General Question

BronxLens's avatar

What are the best two or three DSLR's for doing HDR under $1000.00?

Asked by BronxLens (1539points) May 13th, 2008

I’m considering the Olympus E-510 since for about $660.00 you get the camera plus two lenses (28–84mm equivalent & 800–300mm equivalent).

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7 Answers

XCNuse's avatar

nikon d40 is now under $500 making it am excellent choice its what I use until I can afford an upgrade. If you want to do HDRs, any camera that can bracket may be of interest, however the software used in making hdrs is more important than the photo itself, you can turn just about any photo into an hdr with the right software and knowledge. The higher end nikon also have what they call ADR (advanced dynamic range) which increases the range of light to dark tones. Honestly if you just want to do hdrs you dont need a dslr, also remember film has a far larger range than digital cameras too, but is a much more daunting process to get into. It depends what you really want, the ability to do hdrs, or have an SLR…

DeezerQueue's avatar

It doesn’t really matter what DSLR you would use to produce an HDR image, but you do need a camera capable of producing raw images and bracketing, as well as HDR software.

I recommend you peruse DPReview. Phil does a fine job of reviewing cameras and the forums, full of experienced users will provide you with their insights as well.

I use Photomatix as my HDR image rendering software, which produces very good results.

anonyjelly16's avatar

I think the Canon G7 and G9 and fantastic cameras for the price.

HeNkiSdaBro's avatar

For HDR photography there is one other aspect worth considering. The shooting speed. Sure, you need to have a pretty fast shutter speeds to make any use of faster speeds, but you can shoot HDR photos, bracketed very easily handheld with faster speeds. The Canon 40D which I have is capable of 5fps and some other cameras even more. The new Casio DSLR comes to mind… 60fps!!! As long as it has a bracket function, that would be a good choice.

XCNuse's avatar

Casio doesn’t even make SLR cameras much less a dSLR

You must be referring to the Casio EX-F1, it’s just a large format point and shoot which has the insides of a video camera, and the body of a standard large point and shoot.

Plus, despite its hefty price, i’m pretty darn sure it doesn’t even do bracketing.
No point and shoot that I know of does bracketing, almost all lower end SLRs and over a majority of dSLRs don’t even do bracketing because there isn’t a use for it anymore.

It was used for people with film that weren’t sure about the correct exposure, and so they bracketed it to ensure that they got the correct exposure.

Speed has nothing to do with it, if you plan on shooting a multiple exposure HDR then plan on bringing along a tripod. I mean if you want to spend the time to ensure that they are positioned exactly the same then have at it, but trust me.. the time spended isn’t worth it.

People seem to think that shooting faster solves all of your problems, it just isn’t true.

HeNkiSdaBro's avatar

Sorry about the Casio suggestion, maybe it is not suitable for this purpose but I can’t fully agree… Shooting at fast speeds totally helps you in shooting HDR handheld. Softwares like Photoshop and Photomatix, which is a piece that is focused on HDR aligning and tone mapping, does the aligning for you automatically and does a great job as well. Shooting at higher speeds is crucial in this process. And you don’t always need to bring the dreaded tripod!

I quote from a review online about the Casio camera, it does not seem that bad actually:
It can even bracket 5 frames not only three as of my Canon 40D. I would like that feature!

Users can chose to bracket white balance, focus or exposure via a three or five-shot burst. Additionally, each mode is fully configurable, with up to a -2 to +2 differential for AE brackets, a 0.16 mm to infinity range for focus, and a warm to cool spread for white balances. Unfortunately, the bracketing modes don’t really seem to take advantage of the Casio EX-F1’s high-speed capabilities; despite testing it in a myriad of conditions, we couldn’t get any of them to shoot faster than a couple frames per second. This would be an invaluable feature if it could bracket shots in fast-motion situations, but even as it stands, it’s a nice boost to the camera’s usability.

XCNuse's avatar

I did not know that.

But in the end, the OP asks for something cheap, the Casio EX-F1 is far more expensive than lower end dSLRs.

Good to know that it at least has something for its price range.

Yes software may help, but in the end it won’t be as sharp etc. because of rotating and resizing and so on and so forth.

The best way to do it is shoot in RAW and get a good exposure with very little clipping as best you can, or get a Grad ND filter, and then in raw set it to no clipping on the brights, then no clipping on the darks, and it works perfectly.

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