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HDR Photography and the Sony A35 – Auto HDR Sample Photos

Sony Alpha 35, Sony SAL-1680Z 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Carl Zeiss Lens

Sony has come up with an amazing High Dynamic Range solution in there new cameras, and in this article I’ll go over several HDR examples using the AutoHDR feature on the Sony Alpha 35.

Until recently I’ve been taking multiple exposure’s and then with software like Photomatix Pro 4, HDR Efex Pro, or Photoshopto HDR Pro, I would blend the exposure’s together and get an excellent result.  I still feel this is the best method for getting the best possible result, however the autoHDR feature that Sony has come up with is nothing short of amazing!  I’ve used on a ton of different subjects so far and the results are very consistent and contains all the dynamic range from the scene. It also manages to blend and align the exposure’s somehow in a matter of seconds pumping out a result that is very good in my opinion.
Now, I say “very good” coming from the perspective of how hard it is to create a good HDR composite image using multiple exposure’s etc….

There are a number of variables involved for getting a great HDR Image and those variables make consistent results harder than normal photography.  Some such issues are ghosting, halo’ing, Noise, color casts, odd saturation issues in the shadows and highlights.  All these variables Sony needed to address and well, they did!  The results speak for themselves if you ask me.

If your interested in bringing your HDR Photography to the next level, then be sure to check out my tutorials over here on I have several in depth HDR Specific tutorials for the hardcore processing enthusiasts looking for the Best Result Possible 😉  Also, here’s an awesome How to: Tutorial Video on using the autoHDR Feature with Sony Cameras.

Now lets go a little deeper in the AutoHDR Feature on the Sony a35. First off ,the feature is only needed when the dynamic range of the scene is to much for the camera to capture with only one shot. Here is an example of what I mean.

To much Dynamic Range in the scene for a single exposure:
Notice in particular how dark the shadow areas are and the blow out water in the middle of the falls. Way to much Dynamic range for the a35 to capture in 1 frame.

Click pics for a nice large 1200px version and the image info is just below each image.

Sony Alpha 35 Sample Photos

Now look at what the Sony a35 did using the  AutoHDR feature set to 2ev.

Sony Alpha 35 Sample Photos

Pretty incredible how those shadows opened up and the highlights are no longer blown out right??
Now that you can see when you might want to use this feature, lets go over your options quickly. By pressing the D-Range button on the top right of the camera (see below) you will get prompted with the Dynamic Range options. DRO (dynamic range optimizer) and auto HDR are you choices. Simple select autoHDR and then you can set you EV stops from 1-6 depending on the scene. The more dynamic range in the scene the higher EV # you will need to use in the autoHDR mode.


Now let me show you a few more autoHDR examples using the Sony a35 with different settings and scenes.  All these images were handheld using auto ISO in Aperture Priority mode (A).

Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples
Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 2EV, handheld
Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 2EV, handheld
Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 4 EV, handheld
Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 4 EV, handheld
Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 1 EV, handheld

This next image is very similar to the first image I posted, but notice the difference in the water. I shot the 1st image above at f/16 and the image below is shot at f/8 resulting in a much faster shutter speed and therefore sharp, choppy water.  In the f/16 image at the top, notice how the water is a little silky looking due to the slower shutter speeds.

Sony Alpha 35 Photo Samples - autoHDR - 1 EV, f/8, handheld
Sony a35 sample pics- autoHDR

For more sample images front the alpha 35 be sure to check out the Full Resolution Gallery I put up.  All of these images will be in there as well if you want to see a Full Res version for detailed inspection!