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Thread: Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Homer

    Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    I took the following shot thinking that the range of deep shadow and bright field HAD to be too much for my camera, a Panasonic GH2. I shot the scene using auto bracket and processed it in CS4 Automate/HDR. The result was pretty crappy. Looking at the images, I could see that the shot with the base exposure was not really blown out in either the shadows or the highlights, so I worked on just it in Lr4.

    Key adjustments were in the exposure sliders, details and split toning, where I added some redness to the shadows to bring back some coloration to the in-shadow dry leaves. They were too green.

    As you can see from the corner crop, there is no significant noise in the shadows. The Panasonic 20mm lens was focused at about 5' at f16.

    And this is with a m43 camera. A full-frame Nikon or Canon would be even better!

    Post script.....

    After posting this, it occurred to me that an un-edited copy of the image and the two image's histograms might be useful, so I have added them. The histograms are not dramatically different, which I guess should not be a surprise. The data is there, it just needs to be presented - literally - in a better light.

    Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    As Shot
    Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras
    Last edited by Boatman; 19th May 2012 at 10:13 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Most folks don't realise that modern cameras are capturing a far wider dynamic range than monitors or prints can display (typically 12 for the camera and only 6 for a monitor and 4 for paper). I would have thought that the scene you've shown above would fit inside 12 stops of DR very easily (albeit with perhaps a little shadow noise).

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Maximum dynamic range is at the lowest ISO setting. If you look at some of the graphs on the DxO website, you'll see what I mean. The top performing Nikon D800 has a DR of just over 13EV at the lowest ISO settings, and this drops down to around 6EV at the highest ISO.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cam...ase/Nikon/D800

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Most folks don't realise that modern cameras are capturing a far wider dynamic range than monitors or prints can display (typically 12 for the camera and only 6 for a monitor and 4 for paper). I would have thought that the scene you've shown above would fit inside 12 stops of DR very easily (albeit with perhaps a little shadow noise).
    And this is what we keep forgetting when we clamour for more DR - what we see the image printed/projected on can't support our dreams.

    Glenn

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    Re: Dynamic Range of Modern Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post
    And this is what we keep forgetting when we clamour for more DR - what we see the image printed/projected on can't support our dreams.

    Glenn
    Yeah -- might be a good thing too, or a photo of the sun might cause a fire or damage our eyes!

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