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  1. #1
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    pnomanikon's Avatar

    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    (Disclaimer: I am a recreational photographer, and realize my photos are not "professional grade". )


    I have been experimenting with the built-in HDR in my D-7500. I'm gradually getting the hang of it, and even saved it as my U1 User Setting so I can access it quickly.

    Some of the shots have been on the tripod, but I experimented with leaning on a tree or fencepost and handholding if there was plenty of sunlight.

    On my first day of experimenting, I made a couple of "comparison" photos to see the difference in Auto mode with matrix metering compared to HDR Normal and one with HRD High setting.



    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-hdr-compare-1sm.jpg
    I think the Normal HDR mode worked well here to bring out the dark areas. This was resting the camera on my knee while kneeling.



    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-hdr-compare-2sm.jpg
    Tripod shot here. I thought this view from my back patio would test the limits of HDR because of the contrast. The Normal HDR mode brought out the darker areas nicely but I think the grass is still too bright. The High HDR mode brought the grass down to a nicer level, but the shrub and woods are a little too bright for me. I prefer the Normal Mode.


    We recently took a few trips to leaf-peep and tried the following photos:


    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-dsc_1468sm.jpg
    Mozer, WV - This barn photo also had a lot of contrast. (Tripod) This was Normal HDR setting, and I'm happy with the result. With Auto Mode and Matrix, the sides of the barn were black. (Again, I am a recreational photographer and don't plan to submit this to National Geographic. LOL)



    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-dsc_1554sm.jpg
    Seneca Rocks WV. Hand-held with nothing to rest against, and was the only photo out of 6 that wasn't too blurry. With Auto Mode and Matrix, the shadows around the footbridge in the foreground were almost black. This was Normal HDR setting.


    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-dsc_1632sm.jpg
    I tried this photo with Normal HDR by leaning against a tree by the trail and placing my left hand between the camera and tree as a cushion. There was plenty of sunlight, so shutter speed was rather fast. I think it worked OK.



    First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?-dsc_1630sm.jpg
    In this photo (HDR Normal), the trees in the foreground are in direct, bright sunlight. The hillsides in the far distance are in the shade from passing clouds. With Auto Mode and Matrix, the foreground came out nice but the hills in the background were almost black. I think the HDR Normal mode made it at least an acceptable photo. (Camera was resting on top of the camera bag on a big rock)


    I still have a lot of practicing and experimenting to do, but I've learned that a tripod or something to rest the camera on are essential. I also found that I had better success rates when I set the 2-second timer on the camera to eliminate shake. I think the Normal HDR Mode in the D7500 creates acceptable (to me) photos that would otherwise get tossed because of contrast.

    If I get really serious, I may invest in Photomatix Essentials software. (the basic version)

    Any comments or suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.


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    Last edited by pnomanikon; 11-03-2021 at 02:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    desmobob's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    Does the HDR setting do anything you can't do in post-processing, or does it just save you from having to make post-processing adjustments to shots of high dynamic range subjects?

    I've never experimented with it...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    ​i like using "brk" on camera, i then process in software. if i shoot hand held the software then will align the shots.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    u could check out these programs: https://expertphotography.com/free-hdr-software/
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  5. #5
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    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    IME results are much better when shooting RAW and using software like Lightroom to get the best HDR resulsts. In your barn photo, for example, I'm sure you could get more detail of the barn in the shaddows by just processing in Lightroom and lifting the shadows. Just my 2 cents.
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  6. #6
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    Peter7100's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    An alternative to Photmatix software is Oleneo, which certainly used to be much cheaper and very capable.

    I used to use it but found that for high dynamic range scenes I prefered to use grad filters.

    I knew of a photographer who manually took 16 or more increments exposures and then blended the results in software. I have to admit sometimes the results were spectacular but on occasions looked a bit strange. It certainly involved a lot of work and a tripod for that amount. Of course providing your minimum shutter speed is not too slow, you can then hand hold a fast burst of HDR exposures. The aperture must always be the same for each exposure for all HDR shooting.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    @nikonpup @Woodyg3 @desmobob

    Thanks for your input. Currently, I am using Corel Paintshop 2019 and an older 2011 version of Photoshop Elements. I think the Corel has HDR, but I haven't dug very deep into it. I was hoping the in-camera HDR would save me edit time.

    I also have RawTherapee, but I have not had time to dig into that either. I understand it even works with JPEG. (??) That sounds like a good winter project.

    Thanks again and stay tuned for more questions as I learn more about this.

    EDIT: Thanks @Peter7100. You must have posted while I was writing this.
    Last edited by pnomanikon; 11-03-2021 at 09:20 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    I don't really do the multiple-exposure HDR combining for a lot of years now. I think the effect has been overdone when not actually needed by too many photographers. I consider it a technique for special situations. I shoot RAW + JPEG so when I process Raw images in RawTherapee, you can pull out some extra dynamic range with just the single image as long as you are not overexposed badly.

    But astrophotography image stacking really is a form of HDR processing, so I guess I do use HDR regularly. But it is a special situation of pulling out a faint noisy image from out of dozens of images.

    And good for you using alternatives to Adobe. I personally use RawTherapee and GIMP because I won't pay exploitation prices for my software. That is Adobe, get people addicted to using their product and unwilling to learn another platform, then start wringing out as much cash from users as they can.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
    pnomanikon's Avatar

    Re: First experiments with D7500 Built-In HDR - Comments? Suggestions?

    Sorry I haven't kept up with updates. I've been busy taking care of 3 older ladies (good friends) and have only had the camera out a couple of times for critters in the back yard.

    We are going to visit our son, D-I-L, and grandson next week, so I am hoping to get a RawTherapee lesson or two from my son. In the meantime, I just received a Rogue Flash Bender 2 (small) and played with it a little. (See my post in the "Flashes" section.

    Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Remember - it doesn't have to be a "Norman Rockwell" Thanksgiving to be special. One of our family's most memorable Thanksgivings was eating turkey TV dinners in the hotel room while we were traveling.
    Pianist/Organist
    MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

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