HDR with the Panasonic Lumix LX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 is a very versatile and capable compact camera.  Like many advanced compact models nowadays, it includes some built-in capability for shooting High Dynamic Range (HDR) images that are processed in the camera itself.  In the past, the photographer would have to shoot several images with different exposure settings, possibly using exposure bracketing, and then combine those images using software such as Photoshop or more HDR-specific software such as PhotoAcute or Photomatix.

At the bottom of this post I am including a gallery with several images of the same scene to show how the LX7 can handle situations with a wide dynamic range from light to dark areas.  First, I took a shot using Program mode with no special settings, to illustrate the wide variation between the relative darkness inside the house and the brightness of the outdoor part of the scene.  Then I included the HDR images.  The three in-camera HDR shots were taken with the Intelligent Auto Plus mode, using the iHDR setting; the HDR setting of Scene mode; and the High Dynamic setting of Creative Control mode.

Then, for comparison, I combined several bracketed exposures using Photomatix Pro software to create a composite HDR image.  Check out the results in the gallery below.  In my opinion, the camera did best with the High Dynamic setting.  The HDR setting of Scene mode did fairly well, and the Superior Intelligent Auto mode produced the weakest results.  As you might expect, the composite image done with special software was the most successful in terms of presenting the dark and bright images with “normal”-seeming exposure levels.

Intelligent Auto Mode with iHDR Menu Option Turned On

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