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Rumors => EOS Bodies => Topic started by: sach100 on October 08, 2012, 04:34:54 PM

Title: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on October 08, 2012, 04:34:54 PM
This shot was taken while i was adjusting for correct exposure. The sky looked okay but the bottom half is obviously underexposed. I wanted to see how much i can push the shadows in post.  I increased the shadow recovery slider to +100 in camera raw keeping everything else unaltered. If i can do this in post then this is plenty of available DR in shadows for me.
 
Left  - Original
Right - With shadow recovery slider set to +100
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: lintoni on October 08, 2012, 04:46:22 PM
Adobe Lightroom?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: ChrisAnderson on October 08, 2012, 05:11:22 PM
Yes, it recovered the shadows, but can you actually use this for anything above 600px wide?  How bad is the banding and noise in the shadows at 100% view now?
My 5D3 images look absolutely TERRIBLE when i do this.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on October 08, 2012, 05:25:05 PM
My 5D Mark III seems to be better than my 5D Mark II at this.  I've had two of each, there was quite a bit of difference between the 5D 2's as to sensor noise with the three year newer one being noticibly better.
I just received my 2nd 5D3, so I haven't compared it to my earlier one which was very good.  I also had a D800, and it indeed has more DR at low ISO's, enough to immediately see in a outdoor shot.  However, I do a lot of extreme high ISO work, and there the 5D MK III has a tiny but noticible DR advantage. My D800 struggled at ISO 12800 and produced grainy noisy images that were not very pleasing
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: David Hull on October 08, 2012, 07:26:49 PM
If you do find yourself running up against the pattern noise in the 5DIII (it is there if you look hard enough) it appears to respond well to both the Nik and Topaz noise reduction SW.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: killswitch on October 08, 2012, 10:24:35 PM
Is there any place where we can get 5d mk iii sample Raw files so we can play around how much detail we can recover from the shadows. And is the ISO level in 5d mk iii superior at 6400 compared let's say d600 or d800? I was trying the raw files from dpreview but some thing from a more natural setting (environment, landscape, outdoor or indoor portrait) would give help clear out how much we can recover without creating those nasty bandings and noise.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on October 08, 2012, 10:45:57 PM
Is there any place where we can get 5d mk iii sample Raw files so we can play around how much detail we can recover from the shadows. And is the ISO level in 5d mk iii superior at 6400 compared let's say d600 or d800? I was trying the raw files from dpreview but some thing from a more natural setting (environment, landscape, outdoor or indoor portrait) would give help clear out how much we can recover without creating those nasty bandings and noise.
You do not create banding and noise, it is just there, and if you boost the exposure enough, you will see it.  It seldom shows in a print, only when you look at the image at 1:1.
The issue with obtaining raw images is that every image is different, so its easy to manipluate the results by selecting one that shows whatever you want.  Then you make a general statement about how wonderful or how awful it is.
As you raise the ISO, the DR and the ability to recover shadows lessens.  The D800, for example is supurb at ISO 100, but at 12800, the 5D MK III is better.  However, at very high ISO settings, neither will tolerate a poorly exposed shot, it must be right-on.  Forget about pulling up shadows at ISO 12800.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: killswitch on October 08, 2012, 10:59:24 PM
Is there any place where we can get 5d mk iii sample Raw files so we can play around how much detail we can recover from the shadows. And is the ISO level in 5d mk iii superior at 6400 compared let's say d600 or d800? I was trying the raw files from dpreview but some thing from a more natural setting (environment, landscape, outdoor or indoor portrait) would give help clear out how much we can recover without creating those nasty bandings and noise.
You do not create banding and noise, it is just there, and if you boost the exposure enough, you will see it.  It seldom shows in a print, only when you look at the image at 1:1.
The issue with obtaining raw images is that every image is different, so its easy to manipluate the results by selecting one that shows whatever you want.  Then you make a general statement about how wonderful or how awful it is.
As you raise the ISO, the DR and the ability to recover shadows lessens.  The D800, for example is supurb at ISO 100, but at 12800, the 5D MK III is better.  However, at very high ISO settings, neither will tolerate a poorly exposed shot, it must be right-on.  Forget about pulling up shadows at ISO 12800.

Lol, yeah meant to say revealing those banding. I felt it was considerably less in 5d mk iii version of the raw file.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on October 08, 2012, 11:50:37 PM
Is there any place where we can get 5d mk iii sample Raw files so we can play around how much detail we can recover from the shadows. And is the ISO level in 5d mk iii superior at 6400 compared let's say d600 or d800? I was trying the raw files from dpreview but some thing from a more natural setting (environment, landscape, outdoor or indoor portrait) would give help clear out how much we can recover without creating those nasty bandings and noise.
You do not create banding and noise, it is just there, and if you boost the exposure enough, you will see it.  It seldom shows in a print, only when you look at the image at 1:1.
The issue with obtaining raw images is that every image is different, so its easy to manipluate the results by selecting one that shows whatever you want.  Then you make a general statement about how wonderful or how awful it is.
As you raise the ISO, the DR and the ability to recover shadows lessens.  The D800, for example is supurb at ISO 100, but at 12800, the 5D MK III is better.  However, at very high ISO settings, neither will tolerate a poorly exposed shot, it must be right-on.  Forget about pulling up shadows at ISO 12800.

Lol, yeah meant to say revealing those banding. I felt it was considerably less in 5d mk iii version of the raw file.
I've never seen one on either of my 5D MK II's or my two 5D MK III's with a normal photo.  You have to Create the setup to show it.  You can pull up a image several stops and see it, no doubt, but that is pretty extreme.  I'd seldom pull a image up by more than a stop.  its much better to slightly overexpose and pull the image exposure down slightly.
 
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on October 08, 2012, 11:52:08 PM
Adobe Lightroom?

I used camera raw 7.1 in PS

Yes, it recovered the shadows, but can you actually use this for anything above 600px wide?  How bad is the banding and noise in the shadows at 100% view now?
My 5D3 images look absolutely TERRIBLE when i do this.

I don't print images but if you look for it i am sure it is there.. Sorry, you will have to look elsewhere in the forum for a technical feedback :)

However, I do a lot of extreme high ISO work, and there the 5D MK III has a tiny but noticible DR advantage.

I've seen some of your shots posted in this forum - No doubt one of the Gurus around here.

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Octavian on October 10, 2012, 08:46:06 AM
If you cross your eye on the two images, focus on the one 'created' in the middle you get a 3D HDR image!    :P
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Luciano Nova on October 10, 2012, 09:50:30 AM
My 5D3 images look absolutely TERRIBLE when i do this.

Chris,

Could you show us one of this images?

Thanks
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Marsu42 on October 10, 2012, 11:02:43 AM
If i can do this in post then this is plenty of available DR in shadows for me.

This was no high contrast scene, no direct sunlight and no hard shadows - that's when added dr would make a difference. Btw, pushing shadows in LR/CR imho isn't really a substitute for +ev (with the adjustment brush or graduated filters) because it looks often artificial to me if shadows go over +50 in PV2012. And if you +ev a shot then some added dr helps.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on October 10, 2012, 12:06:58 PM
This shot was taken while i was adjusting for correct exposure. The sky looked okay but the bottom half is obviously underexposed. I wanted to see how much i can push the shadows in post.  I increased the shadow recovery slider to +100 in camera raw keeping everything else unaltered. If i can do this in post then this is plenty of available DR in shadows for me.
 
Left  - Original
Right - With shadow recovery slider set to +100

I think you could lift a LOT more than that. Try boosting the exposure slider by at least one stop, if not two. I push around my 7D shots a lot, sometimes a +80 shadow lift on top of a +1, +1.33, or +1.5 exposure lift (and usually some negative black shift to maintain contrast) when I botch a shot, and experience zero banding. Granted, I usually shoot above ISO 400, so you might not have quite that much leeway at ISO 100. I'd still give it a try, though...33 electrons worth of read noise out of a maximum saturation of 67531 electrons is still a very small percentage. Were talking a ratio of 2046. Read noise (which includes FPN and banding) is only the bottom 0.05% of the signal.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on October 10, 2012, 12:47:13 PM
If you cross your eye on the two images, focus on the one 'created' in the middle you get a 3D HDR image!    :P

HAHA! it does! +1
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on October 10, 2012, 02:50:06 PM

Btw, pushing shadows in LR/CR imho isn't really a substitute for +ev (with the adjustment brush or graduated filters) because it looks often artificial to me if shadows go over +50 in PV2012.

Agreed. I was just trying to see how much information is in there. The recovered part does look 'plasticy'


I think you could lift a LOT more than that. Try boosting the exposure slider by at least one stop, if not two. I push around my 7D shots a lot, sometimes a +80 shadow lift on top of a +1, +1.33, or +1.5 exposure lift (and usually some negative black shift to maintain contrast) when I botch a shot, and experience zero banding.

Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: mirekti on October 10, 2012, 10:52:34 PM
If you cross your eye on the two images, focus on the one 'created' in the middle you get a 3D HDR image!    :P

HAHA! it does! +1

My eyes hurt!! :)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on October 11, 2012, 02:41:58 PM
If you cross your eye on the two images, focus on the one 'created' in the middle you get a 3D HDR image!    :P

HAHA! it does! +1

My eyes hurt!! :)
Off topic but..
"5D MkIII or 6D??? | EF 35f1.4 | EF 50f1.4 | EF 70-200f2.8L MkII | TC 1.4x III | TC 2x III"
Unless all you do is video.. Definitely the 5D mkIII. My opinion...
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Marsu42 on October 11, 2012, 02:59:36 PM
"5D MkIII or 6D??? | EF 35f1.4 | EF 50f1.4 | EF 70-200f2.8L MkII | TC 1.4x III | TC 2x III"
Unless all you do is video.. Definitely the 5D mkIII. My opinion...

... and if you do video: definitely 5d3, too, unless it's proven Magic Lantern will also run on the 6d. And the 6d hasn't even got the swivel screen, doh.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: dswatson83 on October 11, 2012, 03:03:29 PM
This video compares the D600 & 7D for shadow recovery and they also show a 5dIII file. It's clear to me that there is banding and grain in both the Canon shots more than the Nikon but only when viewed at 100% or more and only when pushing it all the way.
Nikon D600 Review Part 4 - Dynamic Range Testing...WOW! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWvaaHqQni0#ws)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on October 11, 2012, 08:32:49 PM
"5D MkIII or 6D??? | EF 35f1.4 | EF 50f1.4 | EF 70-200f2.8L MkII | TC 1.4x III | TC 2x III"
Unless all you do is video.. Definitely the 5D mkIII. My opinion...

... and if you do video: definitely 5d3, too, unless it's proven Magic Lantern will also run on the 6d. And the 6d hasn't even got the swivel screen, doh.

I agree mostly. If all you do is video and don't use magic lantern I would probably say 6D just for the price. unless of course you also need the headphone jack and silent controls. But IQ and ergonomics for video other than that is about the same.at $1,300 cheaper.

If you have the money then 5D mkIII will be the one that will last you without finding yourself wanting more. The 6D has it's limitations that you could easily outgrow.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on October 11, 2012, 08:37:34 PM
This video compares the D600 & 7D for shadow recovery and they also show a 5dIII file. It's clear to me that there is banding and grain in both the Canon shots more than the Nikon but only when viewed at 100% or more and only when pushing it all the way.
Nikon D600 Review Part 4 - Dynamic Range Testing...WOW! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWvaaHqQni0#ws)

I disagreed with a huge portion of this video. I understand where he was coming from but still I disagree with his approach. and the 5D mmiii scene was so different than the sunset scene there was no way to actually compare the difference. Although yes a huge difference between the D600 and 7D. I wonder what the difference is between the 7D and D7000 in this area.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on October 11, 2012, 09:33:52 PM
This video compares the D600 & 7D for shadow recovery and they also show a 5dIII file. It's clear to me that there is banding and grain in both the Canon shots more than the Nikon but only when viewed at 100% or more and only when pushing it all the way.
Nikon D600 Review Part 4 - Dynamic Range Testing...WOW! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWvaaHqQni0#ws)

I disagreed with a huge portion of this video. I understand where he was coming from but still I disagree with his approach. and the 5D mmiii scene was so different than the sunset scene there was no way to actually compare the difference. Although yes a huge difference between the D600 and 7D. I wonder what the difference is between the 7D and D7000 in this area.

I agree about the D600 vs. 7D comparison. He kept saying that there was "so much detail" in the D600 shadows, but not in the 7D shadows. As far as I could tell, the following is actually what occurred:

 1. The 7D photo was over-exposed, which blew out the highlights of the sky, and captured full detail in the shadows.
 2. The 7D shadows appeared to be fully recoverable, I did not see any LOSS of detail, even if it was a bit noisy detail. The 7D shadow detail in the 100% crop simply looked brighter and a bit noiser than the D600 100% crop, but I wouldn't have said there was LESS detail.
 3. The D600 shot was a tiny bit under-exposed (or possibly just "properly" exposed), which preserved the highlights of the sky better.
 4. The D600 DOES preserve additional detail in the shadows, so they were able to be recovered despite the lower exposure than the 7D.
 5. The 7D shadows looked dull and muddy because a 100% shadow recovery resulted in a higher shadow exposure overall than in the D600 recovery.
 6. The D600 appeared to have the same general DETAIL in the shadows, however since it was not over-exposed with a 100% shadow push, it appeared to have much richer color.
 7. The D600 was shot second, after the sun had sunk a little lower into the horizon, which would have reduced the dynamic range of the scene a bit. Combined with the D600's additional DR to start, the odds were overly stacked in favor of the D600.

I would offer that one of two things could be done with the 7D image. First, he could have exposed it properly. He just popped out the camera and snapped a shot, without any concern in-camera for preserving those highlights. That is NOT a fault of the camera, that was operator error. A proper 7D exposure would have resulted in much the same kind of sky and midtines as the D600. Probably would have REALLY lost some detail in the shadows if that was done, however with a bit of NR much of it could have been recovered. Wouldn't be as good as real DR, but it would have been better than a botched exposure.

Alternatively, the Blacks of the 7D could have been pulled down a bit, which would have had the effect of increasing shadow contrast, and enriched the shadow colors to look as good as the D600 from a color fidelity standpoint. Nothing can be done about the blown sky, however I would be willing to bet LR4 could do some wondrous things with it regardless, and produce a final image that looked a lot closer to what the D600 produced.

I really wish I could get my hands on a D600 to compare with my 7D. It wouldn't take much more than a LITTLE bit of extra care with the 7D to capture a similar scene with much better results. Again, nothing is an alternative for additional real-world sensor DR, but I think the video above was far too ad-hoc and careless to be a viable test. That blown sky was the result of crappy camera use by a hapless camera user. :P
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on October 11, 2012, 11:02:10 PM
This video compares the D600 & 7D for shadow recovery and they also show a 5dIII file. It's clear to me that there is banding and grain in both the Canon shots more than the Nikon but only when viewed at 100% or more and only when pushing it all the way.
Nikon D600 Review Part 4 - Dynamic Range Testing...WOW! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWvaaHqQni0#ws)

I disagreed with a huge portion of this video. I understand where he was coming from but still I disagree with his approach. and the 5D mmiii scene was so different than the sunset scene there was no way to actually compare the difference. Although yes a huge difference between the D600 and 7D. I wonder what the difference is between the 7D and D7000 in this area.

I agree about the D600 vs. 7D comparison. He kept saying that there was "so much detail" in the D600 shadows, but not in the 7D shadows. As far as I could tell, the following is actually what occurred:

 1. The 7D photo was over-exposed, which blew out the highlights of the sky, and captured full detail in the shadows.
 2. The 7D shadows appeared to be fully recoverable, I did not see any LOSS of detail, even if it was a bit noisy detail. The 7D shadow detail in the 100% crop simply looked brighter and a bit noiser than the D600 100% crop, but I wouldn't have said there was LESS detail.
 3. The D600 shot was a tiny bit under-exposed (or possibly just "properly" exposed), which preserved the highlights of the sky better.
 4. The D600 DOES preserve additional detail in the shadows, so they were able to be recovered despite the lower exposure than the 7D.
 5. The 7D shadows looked dull and muddy because a 100% shadow recovery resulted in a higher shadow exposure overall than in the D600 recovery.
 6. The D600 appeared to have the same general DETAIL in the shadows, however since it was not over-exposed with a 100% shadow push, it appeared to have much richer color.
 7. The D600 was shot second, after the sun had sunk a little lower into the horizon, which would have reduced the dynamic range of the scene a bit. Combined with the D600's additional DR to start, the odds were overly stacked in favor of the D600.

I would offer that one of two things could be done with the 7D image. First, he could have exposed it properly. He just popped out the camera and snapped a shot, without any concern in-camera for preserving those highlights. That is NOT a fault of the camera, that was operator error. A proper 7D exposure would have resulted in much the same kind of sky and midtines as the D600. Probably would have REALLY lost some detail in the shadows if that was done, however with a bit of NR much of it could have been recovered. Wouldn't be as good as real DR, but it would have been better than a botched exposure.

