Very intriguing thread.
Your first image in particular is very very interesting. In camera HDR is starting to show some neat benefits.
Folks should pay close attention to the stars of the Trapezium and surrounding nebula and the faint outer nebulousity. This first image really does represent a very impressive dynamic range. The second image is a much more traditional representation.
Historically to be able to represent the Orion nebula in this fashion you needed to a) with film do a lot of dodging in the darkroom or b) with digital take multiple short and longer exposure images and stack them on a PC.
Can you take us through how the camera is setup to take the combined 1, 8, and 60s exposures and how long it takes to present the final image?
Thanks Mark. Your synopsis is dead on.
The HDR process takes exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds from the time when I click the button until I see the full HDR image on the screen. That includes 10 seconds of shutter delay to let all vibrations subside. 1 minute and 9 seconds for the three images. And then 11 seconds for the camera to complete the HDR process and display the image. The camera is set to automatically display the image after it takes it and continue to display the image until I press the shutter button again.
In order to take an HDR image I simply click a quick button on the camera that toggles the HDR mode on and off. If I want to alter how the HDR is done I can dig into the menu structure and change that setting to Auto(The camera decides if it uses +-1, +-2, or +-3 stops of exposure) or I can manually chose one of those options.
For day time images I find Auto works well. For AP I have to manually set it. I tried all of them and +-3 worked best at 8 seconds for M42. It was noticeably worse at both 6 seconds and 10 seconds.
Once I figured out that +-3 worked best I simply stored that setting under a custom mode and now anytime I switch to the C2-3 custom mode it is setup to take the HDR image if I turn that option on with the quick button.
Please note that I cannot enable the HDR mode when viewing the camera remotely through my phone. However, I can enable that mode on the camera first and then start using the phone to control the camera. That means that I have to go back to the camera to disable that mode though.
Also the HDR mode can be setup to align or not align the images. If you use the aligning method then it reduces the field of view by a few percent and distortions can happen if the scope moves during different phases of the HDR process.