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Thread started 11 Nov 2013 (Monday) 15:22
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Canon users, how much do you value Dynamic Range?

 
Hogloff
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Nov 12, 2013 16:05 |  #31
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Pjay wrote in post #16446146 (external link)
Recently a friend lent me a book of landscape photography from the 70s, taken in the scenic Granite Belt of Queensland. I was amazed at the large areas of black shadow with absolutely no detail at all - quite the norm with film apparently... Some of our digital age expectations of full detail in both highlights and shadows my be a tad unrealistic? My early morning rocky seascapes look pretty scary if I try to pull up detail in shadow areas, so sometimes it's best to just let shadow be shadow.

Yep...but things change after 40 years no? I do expect much more from today's cameras than the ones I shot with in the 70's. I see many excellent images being posted on many forums that rival and beat what was produced by the elite pro's of the 70's. I'd expect nothing less.




  
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omer
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Nov 12, 2013 16:16 as a reply to  @ post 16446260 |  #32

I do care about DR but i want more DR at high iso where canon is better !
At low iso i get by most of the times


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adas
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Nov 12, 2013 17:21 as a reply to  @ omer's post |  #33

Please Canon, I need 5 more stops of DR to squeeze in level 254 and 255 of my JPEGs. That would make a world of difference. :rolleyes:


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sploo
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Nov 12, 2013 18:44 |  #34

omer wrote in post #16446305 (external link)
I do care about DR but i want more DR at high iso where canon is better !
At low iso i get by most of the times

The issue is mostly usable DR, in that the DR is there at lower ISOs, but the lower stops of detail (darkest pixels) have their signal drowned out by read-out noise (such that they're effectively unusable).

IRC The Canon sensors are fairly flat with DR as ISO increases (because the loss in DR as ISO increases is masked by the read-out noise) and only at higher ISOs does it start to drop as expected. Whilst, yes, there is a bit more at higher ISOs than a Sony sensor, the DR on the Sony sensor continues to increase as the ISO lowers (as it's not drowned by the read-out noise). I'd happily trade a tiny (and probably not visible) high ISO DR advantage for a large low ISO DR increase.

adas wrote in post #16446499 (external link)
Please Canon, I need 5 more stops of DR to squeeze in level 254 and 255 of my JPEGs. That would make a world of difference. :rolleyes:

You could initiate one of those RAW vs JPG flame wars right there ;). But, yes, if you're shooting JPG then I'd suspect large DR isn't that relevant, as it's more about manipulating 12, 14 (or higher) bits of data in a RAW file.

One thing to note here is that, even with a Sony sensor, the amount of tonal detail in lower stops will still be less than in the higher stops (basically twice as many levels in each next brighter stop). Thus exposing to the right will still result in better images on a Sony sensor - it's just that when you can't, you at least get something (more) usable in the lower stops than current Canon offerings.


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Charlie
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Nov 12, 2013 19:18 |  #35

scotchtape wrote in post #16445699 (external link)
I care :)
A lot!

It's not about "shadows" as in an object casting a shadow, it's about raising up the darker parts of an image if your scene has a high DR.

Right now I've been doing 95% sunset / night time urban timelapse photography.
In almost every shot I see the shadow banding / noise issue and wish I had more DR as well.

DR and shadows are a huge deal to me.

Understandably if you don't don't do either of these things (which lots of people probably don't) you probably won't care. But if you do, it really really makes a huge difference.
Those extra stops and cleaner shadows the Sony sensors get DO make a difference. For anyone that says it doesn't matter, go shoot into a bright sunset and try to expose for a dim foreground / subject, and then blow up the results. Or shoot dark skies and enjoy the canon noise machine.

Of course most of the times you can get a "useable" result, but it could be SO much better (Sony sensor!). And sometimes, it does become unuseable.

I get it, probably 5% of people actually use it, but for those 5% it actually makes a huge difference.

I use a 5D3 and 6D. While they still amaze me technologically (I mean, compare this to 5 years ago!), when you see the results of the Sony sensors you can't help but be a bit disappointed. I'm mostly shooting at ISO 100 - 400 and the shadow noise is really annoying.

you're over critiquing. I dont see any issue when the ligthing is good such as sunset photography.... pretty much why it's called the golden hour (more like hours). High DR problems come up when lighting is too harsh. If you're really shooting in good light, DR will not be an issue. You'll have a hard time finding an actual image where the poor DR broke the image and sony/nikon would have saved it.