Alternatively, the Blacks of the 7D could have been pulled down a bit, which would have had the effect of increasing shadow contrast, and enriched the shadow colors to look as good as the D600 from a color fidelity standpoint. Nothing can be done about the blown sky, however I would be willing to bet LR4 could do some wondrous things with it regardless, and produce a final image that looked a lot closer to what the D600 produced.

I really wish I could get my hands on a D600 to compare with my 7D. It wouldn't take much more than a LITTLE bit of extra care with the 7D to capture a similar scene with much better results. Again, nothing is an alternative for additional real-world sensor DR, but I think the video above was far too ad-hoc and careless to be a viable test. That blown sky was the result of crappy camera use by a hapless camera user. :P

I understand that the D600 is better IQ. I meant that I disagree with the fact that he even compared the two cameras. It's a comparison that makes no sense since the two cameras would be used for two totally difference purposes. Neither one replaces the other.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on October 11, 2012, 11:51:07 PM
Off topic but..
"5D MkIII or 6D??? | EF 35f1.4 | EF 50f1.4 | EF 70-200f2.8L MkII | TC 1.4x III | TC 2x III"
Unless all you do is video.. Definitely the 5D mkIII. My opinion...

From my experience in using 5d3 - it won't disappoint you at all. The video tends to be mushy with respect to fine details (outdoor - on grass for example) as other tests have shown but i don't know if 6d will be any better.

Whether 5d3 is worth the difference in price versus still untested 6D?  well its not an easy call until you can test both the bodies.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RLPhoto on April 01, 2013, 12:01:12 PM
ETTR.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 01, 2013, 01:55:43 PM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).

Here's an example of light that's as bad as one might reasonably want to shoot in -- midafternoon Arizona direct desert sunlight from the bottom of a steep ravine half-and-half lit and shadowed. And there's no dynamic range problems. No clipped highlights, no noisy or blocked shadows; just the expected image quality awesomeness from Canon's ultimate jack-of-all-trades camera.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13771.msg249243#msg249243 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13771.msg249243#msg249243)

It's not a particularly beautiful image, though...but that's in no small part because the light itself is ugly.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: distant.star on April 01, 2013, 02:15:22 PM
.
This looks like Salt Lake City.



This shot was taken while i was adjusting for correct exposure. The sky looked okay but the bottom half is obviously underexposed. I wanted to see how much i can push the shadows in post.  I increased the shadow recovery slider to +100 in camera raw keeping everything else unaltered. If i can do this in post then this is plenty of available DR in shadows for me.
 
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 11:51:14 AM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 02, 2013, 12:22:16 PM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

You know, I keep coming across these complaints, very much like the one you just made, but I've yet to experience anything remotely like this problem in my shooting. Perhaps you could post an example of a properly-exposed image shot with a 5DIII with excessive shadow noise? And, please, not Fred Miranda's infamous page two example. That shot is at least a stop or two underexposed, in harsh noonday Sun, and he's lifting deep Zone II shade almost to midtones. That's the textbook definition of "extreme." And of "bad light." And, too, "poor technique."

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 02:15:16 PM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

You know, I keep coming across these complaints, very much like the one you just made, but I've yet to experience anything remotely like this problem in my shooting. Perhaps you could post an example of a properly-exposed image shot with a 5DIII with excessive shadow noise? And, please, not Fred Miranda's infamous page two example. That shot is at least a stop or two underexposed, in harsh noonday Sun, and he's lifting deep Zone II shade almost to midtones. That's the textbook definition of "extreme." And of "bad light." And, too, "poor technique."

Cheers,

b&
I wouldn't call it a "complaint." Just a statement of fact. In my shooting I've come across circumstances where it is a legitimate issue. (And thanks, privatebydesign, for posting a link to our previous discussion on that with my examples.)

My intent is to provide honest feedback on where I've found the limits of the equipment to be. I have no interest in exaggerating the impact of the issue. It's obviously not a deal breaker for me, since I still am shooting Canon. But, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and I do feel there's a bit of a rush to judgement to dismiss anyone who mentions pattern noise as not knowing how to expose properly or such things.

So while the Canon system suits my needs very well for the most part, this is an area where I do think there is room for improvement. I find it unfortunate when opinions are expressed to the effect that everything is fine, there's no need for improvement. Why do we need to rationalize away shortcomings? "Hey Canon, stop worrying about R&D, your sensors as good as they need to be and if someone thinks the competition is better it's just becasue they don't know how to shoot." :P Why should we send a message to a manufacturer that their product is perfect, we the consumers don't expect anything more?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RLPhoto on April 02, 2013, 02:21:04 PM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

You know, I keep coming across these complaints, very much like the one you just made, but I've yet to experience anything remotely like this problem in my shooting. Perhaps you could post an example of a properly-exposed image shot with a 5DIII with excessive shadow noise? And, please, not Fred Miranda's infamous page two example. That shot is at least a stop or two underexposed, in harsh noonday Sun, and he's lifting deep Zone II shade almost to midtones. That's the textbook definition of "extreme." And of "bad light." And, too, "poor technique."

Cheers,

b&
I wouldn't call it a "complaint." Just a statement of fact. In my shooting I've come across circumstances where it is a legitimate issue. (And thanks, privatebydesign, for posting a link to our previous discussion on that with my examples.)

My intent is to provide honest feedback on where I've found the limits of the equipment to be. I have no interest in exaggerating the impact of the issue. It's obviously not a deal breaker for me, since I still am shooting Canon. But, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and I do feel there's a bit of a rush to judgement to dismiss anyone who mentions pattern noise as not knowing how to expose properly or such things.

So while the Canon system suits my needs very well for the most part, this is an area where I do think there is room for improvement. I find it unfortunate when opinions are expressed to the effect that everything is fine, there's no need for improvement. Why do we need to rationalize away shortcomings? "Hey Canon, stop worrying about R&D, your sensors as good as they need to be and if someone thinks the competition is better it's just becasue they don't know how to shoot." :P Why should we send a message to a manufacturer that their product is perfect, we the consumers don't expect anything more?

You have a solid portfolio sir, My hat's tipped through the internet.

I don't do alot of HDR, but they're is another canon user here called A!ex or something like that. He does alot of it and it looks sublime. He once mentioned that the merging program has alot to with how good the final DR is and it seem's your shooting DR scene's excess of what possible with either platform.

I usually use flash for indoor property photography, but I can't say I do it enough to give an opinion.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 02, 2013, 02:38:38 PM
If the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range for whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing is extreme. Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones (or even highlights -- I've actually seen people try that).
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

You know, I keep coming across these complaints, very much like the one you just made, but I've yet to experience anything remotely like this problem in my shooting. Perhaps you could post an example of a properly-exposed image shot with a 5DIII with excessive shadow noise? And, please, not Fred Miranda's infamous page two example. That shot is at least a stop or two underexposed, in harsh noonday Sun, and he's lifting deep Zone II shade almost to midtones. That's the textbook definition of "extreme." And of "bad light." And, too, "poor technique."

Cheers,

b&
I wouldn't call it a "complaint." Just a statement of fact. In my shooting I've come across circumstances where it is a legitimate issue. (And thanks, privatebydesign, for posting a link to our previous discussion on that with my examples.)

My intent is to provide honest feedback on where I've found the limits of the equipment to be. I have no interest in exaggerating the impact of the issue. It's obviously not a deal breaker for me, since I still am shooting Canon. But, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and I do feel there's a bit of a rush to judgement to dismiss anyone who mentions pattern noise as not knowing how to expose properly or such things.

So while the Canon system suits my needs very well for the most part, this is an area where I do think there is room for improvement. I find it unfortunate when opinions are expressed to the effect that everything is fine, there's no need for improvement. Why do we need to rationalize away shortcomings? "Hey Canon, stop worrying about R&D, your sensors as good as they need to be and if someone thinks the competition is better it's just becasue they don't know how to shoot." :P Why should we send a message to a manufacturer that their product is perfect, we the consumers don't expect anything more?

I agree with everything you have said. That said, I don't think that everyone who argues these points is arguing that we should tell Canon "Stop worrying about R&D, we thing your product is fine." There have been a number of members here who have been on a determined crusade to purposely put Canon cameras in an exceptionally bad light, making it seem as though they are terrible cameras not capable of even the most minimal image quality.

I don't know of anyone who honestly believes Canon DR is as good as the DR from a D800, D600, or D3200. It quite clearly is not. Canon definitely needs to improve in this area. Even if they don't really improve DR much, even more critical is improving the quality of their noise, such that if we do need to lift shadows, they don't look nasty, and the noise can be cleaned up with better results.

My problem is that we have had individuals like Mikael and some of his pals who have purposely tried to make Canon cameras sound like the worst cameras on earth, who have blatantly claimed Canon is completely incapable of innovating new products or improving their current technology, etc. All based on one single thing: A DXOMark score. I've argued very heavily against that kind of thing...I think it is ludicrous to demonize Canon that way, and obfuscate and twist the truth to make people switch brands...for what? Some kind of ridiculous vendetta (I honestly don't know...I could never figure Mikael out.)

Anyway...Canon most assuredly has areas where they need to improve. They need to move off of their ancient 500nm sensor fabrication process, and onto a more advanced and modern 180nm process. They need to figure out how to reduce or eliminate the banding noise introduced by their off-die ADCs. They need to figure out how to improve DR and improve the quality of their noise. Sony changed the game with Exmor...and Canon customers, even those such as myself who have argued heavily against using the inappropriately scalar DXO score as the sole means of determining the quality of a camera, most definitely have the right to expect Canon to rise to that competition and at least meet it head on, if not surpass the quality of their competitors offerings.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sandymandy on April 02, 2013, 03:20:31 PM
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

Nikon shooters never encounter such situations? Doubt so. Anyway i think this happens so rarely its not a real problem.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 03:49:44 PM
You have a solid portfolio sir, My hat's tipped through the internet.

I don't do alot of HDR, but they're is another canon user here called A!ex or something like that. He does alot of it and it looks sublime. He once mentioned that the merging program has alot to with how good the final DR is and it seem's your shooting DR scene's excess of what possible with either platform.

I usually use flash for indoor property photography, but I can't say I do it enough to give an opinion.
First off thank you.

As far as HDR, it can be a good solution but there are circumstances where it's not practical at (such as when stuff is moving or when you're not on a tripod). If I have unlimited time I would normally opt for fill flash instead. But, how often is that, right ? ;) The problem with fill flash is there's usually more than one spot that needs it, and it takes time to set up and balance the lighting on all those strobes. So I find that I tend to only bother with flash if there's a person acting as a model in the scene, and otherwise if DR is an issue I'll be doing multiple exposures and blending in post.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 03:52:37 PM
I agree with everything you have said. That said, I don't think that everyone who argues these points is arguing that we should tell Canon "Stop worrying about R&D, we thing your product is fine." There have been a number of members here who have been on a determined crusade to purposely put Canon cameras in an exceptionally bad light, making it seem as though they are terrible cameras not capable of even the most minimal image quality.

I don't know of anyone who honestly believes Canon DR is as good as the DR from a D800, D600, or D3200. It quite clearly is not. Canon definitely needs to improve in this area. Even if they don't really improve DR much, even more critical is improving the quality of their noise, such that if we do need to lift shadows, they don't look nasty, and the noise can be cleaned up with better results.

My problem is that we have had individuals like Mikael and some of his pals who have purposely tried to make Canon cameras sound like the worst cameras on earth, who have blatantly claimed Canon is completely incapable of innovating new products or improving their current technology, etc. All based on one single thing: A DXOMark score. I've argued very heavily against that kind of thing...I think it is ludicrous to demonize Canon that way, and obfuscate and twist the truth to make people switch brands...for what? Some kind of ridiculous vendetta (I honestly don't know...I could never figure Mikael out.)

Anyway...Canon most assuredly has areas where they need to improve. They need to move off of their ancient 500nm sensor fabrication process, and onto a more advanced and modern 180nm process. They need to figure out how to reduce or eliminate the banding noise introduced by their off-die ADCs. They need to figure out how to improve DR and improve the quality of their noise. Sony changed the game with Exmor...and Canon customers, even those such as myself who have argued heavily against using the inappropriately scalar DXO score as the sole means of determining the quality of a camera, most definitely have the right to expect Canon to rise to that competition and at least meet it head on, if not surpass the quality of their competitors offerings.
Yeah, the discussions tend to get overrun by the loudest shouters. But I think we're showing reasonable voices can prevail :)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 04:02:29 PM
Not true. There are circumstances where you cannot properly expose all parts of the image due dyanmic range variations in the shooting conditions. You can expose properly for one part or the other and either blow out the highlights or block up the shadows. The lesser of two evils is to expose so the highlights don't get blown and if you still need to you can lift the shadows...this works ok in a lot of circumstances, but not all. In particular,  scenarios where you have larger areas of smooth shadows, pattern noise can become a very real problem that will be visible even on moderate prints sizes.

Nikon shooters never encounter such situations? Doubt so. Anyway i think this happens so rarely its not a real problem.
The point is that if you encounter such a scenario with an Exmor sensor, you can lift the shadows with no pattern noise resulting.

As far as it being so rare that it is not a real problem....on architectural shoots I'd say I run across it at least one time on every shoot. Compared to the total number of photos I make across a bunch of shoots, yes, that's a very small number. But since it's not zero, on those occasions when it does happen, then it is a problem which requires extra work to deal with.

Is it a huge problem? No. But a real one? Yes.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RLPhoto on April 02, 2013, 04:37:22 PM
@art_d

Heres @!ex's photostream. I sure he know more about HDR than most.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benison (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benison)

One image that caught my attention for your application.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/benison/5979038530/#in/set-72157624536531517 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/benison/5979038530/#in/set-72157624536531517)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 02, 2013, 05:52:55 PM
Art,

I think you might agree with me that the examples you posted in the other thread qualify as "extreme," which was the word I've been using to describe the situations where the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range.

I'd also suggest that the set of such situations where the 5DIII lacks the dynamic range but it's still within the D800's dynamic range is very small. In most such cases, you're only going to get less-bad, not good, results from the D800 unless you do what you should be doing with the 5DIII -- fixing the light or blending multiple exposures. And even in those very few situations where the extra stop or two you can get from the D800 will make the shot, you'll still get a very respectable image from the 5DIII.

And that's my point. Does the D800 have better dynamic range than the 5DIII? Yes, of course. Does it matter? About as much as the difference between two family sedans, one with a top speed of 95 MPH and the other with a top speed of 110 MPH. Most people wouldn't even notice said specification, and would be much more impressed with the one with the more practical and comfortable interior and a smoother and quieter ride at legal freeway speeds.

One last artistic point...in the prison, I think it would have made for a much more compelling (and true-to-life) story to have left the prison doors as dark as they appeared to the eye. Lifting the shadows like that makes the room seem bright, well-lit, and almost comfortable. That's not at all what you described it really being like....

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 02, 2013, 07:04:59 PM
Art,

I think you might agree with me that the examples you posted in the other thread qualify as "extreme," which was the word I've been using to describe the situations where the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range.
Your definition of extreme seemed to be (from your previous post) :
Quote
“Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones.”
Neither was the case in the examples I presented.

Quote
I'd also suggest that the set of such situations where the 5DIII lacks the dynamic range but it's still within the D800's dynamic range is very small. In most such cases, you're only going to get less-bad, not good, results from the D800 unless you do what you should be doing with the 5DIII -- fixing the light or blending multiple exposures.
I disagree. The biggest asset of the D800 is being able to lift blocked up shadows in an otherwise properly exposed shot. You can do that on a 5DIII or 5DII as well and. And in fact a lot of times I do so. I don’t get a “less bad shot” from doing this. The problem is doing so when you have a large smooth area, because that’s when the pattern noise is noticable. On a D800 the shadows will stay clean. And while this only happens on a small number of shots, the benefit of being able to do this is very nice.

Quote
And even in those very few situations where the extra stop or two you can get from the D800 will make the shot, you'll still get a very respectable image from the 5DIII.
That is debatable. It depends on the scenario. And it depends on who you ask and what their expectations are. Maybe some of my clients might not notice the little bit of pattern noise in the shot. Maybe some would. But I don’t want to try and find out. People hire typically hire a photographer to shoot a job because they want the photos to be better than “respectable.”

