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    stubbyd's Avatar
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    Default Bracketing - again

    After my previous DOH moment with bracketing and having played with it a bit I'm left wondering how best to go about increasing the number of auto-bracketed shots.

    I have a Canon EOS 60D and to the best of my knowledge I can only set it to auto-bracket 3 shots. Is there anyway I can increase this number or is the only answer to do a set of three, change the bracket +/- and retake another 3?

    Or is there a 3rd party addon / hack / method that I am unaware of and can't find via a google search?
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    So, to answer my own query I have found one way to do this that is, how shall we say ... rather expensive.

    It's called "promote control" - Promote Control - extended HDR bracketing controller

    However in googling I have also read that there may be a way of using a laptop to do this. Does anyone know how or what is required to do so? If it helps the laptop is a Macbook Pro.
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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    You do know that bracketing is just an automated way of doing something that can very easily be done manually right? Unless you're shooting something with lots of movement (where the extra speed is good), its probably easier to do by hand.
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    If you're insistent on using an extended auto-bracketing, you could look into the freely available Unified - Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki

    As a Nikon shooter, I have no personal experience with this, but according to that page, ML can do up to nine frames with anywhere from 0.5 to 5 stops difference between frames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
    You do know that bracketing is just an automated way of doing something that can very easily be done manually right? Unless you're shooting something with lots of movement (where the extra speed is good), its probably easier to do by hand.
    Well yes which is why I sugegsted the one set of brackets, then change and do another set. However, I was looking for an "easier" or "better" way if such existed to do this.

    I'm not the world's fastest on chnaging my camera settings quickly and if trying to do so to capture a particular scene befoe it chahges too much then I fear the result may be worse than sticking with the 3.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IABoomer View Post
    If you're insistent on using an extended auto-bracketing, you could look into the freely available Unified - Magic Lantern Firmware Wiki

    As a Nikon shooter, I have no personal experience with this, but according to that page, ML can do up to nine frames with anywhere from 0.5 to 5 stops difference between frames.
    Ah ha - thank you for this.

    I knew there had to be something but my googling wasn't bringing much joy. I had discovered a hack that uses an old Nintendo DS and a home built electronics setup but that would likely cost the same as the promote control by the time it was built.

    This find of yours sounds a good alternative on first skim read. Off to inspect further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubbyd View Post
    I'm not the world's fastest on chnaging my camera settings quickly and if trying to do so to capture a particular scene befoe it chahges too much then I fear the result may be worse than sticking with the 3.
    It's really really not that hard.

    Assuming you want to do 5 shots bracketed 2 stops apart, and your "optimum 0" exposure is as follows:

    200iso, f/8, 1/100th

    So, set the camera on a tripod, set the camera on manual, and set 200iso and f/8. Set your shutterspeed to 1/6s. Take the shot. Adjust only the shutterspeed to 1/25s, take the shot. Adjust only the shutterspeed to 1/100s, take the shot... etc.

    You'll end up with 5 shots at:

    200iso, f/8, 1/6th
    200iso, f/8, 1/25th
    200iso, f/8, 1/100th
    200iso, f/8, 1/400th
    200iso, f/8, 1/1600th

    Assuming your camera sets shutterspeeds in 1/3 stop increments, all you're doing between frames is scrolling that ONE wheel 3 spots before taking another shot. That can be done very easily and very quickly.
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    RIght - I get that, but there you are adjusting teh shutter speed as opposed to exposure levels for capturing all levels / layers of light.

    Or am I missing something (quite likely)?
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    Fastest, easiest way I've found, without screwing around with 3rd-party firmware , is to simply use exposure compensation and take two or three sets of bracketed images. Yes, you have take three separate bracketed sets, but no, you don't have to reset the intervals between each set of bracketed shots.

    One note of caution: using Magic Lantern is a bit more dangerous to your camera than, say, the CHDK for Powershots is. With the CHDK, the boot process itself isn't screwed with. If you swap out a memory card without CHDK loaded on it, the camera can just boot normally, and no harm no foul. With ML, otoh, the boot process HAS been tinkered with. And if something goes wrong, you could brick your camera. While ML looks like a ton of fun, I'd highly recommend making sure you've got the appropriate amount of tech savvy and caution before going down this path.
    Last edited by inkista; 03-14-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubbyd View Post
    RIght - I get that, but there you are adjusting teh shutter speed as opposed to exposure levels for capturing all levels / layers of light.

    Or am I missing something (quite likely)?
    Exposure is comprised of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. When you use the auto-bracket feature on the camera, it is more than likely going to keep the aperture and ISO values the same and adjust the shutter speed itself.

    If you adjust the aperture to bracket, you could have differing depths of field when you merge which could make things look odd. I suppose you could set the aperture and shutter speed at fixed levels and adjust the ISO to bracket, but you'll have varying noise/detail levels in the brackets. The shutter speed adjustment is the most consistent variable to change for bracketing, although you could end up with some ghosting effects (where things move between shots) but software like Photomatix can reduce those artifacts.
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