EM1: Is HDR 1 idiot mode better than manually merge ?

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Steve
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EM1: Is HDR 1 idiot mode better than manually merge ?
3 months ago

I was curious about the HDR 1 mode compared to merging 3 images at 2 EC difference between 3 shots.

It looks to me that the HDR1 brought out the nuances in the clouds in the upper right hand side of the image, in comparison with my 'photomatix merge to 32 bit plugin' merge of 3 files...

I took both shots and tried to match them up in lightroom in terms of shadows,highlights,white and black points. i also toned down the saturation of the 32merge, as the HDR1 seems to boost the saturation a bit..

Now i realize in the case where MORE dynamic range is needed, then a manual merge using a 3 EC in 3 or even 5 shots (some people even use 7 shots !) would be better than the HDR1 setting.

Now i suppose that maybe proper testing should include a near dusk shot (which i will try) to see how the idiot mode deals with noise issues. Will the in-camera NR compare with the plugin's NR ? (i used the plugins de-noising selection).

btw, i gave up a big house to move into a condo on the water.. I love it so much and there will be a lot of clouds, and ducks and herons and stuff to shoot from my backyard.

I guess it is hard to see in the image here, but you can detect that little blue patch in sky giving detail to the cloud next to it.

The first is HDR 1, and the second is the merge of 3 separate photos done in Lightroom with the photomatix plugin.

What do you think ? Should i try the dusk test to see how noise is resolved ?

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
Olympus E-M1
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