Quote
And that's my point. Does the D800 have better dynamic range than the 5DIII? Yes, of course. Does it matter? About as much as the difference between two family sedans, one with a top speed of 95 MPH and the other with a top speed of 110 MPH. Most people wouldn't even notice said specification, and would be much more impressed with the one with the more practical and comfortable interior and a smoother and quieter ride at legal freeway speeds.
I think your metaphor is off base. Because you’re assuming that both cars are being used in the same way. What if instead of comparing two sedans with different top speeds, we compare a sedan to a four-wheel drive SUV. Both behave pretty much the same driving down the freeway. But the SUV has the ability to perform better in an offroad environment where fewer people are driving, or it will perform better in the snow when the sedan might not be able to move. (I myself happen to own a 4x4 truck. I would say I use the four-wheel drive “rarely.” But I will tell you, when I have used it, it’s been damn handy to have.)

And again, I’m not understanding the need to try and rationalize away the spots where a certain product comes up short. Does the more dynamic range matter? The answer is that, to certain photographers, in certain situations, yes, it does. If it doesn’t matter to you, in your shooting situations, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean we should marginalize what matters to other photographers because it doesn’t matter to you.

Quote
One last artistic point...in the prison, I think it would have made for a much more compelling (and true-to-life) story to have left the prison doors as dark as they appeared to the eye. Lifting the shadows like that makes the room seem bright, well-lit, and almost comfortable. That's not at all what you described it really being like....
To the eye, the prison doors do not appear darker than how I have presented them in that photo. The camera does not record things “true-to-life” (nor for that matter does your brain but that’s a different discussion.)  The cell block was well lit. But the lighting was not uniform. The eye adjusts to the brightness levels as its looking around the room so it does look uniform. Standing there looking at those doors, they are that shade of gray. But to the camera, exposing for the highlights in the courtyard below where the majority of the light in the room is falling, it doesn’t come across that way. Without blending exposures and lifting the shadows, the doors come across as almost black, that entire side of the scene is way too murky. They do not look like that to the eye. If that catwalk was really as dark in the “true to life” scenario as the camera recorded it to be, it would be too dark to walk along that catwalk without a flashlight.
   
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: verysimplejason on April 02, 2013, 07:06:02 PM
Question for the OP.... Are you using different pictures for your shadow recovery?  Why not try to recover the shadows from the original so you can see really how good or bad is 5D3's shadow recovery?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on April 02, 2013, 07:17:25 PM
Question for the OP.... Are you using different pictures for your shadow recovery?  Why not try to recover the shadows from the original so you can see really how good or bad is 5D3's shadow recovery?

The OP  posted this 6 months ago, why ask him now?
 
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on April 02, 2013, 07:45:47 PM
Art,

I think you might agree with me that the examples you posted in the other thread qualify as "extreme," which was the word I've been using to describe the situations where the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range.

I'd also suggest that the set of such situations where the 5DIII lacks the dynamic range but it's still within the D800's dynamic range is very small. In most such cases, you're only going to get less-bad, not good, results from the D800 unless you do what you should be doing with the 5DIII -- fixing the light or blending multiple exposures. And even in those very few situations where the extra stop or two you can get from the D800 will make the shot, you'll still get a very respectable image from the 5DIII.

And that's my point. Does the D800 have better dynamic range than the 5DIII? Yes, of course. Does it matter? About as much as the difference between two family sedans, one with a top speed of 95 MPH and the other with a top speed of 110 MPH. Most people wouldn't even notice said specification, and would be much more impressed with the one with the more practical and comfortable interior and a smoother and quieter ride at legal freeway speeds.

One last artistic point...in the prison, I think it would have made for a much more compelling (and true-to-life) story to have left the prison doors as dark as they appeared to the eye. Lifting the shadows like that makes the room seem bright, well-lit, and almost comfortable. That's not at all what you described it really being like....

Cheers,

b&

While you can find an infinite number of shots where it won't matter, you can also find an finite number where it will. I really hope the next round from Canon fixes this DR thing up because I reallllly don't wanna have to switch to Nikon. If the 7D2/3D/5D4-type cams don't get close to D800-level I think I finally will have to switch. REALLY do not want to though.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 02, 2013, 11:31:59 PM
Art,

I think you might agree with me that the examples you posted in the other thread qualify as "extreme," which was the word I've been using to describe the situations where the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range.
Your definition of extreme seemed to be (from your previous post) :
Quote
“Basically, you're either trying to salvage a severely underexposed image, or you're trying to turn deep shadows into midtones.
Neither was the case in the examples I presented.

[...]

To the eye, the prison doors do not appear darker than how I have presented them in that photo. The camera does not record things “true-to-life” (nor for that matter does your brain but that’s a different discussion.)  The cell block was well lit. But the lighting was not uniform. The eye adjusts to the brightness levels as its looking around the room so it does look uniform. Standing there looking at those doors, they are that shade of gray. But to the camera, exposing for the highlights in the courtyard below where the majority of the light in the room is falling, it doesn’t come across that way. Without blending exposures and lifting the shadows, the doors come across as almost black, that entire side of the scene is way too murky. They do not look like that to the eye. If that catwalk was really as dark in the “true to life” scenario as the camera recorded it to be, it would be too dark to walk along that catwalk without a flashlight.

In addition to the emphasized portions, I'll observe that the doors themselves are all rendered as Zone IV, and the walls behind them are all rendered as Zone VII.

You have, indeed, by your own description, rendered an extreme scene in such a way as to turn deep shadows into midtones -- highlights, even -- and I'm not at all surprised that you discovered noise when doing so.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: wickidwombat on April 03, 2013, 12:27:45 AM
this is not shot with a 5Dmk3 but with the EOS-M and 8mm samyang

single exposure ETTR

pulled back by -2 exposure in LR4
and shadow recovery pulled up by about 80

a little sharpening, with mask

canon cameras have good dynamic range if you expose them properly
they are brutally unforgiving if you under expose too much

on a side note the way this little samyang handles flare is quite amazing :D
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 03, 2013, 12:37:48 AM
You have, indeed, by your own description, rendered an extreme scene in such a way as to turn deep shadows into midtones -- highlights, even -- and I'm not at all surprised that you discovered noise when doing so.
If that's what you got from my explanation then I must not be explaining it very well.

I have rendered the doors as a dark gray. Which is the way they are supposed to appear. The doors do not, to the human eye, appear to be almost black "in real life." They appear so only to the camera when exposing to not blow out the highlights in the scene because of dynamic range limitations. To render the scene properly, it requires lifting the shadows on the doors so they go from almost black to dark gray. (And I most certainly have not rendered any shadows as highlights.)

Of course there was noise. That's the whole point. (Not just noise, I'll remind everyone, but pattern noise). Which is why I took multiple exposures because I knew I would have to resort to exposure blending. This example illustrates how there is a real world difference in the Canon sensor compared to an Exmor sensor, because that pattern noise would not be there with an Exmor, multiple exposures would not be required, and the workflow would be much simplified.




Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on April 03, 2013, 02:14:57 AM
.
This looks like Salt Lake City.



This was in Paris.  :)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on April 03, 2013, 02:17:38 AM
Question for the OP.... Are you using different pictures for your shadow recovery?  Why not try to recover the shadows from the original so you can see really how good or bad is 5D3's shadow recovery?

if i got your question right - This was the original raw file.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 03, 2013, 08:55:38 AM
I have rendered the doors as a dark gray.

But that's just it.

The doors aren't a dark gray.

Using a 5x5 eyedropper midway between the handles and the first shadow, from leftmost door to rightmost door, I get:

L*=44, a*=-1, b*=-2
L*=49, a*=-3, b*=-2
L*=50, a*=-3, b*=-2
L*=36, a*=-3, b*=+2
L*=31, a*=-1, b*=3

The first three are all the very definition of middle gray, with the middle door being exactly a middle gray. The very darkest door is only one stop darker than today's standard 12% photographic gray card.

Maybe your monitor isn't properly calibrated, making you think that they're darker than they really are...?

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sandymandy on April 03, 2013, 10:28:56 AM
The point is that if you encounter such a scenario with an Exmor sensor, you can lift the shadows with no pattern noise resulting.

As far as it being so rare that it is not a real problem....on architectural shoots I'd say I run across it at least one time on every shoot. Compared to the total number of photos I make across a bunch of shoots, yes, that's a very small number. But since it's not zero, on those occasions when it does happen, then it is a problem which requires extra work to deal with.

Is it a huge problem? No. But a real one? Yes.

Ok i see but i think Nikon high MP cameras are better for architecture and landscape anyway :) If uve used Canon before u should already have a workflow so its not an issue really.

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 03, 2013, 01:02:56 PM
I have rendered the doors as a dark gray.

But that's just it.

The doors aren't a dark gray.

Using a 5x5 eyedropper midway between the handles and the first shadow, from leftmost door to rightmost door, I get:

L*=44, a*=-1, b*=-2
L*=49, a*=-3, b*=-2
L*=50, a*=-3, b*=-2
L*=36, a*=-3, b*=+2
L*=31, a*=-1, b*=3

The first three are all the very definition of middle gray, with the middle door being exactly a middle gray. The very darkest door is only one stop darker than today's standard 12% photographic gray card.

Maybe your monitor isn't properly calibrated, making you think that they're darker than they really are...?

Cheers,

b&
The first two doors closet in the foreground are of primary concern to this discussion. The lighter doors in the background did not need to have their shadows lifted as much...they are directly across from the sklight and have more light reflecting off of them. The foreground doors were much more problematic, being so dark, and covering much more two-dimensional space in the photo. And that is where the big problem was with shadow noise.

Comparing the door to the wall behind it, yeah, I would in casual discussion say the wall is light gray and the door is dark gray. We can get pedantic and debate how far below photographic middle gray these doors are and if that still allows them to be classified as lighter shadows or darker midtones. But I fail to see how that advances the discussion.

The simple fact remains that due to dynamic range limitations these doors were not able to be rendered properly in a single exposure by a Canon sensor. This illustrates my point which is there are real world scenarios when a Canon sensor is limited where an Exmor sensor would not be. I don't understand the need to try and rationalize that difference away as inconsequential. Because this demonstrates how it can be consequential.

Do you really believe the image would still be "respectable" with the pattern noise? Or that the doors should just be allowed to stay a murky almost-black tone? I'm pretty sure my client would not have been happy with those results.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 03, 2013, 01:12:41 PM
Ok i see but i think Nikon high MP cameras are better for architecture and landscape anyway :) If uve used Canon before u should already have a workflow so its not an issue really.
Well, unfortunately it's not so simple. Because then we have to take into consideration the issues of lenses. And at least for what I tend to shoot, Canon's lenses are flat-out better. So while Nikon has the better sensor right now, that's not enough to compel me to actually use their system instead. That's why I'm very interested in hoping Canon improves their sensors.

Yes, I do have a workflow, but that is the issue...that there has to be an additional workflow to address situations where Canon's sensors run into their limits. It's not a big issue. But I would welcome a simpler workflow where I wouldn't have to do as much exposure bracketing and as much blending in post.

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 03, 2013, 01:50:42 PM
Comparing the door to the wall behind it, yeah, I would in casual discussion say the wall is light gray and the door is dark gray. We can get pedantic and debate how far below photographic middle gray these doors are and if that still allows them to be classified as lighter shadows or darker midtones. But I fail to see how that advances the discussion.

It makes quite a difference to the discussion. There's a huge difference between pushing near-blacks to deep shadows with detail, and pushing near-blacks to midtones. Going from Zone II to Zone III or Zone IV is no big deal. Going from Zone II to Zone VI, which is basically what you've done, is quite extreme.

Quote
The simple fact remains that due to dynamic range limitations these doors were not able to be rendered properly in a single exposure by a Canon sensor. This illustrates my point which is there are real world scenarios when a Canon sensor is limited where an Exmor sensor would not be.

Maybe I'm worng, but I'm pretty sure I'd still take the two exposures with the Nikon -- if I was going for the rendering you went after. I'm pretty sure I'd only need the one exposure with either camera for the rendering I'd instinctively gravitate towards, though I generally always bracket just for the insurance.

Quote
Do you really believe the image would still be "respectable" with the pattern noise?

Of course not -- but how much noise is going to be visible is going to depend on how big the image will be used. I doubt any noise would show up in a 17" x 19" print, and I'm sure it wouldn't in an 8" x 10" print. And I have a hard time imagining anybody wanting this image bigger than that. Not for its artistic or technical reasons, of course...it's just that it's a prison cellblock....

Quote
Or that the doors should just be allowed to stay a murky almost-black tone? I'm pretty sure my client would not have been happy with those results.

Now we're talking about artistic interpretation, which depends a great deal on the particular client and the purpose.

If this was for a portfolio or marketing materials for the architect, your rendition is perfect.

But if it was for any form of reportage, I'd say you overdid the HDR by making the whole scene perfectly evenly lit. From your other descriptions, the attached image is closer to how I think the scene would have appeared to somebody standing at the camera position. I'm pretty sure that National Geographic, for example, would reject your rendition in favor of one closer to the one below.

(And, again, the architect would love yours and hate this one.)

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: pdirestajr on April 03, 2013, 03:14:01 PM
3 words:

Black Card Technique

http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/ (http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/)

You can get all the DR your little crazy hearts desire.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 03, 2013, 04:02:40 PM
It makes quite a difference to the discussion. There's a huge difference between pushing near-blacks to deep shadows with detail, and pushing near-blacks to midtones. Going from Zone II to Zone III or Zone IV is no big deal. Going from Zone II to Zone VI, which is basically what you've done, is quite extreme.
Zone V is middle gray, and we have already established that the doors in the foreground are below middle gray, so I cannot see why you insist on making the argument I have lifted shadows from Zone II to VI. 

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Maybe I'm worng, but I'm pretty sure I'd still take the two exposures with the Nikon -- if I was going for the rendering you went after. I'm pretty sure I'd only need the one exposure with either camera for the rendering I'd instinctively gravitate towards, though I generally always bracket just for the insurance.
Having seen what the Exmor sensor can do, I think it would be able to do it in a single exposure. (I would probably bracket for insuance too, but more than likely I would not have to use the second shot).

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Of course not -- but how much noise is going to be visible is going to depend on how big the image will be used. I doubt any noise would show up in a 17" x 19" print, and I'm sure it wouldn't in an 8" x 10" print. And I have a hard time imagining anybody wanting this image bigger than that. Not for its artistic or technical reasons, of course...it's just that it's a prison cellblock....
Yes, but don’t you think it would seem a little unprofessional to deliver a disc full of images to a client and then single out one image and tell them “Oh, by the way, image #XXXX might look a little crappy on your monitior but it will be fine as long as you don’t print it bigger than 8x10….”?


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Now we're talking about artistic interpretation, which depends a great deal on the particular client and the purpose.

If this was for a portfolio or marketing materials for the architect, your rendition is perfect.

But if it was for any form of reportage, I'd say you overdid the HDR by making the whole scene perfectly evenly lit. From your other descriptions, the attached image is closer to how I think the scene would have appeared to somebody standing at the camera position. I'm pretty sure that National Geographic, for example, would reject your rendition in favor of one closer to the one below.

(And, again, the architect would love yours and hate this one.)
Ok, here is where I really think you’ve misunderstood the scenario.

The scene does appear evenly lit to the human eye when you are standing there. That’s because of how our brain interprets things for us when we are looking at something with wide variations in dynamic range. Having stood in that very spot, I will tell you that with 100% certainty no one standing there would see the scene in the way you have presented it (which incidentally is not that far off from the lower of the bracketed exposures).

Think of another example that probably every photographer has come across. You’re inside a house, and shooting something outside a window. If you properly expose for the scene outside the window, everything inside of your house will seem black. When you look outside a window with your eyes, does everything inside your bedroom suddenly go suddenly black? No, of course not. The camera’s sensor will see things that way, but the human eye (or more accurately, the human brain’s reconstruction of the information coming from the eye) will not.

This is the reason why architects hire professional photographers….to get the scene to look the same in the photo as it does to the human eye. And in a lot of circumstances (such as this one here) the camera cannot record the scene that way in a single exposure.

As far as National Geographic goes...are you saying you’ve never seen a Nat Geo photo in which the photographer used fill flash to even out the illumination in the scene? You've never heard about them using graduated neutral density filters to change the way the light is transmitted to the camera? Exposure blending may be a relatively new technique in the digital age, but the goal it’s used for--evening out illumination so a scene looks more natural to a camera--is a principle that’s been around a long time in photography.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 03, 2013, 04:54:24 PM
3 words:

Black Card Technique

http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/ (http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/)

You can get all the DR your little crazy hearts desire.

I'm curious why this is better than a GND. Effectively, by shaking a black card in front of the camera, covering the brighter regions of the scene, one is doing the same thing as a GND. We are probably talking a GND 1.2, maybe a 1.5, but still...same general effect, and its the tried and true method people have been using for decades.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 03, 2013, 05:00:14 PM
@art_d, @TrumpetPower:

One thing that should be pointed out regarding the shadow recovery of the D800. While it IS amazing, and there is no question it is extremely amazing...there are also limits to it. The photo you guys have been discussing is all gray, so one key factor about extreme shadow lifting is being lost: color fidelity. The D800 would probably be capable of capturing that prison shot in a single exposure, and some clever shadow recovery and curves work in post would create the scene as art_d (or his customer) want's it to look. But lacking any real color, you wouldn't run into the issue of color fidelity.

