Shooting HDR with Mirrorless Cameras

4449 at Union Station HDR

I know what you’re thinking, why would it make any difference to shoot HDR (High Dynamic Range) images with a mirrorless camera?

I started shooting HDR about a year before the Micro Four-thirds format was introduced. I would set up my tripod, make my Nikon D200 shoot three bracketed photos or if I wanted more range I’d go into manual mode and set my aperture and change the shutter speed to bracket my images. I loved creating HDR images but hated setting up the camera to shoot them.

Oregon City Bridge

Panasonic sent me a Lumix G1 camera to try out and although skeptical about the concept I decided to take it everywhere with me for a couple of weeks. As I slowly figured out how to use the camera I found that I could change to the bracketing mode much faster and easier and I had a wider range of bracketing options.

Space Needle

I’ve always hated using tripods so I started to shoot all of my HDR’s hand held using Lumix G series cameras. I set the camera to aperture priority mode, choose an f/stop and let the camera vary the shutter speed to get the exposures for HDR. I find the smaller, lighter camera easier to hold steady for 3-5 bracketed hand-held shots. I also find that Photomatix PRO does a great job of aligning the small variations in these hand held images.—Mark Toal