The Valley of Abundance | HDR Camera Recommendations

Updated Camera Recommendations and Equipment List

People commonly ask me how to get an “HDR Camera” (see link for recommendations). Well, I have to tell them that there is no such thing as an “HDR Camera”. But there are certain types of cameras that are better at making HDR photos than others. The secret to HDR is not really in the camera, but in the software and process.  If you are new, I have all that laid out in my HDR Tutorial.

I used to recommend the Nikon D40 as a good entry-level camera, but I just can’t do it any more. Yes, you can make a decent HDR out of a single RAW file, which the D40 can certainly do, but it is not always optimal. I have organized the three categories of camera into “Good”, “Better”, and “Best” to make it simple for people that are just getting into the sport.

I talk to thousands of people that are new to photography (or just about to get more serious about it), and you’d be surprised how many people ask me, “So where do I get an HDR Camera?”  The most important thing is that your camera can do auto-bracketing.  I only know about and recommend Nikon cameras — I am just not all that familiar with Canon.  Although, if you have a Canon DSLR camera, you should be just fine.

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Daily Photo – The Valley of Abundance

I started the day in Queenstown and decided to cut out early because it was too stormy. That was too bad, because I was really excited about going up the mountain to do the street-luge. I did it near Rotorua on the north island and had a great time.

Anyway, I was disappointed to leave, but I had a good feeling about where I was going to next towards Milford Sound. The feeling paid off, because I found this place as the sun was setting! This valley could have been more perfect, but I just don’t know how! On this one, I used my 70-200mm lens, which is typically not a lens I use a lot for landscapes. I made a little handheld video that I am going to get edited together for the newsletter crowd to see first!

  • Good job catching the pink sky colour in the foreground.

  • I was there last year and decided it’s hard to take a bad photo in that area. But some are certainly a lot better than others 😀

    Lovely capture.

  • During your workshop in Tampa, there was speculation whether camera manufacturers would try to make HDR cameras. That day is almost here. Nikon announced the Coolpix P100 with a Backlit HDR mode.

    I don’t think I like the idea of letting the camera decide how to blend the images, but it’s happening.

  • You probably don’t remember but what was your focal length on this capture? The Photo Info button in your Smug Mug Portfolio isn’t working for me for some reason.

  • Mitchell

    Thats a very nice photo, I was wondering if a full frame camera has a better dynamic range of light being captured becuase of its sensor size, nothing to do with HDR but jsut as a single image?

  • casusan

    Oh my! Soooo beautiful – looks like a fantastic place Trey!

  • Thanks all!

    Chad – actually – I forgot! I’ll have to review the video or my lr files – I think it is about 150mm ??

    Mitchell – this is a 5-exposure HDR

    William – I agree – it will be a long time before cameras can do a good job of that!

  • Excellent Trey. Told you it was beautiful down there!

  • Nice one (love the atmospheric perspective), but it’s not complete until you Photoshop Strider and Legolas gazing into the distance.

  • hill view always fascinating to watch and good for HDR photography

    @ strand woven bamboo flooring

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