If you try to take such extreme photos when there IS color, especially richer colors, you will lose a lot of that fidelity in the shadows with the D800. An HDR shot, on the other hand, especially if you use more than 3 exposures and more carefully bracket your shot to gather as much color information as possible even in the deep shadows...you can get a much more color rich or color accurate result with HDR than with a single-shot from a D800. Obviously, you could bracket and blend an HDR with the D800 as well, and it will still do a better job than the D800 thanks to it's low noise.

The point, though, is that you have to chose the workflow that will meet your needs entirely. It may not always be the case that you are shooting a dull, flat, gray room with no color. The additional hassles required with an HDR workflow may still be necessary even with a D800 if you require better color fidelity in those lifted shadows.  The D800 would still be a benefit...its shadows are near noiseless...but the benefit of a simpler workflow may not always be guaranteed.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: pdirestajr on April 03, 2013, 05:26:31 PM
3 words:

Black Card Technique

http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/ (http://www.flickr.com/groups/blackcard/)

You can get all the DR your little crazy hearts desire.

I'm curious why this is better than a GND. Effectively, by shaking a black card in front of the camera, covering the brighter regions of the scene, one is doing the same thing as a GND. We are probably talking a GND 1.2, maybe a 1.5, but still...same general effect, and its the tried and true method people have been using for decades.

I've never actually used this technique (don't really do landscapes photography). It is just interesting to me. I'm assuming it would be better than a GND when shooting unique landscapes that don't have clean horizon lines or gradual exposure differences. It looks like it is kinda like dodging & burning in the darkroom, but during a long exposure right on the sensor.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RS2021 on April 03, 2013, 07:51:44 PM
I am intrigued by blackcard approach...but if I were to guess, a very long exposure of sweeping vistas and swaying foliage may not be all that sharp with blackcard approaches... it would appear to me that quick successive HDR with less total time might be just as good if not better. A disclaimer, I am not a landscape nor HDR maven, so no bias here. Just thinking out loud.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 03, 2013, 08:16:37 PM
Yes, but don’t you think it would seem a little unprofessional to deliver a disc full of images to a client and then single out one image and tell them “Oh, by the way, image #XXXX might look a little crappy on your monitior but it will be fine as long as you don’t print it bigger than 8x10….”?

Well, now you're talking not about delivering prints, but about delivering images the client expects to pixel peep. In effect, your client is asking you for 38" x 57" prints suitable for viewing at a distance of 12". That's something entirely different, and not generally something one expects to deliver from 135 format, regardless of the brand -- even if you can pull it off.

Honestly, I don't have a lot of sympathy. If your client is expecting shove-your-nose-in-it sharp and clean large gallery prints from every shot, you really should be shooting medium format -- and charging enough to pay for the gear and processing and time and what-not. That would also solve your dynamic range "problems," too.

More likely, you're not properly managing your clients's expectations properly and overselling what is reasonable to offer.

If you're successful at making Mercedes-quality products with Yugo-quality tooling, all the more power to you. But that's generally not how it's done, except perhaps when you're in the starving startup phase or if you're just an enthusiastic amateur. It's generally an unsustainable business model.

(I'll note: I'm right now in that world, myself. I'm doing some very demanding fine art reproduction, and with very good results. I'm pretty sure I'm getting better results than anybody else doing giclee work in the area, and that includes a major metropolitan area art museum. But the time and money it takes me to do what I do and with how long it's taken me to get where I am...well, if I didn't have a day job to pay for the bills along with this hobby, I'd long since have bankrupted myself.)

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The scene does appear evenly lit to the human eye when you are standing there. That’s because of how our brain interprets things for us when we are looking at something with wide variations in dynamic range. Having stood in that very spot, I will tell you that with 100% certainty no one standing there would see the scene in the way you have presented it (which incidentally is not that far off from the lower of the bracketed exposures).

I do believe that your certainty is rather misplaced.

Every trained visual artist I've met would have seen the scene as it was, with comparatively deep shadows on the catwalk and the tables brightly lit by the skylight. And that's because they've learned to see the world around them as it is.

It's the same skill that permits them to paint (or draw, whatever), for example, a 3/4 portrait without painting both ears. Had an inmate been standing in one of the doorways in 3/4 profile to the camera, you would have "seen" both ears in exactly the same way that you "saw" her well-lit.

An artist can, of course, choose how to render the scene. He might paint the inmate exactly as he saw her, with only one ear visible. He might paint the inmate looking straight out of the frame, with both ears visible. He might emulate Picasso and paint a 3/4 profile but with both ears showing. Similarly, he might render the light as it was with the tables much brighter than the catwalk, or he might render it as you "saw" it, as if you allowed your eyes time to adapt from the one illumination to the other.

It's also my experience that photographers tend to see the light the same way, and draw from their own bags of tricks for how to deal with it. Fix the light? Blend exposures? Filters? Digital fill? Regardless, they see that the one area is light and the other dark, even if they can squint at both and make out all the details and imagine what the final blended and equally-lit scene would look like.

And that's probably the biggest thing I'm missing from your prison shot: a sense that the lighting isn't equal throughout the whole room. I'd suggest that it's reasonable to lift the shadows to make it easier to see the detail in them -- and, similarly, to tame the highlights. But what you've done is completely equalized the two, giving the sense that the whole room is as well-lit as an art gallery. Some difference in relative illumination would have been nice, but I'm not getting any.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on April 03, 2013, 09:33:24 PM
Comparing the door to the wall behind it, yeah, I would in casual discussion say the wall is light gray and the door is dark gray. We can get pedantic and debate how far below photographic middle gray these doors are and if that still allows them to be classified as lighter shadows or darker midtones. But I fail to see how that advances the discussion.

It makes quite a difference to the discussion. There's a huge difference between pushing near-blacks to deep shadows with detail, and pushing near-blacks to midtones. Going from Zone II to Zone III or Zone IV is no big deal. Going from Zone II to Zone VI, which is basically what you've done, is quite extreme.

It is utterly pedantic.

It's only extreme when the camera can't handle it!!





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But if it was for any form of reportage, I'd say you overdid the HDR by making the whole scene perfectly evenly lit.

Even if the HDR looked closer to what the eye saw?

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From your other descriptions, the attached image is closer to how I think the scene would have appeared to somebody standing at the camera position. I'm pretty sure that National Geographic, for example, would reject your rendition in favor of one closer to the one below.

nonsense

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 03, 2013, 10:47:01 PM
Yes, but don’t you think it would seem a little unprofessional to deliver a disc full of images to a client and then single out one image and tell them “Oh, by the way, image #XXXX might look a little crappy on your monitior but it will be fine as long as you don’t print it bigger than 8x10….”?

Well, now you're talking not about delivering prints, but about delivering images the client expects to pixel peep. In effect, your client is asking you for 38" x 57" prints suitable for viewing at a distance of 12". That's something entirely different, and not generally something one expects to deliver from 135 format, regardless of the brand -- even if you can pull it off.

Honestly, I don't have a lot of sympathy. If your client is expecting shove-your-nose-in-it sharp and clean large gallery prints from every shot, you really should be shooting medium format -- and charging enough to pay for the gear and processing and time and what-not. That would also solve your dynamic range "problems," too.

More likely, you're not properly managing your clients's expectations properly and overselling what is reasonable to offer.

If you're successful at making Mercedes-quality products with Yugo-quality tooling, all the more power to you. But that's generally not how it's done, except perhaps when you're in the starving startup phase or if you're just an enthusiastic amateur. It's generally an unsustainable business model.

(I'll note: I'm right now in that world, myself. I'm doing some very demanding fine art reproduction, and with very good results. I'm pretty sure I'm getting better results than anybody else doing giclee work in the area, and that includes a major metropolitan area art museum. But the time and money it takes me to do what I do and with how long it's taken me to get where I am...well, if I didn't have a day job to pay for the bills along with this hobby, I'd long since have bankrupted myself.)

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The scene does appear evenly lit to the human eye when you are standing there. That’s because of how our brain interprets things for us when we are looking at something with wide variations in dynamic range. Having stood in that very spot, I will tell you that with 100% certainty no one standing there would see the scene in the way you have presented it (which incidentally is not that far off from the lower of the bracketed exposures).

I do believe that your certainty is rather misplaced.

Every trained visual artist I've met would have seen the scene as it was, with comparatively deep shadows on the catwalk and the tables brightly lit by the skylight. And that's because they've learned to see the world around them as it is.

It's the same skill that permits them to paint (or draw, whatever), for example, a 3/4 portrait without painting both ears. Had an inmate been standing in one of the doorways in 3/4 profile to the camera, you would have "seen" both ears in exactly the same way that you "saw" her well-lit.

An artist can, of course, choose how to render the scene. He might paint the inmate exactly as he saw her, with only one ear visible. He might paint the inmate looking straight out of the frame, with both ears visible. He might emulate Picasso and paint a 3/4 profile but with both ears showing. Similarly, he might render the light as it was with the tables much brighter than the catwalk, or he might render it as you "saw" it, as if you allowed your eyes time to adapt from the one illumination to the other.

It's also my experience that photographers tend to see the light the same way, and draw from their own bags of tricks for how to deal with it. Fix the light? Blend exposures? Filters? Digital fill? Regardless, they see that the one area is light and the other dark, even if they can squint at both and make out all the details and imagine what the final blended and equally-lit scene would look like.

And that's probably the biggest thing I'm missing from your prison shot: a sense that the lighting isn't equal throughout the whole room. I'd suggest that it's reasonable to lift the shadows to make it easier to see the detail in them -- and, similarly, to tame the highlights. But what you've done is completely equalized the two, giving the sense that the whole room is as well-lit as an art gallery. Some difference in relative illumination would have been nice, but I'm not getting any.

Cheers,

b&

Your fatal flaw, here, Trumpet is that you assume you actually know what the scene looked like to the human eye. Art_d was actually THERE. HE knows. You can only make assumptions, speculate, and hypothesize...but that is no replacement for actually being there. I think Art's rendition of the scene is better...it looks more accurate to me, and I am an artist. I think there is plenty of relative difference in "illumination" throughout the scene. Keep in mind, this is a rather bland, flat room with higher key gray walls. That is a bonanza for diffuse indirect lighting. The bright skylight is pumping in a ton of bright sunlight, which is going to diffuse off the floor and walls and bounce around the room GREATLY affecting the shadows. I wouldn't expect there to be much in the way of deep, dark shadows in such a room...not to the human eye anyway.

I spend a lot of time pondering the eye...its an amazing device, and I frequently am amazed at how much brighter shadows look to my eye than to my camera. There are often times when I'm watching a bird, and the scene looks well lit to me. When I take a photo, I'm sometimes surprised at near-black shadows, which looked nothing of the sort to my eyes. There is no apples to apples comparison of how the eye sees and how a camera sees. Dynamic range with an electronic sensor is RAW "input". What we as humans see is the result of the raw input to the eye being processed by our brains. Ironically, the brain is a high speed, continuous, adapting HDR processor that works off of a circular buffer of around 500 "frames" to produce the amazing DR we can see. Any single one of those frames, if we could see them in isolation, would probably be inferior to anything a modern DSLR could produce, D800 or 5D III. Having more DR means our post processing engines, which might be something like Lightroom or might be DPP + PS6 or something else, have more to work with to reproduce a more "human vision like" result. If replicating what the eye sees in high dynamic range scenes is your goal, then the D800 is a better tool.

If I was standing in that room, I wouldn't expect the shadowed part of the doors to be deeper in shadow. I think they would look very much like Art_d rendered them. The only real difference, I think, would be the skylight. I think my eyes would be more capable of seeing the skylight for what it was, rather than as a blotch of overexposed whites. However, again...it's all just speculation. The only one of us who knows for sure is Art_d, as he is the only one who was actually there and can actually remember what it looked like to the human eye.

I think you are applying an archaic system for evaluating exposure, the Zone system, in an environment when our ability to meter and expose is vastly superior. I have long thought that many of Ansel Adams photos had shadows that were far too deep, contrast that was too stark, which looked unrealistic, more surrealistic, and could have stood to be lightened to bring out some of the detail that most certainly existed there. Ansel's approach to photography, while amazing for his time given the limitations they HAD to deal with back then, no longer really applies these days. We are not working in an analog medium that effectively fixes in an exposure, and we do not have the same kinds of limitations when it came to adjusting and tuning exposure while developing the film that they did. Today, I think exposure has to be treated differently. We need to expose a scene such that we capture as much useful, workable INFORMATION as possible...rather than try to expose the scene correctly without the expectation that we will work it in post. With digital RAW, it is less about getting it right strait out of camera, as it is capturing enough information to make it right in the end. Ultimately, its all about the histogram today, and less about zones. Push the right-hand end of the histogram as far into the right-most end of the histogram display as you can without clipping highlights, then pull back ever so slightly to preserve highlight fidelity...and THAT is a proper exposure with a digital sensor. You are then free to push and pull that exposure as much as you need and as much as you can to replicate the original scene as it appeared to human eyes.

In that respect, any high end DSLR today is an amazing tool that offers astounding dynamic range, while also offering incredible resolution, excellent color reproduction, and amazing flexibility. When it comes to low ISO DR and low ISO shadow noise, the D800 is a better tool than the 5D III. The thing people sometimes forget is that does not make the 5D III a "bad" or "insufficient" tool. Less capable, which sometimes puts an additional burden on the photographer (reducing burden is what technological progress is all about, right), but still paramount to what photographers were working with only a decade ago, and incomparably better compared to what Ansel Adams and Fred Archer had to work with in the 40s.

As for the ability to print...I think you are gravely underestimating the capabilities of a high resolution digital sensor these days. The D800 could easily be blown up to 40x60 and still look fantastic! No one views anything that large from a foot! That's just more wild speculation and unfounded assumption. You *can* draw viewers in closer with key subject loci, but for the most part, people stand back and view the whole image. You aren't going to have problems with nose grease from people "pixel peeping" a 40x60 print.

As for dynamic range problems in print...well, MFD isn't going to help you much there. I've seen videos where current-generation MFD cameras are pushed and pulled in comparison to a D800. The D800 stomps all over them. Not only that, when you push around the shadows from something like a Hasselblad, you have similar NASTY noise, with FPN and banding, to what you get out of a Canon camera! The once-legendary DR of MFD has also been surpassed by the D800. The only area where they seem to do better is in the color fidelity of the highlights. The D800 starts to break down and you get posterization and a loss of fidelity when recovering extreme near-blown highlights. MFD highlights recover cleanly, without any error, or with so little that you can't see it. However, you can just under-expose a bit with the D800, and pull up those shadows, and you wouldn't have the problem in the first place. Even though color fidelity in the D800 shadows won't be great, it is still a hell of a lot better than either a Canon 5D III or any MFD.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 03, 2013, 11:18:01 PM
Your fatal flaw, here, Trumpet is that you assume you actually know what the scene looked like to the human eye. Art_d was actually THERE. HE knows.

Yes. And my assumptions are based solely off of his description. Specifically:

Quote from: art_d
The common area on the first floor is illuminated by a skylight. The dark gray cell doors on the second level have no lighting on them at all. Exposing correctly for the highlights in this scene severly underexposes the doors. There is no way to set up any additional lighting. Lifting the shadows on the doors in post leads to very obvious pattern noise on the doors. The eventual solution is blending multiple exposures. If this had been shot with an Exmor sensor simply lifting the shadows in a single exposure would not have been a problem.

Yet, in Art's rendition, the catwalk appears to have the exact same amount of illumination as the rest of the room.

Quote from: jrista
I think you are applying an archaic system for evaluating exposure, the Zone system, in an environment when our ability to meter and expose is vastly superior.

You apparently completely missed the whole point of the Zone System, which has very little to do with the camera and everything to do with the print.

And today's printing technology, though quite amazing, has basically the same dynamic range as what Adams had to work with, give or take. And I do mean that -- some of the papers I print on have significantly less dynamic range than Adams had available to him, and some a bit more.

The Zone System is all about capturing your image without regard to the capture technology except to maximize the quality in the print. And, yes, if it was your intention to place the frontmost door in Zone IV and the back wall in Zone VII as Art did, then you need an exposure for those parts of the scene that maximizes their image quality. With a modern DSLR -- any modern DSLR -- you're not going to get an optimal exposure for that bright a rendition of that part of the scene that doesn't also completely blow out the near-specular highlights of the metal tables. Similarly, any exposure that will be optimal for those tables will result in a very dark rendition for the catwalk. Even in the film days, if you tried to lift that exposure by that much, the grain would be every bit as distracting as digital noise.

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I have long thought that many of Ansel Adams photos had shadows that were far too deep, contrast that was too stark, which looked unrealistic, more surrealistic, and could have stood to be lightened to bring out some of the detail that most certainly existed there.

