The image above is an edit of a single photo taken with the Sony a7r Mark II at -1EV. The photo below is the resulting HDR file from 9 photos shot in .3EV negative and positive steps to capture a wider dynamic range of light.

There is obviously a difference in the photos. I think the single shot photo provides me with the opportunity to show the “true” colors I saw taking the photo. Of course, it’s all an interpretation. But I didn’t feel the same about the single files from the Sony a6000. I used to shoot only HDR when shooting with the a6000. Almost every photo was actually a combination of three shots, -2EV, 0EV, and 2EV. As you can imagine, this dramatically increases the amount of time it takes to process photos. It also delayed my personal reward – getting to see the results. Here’s another example.

The image above is a the single shot and the image below is the nine shot HDR. Personally, I like the image above better. Some might disagree, of course.

My original reason for deciding to stop shooting HDR was all about time. When I looked at the files coming out of the a7r, I felt there was enough dynamic range to get what I wanted out of the single file. My tests yesterday seem to prove that is true.

Will I ever shoot HDR? Sure. I know I’m going to find scenes that scream to be visualized as an HDR. As a rule, however, HDR is no longer my normal shooting mode.


If there are multiple photos in this post, EXIF data is for the featured photo only:

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: ILCE-7RM2
  • Taken: 3 January, 2017
  • Exposure bias: -1EV
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 50
  • Shutter speed: 1/8s

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