Canon's In-Camera HDR Patent Will Let You Take Pictures Like This

Illustration for article titled Canon's In-Camera HDR Patent Will Let You Take Pictures Like This

Canon's looking to change the way you take HDR pictures. Previously, in order to capture images like these, you'd have to combine photos in post. With a new patent, the process will be done in-camera, at the pixel level.

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High Dynamic Range pictures are taken by capturing the same subject at varying exposure levels and then combining those images in photo editing software. The idea is to create something that's more detailed and potentially more representative of what your eye can see. You can see what HDR photos look like in one of our Shooting Challenges.

Canon's new patent wants to turn that sort of complicated process all in-camera. The way it works:

According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, preliminary image capturing is performed using the image capturing unit, and the exposure time is assigned to each pixel based on the result of the preliminary image capturing. Image capturing can thus be performed with a wide dynamic range without a loss of highlight detail and a loss of shadow detail.

Illustration for article titled Canon's In-Camera HDR Patent Will Let You Take Pictures Like This

Other cameras, like the Sony A550 and A500, are capable of doing in-camera HDR but they're more of a quick chop method. Mapping out the exposure level by the pixel is far more detailed and if done correctly, has huge implications. HDR has its fair share of fans and haters but Canon's patent would give Canon cameras the ability to capture a much wider dynamic range in a single image and a stand out feature in the ever evolving camera wars. [PhotographyBay]

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DISCUSSION

badplasmid-old
BadPlasmid

HDR is cool as an art form, but I am not sure that it will bode well for the form if it's available on all cameras with a simple click. I can see it being overused and 'played out'. Then again, I am sure some great images will come out of it, and I am always looking to add to the wallpaper rotation.

Speaking of HDR - does anyone have a good HDR program to recommend for windows?

I have tried doing some mapping in PS and while I am sure more skilled people can succeed, my images came out pretty terrible. I am not a great photographer, nor a great digital artists, so something that is effective and capable, but without a crazy steep learning curve would be cool.

Doesn't have to be free.