Much of his work was done midday. You're used to Golden Hour landscape photography. It's been many years since I've been to Yosemite, but his work certainly to me captures the mood of that valley at midday. Yes, he worked his negatives over with a rubber hose when making prints, but he captured the drama I remember.

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As for the ability to print...I think you are gravely underestimating the capabilities of a high resolution digital sensor these days. The D800 could easily be blown up to 40x60 and still look fantastic!

Of course it could. Duh. Many billboards and tractor-trailer wraps have been shot with less-than-ten megapickle APS-C cameras, and those images look fantastic, too.

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No one views anything that large from a foot!

But there's the rub. When Art delivers his files to his clients and they pixel peep them, that's exactly what they're doing. They're viewing a roughly 12" x 18" crop (give or take) of a five-foot-by-eight-foot print from a foot away. Insane.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 03, 2013, 11:46:00 PM
Your fatal flaw, here, Trumpet is that you assume you actually know what the scene looked like to the human eye. Art_d was actually THERE. HE knows.

Yes. And my assumptions are based solely off of his description. Specifically:

Quote from: art_d
The common area on the first floor is illuminated by a skylight. The dark gray cell doors on the second level have no lighting on them at all. Exposing correctly for the highlights in this scene severly underexposes the doors. There is no way to set up any additional lighting. Lifting the shadows on the doors in post leads to very obvious pattern noise on the doors. The eventual solution is blending multiple exposures. If this had been shot with an Exmor sensor simply lifting the shadows in a single exposure would not have been a problem.

Yet, in Art's rendition, the catwalk appears to have the exact same amount of illumination as the rest of the room.

He meant no direct lighting. It is not possible to have no lighting of any kind whatsoever on those doors with a room like that. As I said, you are going to have a hell of a lot of diffuse bounce, which is going to GREATLY increase the overall ambient illumination of the room as a whole.

Quote from: jrista
I think you are applying an archaic system for evaluating exposure, the Zone system, in an environment when our ability to meter and expose is vastly superior.

You apparently completely missed the whole point of the Zone System, which has very little to do with the camera and everything to do with the print.

And today's printing technology, though quite amazing, has basically the same dynamic range as what Adams had to work with, give or take. And I do mean that -- some of the papers I print on have significantly less dynamic range than Adams had available to him, and some a bit more.

The Zone System is all about capturing your image without regard to the capture technology except to maximize the quality in the print. And, yes, if it was your intention to place the frontmost door in Zone IV and the back wall in Zone VII as Art did, then you need an exposure for those parts of the scene that maximizes their image quality. With a modern DSLR -- any modern DSLR -- you're not going to get an optimal exposure for that bright a rendition of that part of the scene that doesn't also completely blow out the near-specular highlights of the metal tables. Similarly, any exposure that will be optimal for those tables will result in a very dark rendition for the catwalk. Even in the film days, if you tried to lift that exposure by that much, the grain would be every bit as distracting as digital noise.

Sorry, you are still assuming and still misunderstanding. Your still thinking that what you capture cannot be modified in post, or at least not modified as extensively as we can today with digital and RAW. We don't NEED the zone system to support quality prints. Most of Ansel's prints were CONTACT PRINTS. He didn't do much in the way of "post processing", so he needed a system that would allow him to capture the scene as he intended its final output to look. It's all about final output. In Adam's day, you needed to meter and measure your scene in order to capture something that would contact print appropriately, all in an analog and physical system.

Today, it is not about zones...its about quantity and quality of information. Damn the zones, you can push and pull your exposure, in whole or in part, just the highlights, just the shadows, just the midtones, or any variation thereof, to your hearts content with a digital RAW image. You can put any input level (input zone) at almost any output level (output zone) that you want, and achieve the kind of print you want, with minimal effort relative to what used to be done with chemicals and photographic papers in a darkroom 70 years ago. If you push things around too much, you might encounter noise. Depending on the equipment, that noise might be acceptable or unacceptable. Depending on the software you have at your disposal, it may not matter if the noise is acceptable or not, you might just be able to clean it right up and keep on pushing. Either way...its not about the zone anymore, and not necessarily even about whether the in-camera exposure is correct...its about the quantity and quality of information.

It doesn't even matter if you are printing...DR in any output medium is going to be more limited than the input medium. The "average" print is 5-6 stops of DR. A print on very high quality paper with high dMax and excellent L* might be 7 stops. I've used a couple papers that could probably eek out even more than that with OBAs. The average viewers computer screen is 8 stops. Only the top-end, properly calibrated computer screens with a hardware LUT of at least 12 bits are going to approach the kind of dynamic range and color fidelity we get from our input devices...our digital cameras and RAW images. It is a very rare photographer who has as 12-16 bit screen and the hardware to properly power it, thus enabling them to render their photography as it really is. So it's moot to complain that modern print is still in the same ballpark as photographic prints from 50, 70, even 100 years ago.

One way or another, your still compressing a large quantity of information into a smaller space. Back in the day, that information was largely rigid analog data baked into a physical medium. Today, that information is very fluid, stored in a flexible, virtual medium, and it needs to be treated as such.

Quote
I have long thought that many of Ansel Adams photos had shadows that were far too deep, contrast that was too stark, which looked unrealistic, more surrealistic, and could have stood to be lightened to bring out some of the detail that most certainly existed there.

Much of his work was done midday. You're used to Golden Hour landscape photography. It's been many years since I've been to Yosemite, but his work certainly to me captures the mood of that valley at midday. Yes, he worked his negatives over with a rubber hose when making prints, but he captured the drama I remember.

Again, assumptions. How the hell do you know WHAT I'm "used to"? You don't know anything about me, nor my work, or the times of day I tend to photograph, or even what subjects I tend to photograph! You don't just assume...you FRICKIN ASSUME, and make a wild A*S*S of yourself in the process. You really gotta stop assuming you know things about people you know nothing about! :P

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No one views anything that large from a foot!

But there's the rub. When Art delivers his files to his clients and they pixel peep them, that's exactly what they're doing. They're viewing a roughly 12" x 18" crop (give or take) of a five-foot-by-eight-foot print from a foot away. Insane.

Cheers,

b&

Again, your assuming here... How do you know what kind of crop they are viewing? You have no idea what they are viewing, or how they might view it! Pure assumption! And thus, pure balderdash!

I don't know about your clients, but the people who view my photography, in print or on a computer screen, tend to stand or sit back and take it all in as a whole...not stand within inches and "peep". Even those who are buying my work...its about the scene, not the pixels. It's about the subject, not the pixels. Even the keen eye of other artists have never complained about my pixels.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 12:41:30 AM
Most of Ansel's prints were CONTACT PRINTS.

I'm sorry, but I can't have a polite discussion with somebody so brazenly misinformed about the life's work of the most famous landscape photographer of all time. Your statement is as insanely ludicrous as if you had written something about Ford's dedication to himself personally handcrafting each Model A his company made.

Perhaps unsurprising, the rest of your post is just as off-the-wall. Right there at the end, for example, you demonstrate that you know nothing of the dimensions of a computer display -- a device that you were presumably looking at as you typed the post.

There's nothing left to be productive of this conversation. Have the last word, if you like.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 04, 2013, 11:03:06 AM
Most of Ansel's prints were CONTACT PRINTS.

I'm sorry, but I can't have a polite discussion with somebody so brazenly misinformed about the life's work of the most famous landscape photographer of all time. Your statement is as insanely ludicrous as if you had written something about Ford's dedication to himself personally handcrafting each Model A his company made.

Perhaps unsurprising, the rest of your post is just as off-the-wall. Right there at the end, for example, you demonstrate that you know nothing of the dimensions of a computer display -- a device that you were presumably looking at as you typed the post.

There's nothing left to be productive of this conversation. Have the last word, if you like.

Cheers,

b&

You'll have to do better than tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. I know Ansel did print enlargements, but he also frequently shot with an 8x10 large format camera off the top of his car, and contact printed the film.

Computer display dimensions and densities are arbitrary. I have a 30" screen with 103ppi, a tablet with 190ppi, and a phone with 330ppi. I have friends with 10" and 7" tablet screens, ranging from anywhere from 140ppi to 260ppi. There are thousands of computer displays, ranging in size and pixel density from 13" to 30" and 72ppi to ~110ppi (or even more, in the case of Retina displays). You want to make some more assumptions about what Art_d's customer used to view and critique his work? Was it a large computer display with a hardware LUT? Or was it on an iPad with a Retina display? Would it matter from a pixel peeping standpoint? What exactly am I missing when it comes to "knowing nothing of the dimensions of a computer display"?

The productivity in the conversation was lost when you started making wild assumptions about everyone involved or peripherally related. You assume you know what the actual scene looked like in person. You assumed you understood the nature of the lighting in the room. You assumed you knew what Art_d's customers wanted, expected, or even how they would preview and nit-pick his work! You assume a lot! There is still plenty of valid points to discuss involving human perception, dynamic range, the application of the Zone System to modern digital photography, etc. and the discussion could be had if you based your points on facts and logic rather than assumption.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 11:26:04 AM
Well, now you're talking not about delivering prints, but about delivering images the client expects to pixel peep. In effect, your client is asking you for 38" x 57" prints suitable for viewing at a distance of 12".
No. I am talking about delivering files for the client with a uniformity of quality.

I have no idea where you have pulled this crazy number from. I deliver files to the clients at native resolution of the camera. I would remind you that at 300ppi, the native resolution of an uncropped  5DII image prints at 12.48x18.72 inches.

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More likely, you're not properly managing your clients's expectations properly and overselling what is reasonable to offer.
Neither. I explain to the client what they can expect, and then I meet those expectations.

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I do believe that your certainty is rather misplaced.
I am really baffled that you want to keep debating me on this point given that you weren’t there and I was. Do you think I am lying, or that my eyes just operate differently from normal human eyes?

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Every trained visual artist I've met would have seen the scene as it was, with comparatively deep shadows on the catwalk and the tables brightly lit by the skylight. And that's because they've learned to see the world around them as it is.
This statement makes no sense. Everyone sees the world around them as it is (presuming they don’t have the misfortune of impaired vision). A visual artist does not perceive black shadows where none exist…which is what you seem to be saying they would see here.

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An artist can, of course, choose how to render the scene. He might paint the inmate exactly as he saw her, with only one ear visible. He might paint the inmate looking straight out of the frame, with both ears visible. He might emulate Picasso and paint a 3/4 profile but with both ears showing. Similarly, he might render the light as it was with the tables much brighter than the catwalk, or he might render it as you "saw" it, as if you allowed your eyes time to adapt from the one illumination to the other.
There is not a time gap to adapt from one illumination to the next. Your eyes and brain are doing this instantly. We are not talking about walking out of a pitch black room into bright sunlight.

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It's also my experience that photographers tend to see the light the same way, and draw from their own bags of tricks for how to deal with it. Fix the light? Blend exposures? Filters? Digital fill? Regardless, they see that the one area is light and the other dark, even if they can squint at both and make out all the details and imagine what the final blended and equally-lit scene would look like.
Squint? There was no need to squint in this scene. There is no need to “imagine” it because the eyes are already seeing it as it needs to be.

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And that's probably the biggest thing I'm missing from your prison shot: a sense that the lighting isn't equal throughout the whole room. I'd suggest that it's reasonable to lift the shadows to make it easier to see the detail in them -- and, similarly, to tame the highlights. But what you've done is completely equalized the two, giving the sense that the whole room is as well-lit as an art gallery. Some difference in relative illumination would have been nice, but I'm not getting any.
That’s because this photograph is not supposed to show a difference in illumination, because the eye dos not perceive it. Since the invention of photography, photographers have been using different methods to manipulate exposures and equalize illumination in a scene so it looks natural. Yes, they have even been doing this in National Geographic. Because the thing that photographers understand is there is the inherent inability of a camera to capture illumination differences the way the human eye perceives them. In other words, the camera has a dynamic range limitation. Which is what we’ve been talking about all along. You seem to be quite insistent that the human eye has the same dynamic range limitations as a camera.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 11:50:32 AM
Yes. And my assumptions are based solely off of his description. Specifically:

Quote from: art_d
The common area on the first floor is illuminated by a skylight. The dark gray cell doors on the second level have no lighting on them at all. Exposing correctly for the highlights in this scene severly underexposes the doors. There is no way to set up any additional lighting. Lifting the shadows on the doors in post leads to very obvious pattern noise on the doors. The eventual solution is blending multiple exposures. If this had been shot with an Exmor sensor simply lifting the shadows in a single exposure would not have been a problem.

Yet, in Art's rendition, the catwalk appears to have the exact same amount of illumination as the rest of the room.

TrumptPower, here are the issues you keep conflating:

The illumination description of mine you have quoted is relevant to how the camera records the scene due to dynamic range limitations of the sensor.

That is different from how an actual person standing in that spot perceives the illumination of the scene.

Because the human eye does not perceive dynamic range limitations the way the camera does.

If you still don’t believe me, do this experiment:

On a sunny day, look out a window. Does the inside of your room suddenly go black?

Now try taking a picture with a camera. Tell me if in a single exposure you are able to not blow out the highlights in the window, and not have everything in the room severely underexposed. Tell me if that photo comes out the way your eye perceives the scene.

If human vision perceived dynamic range limitations the way you are suggesting, we would not be able to walk around in rooms with windows because we wouldn’t be able to see the furniture in front of us.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 12:25:12 PM
On a sunny day, look out a window. Does the inside of your room suddenly go black?

Have you ever done that experiment, yourself?

Really done it?

Because what you'd know if you had is that, yes, when you're intently looking out the window well enough to see all the detail out there, if you keep your eyes pointed in that same direction and observe your room with your peripheral vision, yes, your room is very dark indeed. And when you move your gaze back to the inside of the room, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust. After they adjust, the room looks very normal, but it's impossible to perceive anything but a lot of brightness out the window. And if you keep switching your perception from the one to the other, you'll see that the room is quite dark but you have a good idea of what it looks like, and that the outside is quite bright but you still have a good idea of what it looks like.

I'm sitting inside right now. The lights are off but I've got a lot of windows and a skylight, so the illumination is pretty good and even inside. Not bright, but it has a feeling of very comfortable open shade. One far corner isn't quite as well lit. Plenty of light to read comfortably, but noticeably darker. Right next to it is a window. There's a thin high overcast, so the sky is a very bright white.

And it's exactly as I just described.

If I was going to photograph the scene, I'd render the room a bit on the dim side -- no more than a stop underexposed, probably just a half a stop. I'd let the far corner go on the dark side, probably about two stops underexposed. And I'd tame the outside to the bottom end of Zone VIII -- it'd be very bright, but not so bright that all detail was lost (though certainly a fair amount would go to not much more than slightly textured tone). And I'd let some of the blacks in that far corner block up -- even when I'm looking directly at them from where I'm sitting with the bright window blocked from view, I still can't see anything more than a suggestion of texture in, say, the underside of a Canon battery charger.

If it was the other way 'round, if I was outside looking in, I'd turn all that upside-down. The outside I'd render basically normally but maybe a touch on the bright side, and I wouldn't try to lift the inside above Zone III.

That's if I was going for a documentary type of rendition.

If I wanted something for a real estate agent's brochure to sell the place...well, then I'd probably be fixing the light, first. I'd probably start by actually turning on the lights, for one, and maybe add some strategic flash. Only if that wasn't an option or still not enough would I start mucking around with digital fill flash -- and, even then, the goal would be compression of dynamic range, not the elimination of it.

That's probably my biggest pet peeve with a lot of the HDR photography I see out there today. Even the stuff that's not tonemapped tends to be so heavy-handed as to make it look like there were invisible floating softboxes everywhere. Your prison scene is a perfect example.

The world doesn't look like there are invisible floating softboxes everywhere. And, yes -- there is a time and a place where it's most appropriate to turn a photographic representation of a scene into a magical faeryland with invisible floating softboxes everywhere. But why does every photo have to look like that? What's worng with simply and accurately representing what you actually saw? Why can't our photographs have the well-lit areas be brighter and the shadowed areas be darker?

And, you know, there's another advantage to a light touch with the reprocessing. When the light is magical, the results from a light touch are far more wonderful to what you get from digitally fiddling with a scene with bad light.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 01:08:02 PM
On a sunny day, look out a window. Does the inside of your room suddenly go black?

Have you ever done that experiment, yourself?

Really done it?
Really done it? As opposed to fake done it?

Sure. I did it just now. I am happy to report that when I looked out the window my room DID NOT go black.

I am not talking about staring out a window into brightness and only being able to see anything in the room with peripheral vision. I am talking about direct line of sight. Looking outside a window, you can still see stuff in the room. That is not how a camera would reproduce the scene. I am easily able to perceive what is going on outside my window and still be able to walk around inside without bumping into any furniture. In my house, my door is right next to my window. I can look out my window, see someone coming up to my door, and I can walk over to the door and see the doorknob just fine without having to wait around for my eyes to adjust.
 
