Nikon D3200 HDR Photography Hack

Nikon D3200 HDR photography is possible but not possible as well. HDR photography is preferred to perform with the HDR mode/function of a camera. But, Nikon D3200 doesn’t feature this mode. Still, it is possible by the technique that is explained very briefly and easily in this article.

Although HDR may not be suitable for all images, it is extremely effective in improving the highlights and shadows of a photograph. You’ll need Photoshop (or similar) editing software and Photomatix (or analogous) HDR software to process an HDR image using this method.

HDR Photography with Nikon D3200

This can also be named as Nikon D3200 HDR photography hack as we don’t use the HDR mode and yet we get the HDR photography result. This method is very effective and easy to implement but needs a bit of patience.

1. Take 3 photos of the same scene

You’ll need at least three photos to generate an HDR effect:

  1. Underexposed
  2. Typical exposure
  3. Overexposed

To begin, you should have a -2 exposure, a correctly exposed image, and something with a +2 exposure.

2. Use Photomatix to Merge the Photos

Select Generate HDR Image in Photomatix.

Press OK after selecting your three jpeg or RAW files.

A new window will open with options to align the images, minimize noise, and match any moving features – select the appropriate option for the image. Select OK.

A combined version of the image will appear, which will appear incredibly unnatural – this is due to the fact that regular monitors cannot display all of the detail accurately, so we must Tone Map the image further.

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3. Use of tone mapping

After pressing the Tone Mapping button on the merged image, a new, more realistic image will appear with numerous options. This is where you’ll be able to customize the image to your liking.

Photomatix will default to the default setting, but it also contains various Presets and the ability to store your settings for later use (once you’ve gotten the hang of it!).

These include the following options:

Strength: This is important for the final look of the image; a higher level will make the “cartoon” look more prominent.

Colour Increase: Color dynamics should be increased throughout the image.

Luminosity: Increasing the setting will brighten the overall picture and improve the shadows.

Micro contrast: Increase the contrast around the image’s details.

Smoothing: This is important for the final look of the image; modify it to change the dynamic of the abundance of highlights and shadows. Avoid using the maximum setting, as the picture may appear to be excessively unnatural. Adapt to your preferences.

Alter the white, black, and gamma points: Do this according to the histogram to ensure that the graph meets all sides evenly.

Temperature: Change the overall temperature of the image by increasing or decreasing the temperature.

Saturation highlights/shadows: Increase or decrease the saturation of the highlights and shadows based on the saturation point you set for the image earlier.

Micro smoothing: Reduces noise but not at the expense of detail.

Smoothness of highlights/shadows: Increase this to generate some of the picture’s all-natural highlights/shadows, which is very beneficial when trying to maintain the sky in the photo looking natural.

Shadows clipping: Reduce the amount of noise in the shadows by adjusting how much of the shadows are cut.

4. Eliminating ghosts while maintaining a natural appearance

Finally, open your tone-mapped HDR image in Photoshop or comparable software.

Use Layer Masks to allow original portions to show through after adding multiple of the initial exposure photographs as new layers in the project. For example, if the blue sky in your original shot was great, use a layer mask and brush to mask out that area on the HDR, leaving the original shot’s wonderful blue sky to shine through.

This is especially useful for HDR shots that have movement, such as trees blowing in the wind or people moving.

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Dynamic Range of Nikon D3200

The D3200 is no exception to the current Nikon DSLRs’ superb dynamic range results. As of March 2013, DXOMark ranked it as the top #19 with 13.2 EVs of dynamic range, which is rather excellent.

Due to the reduced effective resolution of the analog-to-digital converters, the dynamic range of the Nikon D3200 (Expeed 3 named Expeed 2 type, 14 bits reduced to 12 bits) exceeds even full-frame DSLRs like the Nikon D3S (Expeed 2 named Expeed (1) type, 14 bits) or Canon 5D MK3 (DIGIC 5+, 14 bits) at low film speeds (ISO 100 and ISO 200).

There is no automated exposure bracketing with the D3200. The Nikon D3200’s large dynamic range allows it to capture high dynamic range photographs (HDR, which are often made by merging numerous images with various exposures) in a single frame, especially when shooting in Raw format. When merging numerous photos, this also avoids issues like blurring, ghost images, and other mistakes.

This places it between Sony’s superb NEX-7 and NEX-5R sensors. Given that this sensor was entirely developed by Nikon engineers, it demonstrates that Nikon is capable of producing high-quality sensors on its own.

Remember that as ISO increases, dynamic range diminishes, therefore you should shoot at ISO 100 on the D3200 if you want to recover the maximum amount of details. This is especially critical for HDR photography; always use a tripod and shoot at ISO 100.

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How do you shoot HDR with Nikon cameras?

