Lately, I kept myself busy with Canon stuff, in particular the CHDK and cheap P&S cameras. For purpose of experimentation, I bought an IXUS 140 (aka ELPH 130). The 140 is a cute little camera I really like, very pocketable, CHDK, although ALPHA, works as a charm!
The cheap chap that I am, I only afford the camera with a really old Sandisk Ultra II 2GB SD-card. I am sure that there are faster cards available... however, this is what was sitting unused in my desk's drawer, hence, that is what I use(d).
The drawback of using an older generation SD-card is of course the speed in which data can be written to it. In particular when saving data in RAW, this plays a major role.
For matters of experimentation, I took the camera, set CHDK to bracketing in continuous mode and took some shots. Photomatix was used to create the DHR images.
The first HDR image that I would like to share is a shot in which I used 3 frames recorded as DNG (which is essentially raw data). The middle frame was shot with -1 Ev. Lens distortion correction was applied to the final image using RawTherapee.
|3 DNGs - lens distortion correction using RawTherapee|
The second shot is an HDR image using 5 JPG frames. Again, the middle image at -1 Ev.
No geometrical correction applied here, mind you, the camera's firmware does something already when recording JPGs... something that actually over compensates at wide angles.
|5 JPGs - no correction, note that the camera itself over compensated|
In this shot, I used the anti-ghosting tool of photomatix on the approaching tram.
Here is how I do it, inspired by Discovery Channel reporting about snipers:
- calmly prepare your camera, making sure all the setting are correct, e.g. exposure compensation
- stand firm on both legs, feet at shoulder width
- breath slowly but steadily, wait until you body settles
- hold your camera with both hands
- press your arms against your chest
- breath in deeply
- exhale slowly half pressing the shutter release
- when your chest is relaxed and your lungs exhaled, gently press and hold the shutter release
- freeze (not thinking about it!)
- hold your breath and wait until your camera recorded the 3, 5 or 7 frames you need.
All in all, handheld HDR photography remains a challenge. It is best done with a fast bracketing camera, such as the Lumix LX7, however if the camera at your disposal is somewhat slower, there is still hope!