Here’s another example. Say you are driving your car on a bright sunny day. Have you never glanced down at your speedometer? Or your fuel gauge? Or you radio? By your suggestion, we should not be to read our gauges without waiting. In reality, our vision compensates and we can switch between looking out the windshield and looking at our gauges with no problems.

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That's probably my biggest pet peeve with a lot of the HDR photography I see out there today. Even the stuff that's not tonemapped tends to be so heavy-handed as to make it look like there were invisible floating softboxes everywhere. Your prison scene is a perfect example.
That’s a first. Up until this day I have never heard a commercial photo of mine referred to as “heavy handed.”

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The world doesn't look like there are invisible floating softboxes everywhere. And, yes -- there is a time and a place where it's most appropriate to turn a photographic representation of a scene into a magical faeryland with invisible floating softboxes everywhere. But why does every photo have to look like that? What's worng with simply and accurately representing what you actually saw? Why can't our photographs have the well-lit areas be brighter and the shadowed areas be darker?
In order to accurately represent what was seen, you have to compensate for the fact that the camera doesn’t see it that way. The camera sensor has limitations that human perception doesn’t. How many more ways can this be explained?

What you are proposing is that photos should be presented the way the sensor records it, not the way a person actually perceives it.

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And, you know, there's another advantage to a light touch with the reprocessing. When the light is magical, the results from a light touch are far more wonderful to what you get from digitally fiddling with a scene with bad light.
 
There is no such thing as bad light. Just bad exposure.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 04, 2013, 02:42:14 PM
Oooooh, art_d, that last paragraph of yours is sooooooo wrong.

From a picture point of view, not just photography, the lighting is a fundamental part of the picture, irrespective of how you might expose it in photography.

Go and look at some paintings produced by really great artist and then tell me they are not all about the light.

And by the way, your eyes don't see, your brain does.


Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 02:49:45 PM
Oooooh, art_d, that last paragraph of yours is sooooooo wrong.

From a picture point of view, not just photography, the lighting is a fundamental part of the picture, irrespective of how you might expose it in photography.

Go and look at some paintings produced by really great artist and then tell me they are not all about the light.
Of course it is fundamental. You can't make a picture without it.

Light is light. There can be a little or a lot of it. But neither is good or bad. It is how we utilize it that is good or bad.

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And by the way, your eyes don't see, your brain does.
Yes. I said that at the beginning of this part of the dialogue (somewhere around page 4).
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 04:47:31 PM
Oooooh, art_d, that last paragraph of yours is sooooooo wrong.

From a picture point of view, not just photography, the lighting is a fundamental part of the picture, irrespective of how you might expose it in photography.

Go and look at some paintings produced by really great artist and then tell me they are not all about the light.

And by the way, your eyes don't see, your brain does.

I gotta agree with Sporgon here, and it really goes to the heart of the matter.

It's all about the light.

Period, full stop, end of story.

The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light? That way Elvis portraits on black velvet lies.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 05:02:16 PM
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 05:04:52 PM
Looking outside a window, you can still see stuff in the room.

Actually, you can't. I do believe it's a common undergraduate psychology lab experiment to have a subject close her eyes, have the experimenter re-arrange the scene, have the subject open her eyes and look straight ahead at a well-lit scene, and be utterly unable to even vaguely describe what's off to the sides and not directly lit (but by no means in the dark) without directly looking at them.

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Say you are driving your car on a bright sunny day. Have you never glanced down at your speedometer? Or your fuel gauge? Or you radio? By your suggestion, we should not be to read our gauges without waiting.

First, they're typically rather well lit. Second, they're very high contrast. Third, they're very simple. Fourth, you know exactly what to expect.

Add that all up and it takes basically nothing to gather enough photons from the scene to interpret what's there.

Quote
There is no such thing as bad light. Just bad exposure.

Well, at least you've managed to clearly explain why you're not understanding anything I've been typing...not sure I can help you to understand, though, except to urge you to carefully and critically look at your surroundings and see what's there. Don't know what's there. See what's there.

You might also take some drawing and / or painting classes. A good teacher will truly open your eyes, and you'll never see the world the same way again.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 04, 2013, 05:13:20 PM
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 05:15:32 PM
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Well, it's very much a subjective thing, as with any other art form. And context is everything.

Think of it like pepper. Some dishes call for being literally encrusted in pepper. Some are perfect with one turn of the grinder and ruined with two turns.

Classically, good light is the Golden Hour for landscapes, and a large north-facing window in the Mediterranean for portraiture.

However, if I was making black-and-white pictures of an urban concrete jungle, I may very well opt for noonday Sun.

I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.

So, good light for landscapes generally is low and directional with lots of warm red and gold tones to it, at enough of an angle to create interesting shadows, and filtered enough that there's good balance between the shadowed and lit portions.

But, as I mentioned, that's for classic types of landscapes...if you want a very contrasty, graphic, harsh rendition of a scene, you want contrasty, graphic, harsh sunlight. I'm thinking here of a particular stereotype, such as a bleached skull on gravel with a cactus in the midground, and either a clear sky or a mostly clear sky with a couple large puffy white clouds.

Give me a few hours and I'll post an example or two....

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on April 04, 2013, 05:20:52 PM
Oooooh, art_d, that last paragraph of yours is sooooooo wrong.

From a picture point of view, not just photography, the lighting is a fundamental part of the picture, irrespective of how you might expose it in photography.

Go and look at some paintings produced by really great artist and then tell me they are not all about the light.

And by the way, your eyes don't see, your brain does.

I gotta agree with Sporgon here, and it really goes to the heart of the matter.

It's all about the light.

Period, full stop, end of story.

The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light? That way Elvis portraits on black velvet lies.

Cheers,

b&

And sometimes there is some pretty awesome light to be found in a high DR scene. Is the light in the scene good if you shoot it with one camera and suddenly 'terrible' light if you shoot it with a different camera?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on April 04, 2013, 05:25:20 PM
On a sunny day, look out a window. Does the inside of your room suddenly go black?

Have you ever done that experiment, yourself?

Really done it?

Because what you'd know if you had is that, yes, when you're intently looking out the window well enough to see all the detail out there, if you keep your eyes pointed in that same direction and observe your room with your peripheral vision, yes, your room is very dark indeed. And when you move your gaze back to the inside of the room, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust. After they adjust, the room looks very normal, but it's impossible to perceive anything but a lot of brightness out the window. And if you keep switching your perception from the one to the other, you'll see that the room is quite dark but you have a good idea of what it looks like, and that the outside is quite bright but you still have a good idea of what it looks like.

I'm sitting inside right now. The lights are off but I've got a lot of windows and a skylight, so the illumination is pretty good and even inside. Not bright, but it has a feeling of very comfortable open shade. One far corner isn't quite as well lit. Plenty of light to read comfortably, but noticeably darker. Right next to it is a window. There's a thin high overcast, so the sky is a very bright white.

And it's exactly as I just described.

If I was going to photograph the scene, I'd render the room a bit on the dim side -- no more than a stop underexposed, probably just a half a stop. I'd let the far corner go on the dark side, probably about two stops underexposed. And I'd tame the outside to the bottom end of Zone VIII -- it'd be very bright, but not so bright that all detail was lost (though certainly a fair amount would go to not much more than slightly textured tone). And I'd let some of the blacks in that far corner block up -- even when I'm looking directly at them from where I'm sitting with the bright window blocked from view, I still can't see anything more than a suggestion of texture in, say, the underside of a Canon battery charger.

If it was the other way 'round, if I was outside looking in, I'd turn all that upside-down. The outside I'd render basically normally but maybe a touch on the bright side, and I wouldn't try to lift the inside above Zone III.

That's if I was going for a documentary type of rendition.

If I wanted something for a real estate agent's brochure to sell the place...well, then I'd probably be fixing the light, first. I'd probably start by actually turning on the lights, for one, and maybe add some strategic flash. Only if that wasn't an option or still not enough would I start mucking around with digital fill flash -- and, even then, the goal would be compression of dynamic range, not the elimination of it.

That's probably my biggest pet peeve with a lot of the HDR photography I see out there today. Even the stuff that's not tonemapped tends to be so heavy-handed as to make it look like there were invisible floating softboxes everywhere. Your prison scene is a perfect example.

The world doesn't look like there are invisible floating softboxes everywhere. And, yes -- there is a time and a place where it's most appropriate to turn a photographic representation of a scene into a magical faeryland with invisible floating softboxes everywhere. But why does every photo have to look like that? What's worng with simply and accurately representing what you actually saw? Why can't our photographs have the well-lit areas be brighter and the shadowed areas be darker?

And, you know, there's another advantage to a light touch with the reprocessing. When the light is magical, the results from a light touch are far more wonderful to what you get from digitally fiddling with a scene with bad light.

Cheers,

b&

1. we are used to scanning scenes
2. even when you don't do that, I was just looking at a white sky with the sun really bright behind thin clouds and yet I could still see color and details on a cup I held out of my direct line of sight and the side of the cup I was looking at wasn't even getting any direct light. I shoot the scene and either the sky blows to pieces or the cup looks pitch black.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 05:53:26 PM
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.
Sure. Like I said, it is how we utilize light that is good or bad.

When you put a diffuser on a flash gun it is because you are looking to utilize light in a specific way. A diffuser is a great tool to help you achieve a specifiuc goal.

But does that mean light that comes from flash guns without diffusers is in and of itself "bad"?

I've seen plenty of good photos made with flash guns without diffusers. If it's "bad" light how would that be? Some photographers don't have a grasp of techniques for using high key light straight from a flash gun, and so a bad photo may result. But it's not the light's fault. It's the photographer's fault.

This is more of a philosophical point I take on photography. As photographers it is our job to know how to work with light. People are quick to say "oh you need good light to make a good photo." But that's just a cliche which I find very hollow. It's not the light that makes the photo good. It's what you as the photographer do with the light that makes it good.

But again, just a philosophical take....

:)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 06:03:55 PM
I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.
So by that definition a huge number of photographers are unwittingly taking photos in bad light. Anyone who has ever used a fill flash, a reflector, a graduated neutral density filter. Not only does that include myself and pretty much every interior photography job I've ever shot, but wedding photographers and photojournalists who use flash guns. And fashion photographers working in studios with strobes. And landsape photographers using graduated filters, and all those National Geographic photographers you imply would never do something so as to modify the light in their images.

Photography is at its very core about the manipulation of light.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 06:09:46 PM
I think, if I had to offer a concise and all-encompassing definition...good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create. Bad light is light which requires you to manipulate the image to represent your vision.
So by that definition a huge number of photographers are unwittingly taking photos in bad light.

Well, yes, actually.

Quote
Anyone who has ever used a fill flash, a reflector, a graduated neutral density filter.

*sigh*

You seem intentionally doing your hardest to miss the point spectacularly.

What, pray tell, do you think light modifiers do to light?

Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention. Most emphatically the opposite.

And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.

And, really. This is all like Photography 101 stuff. Do you really not know any of this, or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 06:13:53 PM
Looking outside a window, you can still see stuff in the room.

Actually, you can't. I do believe it's a common undergraduate psychology lab experiment to have a subject close her eyes, have the experimenter re-arrange the scene, have the subject open her eyes and look straight ahead at a well-lit scene, and be utterly unable to even vaguely describe what's off to the sides and not directly lit (but by no means in the dark) without directly looking at them.

Now we are getting somewhere. Because this gets to the core of the issue: percpetion. It's the brain which constructs a cohesive scene for us. It's what allows us to perceive a scenario with widely varying illumination as being more evenly illuminated. It's why we don't perceive a room as turning black whenever we look out a window.

This is the message I am trying to get across. The prison photo example, that is how a person standing there actually perceives the scene. To be a good photographer, you have to understand how human perception is different from what is actually recorded by a camera, when it is necessary to reconcile those differences, and how to do so when necessary.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 06:19:51 PM
And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.
So those are the only ways to "fix" the light? We were talking about evening out illumination in an interior scene, were we not? And as I recall, you were telling me it would be more appropriate to leave the scene as it appeared in a single exposure, with the murky shadows on one side, and not modify the lighting?

Let me repeat your definition:
Quote
good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create.

And in the next post you say:
Quote
Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention.
So I apologize if you think I'm being argumentative, but it may come across that way to you because I'm confused by what your're trying to say. First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 04, 2013, 07:42:39 PM
The scene is irrelevant; it's all about the light. Great light in a junkyard will make for awesome art. Bad light in formal gardens will generally make for bad art, unless you work with it to paint a picture of contrasts. And trying to shoot anything in bad light but make it look like good light?
Ok. Define "bad light" then.

Why do people put diffusers on flash guns ? After all it's just light.

So, are you claiming that without a diffuser on a flash, the light is "bad"? No! Light is light...again, HOW YOU USE that light is what matters. You may want diffuse light, you may want hard light. Most of the time how you control your continuous or flash light only matters when you have control over it. If you are intentionally working with NATURAL light...well, diffusers or snoots don't come into play at all. Light is light when your talking about entirely natural lighting...you shoot what's there.

You and Trumpet are really starting to mince words. That's not necessary. If we look at the facts of the discussion, the scene in question here was lit naturally by a skylight in the ceiling. The room was gray. A lot of naturally diffused bounced light. That light was neutral in color cast. Every large surface was some kind of middle-toned gray, so that diffuse bounce would have GREATLY increased the average ambient light level in the entire room. Flash was not involved, so questioning whether "light is light", and why someone might use a diffuser on their flash, is moot and irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 04, 2013, 08:06:28 PM
And I know that I've indicated that the solution to shooting in bad light is to fix the light, either with artificial lighting or by waiting for the right time of day or whatever.
So those are the only ways to "fix" the light? We were talking about evening out illumination in an interior scene, were we not? And as I recall, you were telling me it would be more appropriate to leave the scene as it appeared in a single exposure, with the murky shadows on one side, and not modify the lighting?

Let me repeat your definition:
Quote
good light is light which needs no modification to be rendered as you desire for the image you wish to create.

And in the next post you say:
Quote
Nothing says that the only good light is that which happens without human intervention.
So I apologize if you think I'm being argumentative, but it may come across that way to you because I'm confused by what your're trying to say. First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

His statements are not contradictory. Your taking them out of context. In the original context, "good light" referred to natural light. It may not have been explicitly qualified, but from the context of the discussion, "good light" obviously means good *natural* light.

The second statement, which came from a DIFFERENT context of a tangent of discussion that is largely irrelevant, adds the qualification that "good light", in the context of ALL LIGHTING, need not only be "natural"...good light can happen with human intervention, or without.

Again, mincing words here guys. You've derailed the conversation and taken it so far off topic that it is irrelevant to the original discussion. Lets stop taking things out of context, stop mincing words, and stop playing games.

Let's set the context of the discussion: The setting of Art_d's prison photo, and whether it was rendered "realistically", whether the shadow lift was "extreme". A stark, colorless, gray, room with a single primary light source (a skylight), and a small number of artificial light sources. The original as rendered by art_d was lower contrast, middle toned, without any deep shadows. The argument against was that Art_d's rendition required an "extreme" shadow lift, and thus invalid, and therefor not a mark against the 5D III. The argument for was that the rendition was accurate as far as replicating what human vision would have seen, and therefor a prime example of why the greater DR of the D800 is meaningful. The focal point of the debate is dynamic range, and whether a camera like the D800, which offers two more stops of DR over what the 5D III is capable of, has value when it comes to tuning the rendition of a RAW photo.

If we get back to the original discussion, the question is not whether light is light, or whether only natural light is real light, or why people might use a diffuser on their flash. Moot discussions. The question is whether Art_d rendered his scene accurately, and if so, does that mean more DR is a good thing. The question is NOT, or at least SHOULD NOT, be whether the increased DR of a camera like the D800 invalidates the 5D III, or means the 5D III is not a good camera, or that it does not offer good DR. Those, again, are all moot points.

Not everyone needs more DR, but some do. Not everyone who needs more DR always needs it. Even when someone HAS more DR, they may not necessarily be able to reduce the complexity of their workflow.

If the goal of the ARTIST, who in this case was Art_d, was to replicate in the final output image how a human would have seen that prison cell block, and it required a multi-shot HDR image to do so with the 5D III...then YES, the D800 offers something very valuable! If the artistic intend, which Trumpet you have said yourself is a subjective matter, was to lift deep shadows by four stops, then that is the artistic intent. If the intent was based on the memory of a room that was much brighter, with little shadows below a middle-toned gray, and the only person in this forum who actually HAS that memory says it is so, then it is so, and the rendition is accurate.

