Exposure bracketing with Canon 400D

When I first set up a blog, one of the topics I planned to write about was photography, but so far I've not written very much. Well, today, after owning my camera (Canon 400D) for about three years, I finally worked out how to use the exposure bracketing function. The stimulus for finding out was that my sister wanted to know, so she could do HDR photography more easily. I've done a bit of HDR (my most favourited photo on Flickr is a HDR image), but I've always used a single RAW image, converted into three separate JPEGs (which isn't true HDR).

Below is a series of instruction for exposure bracketing on the Canon EOS 400D (also called the Digital Rebel XTi and EOS Kiss Digital X). I suspect that it will also work for the other cameras in this series, 300D to 550D and maybe the other Canon camera, but I can't be sure.

  1. First make sure you are using manual, Av or Tv mode
  2. Set the aperture and shutter speed to something appropriate for the middle exposure
  3. Set the drive mode (second button down on the right of the screen on my camera) to continuous shooting. This isn't necessary, but makes things quicker later
  4. Press menu and the right arrow to select menu 2
  5. Press down and set to select AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing)
  6. Roll the wheel clockwise to move the green rectangle to the bracketing you want (say, -1, 0, +1)
  7. Press set to save, then menu to quit
  8. Take your photo, holding down the shutter button until three photos have been taken

The last part is what took me a while to work out - I was expecting the three photos to be taken automatically as with my previous camera. In fact, you don't have to use continuous shooting - you can just take three photos, one by one, pressing the shutter button three times, but this is more troublesome and with HDR you want the minimum delay between photos.

I hope this is of some use to others. [I will upload some sample photos, and maybe some images of the camera menus at a later date.]



Thank yo uso much - I have been trying to figure this out for ages!

Well,  I didn't use this function so far - my own mistake... But - i'm asking myself, too - don't you have, people, User Manuals for your cameras ???  :)

It's quicker to google for an answer than search for the User Manual and then search for the process. And then I found that the process was poorly explained in the manual.

thank you very much peter! now i can do HDR Photograpghy easily with Canon 400D

An easier way to take 3 photos in quick succession with a 400D, for HDR purposes, is to set the camera to Av mode, set iso (typically around 400), then set auto white balance (AWB). Then set the AEB to -2, 0, +2. Now set the camera, instead of continuous shooting, to self timer or remote shooting. This will, after pressing the shutter button, set the camera to count down from 10seconds and take 3 consecutive photos each one takes a little longer because of the exposure range. Then use whatever software you like to create the HDR image using the 3 photographs taken. 

P.s. I recommend highly that the camera be set on a tripod when taking photos for HDR.

Hope this helps!


Any questions email me: Stratford.ben@gmail.com

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