Sunday, April 24, 2022

I still believe the Canon M3, with CHDK, is one of the best travel cameras ;-)

As many know, I have a lot of Canon cameras (R, M3, M(Vis), M(Full Spectrum), M(IR), G1X, G5X, G7X and an S95). But my current favourite is my caged M3.

The M3, with its EF-M lenses, has a small and lightweight footprint, and, with its ability to run my CHDK M3 Landscape Bracketing Script, creates an incredible capture device.

The M3 script covers all focus and exposure bracketing use cases, including handheld exposure bracketing.

The latest version of the script, downloadable on the right, now offers two hand held bracketing routes. One based on a three bracket logic, and one on a two bracket logic.

The three bracket logic is enabled by selecting HandH option under exposure bracketing and triggering the capture via the script’s ‘second shutter button’, ie the M-Fn button.

The two bracket option, which easily be augmented with an additional ISO bracket, is selected by using the Canon shutter, having selected sky bracketing, with a set Ev shift, at the first image’s ISO value, or an auto-ETTR capture at ISO 100. In this case the in-field workflow goes like this:

  • Select the sky bracketing logic you desire, eg a fixed Ev shift or Auto-ETTR
  • Set an appropriate shutter delay in the script
  • Set aperture for the scene
  • Focus, using the script's feedback as required
  • Set the shutter speed to the handheld limit, eg 1/30s in the images I took today
  •  Adjust ISO, including using Auto-ISO, so that the shadows are appropriately captured according to the histogram
  • (If needed, switch on ISO bracketing as well, which will give you three brackets)
  • Finally, compose and press the Canon shutter, holding the camera as stationary as possible 
  • After the camera has captured the two images, adjust the shutter, and ISO if required, noting the shutter speed and ISO are reset to those you set for the first image, ready for the next bracket set adjustment

After ingesting into Lightroom, my post processing workflow goes like this:

  • Pre-process the images with PureRAW 2
  • Set a linear profile on the two images
  • Process though LR's HDR Merge
  • Use LR luminosity masks and toning to create the final image

To illustrate what the script can do, ie handholding in a high dynamic range environment; here are a couple of handheld images I snapped today at my local National Trust property: The Vyne, near Basingstoke.

As usual I welcome any feedback on this post, or any of my posts.

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