Assuming you, a party who was not present at the time the photo was hot, who has no information to go by other than the original photo itself as uploaded by Art_d, know better...well, rather arrogant...wouldn't you say? All these tangents about lighting (a factor which Art could not control without bringing in flash, and bringing in flash would not have solved his problem in a way that allowed him to achieve his artistic goals), customer expectations, screen resolution, print resolution or print size, sharpness, etc. are entirely based on assumption, and simply diversionary tactics. None of them have anything to do with the question:

Is more DR valuable? Is the 5D III incapable of getting the shot, in a single shot, as Art_d ENVISIONED IT, given that his vision was to replicate what he SAW while standing there? Does the use of HDR complicate a workflow, thus making a camera with more DR an exceptionally valuable tool when faced with a high dynamic range scene and a specific artistic vision?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 08:58:47 PM
First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

If you're modifying the light itself, the light after modification -- if you've done your job right -- is now good light.

But if you're doing your modifications to the art, the light is still bad. That could be an artist painting a high-contrast scene as a low-contrast scene, or a photographer digitally (or in the darkroom or whatever) reducing contrast, or whatever.

First, a digression. I'm attaching three pictures to this post. The first two are the digression; the third I'll discuss later.

The first attachment is perhaps the archetypal cheesy Internet dynamic range test -- shooting into a garden shed on a bright day. I used a 5DIII and a Shorty McForty. 1/250 @ f/8 @ ISO 100 -- less than a stop dimmer than Sunny f/16.

You'll notice that the inside of the shed is very dark. And, indeed, it's basically exactly as dark as it appeared from my position. That's because this is a colorimetric rendering of the scene...which is different from the way most RAW developers tend to render scenes.

You see, film has a characteristic S-shaped curve to it -- a curve that's not natively present in RAW digital exposures but that almost every RAW developer since the dawn of time has intentionally and painstakingly mimicked. That is, film always stretches the contrast in the midtones but compresses the contrast in the shadows and the highlights. That's just the chemistry and physics of how film works.

Photographers have generally liked that rendition, because it creates images with more "pop." But they've also, perhaps unknowingly, fought against it, because it's exactly that S-shaped curve that causes loss of shadow and highlight detail both. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all; if you increase contrast in one part of the image, it can only come at the expense of contrast in some other part of the image. Since it's generally the midtones that most people care about and don't mind a loss of detail in shadows and / or highlights, the default S-curve is often a good thing. But it's a real bitch to recover that shadow and highlight detail, especially after the S-curve has been applied, and doubly especially if you don't know that it exists. It can only be done by reducing the contrast in the midtones -- or, of course, by treating different parts of the image differently...and then you're left with an even bigger mess with the transition areas between those parts of the image. Adobe has worked some true magic with their RAW processors, but it's all done by hiding a lot of stuff under the rug. (Did I mention that there's no such thing as a free lunch?)

Anyway, with this colorimetric rendition of the shed, you can just barely pick out some texture in the interior, enough to guess at what's in there. And, from where I was standing, that's exactly what I was able to do: see just enough texture to guess at what I was seeing.

That brings us to the second picture. It's a 100% crop of the exact same RAW file, still a colorimetric rendition, but with four stops of digital push applied. And, surprise surprise! You can now easily see what those contents are -- just as if you were standing inside the shed itself. But, of course, the exterior is now vastly overblown.

I'll also note that I've here taken a four-stops-underexposed image and digitally pushed it. And not applied any noise reduction at all. If you've got any experience with these sorts of things, you should know that the noise that's there would clean up very easily and very well. Even if you didn't do anything to it, it wouldn't even be visible at anything less than a 12" x 18" print -- and even then, you'd have to look closely to see it and it wouldn't at all be objectionable.

Holy Cow! A Nikonista might exclaim. I must have used a D800! So little noise in shadows pushed four stops to a normalized exposure! No...I just exposed properly and I started with a colorimetric rendition.

That's where a lot of these problems come from. Photographers start doing whatever they do with the S-curve already applied, and the contrast in the shadows already flattened into mud. The detail was there...you're just trying to recover it after it's already been thrown away.

Enough of the diversion. Back to light.

There are, of course, times -- lots of times -- where you have no choice in the matter of the light. Sometimes, even, the extreme contrast is the whole point of the exercise and you've got no choice but to bracket and combine exposures to capture everything. I have an example of that here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12617.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12617.0)

That's as extreme an example as I can possibly imagine: a single image that includes the disk of the new moon silhouetting the Sun itself, plus a fully-lit (and backlit) near foreground of the Grand Canyon, plus the deep shadows at the bottom of the Canyon. And it's a fair representation of the scene as I perceived it -- but not in a single glance! The Sun looks very much as it did when I looked at it through solar viewing glasses, and the rest looks very much as it did without the glasses. (With the glasses, of course, everything but the Sun was black.) The foreground was very contrasty and a bit too bright to look at, and it was very hard to pick detail out of the Canyon. And the layers of the Canyon very definitely did fade into intolerably bright glare in the distance, becoming practically indistinguishable at the horizon.

I'd call that bad light, but it was such a spectacle as I'll never forget -- and that rendering of the scene is very faithful to what I remember, even though I had to blend together a half-dozen exposures in order to create it. But, again, it includes detail all the way from the deep shadows of the Grand Canyon to the very Sun itself.

Here's another example of bad light, one that I've repeatedly discussed in this thread and therefore won't keep beating up on:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13771.msg249243#msg249243 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13771.msg249243#msg249243)

I mainly mention that bad light in order to segue into what good light actually is and what it looks like.

Here's what I actually went to the Lost Dutchman State Park on the day when I made that fisheye shot above -- the third attached photo.

With one minor and one insignificant caveat, this is, once again, a colorimetric rendering of the scene. As in, this looks almost exactly like what I saw, and it's almost exactly what the camera recorded. Again, the 5DIII, this time with the TS-E 24 II...and 1/6s @ f/16 * ISO 1600. Just a smidgen of chroma noise reduction and my typical capture and output sharpening.

The insignificant caveat is that the yellow of the the poppies is actually outside of the Lab gamut -- let alone Adobe RGB or even Pro Photo -- so that yellow got compressed / clipped to the perimeter of the Beta RGB gamut and then perceptually mapped into sRGB.

The minor caveat is that I had to darken the sky by about a stop to bring back the color and texture of the sky.

Perfect light would have resulted in a straight-out-of-the-camera colorimetric rendition that didn't need to be touched. This was as close to perfect as you're going to get in landscape photography.

It still took me a fair bit of fiddling with the sky to bring back the detail. Not because it was clipped in the raw exposure; I still had about a stop of headroom there. But the sky was a bit brighter than the foreground; the two never did quite perfectly equalize. I used a variety of methods to get this end result, but it's equivalent to about one stop of underexposure -- certainly less than two stops.

You can see a hint of haloing around the horizon, especially if you know it's there and you take a step back / reduce the image size. That is, the sky near the ground is a touch lighter than the sky a bit higher, and the tops of the ground are a bit darker than the ground below the horizon. That is an example of the lack of free lunches in action.

However, i like to think that I did a good job on this one. I don't think the transition is very noticeable, and it's certainly a lot less noticeable than if I had used a graduated filter (or waved a lens cap in front of the top half of the lens or whatever).

This is what good light looks like. Again, perfect light would have been with the sky about a stop darker and / or the foreground with about a stop brighter, but there wasn't any color left in the clouds when the light did equalize a few minutes later.

This post is already way too long, so I'll just end it here. Hope it helps.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. I lied. I can attach a fourth picture, so I will. It's perfect light, in a studio (with flash). This is a straight-out-of-the-camera colorimetric rendering, and absolutely zero post-processing. The feline photobomb was a fortuitous incursion that helps indicate scale...he's not perfectly lit, of course, but I like the way it makes him look like he's sneaking in from the wings of the stage. b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 04, 2013, 09:55:39 PM
@Trumpet: There is a lot more noise in  _06C2339 - overexposed.jpg than you would have if you shot that with a D800. You are again assuming that is "clean". If you take that same shot with an actual D800 and push the same, you'll realize that it is most definitely not "clean". It's noisy...and it HAS chroma noise. The D800 might exhibit significantly less luma noise, probably wouldn't exhibit any chroma noise at all, and the detail would be much higher.

It would be nice if someone who actually has both a D800 and a 5D III could take a shot like that, and lift both by the same amount. It's not that the 5D III is "bad"...its most definitely not, its quite good, relative to the last decade of digital photography, and even to a lot of film photography. However it is not as good as a D800.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 04, 2013, 10:24:42 PM
First you say that good light needs no modification. Then you say good light can indeed result from modification. This seems to be a contradiction.

If you're modifying the light itself, the light after modification -- if you've done your job right -- is now good light.

But if you're doing your modifications to the art, the light is still bad. That could be an artist painting a high-contrast scene as a low-contrast scene, or a photographer digitally (or in the darkroom or whatever) reducing contrast, or whatever.
I think jrista is right in that we are both now just mincing words, so I will concede this point on "good light vs. bad light." As I said in another post, it's just a philosophical perspective of mine that it is up to the photographer to work with the light. Or put another way, any light can be good light if you know what to do with it or how to manipulate it. Which I think is what you are saying anyway when you talk about "modifying the light itself."

However--since it does relate to the prison photograph we were discussing--I would like to offer the point for discussion that the exposure blending technique I used is not in principle different from the use of a graduated neutral density filter (or for that matter the black card technique mentioned previously in this thread, which too is a way of modifying the light itself prior to it reaching the camera). With a GND you are manipulating the light before it passes through the lens so that less light is transmitted in a portion of the scene. Exposure blending  does essentially the same thing. The only difference is that instead of modifying the amount of light passing through one portion of the scene, you modify the amount of light in a separate exposure and then combine the desired portions of those exposures to get the desired result.

So exposure blending in this manner achieves the same net effect as a GND, although there are several advantages, such as not having to put another optical surface in front of your camera, and being able to be far more careful and selective in how the portions of the scene are blended. So it seems to me that if you accept GND filters as a valid technique for modifying light, then exposure blending should be acceptable as well.

So now let's bring it around full circle. The reason why we must use GND filters or exposure blending in the first place is because of dynamic range limitation. And so, if we accept that GND filters and exposure blending are useful to address dynamic range limitations, then we come to the inevitable conclusion that sensors that natively posses more dynamic range are useful.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 04, 2013, 10:54:21 PM
@Trumpet: There is a lot more noise in  _06C2339 - overexposed.jpg than you would have if you shot that with a D800. You are again assuming that is "clean". If you take that same shot with an actual D800 and push the same, you'll realize that it is most definitely not "clean". It's noisy...and it HAS chroma noise. The D800 might exhibit significantly less luma noise, probably wouldn't exhibit any chroma noise at all, and the detail would be much higher.

<sigh />

Did I claim that it was clean? No. I noted that there's damned little noise in there -- there is -- and that is is totally without noise reduction -- it is -- and that it would clean up very nicely with a bit of noise reduction. And, sure enough, it does. See attached.

Frankly, if I can lift Zone I shadows four freakin' stops to midtones like this and get results like this, I really couldn't give a damn that Nikon can do more. It's like comparing the pickup truck that has a top speed of 105 mph with the one that has a top speed of 115 mph. Who gives a damn, really? Neither is going to get that load of gravel to the job site any quicker.

I mean, honestly. In what sane and rational world would one ever want -- let alone actually need -- to do what I just did here with the archetypal cheesy Internet measurebator snapshot of a garden shed? And in what truly messed-up world would it not be enough?

I mean, you do realize that I could make a 3' x 5' print of this as sharp as what you see on your display, as free of grain as you see here, no?

Pushed four stops! Four stops! From 135 format!

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 12:12:52 AM
So now let's bring it around full circle. The reason why we must use GND filters or exposure blending in the first place is because of dynamic range limitation. And so, if we accept that GND filters and exposure blending are useful to address dynamic range limitations, then we come to the inevitable conclusion that sensors that natively posses more dynamic range are useful.

I think we're almost there.

First, I imagine that the exposure blending you do is much the same as what I did on that shot of the Grand Canyon with multiple exposures, and what I also did with the wildflowers at the base of the Superstition Mountains but with two developments of a single exposure. Even if the actual technique isn't the same, they're logically equivalent.

But the fact that I had to blend two different developments of the same RAW file to get the exposure I needed of the wildflowers brings us to the analogy I used in my response to jrista's needling about D800 dynamic range.

Yes, there is a huge limitation with respect to dynamic range and photography. Absolutely monstrous.

But the cameras aren't the problem.

Just as it's been a loooooong time since the limiting factor in travel times in urban settings has been the maximum speed of the vehicle, it's also been a loooooong time since the limiting factor in photographic dynamic range has been the film and / or electronics used to record the image.

The elephant in the room, the one that nobody ever seems to want to talk about, is the print.

There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.

So, sure. Go ahead and capture all you twenty Brazilian stops in a single exposure with your ExSonMorCon sensor.

Now what?

What have you gained, really?

You've still first got to compress that down to the ten stops of the ICC PCS that your RGB image gets run through every time it goes from one color space to another (including from the camera's native space to whatever your favorite working space to your monitor's space to your printer's space).

To those who poo-pooh the Zone System...take any image you can find on the computer. In Photoshop, change to Lab mode. Looks the same, no? Now, compare the L* values of anything you like in the image. Divide by 10, and there's your Zone. And, no, that's not a coincidence. It's a direct and very, very well-informed evolution based on hard science and a hell of a lot of experience.

All of this put together means that means that, if you want the best results, you're either going to wind up blending multiple developments of a single exposure (which is really all that the sliders in Camera Raw / Lightroom do) or blending multiple different exposures...so what's the difference, really? A bit of wear and tear on your camera's shutter that's going to last you a half million exposures and cost $300 to replace when it finally dies?

So maybe every now and again there's an extreme dynamic range shot of a moving subject where you can't fix the light and you need to produce monstrous enlargements meant to be viewed from a short distance (the very definition of pixel peeping) and you can't stand even a hint of grain in the shadows of said shots and you can't let the shadows remain shadows and it's in that narrow two-stop window of additional dynamic range that the D800 has over the 5DIII.

If that's not the setup line for some bad joke about a DeLorean getting electrocuted at the stroke of midnight as it gets blown up with a supersonic missile on Highway 88, I don't know what is.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 12:57:34 AM
@Trumpet: There is a lot more noise in  _06C2339 - overexposed.jpg than you would have if you shot that with a D800. You are again assuming that is "clean". If you take that same shot with an actual D800 and push the same, you'll realize that it is most definitely not "clean". It's noisy...and it HAS chroma noise. The D800 might exhibit significantly less luma noise, probably wouldn't exhibit any chroma noise at all, and the detail would be much higher.

<sigh />

Did I claim that it was clean? No. I noted that there's damned little noise in there -- there is -- and that is is totally without noise reduction -- it is -- and that it would clean up very nicely with a bit of noise reduction. And, sure enough, it does. See attached.

Frankly, if I can lift Zone I shadows four freakin' stops to midtones like this and get results like this, I really couldn't give a damn that Nikon can do more. It's like comparing the pickup truck that has a top speed of 105 mph with the one that has a top speed of 115 mph. Who gives a damn, really? Neither is going to get that load of gravel to the job site any quicker.

I mean, honestly. In what sane and rational world would one ever want -- let alone actually need -- to do what I just did here with the archetypal cheesy Internet measurebator snapshot of a garden shed? And in what truly messed-up world would it not be enough?

I mean, you do realize that I could make a 3' x 5' print of this as sharp as what you see on your display, as free of grain as you see here, no?

Pushed four stops! Four stops! From 135 format!

Cheers,

b&

I think you are still missing the point. You've lifted that 4 stops...that is amazing, no doubt about it! I am an advocate for both brands, as both brands achieve some amazing things, regardless of whether they are 12 stops or 14 stops of DR.

The point, here, is that the D800 can still do better. There are some sample images and the accompanying RAW files on Flickr that are so completely underexposed, the images look almost entirely black without any post processing. You can lift those nearly black photos at least SIX stops, and still have an image with richer contrast, deeper and more detailed shadows, richer color, stronger highlights, and LESS NOISE than the photo you have posted here.

I've posted my own images from my Canon 7D where I've pushed exposure around by about four stops. That's about what you get with a Canon sensor. Four stops. That's particularly evident when you use an 8-bit computer screen...your screen is limited to only displaying eight stops at once, so you have to push and pull the shadows to get a photo looking correct on an 8-bit display. You need to push shadows around even more in order to compress that information into the 5-7 stops you get in a print, especially for fine art matte papers where you might barely have five stops of DR.

It's not a perfect four stops either, you usually start losing a LOT of color fidelity once you've pushed over two stops. Four stops is really pushing the boundaries, and like your examples, you lose contrast and color fidelity (richness of detail) where things are supposed to be deeper shadows. They end up looking muddy, dull, lifeless. You could push less, but that may not accurately represent what the scene looked like to human eyes. You could push less, and end up with just that much less detail in the shadows, or too much global contrast.

