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Thread: Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?

  1. #1

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    Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?

    HDR scenes need to be bracketed just because otherwise, while preserving the highlights, noise appears in the deep shadows eliminating textures.

    As long as camera sensors become less noisy, doing several shots at different exposure values will become unnecessary to capture all the scene's DR. Is that time nearing?

    A new Sony sensor has recently appeared. It is used on some cameras such as the Pentax K5, Nikon D7000 and Sony A580. This sensor happens to have an amazing DR at low ISO (ISO80/100), specially for being an APS-C sensor.

    I did some noise measurements and calculated DR of the Pentax K5 vs some Canons:

    Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?

    At low ISO the Pentax has nearly 2 stops of DR over the Canon 5D Mark II FF camera. At high ISO it performs like any modern APS-C such as the 7D.

    Just an example, this ISO80 shot was 6 stops underexposed on a Pentax K5 (left: camera display). After correcting that underexposure in the RAW development a valid image appears (right):

    Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?


    I have estimated that a FF camera with such a technology would have a 38Mpx sensor providing 12 stops effective DR. To put this figure into real world, 12 stops is exactly the DR of this challenging scene that could be captured with such a camera in a single shot, still providing acceptable noise in the deep shadows while preserving the views through the windows:

    Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?


    Some users argue that doing several shots is a requirement to talk about HDR imaging. This is wrong. The only reason for doing several captures is noise. So the day a camera can capture a high dynamic range scene in a single shot we will still be talking about HDR and about tone mapping, since that part of the HDR process will remain intact because of the limited DR of the output devices (paper, monitor, projector).

    So HDR techniques and programs such as Photomatix will have exactly the same role as they have today (tone mapping challenging scenes). They will simply work from a single file instead of from a bracketed series of shots. The mess to do several shots and fuse them, the alignment issues and ghosting problems because of moving elements will belong to the past.

    The complete noise and DR measurement tutorial here (Spanish): http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutori...sedr/index.htm.

    Regards

    PS: BTW, has the HDR section been eliminated?

  2. #2

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    Re: Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by _GUI_ View Post
    PS: BTW, has the HDR section been eliminated?
    Hi Guillermo,

    Nice to have you back posting with us

    I agree with everything you say; off memory, the Nikon D3X has a DR of around 12 stops, according to DxO Mark.

    We recently had a bit of a tidy up with the forums ... HDR was relatively under-utilised, and there were just as many other categories that possibly deserved the same treatment ... so easier just to create bigger and less restrictive forums. So please don't take this as a sign that HDR is no longer catered for; that hasn't changed ... it's just part of other forum(s) now.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is the end of bracketing for HDR nearing?

    Quote Originally Posted by _GUI_ View Post
    PS: BTW, has the HDR section been eliminated?
    All the HDR threads can still be viewed separately here:
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/for...amic-range.htm

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