Canon has made serious improvements in the Auto Exposure Bracketing in the new EOS 50D although it still lacks the ability to take more than three bracketed exposures at a time. In the EOS 50D, Canon has combined Auto Exposure Bracketing with Exposure Compensation in a way that should make photographers working with HDR (high dynamic range) techniques very happy.
As you can see in this image, photographers can now use this feature to easily shoot a series of bracketed exposures covering the histogram from -4 EV to +4 EV in increments as fine as 1/3rd stop. For my own HDR work I generally use the following series of nine exposures to provide the maximum dynamic range. I can take four continuous bursts of three bracketed exposures (I generally delete the three duplicate exposures) in less than 10 seconds using the 50D.
EC Value | AEB Amount
+2 EV | +/- 2 EV = +4 EV, +2 EV, 0 EV
+1 EV | +/- 2 EV = +3 EV, +1 EV, -1 EV
-2 EV | +/- 2 EV = -4 EV, -2 EV, 0 EV
-1 EV | +/- 2 EV = -3 EV, -1 Ev, +1 EV
-4 EV, -3 EV, -2 Ev, -1 EV, 0 EV, +1 EV, +2 EV, +3 EV, +4 EV
Do I really need nine exposures for HDR work? Probably not, but I’ve yet to find a landscape situation where nine exposures didn’t adequately cover the entire dynamic range, so for me this technique works perfectly. Its one more reason why the EOS 50D is welcome upgrade from the previous xxD models.