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sploo
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Nov 12, 2013 19:30 |  #36

Charlie wrote in post #16446798 (external link)
you're over critiquing. I dont see any issue when the ligthing is good such as sunset photography.... pretty much why it's called the golden hour (more like hours). High DR problems come up when lighting is too harsh. If you're really shooting in good light, DR will not be an issue. You'll have a hard time finding an actual image where the poor DR broke the image and sony/nikon would have saved it.

Shooting towards a bright colourful sunset (that'll be casting deep shadows towards the camera) = very high DR requirement. Filters and bracketing help, but so does a higher DR sensor.

EDIT: I should probably clarify that by "sunset" I'm talking about the minutes where the sun drops below the horizon. I wouldn't normally think of the "golden hour" as being sunset; but it doesn't mean to say that on a clear day you wouldn't be faced with strong light and deep shadows during that time too.


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MattPharmD
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Nov 12, 2013 19:31 |  #37

I am still a beginning amateur (on my way to advanced amateur), but I can honestly say that the DR of my T2i has never felt limiting. Maybe it is the kind of images I take, or my style of processing. It also isn't anything that I have had the opportunity to think about. I can't afford to change. If I want more range I bracket with some really light exposure fusion.

I am much more likely to try to reproduce the rich blacks that used to come so easily when I used film.


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sploo
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Nov 12, 2013 19:36 |  #38

MattPharmD wrote in post #16446835 (external link)
I am still a beginning amateur (on my way to advanced amateur), but I can honestly say that the DR of my T2i has never felt limiting. Maybe it is the kind of images I take, or my style of processing. It also isn't anything that I have had the opportunity to think about. I can't afford to change. If I want more range I bracket with some really light exposure fusion.

I am much more likely to try to reproduce the rich blacks that used to come so easily when I used film.

If you can bracket, it's not (that) limiting (ignoring your post processing time to merge the images). If there's sufficient movement in the scene (even trees moving in the wind) then it can obviously be much more inconvenient. That's obviously all just related to what you're shooting of course.


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Charlie
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Nov 12, 2013 19:58 |  #39

sploo wrote in post #16446832 (external link)
Shooting towards a bright colourful sunset (that'll be casting deep shadows towards the camera) = very high DR requirement. Filters and bracketing help, but so does a higher DR sensor.

EDIT: I should probably clarify that by "sunset" I'm talking about the minutes where the sun drops below the horizon. I wouldn't normally think of the "golden hour" as being sunset; but it doesn't mean to say that on a clear day you wouldn't be faced with strong light and deep shadows during that time too.

fair enough, I usually dont do sunsets that way, it's basically a torture test unless you got some haze dimming down the sunset aka right moment. If your dynamic range is like mine when I do sunsets, then no amount of DR will save you, and you'll need to bracket your shots.


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sploo
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Nov 13, 2013 02:43 |  #40

Charlie wrote in post #16446886 (external link)
fair enough, I usually dont do sunsets that way, it's basically a torture test unless you got some haze dimming down the sunset aka right moment. If your dynamic range is like mine when I do sunsets, then no amount of DR will save you, and you'll need to bracket your shots.

Oh yeah - the Sony sensors aren't a panacea. It's all about steps: with a [Sadly many non-Canon sensors, not just Sony] you can get away with scenes that are that bit more demanding, but you'll always have to bracket some.

The shadow recovery shots here http://www.fredmiranda​.com …dex_controlled-tests.html (external link) are I think a good "realistic" example of a scene that isn't particularly contrived, but shows how a Canon sensor gives you a hard time.

I'm not beating up on the 5D3 BTW. I have one. It's the best camera I've ever owned (handling, speed etc.), but I'd love it more if it had an Exmor sensor!


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genjurok
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Nov 13, 2013 03:50 |  #41

Very very rarely do I feel that the 6D sensor doesn't have enough DR. High ISO performance is much much more important to me. If anything I wish it had cleaner image at ISO 6400.


