I recently did an interview with ‘Tizen Experts’ on the Samsung NX1 and one of the questions was “If you had to pick one thing you really like about the NX1 what would it be?”. It was a hard question to answer but for me it has to be the (HDR) High Dynamic Range of light the camera captures. You can read the full interview here if you want?
It has changed the way I shoot completely compared to my NX1000. With the NX1000 I was always bracketing my shots to give me more dynamic range later when I wanted to post process the image, in a traditional HDR work flow. Now in the Samsung NX1 I do this a lot less. For those that are in the know, you wont need me to tell you that HDR is not those overly tonemapped images we all seem to go through a phase of doing at some point in our photography journey. No HDR is truly about getting a High Dynamic Range of light in you images, in other word getting you darks dark, and you lights light!
Ok I hear you say we get all that but your title says NX1 and HDR? Yes it does. Below I will now show you why in my mind you don’t need to bracket shots to get the HDR you want! This will still allow you to produce the tonemapped images as well if you so desire?
Here is a before and after shot taken and processed from one RAW file? I then have processed it as I would normally process a merged HDR file say from Photomatix.
TOP TIP: You will see that the original image is exposed for the highlights (the bright lights), this was done on purpose. With the RAW files from the NX1 the amount of detail you can pull out of the shadows is huge, however it is not so good for reducing over exposed areas.
The processing that has gone into this is roughly as follows.
Lightroom: Adjusted highlights, shadows, and exposure. Sharpened image and then applied noise reduction.
Photoshop: Extracted details, applied levels and curves masks.
No tone mapping program or plugin was used, but you do get that effect when you deal with the shadows and highlights anyway.
So there you go, this is why I love shooting with the Samsung NX1, and why in my opinion, you don’t need to bracket to achieve that HDR image.