Originally Posted by dave6253
If you are interested in trying HDR, the camera doesn't matter. Getting the right software and learning to use it is. Once you know you want a camera that can handle auto-brackets I recommend finding a camera that will do at least 5 frames at 2 E/V apart. 3 frames is enough for the majority of shots, but 5 will allow you to point directly into the sun.
I'm also enjoying your HDR photo's Dave, and the thread in general - I've kept dipping into it from time to time. I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can create a number of different exposure values from a single RAW image. Does that sound right? I've just bought a Nikon D5100 and it's the first camera I've had that'll shoot RAW (NEF) images, so I'll have to do some research and experiment from there.
The HDR simulation from my iPhone is, frankly, rubbish. But for those with Photoshop CS5, 5.5. or 6 (I don't know if previous versions have it) there is the HDR Toning feature in the Image > Adjustments menu. It has a number of useful presets (e.g. High Contrast Photorealistic, High Contrast Monochrome, etc.) but these can be adjusted and altered at will.
EDIT/UPDATE: Additional info from http://www.flickr.com/groups/raw2hdr/
"About HDR from a single RAW
To get the best from HDR (High Dynamic Range) images one should really plan ahead and use bracketed exposures right from the camera.
Sometimes however this is not possible, such as in action shots, or perhaps you merely wish to rescue a shot that has under or overexposed areas that can't be corrected by other means. If you shoot in RAW, as I do, you can create bracketed exposures from a single RAW file and use these to produce HDR images. Perhaps not as good as HDRs planned and executed from start to finish but certainly good enough to rescue a shot you like that suffers from exposure problems."
So, as you say Dave, bracketed exposure is the best way to go but it's also possible from a single image too, with some preprocessing to give you 3 or 5 (or whatever) images from a single shot.