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Nov 13, 2013 04:00 |  #42

sploo wrote in post #16447545 (external link)
you can get away with scenes that are that bit more demanding, but you'll always have to bracket some.
........but I'd love it more if it had an Exmor sensor!

Sploo,

We certainly seem to sing from the same hymn sheet! I spend my life bracketing shots then working on them in post processing. Maybe three different exposures for "difficult scenes". And that's not in particularly difficult lighting.


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sploo
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Nov 13, 2013 09:03 |  #43

Lowner wrote in post #16447619 (external link)
Sploo,

We certainly seem to sing from the same hymn sheet! I spend my life bracketing shots then working on them in post processing. Maybe three different exposures for "difficult scenes". And that's not in particularly difficult lighting.

Tedious ain't it! ;)

For many high DR scenes, I've found a reasonably quick process that seems to yield decent results:

1. Take an image exposed for the highlights (shadows won't be great)
2. Take an image that's quite strongly exposed to the right (allow heavy clipping in brighter areas)
3. Bring both RAWs into PS or LR, adjusting the exposure to match, and edit (shadows, highlights, colour, clarity etc.) as required
4. Take an original version of the highlights image, and use it as a layer mask in PS (with curves adjustment on the mask as appropriate) on the edited highlights image. This essentially keeps only those areas that would be clipped (highlights) in the second (shadows) image, with most of the image now transparent.
5. Place the shadows image under the masked highlights image and tweak the mask (and then flatten).

The end result is that you get the benefits of a pretty severe ETTR, but replace the blown highlights with those from the first image. It's a fairly quick process (assuming nothing moved, and everything lines up) and gives much cleaner detail even in the mid-tones (and obviously a huge difference in the shadows).

Having said all that: I used to shoot landscapes using ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. The DR and capabilities of modern DSLR sensors are awesome by comparison! (but if I still shot landscapes on a regular basis I'd be selling a kidney to afford the Sony A7r :D)


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Nov 13, 2013 11:05 |  #44

sploo wrote in post #16448093 (external link)
Tedious ain't it! ;)

For many high DR scenes, I've found a reasonably quick process that seems to yield decent results:

1. Take an image exposed for the highlights (shadows won't be great)
2. Take an image that's quite strongly exposed to the right (allow heavy clipping in brighter areas)
3. Bring both RAWs into PS or LR, adjusting the exposure to match, and edit (shadows, highlights, colour, clarity etc.) as required
4. Take an original version of the highlights image, and use it as a layer mask in PS (with curves adjustment on the mask as appropriate) on the edited highlights image. This essentially keeps only those areas that would be clipped (highlights) in the second (shadows) image, with most of the image now transparent.
5. Place the shadows image under the masked highlights image and tweak the mask (and then flatten).

The end result is that you get the benefits of a pretty severe ETTR, but replace the blown highlights with those from the first image. It's a fairly quick process (assuming nothing moved, and everything lines up) and gives much cleaner detail even in the mid-tones (and obviously a huge difference in the shadows).

Having said all that: I used to shoot landscapes using ISO 50 Fuji Velvia. The DR and capabilities of modern DSLR sensors are awesome by comparison! (but if I still shot landscapes on a regular basis I'd be selling a kidney to afford the Sony A7r :D)


Call me crazy or inept, but why don't you just stick a 2 or 3 stop GND filter on... I really do not understand why the digital darkroom is the place people would rather be than out with their camera.


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sploo
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Nov 13, 2013 11:34 |  #45

UKmitch86 wrote in post #16448405 (external link)
Call me crazy or inept, but why don't you just stick a 2 or 3 stop GND filter on... I really do not understand why the digital darkroom is the place people would rather be than out with their camera.

That's fine for a landscape scene with a fairly flat horizon, but looks very poor when you spot a grad having darkened a chunk of a mountain, or resulted in a tall tree basically ending up as a silhouette.

I.e. If the scene calls for it, I'll definitely use filters, but many scenes are way too complex to be fixed with filters alone. The only solutions then are a (sometimes impossibly) high DR sensor, or bracketing and post processing.

Also, I live in the UK. It's dark, cold, and wet for significant chunks of the year. Plenty of time for sitting in front of a PC ;).


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