really need a steady hand even at only 3 shots irrespective of shutter exposure keeping in mind scene changes even slightly will ruin the end result. Photomatix does well to remove ghosting but still........

Where ML is great for me is HDR timelapse bracketing 3x exposure shift at 1.5. The intervelometer is a real beauty for me.

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geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 11:16:58 AM »
Your item #2; I expect even with high FPS you will have trouble with moving objects.  I've thought of complex ways to tackle this but have not gone there yet. My easiest solution was to synthesize multiple exposures in Lightroom from a single frame by exporting with different EV steps, then process with your tool of choice. Example below. A pretty good result capturing extreme motion.
Really nice shot, Dave!  I would have no hope of making even a 5 shot capture of subject matter like this, even if ML did use high-speed shooting.  My envisioned scenario is more like this: 

- I'm out with my camera and no tripod and find a nice architectural shot that is in heavy shade and bright light. 
- I can brace against a lamp post or bench; not as steady as a tripod, but OK.   
- Capturing the entire dynamic range requires at least +/- 3 EV.  While I have had OK results with +/- 3 EV handheld, the resulting HDR gets pretty noisy.  I think that finer brackets would help
- Set up ML to take 5 brackets at 1.5 EV and hand hold with bracing
- I think I would be able to keep camera steadier if high speed shooting was used rather than low-speed

BTW, I forgot to mention that I look to shoot *really* wide, so this helps me with slow shutter speeds :-)




Good Bones by GeekNeck, on Flickr

hd1roam

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2012, 05:43:59 PM »
Paul, in your golf shot did you capture the ball in the other shots as well?

I also noticed that ML's 3x was slower than Canon's 3x bracketing. I did try 9x and found that the camera went out of range anyway unless you use ISO shifting. Usually 5x is ample for me.

For handheld bracketing you really need a steady hand even at only 3 shots irrespective of shutter exposure keeping in mind scene changes even slightly will ruin the end result. Photomatix does well to remove ghosting but still........

Where ML is great for me is HDR timelapse bracketing 3x exposure shift at 1.5. The intervelometer is a real beauty for me.
You got Paul the OP and I confused.
To answer you question this was a single shot capturing the ball in motion, no other shots of the scene taken. You missed that in the dialog above.
ML ver. 2.3: mostly still photos, HDR, pano, and some video. Targets of choice; Art, landscape, wildlife, collector vehicles, events. Equipment; EOS 550D/T2i | EF 100-400mm L USM - EF-S 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS - EF-S 55-250mm IS - Win7Ult., Lightroom, Photomatix, Topaz Labs, Hugin, GIMP, Smugmug

hd1roam

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2012, 06:01:11 PM »
Really nice shot, Dave!  I would have no hope of making even a 5 shot capture of subject matter like this, even if ML did use high-speed shooting.  My envisioned scenario is more like this: 

- I'm out with my camera and no tripod and find a nice architectural shot that is in heavy shade and bright light. 
- I can brace against a lamp post or bench; not as steady as a tripod, but OK.

Thanks Paul! I like the perspective you captured, the wide-angle really accentuates that. A little grittiness with noise could go good with those subjects. I love architecture too but have not put much attention to it yet.  Out here where I am I get more ancient ruins than industrial buildings.

Have you thought using a bean bag to steady the camera? Fits easy in a small backpack and not too heavy. I use a Crown Royal whiskey bag full coffee beans. Put them in a plastic bag inside the CR bag. Cheap and effective, plus if camping the coffee is close at hand.
ML ver. 2.3: mostly still photos, HDR, pano, and some video. Targets of choice; Art, landscape, wildlife, collector vehicles, events. Equipment; EOS 550D/T2i | EF 100-400mm L USM - EF-S 18-55mm f4-5.6 IS - EF-S 55-250mm IS - Win7Ult., Lightroom, Photomatix, Topaz Labs, Hugin, GIMP, Smugmug

geekneck

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Re: Quickly taking HDR brackets?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2012, 08:54:19 PM »
Thanks Paul! I like the perspective you captured, the wide-angle really accentuates that. A little grittiness with noise could go good with those subjects. I love architecture too but have not put much attention to it yet.  Out here where I am I get more ancient ruins than industrial buildings.
Ooooo, ancient ruins; that sounds exciting!  What part of the world is that?  You might want to try borrowing or renting a super wide angle and see what you can do.  I'm addicted to my Sigma 8-16mm!

Have you thought using a bean bag to steady the camera? Fits easy in a small backpack and not too heavy. I use a Crown Royal whiskey bag full coffee beans. Put them in a plastic bag inside the CR bag. Cheap and effective, plus if camping the coffee is close at hand.
Excellent idea, Dave!  A beanbag has been on my list of things to purchase, but I like your idea.  Alas, whiskey is a little past my skill level and wine never comes in a bag (unless it is a paper bag  ;)).  I'll start querying my friends and see if anyone has one lying around!