Bracketing Limitation Workaround

Posted on Updated on


Fuji XT2 six image HDR
Fuji XT2. Six images at 1 stop intervals blended using HDR processing in Lightroom. The image sequence was shot using the technique discussed.

From time to time I like to shoot multiple sequences of images at different exposures. I then blend these either with HDR software or using luminosity masks in Photoshop. My Olympus EM5 makes this very easy. I call up the bracketing option in the menu, set it to the number of exposures I want and the interval. I also set the shooting mode to continuous which allows me to shoot a sequence by holding down the shooter button. When the sequence is complete there is a slight pause allowing me to release the button. This makes the entire process very easy, allowing me to hand hold.

At the weekend, I came to shoot a bracketed sequence using the Fuji XT2. This also makes shooting the bracketed sequence very easy. There is a dial switch allowing you to change from single shot to bracket. You press the shutter button once and the sequence of three images is captured with no need to keep your finger on the shutter. I found this great, until the scene I wanted to shoot required a five-image sequence at 1 stop intervals. That’s when I found out that the XT2 is limited to shooting only 3 images in a bracket. Come on Fuji, please fix this in your next firmware update. It’s basic stuff.

Now, I should stress that it’s not just Fuji that seem to have overlooked the obvious. When I also came to set up my Sony A7r at the weekend, I found a similar problem. This camera can be set to shoot a bracket sequence of 5 images, providing you don’t want to set the exposure intervals to more than 0.7EV. As soon as you set the exposure interval for a bracket to 1EV or more, you can only shoot a 3 shot sequence. What on earth are they thinking.

If you have been frustrated by this limitation with your camera, there is a simple workaround (other than changing your camera):

  • Set your camera to bracket 3 shots at 2EV intervals in the Av mode (aperture priority) and set your exposure compensation to 0.
  • Shoot the bracket sequence of 3 images.
  • Set the exposure compensation to +1.
  • Shoot a second bracket sequence of 3 images.

This gives you two sequences of three images, but across the two you will have images at 1EV intervals. These will range from -2EV to +3 EV which is what you need for HDR and Luminance blending if you want to ensure maximum flexibility. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to hand hold using this method but hopefully it will make things a little easier.

Save

10 thoughts on “Bracketing Limitation Workaround

    David Aldridge said:
    January 16, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Robin,
    I have similar issue with a Nikon D5500, which also has a 3 shot limit for exposure bracketing, so use an app named “dslrDashboard” to allow me to remotely control the camera from my iPhone and set >3 shots of bracketing. I believe Fuji’s “Camera Remote” app doesn’t have any bracketing facility, so you could maybe consider using “Triggertrap” which comprises a cable and Smartphone (iOS or Android) App.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks. I hadn’t thought about using an App to control the camera. It’s another good solution.

    stephen bastiman said:
    January 16, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Exposure bracketing is one area where i find my Panasonics really useful, they will do up to 7 by 1EV shots per bracket but I must say I rarely use more than 5.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Yes. I think the Micro 43 cameras have this right. Both Panasonic and Olympus work well. I tend to shoot 5 or sometimes 7 shots at 1EV intervals. I can always discard some images later if I find I don’t need them.

    Stephen lopuck said:
    January 17, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Just back from Joshua Tree in California and tried xt2 bracketing at 2ev difference and was somewhat disappointed in the HDR result. I agree you need 5 to six 1ev exposures for a cleaner result. By the way what software did you use? Nice result.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 17, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Thanks. The blending was done in lightroom. I find it gives a very natural result but it’s also very easy if you are already in lightroom to manage your images.

    Mike Shore said:
    January 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Brilliant work-around, thank you!
    This omission was pointed out to Fuji as early as the pre-production reviews.
    I thought that they made hearing aids as well.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks, I’m please you found it useful. I still wish they would sort out the firmware to offer this though.

    theoccasionalphotographerblog said:
    January 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Great tip that I wouldn’t have worked out by myself. I find bracketing on my Sony A6000 quite limited so I tend to just shoot each shot and adjust manually to get the ones I want. I will be giving your idea a tryout.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      January 18, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Hopefully you will find it much easier. You certainly don’t forget which exposure you were up to if someone interrupts you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s