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Which Camera Has The Best In-Camera HDR?

Published: 12/02/2015
By: larry

InCameraHDRTour Guide recently asked the question:

Have you ever done a post on what is the best in-camera HDR and if it is an acceptable quality for real estate photography?

The best answer I've found is over at The video to the right answers the same question. Their answer is the Canon 5DMkIII is the best because it has an effective mechanism for shooting a series of brackets and it keeps the RAW files that are used for creating the HDR result so you can reprocess if you choose. Most other cameras don't do that.

The second part of the question, "... is it acceptable quality for real estate photography?" has a lot to do with your taste and which processing mode you use, so there isn't a definitive answer to that. When the 5DMkII first came out several readers showed me their results from in-camera HDR and they looked acceptable to me. The rendering was restrained and not over the top.

Are many out there using in-camera HDR?

12 comments on “Which Camera Has The Best In-Camera HDR?”

  1. D7100; acceptable with post processing, used for basic houses indoors and outdoors. Pro: fast, repeatable results (good for lr presets,) range of presets in-cam, can set as U1 or U2. Con; does not save sooc.

  2. That is one of the major things that keeps me from switching over to the Sony A7 series and sticking with Nikon. I don't typically use HDR, but nice to have that option. I could be wrong, but it appears that HDR is limited to in-camera, and out of camera options are manually setting reached stepped exposure. Of course, Sony doesn't have a manual - beyond how to load the battery and SD card - and have to rely on YouTube videos users make for advanced features.

  3. I shoot homes with the 5D III and love the HDR feature. It is adjustable as to not "over cook" the photos. Best use for me is exterior photos. I use it on interior shots also but occasionally have color problems not experience with exteriors. But I've got to say that you can almost match the results just using Lightroom 5.

  4. The D7100 provides us with Fantastic results, especially with Exposure Fusion. The benefit of being able to take five (5) brackets, -4, -2, 0, +2, +4, exposures, very fast, gives us quite an edge over the majority of cameras out there, at an amazingly "Low Price". I have even met D1700 users who did not know of the 5 bracket, +2,-2 feature.

    We will stick with the D7100, no interest in moving up any time soon.

  5. @LarryG Sony's in-camera HDR takes into account however you've setup a picture style, so there are many possibilities for how to cook one.

    I think Samsung has one of the best pre-engineered settings.

  6. ,,, add on for D7100; in camera hdr does not save sooc, and you can't shoot in raw. But as Tom said very good results with this camera; u1 and u2 settings and easy to use menus for real estate. And when shooting RAW at high quality the images have great depth and process very well.

  7. Does the D7100 (or any other camera) blend the bracketed images together for an acceptable-ready-to-use image. Or do you have to use Light Room?

    @Larry - thanks for posting this question.

  8. samsung really has the best built in HDR. Obviously this is a stupid question because if you configure it yourself in any camera you'll get way much better results than just switching to HDR and pressing the shutter button. And Sony A7 has a manual HDR settings. You even have apps from sony to do it remotely over wifi and control all the settings you want on any android device.

  9. @Pedro

    I wish you hadn't said it was a stupid question. Not everyone has knowledge as vast as you. I do thank you for the information.

  10. @Tour Guide I wasn't referring to your comment but rather to the post. But since you mention it yes it's kinda stupid because what is "acceptable" or not depends on each person. If you want any valid answer you first have to define what "acceptable" is to you. We can't just read your mind.

  11. @Pedro

    Ok, I can accept that it would have been better to define acceptable. But using the word stupid was for what kind of affect?

    Are you able to show me the best results you (as in Pedro) can (on a consistent basis) get from in-camera-HDR? Do you shot HDR in camera for your real estate agents?

  12. In my opinion, no DSLR in-camera HDR reaches the level of a custom HDR. However, for the size of the sensor and the optics, the HDRs created on iPhones or Samsungs seem very acceptable to me. Maybe it's processing power that's missing here?

    Instead of an HDR in-camera, which implies that your original is going to be a pre-cooked image (by tone mapping) to the manufacturer's taste, if I had to choose I'd prefer the Pentax approach of using simple statistical formula that averages multiple shots to reduce noise.

    @Tour Guide,

    About if it is an acceptable quality for real estate photography, I think that depends on several factors.

    How long will it take to sell the property? For properties that your client feels are an easy sale and that are going to be on the market for a short time, they may not mind having lower quality photographs if that is going to speed up the process and/or lower the budget.

    Are there real estate agents in your area who like your photos either because of your in-camera HDR editing style or because of the price of your service and you enjoy your photo workflow? If what you want is income, go ahead.

    What kind of client are you interested in attracting? Your work will be seen by the competition of your clients. The clients you attract in this way will be at the same height as your photographs. You have to evaluate if this is a positive or negative aspect for the future of your company.

    Do you already have a plan for when another photographer appears in your area with the same prices but with a more sophisticated HDR technique?

    May I see some of your works?

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