This is how Nikon cameras shoot HDR:

02. Select HDR mode and tap the right-hand multi-selector.

03. To highlight an option, move the multi-selection up or down and press OK.

04. To enable HDR, select On (series) or On (single photo). In the viewfinder, HDR displays.

05. Select Exposure differential and push the right-hand multi-selector.

06. To highlight an option, move the multi-selection up or down and press OK.

07. Select Smoothing and push the right-hand multi-selector.

08. Move the multi-selection up or down to adjust the amount of smoothing applied to the edges of the two photos, then hit OK.

09. Compose a photograph, focus, and take a picture.

When the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down, the camera takes two exposures.

While the images are merged, Job Hdr will appear in the control panel and Job HDR will appear in the viewfinder; no photographs can be taken until the recording is complete.

HDR will only turn off when Off is selected for HDR mode if On (series) is selected.

HDR switches off automatically once the shot is taken if On (single photo) is selected. When HDR shooting is completed, the HDR icon disappears from the display.

Is Nikon D3200 a good camera in 2021
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Does Nikon D3200 have HDR mode?

NO, the Nikon D3200 has no built-in HDR or bracketing functions. However, this does not rule out the possibility of creating HDR images. Take 3 photos of different exposure, and merge them. The whole process has already been discussed.

Can Nikon D3200 shoot RAW?

YES, RAW and JPEG are the two file types that the Nikon D3200 can save your photographs in. It can also save an image in both formats at the same time. These file types differ greatly, and selecting the incorrect one can have negative effects on your photography. Your camera’s RAW image data are similar to negatives captured on film.

What is the best setting for Nikon D3200?

Set the ISO to 400 and the aperture to f/5.6 as a starting point. Set the camera’s mode dial to Aperture Priority because you’ll probably want to manage the sharpness of the background. In this mode, you specify the Aperture and the camera chooses the shutter speed that corresponds.


Nikon D3200 HDR photography is possible only by taking the pictures at different exposure settings and then merging these photos into editing software. Later, you also need to tone map the photo and use layer masks to maintain a natural look of the photo.


What is HDR on Nikon camera?

When you take a photograph, the camera takes two separate images at different exposures and combines them to preserve features in shadows and highlights in high-contrast environments. HDR is turned on. HDR is turned off. When used with matrix metering, HDR is most effective.

How do you do double exposure on Nikon d3200?

Press the Menu button in the upper left corner of your Nikon’s back. Press the down arrow on the multi-selector button to scroll through the various menus until you reach the Shooting Menu. Drill down till you see Multiple Exposure by pressing the right arrow.

Is Nikon D3200 still good?

The D3200 was right on the verge of a performance leap, and it’s fantastic. The main differences between the cameras are convenience, construction, and function speed, not image quality. The D7100 and, of course, the 7200 are excellent buys.

Why do HDR photos look fake?

HDRs aren’t supposed to appear fake. It’s typical for them to do so because consumers frequently employ incorrect settings. The main idea of HDR, on the other hand, is to make the image more even without having too much over/under-exposure. Fakeness is a side consequence of people’s tendency to employ predefined settings.

Are HDR photos better?

For shooting high-contrast pictures with black shadows and dazzling highlights, the iPhone HDR function is ideal. You’ll be able to capture significantly more detail in both the bright and dark portions of the image if HDR is enabled. Landscape photography benefits greatly from HDR.

Why is HDR bad?

HDR (high dynamic range) photography has a terrible reputation. Many HDR photographs on the internet are excessively edited, seem exceedingly false, and are over-saturated, so photographers avoid them like the plague.

Should you shoot with HDR?

Landscape and architecture photographers frequently utilize HDR to present high-contrast scenes in a realistic manner. HDR photography is frequently linked with overcooked photographs, but when done correctly, it may balance out a scene and make it more appealing to the spectator.

Is HDR better than normal?

The next generation of color clarity and realism in photos and movies is High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR keeps clarity better than Standard Dynamic Range in media that demand high contrast or blends light and shadows (SDR).

Which Nikon camera has multiple exposure?

Multiple Exposure Mode and Image Overlay are two options for creating multiple exposures with the Z series cameras (which are located in the Retouch menu). The electronic viewfinder on Nikon’s Z series mirrorless cameras makes double exposure and multiple exposure photographs a breeze.

Which cameras do multiple exposure?

Multiple exposures captured in-camera In the Shooting menu of the Canon EOS 90D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark IV, and EOS RP, there is a specialized multiple exposure option that allows you to mix between two and nine distinct exposures in one image in-camera.

Does the Nikon D3200 have weather sealing?

NO. Nikon D3200 lacks weather-sealing. Therefore, one should be really careful while using this camera in extreme weather conditions. But there are weather-sealed lenses available to mount on the D3200.