The same things can be done with the D800, D600, or D3200, WITHOUT those limitations. That's the point. Four stops is great. Six stops is better! And six stops is exactly what you would expect the difference to be between a camera capable of capturing ~12 stops of DR in a single shot vs. a camera capable of capturing ~14 stops of DR in a single shot. Noise reduction can improve your gains a bit. Assuming the noise is evenly distributed, or if you have a debanding NR tool, you might be able to gain another stop, and the gains might be a little better in terms of magnitude for a Canon...which starts out with more noise than a Nikon w/ Exmor, but the Nikon will still benefit from NR as well. So it will maintain its lead even if it is a smaller lead.

Again, as this seems to be a common misunderstanding. This doesn't make the 5D III a "bad" camera. Some people seem to think that because the D800 does better, well then the 5D III must just suck, right? I've argued AGAINST that kind of sentiment for over a year. The 5D III is an excellent camera. That is more than evident in the kind of photos people take with it. That's not the point. The point is, many photographers do the kind of work that can and will benefit from more native dynamic range. The point is that more dynamic range, be it in a D800, or in some future camera Canon releases six months, a year, or four years from now, is a useful thing. It leads to better IQ. It supports a simpler workflow. It expands the boundaries of what we can do with a camera.

It's VALUABLE. It's USEFUL.

It would allow Art_d to do less work with more information and get better results in less time.

Just because you can lift a 5D III's "Zone I" shadows by four stops, make them look rather dull, muddy, lacking in fine detail and color fidelity, and a little noisy...doesn't mean the buck stops there. The D800 can STILL do BETTER! That's the point!



<sigh />

Did I claim that it was clean? No. I noted that there's damned little noise in there -- there is -- and that is is totally without noise reduction -- it is -- and that it would clean up very nicely with a bit of noise reduction. And, sure enough, it does. See attached.

BTW, and I quote:

Holy Cow! A Nikonista might exclaim. I must have used a D800! So little noise in shadows pushed four stops to a normalized exposure! No...I just exposed properly and I started with a colorimetric rendition.

I don't think you've seen very many D800 ISO 100 photos. If you really think the noise in either the original that has no NR, or even the second one you posted that does have NR, is anywhere close to the shadow IQ of a D800, you are mistaken.

Take that same photo of the shed with the D800, lift it four stops, and you STILL have two more stops of DEEPER SHADOWS that will be richer, less noisy, and more detailed than either of the two shots you posted. You are trying to make a comparison to something it seems you have either never really seen, or not investigated deeply enough, to really understand now ludicrous it sounds to read the quote above. NO, I did not think:

"Holy Cow! He must have used a D800! So little noise in shadows pushed four stops to a normalized exposure!"

I thought:

"Is this guy serious? Has he ever even seen a D800 lifted by four to six stops?"

I really encourage you to look more into the shadow recovery capabilities of the D800. It's not a 5D III killer, it doesn't make Canon cameras worthless or useless or moot, or in any other way incapable of taking excellent photographs. But it IS a game changer for some types of photography, in a very meaningful and extremely valuable way.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 05, 2013, 12:27:08 PM
The elephant in the room, the one that nobody ever seems to want to talk about, is the print.

There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.
TrumptPower, I've been making exhibition prints for a number of years now so I can speak with some experience in this area. I'm sorry, but with all due respect I have to say you are off base here. In fact I presented an example of one such case along with the prision photo where the dynamic range limitations of the camera were problematic and created an issue in the print.

http://www.arthurdomagala.com/blog/2012/04/dynamic-range-canon-dslrs-and-shadow-noise-dealing-with-it/ (http://www.arthurdomagala.com/blog/2012/04/dynamic-range-canon-dslrs-and-shadow-noise-dealing-with-it/)

And it's not just me. What about all those National Geographic photographers who've been using GND filters for these past decades, where you claim that there should be no dynamic range limitations for print? What about all those landscape photographers using them who make prints?

Quote
So maybe every now and again there's an extreme dynamic range shot of a moving subject where you can't fix the light and you need to produce monstrous enlargements meant to be viewed from a short distance (the very definition of pixel peeping) and you can't stand even a hint of grain in the shadows of said shots and you can't let the shadows remain shadows and it's in that narrow two-stop window of additional dynamic range that the D800 has over the 5DIII.
From my experience (again, I am talking real world work I am actually producing, not contrived scenarios), there are situations where the fixed pattern noise present in Canon sensors will be obtrusive even in moderate sized prints.

You've made several exagerrations in your post which I do not think are helpful to the conversation.

First, I do not know what constitutes  "monstrous enlargements" to you, but as far as the implication that viewing prints from a short distance is "pixel peeping"... the whole viewing distance argument is a red herring. Because viewing distance has more to do with context than with print size. For instance, I printed a series of 24x36 enlargements of project photos for a company's conference room. I didn't stress out about smudgy details or noise in those photos because of the context. They look fine from across the room, and that is the context they are meant to be viewed in. But, in a gallery setting, they would not be acceptable (to me at least).  When prints are exhibited in a gallery, we don't rope off a perimeter in front of the print so that a viewer can't get close to the print and examine its details!

Another problem with your statement above is the "hint of grain" remark. We are not talking about grain. We are talking about fixed pattern noise.

And finally, you imply there is only a problem if you don't let "shadows remain shadows." This too has been demonstrated as false.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 01:04:06 PM
First, I do not know what constitutes  "monstrous enlargements" to you, but as far as the implication that viewing prints from a short distance is "pixel peeping"... the whole viewing distance argument is a red herring.

First, you've got that bass-ackwards, and you're dead worng.

You've indicated that you deliver full-size full-resolution files to your clients with the expectation that they will be pixel peeping them and that you and they expect your files to look good when viewed at 100% pixel magnification on the screen.

There is no difference at all between pixel peeping a 5DIII file and standing a foot away from a 38" x 57" print of said file. No difference at all.

Quote
Another problem with your statement above is the "hint of grain" remark. We are not talking about grain. We are talking about fixed pattern noise.

And finally, you imply there is only a problem if you don't let "shadows remain shadows." This too has been demonstrated as false.

So take a look at the cheesy shed pictures I posted above. I'd suggest that's the very definition of extreme. Would you agree? And I'd also suggest that the cleaned-up results are more than acceptable for printing even at 24" x 36". Would you agree? And I'd further suggest that only boosting those shadows three stops instead of four stops would make the few hints of objectionable noise remaining invisible even in a 44" x 66" print. Would you agree?

If you would agree with me on all those points...then what's the problem? If I can get results like that with a hasty shot of the shed in my back yard, what real-world photographic situation is there, actually, that's even more demanding? (Short, of course, of crazy things like when I shot the annular eclipse and the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the same time.)

Do I just have amazing intuitive technique and not realize it? Am I the only one who actually knows how to expose properly and develop a raw file to its full potential?

Or are there some even more extreme, more demanding situations out there that I'm simply unaware of?

Once again: is this a case of bragging about the speed at which the rev limiter kicks in on the minivan, or are there actual real-world situations where that minivan actually isn't fast enough?

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 05, 2013, 02:42:05 PM
First, I do not know what constitutes  "monstrous enlargements" to you, but as far as the implication that viewing prints from a short distance is "pixel peeping"... the whole viewing distance argument is a red herring.

First, you've got that bass-ackwards, and you're dead worng.
The discussion might proceed better without the snarkiness. (Just my opinion.)

Ok. So, please explain how I am wrong.

Quote
You've indicated that you deliver full-size full-resolution files to your clients with the expectation that they will be pixel peeping them and that you and they expect your files to look good when viewed at 100% pixel magnification on the screen.
 
Please recall that what I said was I deliver files to my clients at native resolution with a uniformity in quality.

In addition to delivering files to clients I sometimes make prints for them. And in addition to that, I also exhibit my own work.

Quote
There is no difference at all between pixel peeping a 5DIII file and standing a foot away from a 38" x 57" print of said file. No difference at all.
What is the point of injecting this straw man argument? I made no mention of printing this size. I made reference to a 20x30 inch print. (Though I’ve seen pattern noise occur in prints smaller than that too.)

Quote
And I'd also suggest that the cleaned-up results are more than acceptable for printing even at 24" x 36". Would you agree?
No I would not. Because you have not defined “acceptable” in a context. What is acceptable in one context is not acceptable for another. For a billboard, sure. For a gallery print, certainly not. And you are ignoring that the content of the photo itself also has a huge impact as to whether or not pattern noise is noticeable enough to be objectionable.

Quote
And I'd further suggest that only boosting those shadows three stops instead of four stops would make the few hints of objectionable noise remaining invisible even in a 44" x 66" print. Would you agree?
No. See above.

And in all honesty, I am not really concerned about shadow noise in prints at such sizes. Because once you get to a point where you’re interpolating the image by that much, the context of the work is different. It’s in the more moderate print sizes where it can be a problem (as I’ve tried to demonstrate).

Quote
If I can get results like that with a hasty shot of the shed in my back yard, what real-world photographic situation is there, actually, that's even more demanding?
I’ve already shown two real-world photographic situations.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 03:10:45 PM
Okay, enough already.

If these shots don't lay the entire matter to rest, absolutely nothing will.

One more exposure of the same classic cheesy Internet measurebator shot: my backyard shed.

I shot this six stops underexposed. As in, I moved the metering bug from where it said it was supposed to be three stops to the left until it disappeared and then another three stops farther.

And I only stopped there because I ran out of shutter speed -- though, of course, I had plenty of room to stop down the aperture.

The first attachment is just with white balancing.

The second is after applying six stops of digital push. That makes it the digital equivalent of an ISO 6400 shot.

The third is a 100% crop of a representative portion which includes the noisiest part of the resulting image.

Yes, of course -- I applied noise reduction.

I really don't think there's anything further that needs to be written about the 5DIII's ability to recover shadows.

Once again, and for the last time if I can control my SIWOTI:

The 5DIII has far more dynamic range than 90% of photographers need for 90% of photographic situations. The set of real-world photographic situations where the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range but the D800 does is almost, but perhaps not quite, perfectly empty. If you find that the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range for your needs, either you're doing some truly extreme photography (such as making an image of an annular eclipse at the Grand Canyon) or your technique isn't up to getting everything from the camera that it's capable of giving.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 05, 2013, 04:17:45 PM
I think perhaps the expression:

Touché

Is warrant here  ;)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 04:21:53 PM
Okay, so maybe my SIWOTI is a bit worse than I thought -- or maybe I'm just dragging my feet a bit before I get back to trying to figure out how I'm going to light this giclee shoot of a beetle that's mostly a solid block of gold leaf the size of a soup bowl.

But here's one more -- perhaps the ultimate -- variation on the theme.

This is the darkest exposure i could get without resorting to filters: 1/8000 @ f/22 @ ISO 100. As far as the back-of-the-LCD preview goes, i might as well have left my lens cap on -- which, I know, is another favorite activity of Internet measurebators. It worked out to nearly ten stops of digital push; that's the digital equivalent of ISO 51,200. As in, take all of the analog gain that the camera does on the sensor at its native maximum ISO of 25,600, do that digitally instead, and then add yet another stop of digital gain.

I'd show you the as-is shot, but it's as solid black as the LCD preview was.

But I am including a 100% crop of the highlights. Yes, the shadows (and midtones) in this shot are junk. Duh! It's a digitally-pushed ISO 51,200 equivalent exposure. But these highlights are what you get from the 5DIII when you push your below Zone I solid featureless black ink blobs to Zone VIII (edit: forgot an "I") and IX near-paper-white highlights.

And if any of all y'all really want -- or think you need -- more out of a camera...well, sorry, but I ain't got no sympathy for you. None whatsoever.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 04:43:21 PM
Okay, enough already.

If these shots don't lay the entire matter to rest, absolutely nothing will.

One more exposure of the same classic cheesy Internet measurebator shot: my backyard shed.

I shot this six stops underexposed. As in, I moved the metering bug from where it said it was supposed to be three stops to the left until it disappeared and then another three stops farther.

And I only stopped there because I ran out of shutter speed -- though, of course, I had plenty of room to stop down the aperture.

The first attachment is just with white balancing.

The second is after applying six stops of digital push. That makes it the digital equivalent of an ISO 6400 shot.

The third is a 100% crop of a representative portion which includes the noisiest part of the resulting image.

Yes, of course -- I applied noise reduction.

I really don't think there's anything further that needs to be written about the 5DIII's ability to recover shadows.

Once again, and for the last time if I can control my SIWOTI:

The 5DIII has far more dynamic range than 90% of photographers need for 90% of photographic situations. The set of real-world photographic situations where the 5DIII has insufficient dynamic range but the D800 does is almost, but perhaps not quite, perfectly empty. If you find that the 5DIII lacks sufficient dynamic range for your needs, either you're doing some truly extreme photography (such as making an image of an annular eclipse at the Grand Canyon) or your technique isn't up to getting everything from the camera that it's capable of giving.

Cheers,

b&

Could you post some original images with full EXIF? The original "dark" image looks a little odd...too flat, such that it makes me wonder if it really is a natively under-exposed shot.

Additionally, the noise in those shadows is not clean. It looks nothing like the kind of deep NOISELESS or NEAR-NOISELESS shadows you get out of a D800 when it is lifted 6 stops. You might see that kind of noise if you lifted a D800 eight stops, however you still wouldn't have the banding, which is the real problem Canon sensors have. I'm ok with noise...but I can clearly see the banding in those shadows.

Again, you should really play with a few D800 NEF's yourself. I think you don't fully understand what those extra 2 stop of DR offer, or what it means to have ZERO BANDING NOISE. It's the banding noise that is the real killer for Canon sensors. Their native sensor DR is actually probably just as good as Nikons, but when the off-die ADC's in the DIGIC DSP's process the signal, they ADD the hideous shadow noise that Canon sensors are now infamous for. If it wasn't for the ADC noise, I think Canon sensors are actually quite stellar.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 04:45:33 PM
The elephant in the room, the one that nobody ever seems to want to talk about, is the print.

There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.
TrumptPower, I've been making exhibition prints for a number of years now so I can speak with some experience in this area. I'm sorry, but with all due respect I have to say you are off base here. In fact I presented an example of one such case along with the prision photo where the dynamic range limitations of the camera were problematic and created an issue in the print.

http://www.arthurdomagala.com/blog/2012/04/dynamic-range-canon-dslrs-and-shadow-noise-dealing-with-it/ (http://www.arthurdomagala.com/blog/2012/04/dynamic-range-canon-dslrs-and-shadow-noise-dealing-with-it/)

And it's not just me. What about all those National Geographic photographers who've been using GND filters for these past decades, where you claim that there should be no dynamic range limitations for print? What about all those landscape photographers using them who make prints?

Your article touches on some points that Ctein, a well-known printer who has decades of experience in film and digital, has mentioned a number of times in his writings. Very interesting stuff.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Aglet on April 05, 2013, 04:49:29 PM
I am SO enjoying this. :)

and now you can finally see the useful relevance of actually shooting with a lens cap on and pushing a mere 4 stops to compare N & FPN. (see my tech blog if you forgot) It sure showed me a lot more useful and easily compared info than all this volleyed text with "real world images."

@Trumpet
so the 5d3 is actually showing reasonable levels of FPN, by which I mean, it's fairly acceptable and workable.  That's good.  I still won't buy one tho, I want more of an improvement in low ISO performance.  After all, I've seen "the dark side," bought it, shoot with it, bought more of it, and I won't go back to Canon's chroma-snow and stripes.

OTOH, the 5d2 I had was SO bad that shades a mere 3EV below metered 0, pushed a mere ONE stop, showed FPN.
And all the handwringing angst THAT generated from so many posters here. :)
Other 5d2s certainly looked to perform better than the one I had, but it was pretty near impossible for me to have my point accepted and nobody d/cared to supply comparison shots.

People are right, this IS getting boring, all the more so when discussions degrade into little more than semantics.

But I'm glad you posted some garden shed shadow recovery from your 5d3, it's way the heck better than my 5d2 was in that regard.
And you should borrow a d800 and reshoot that garden shed the same way and push the files the same way.
Then report back to us on that.
I suspect I know what that'll be but at least you may then have a bit more respect for what that Exmor can do and why some of us prefer the expanded lower limits it provides.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 04:50:10 PM
Okay, so maybe my SIWOTI is a bit worse than I thought -- or maybe I'm just dragging my feet a bit before I get back to trying to figure out how I'm going to light this giclee shoot of a beetle that's mostly a solid block of gold leaf the size of a soup bowl.

But here's one more -- perhaps the ultimate -- variation on the theme.

This is the darkest exposure i could get without resorting to filters: 1/8000 @ f/22 @ ISO 100. As far as the back-of-the-LCD preview goes, i might as well have left my lens cap on -- which, I know, is another favorite activity of Internet measurebators. It worked out to nearly ten stops of digital push; that's the digital equivalent of ISO 51,200. As in, take all of the analog gain that the camera does on the sensor at its native maximum ISO of 25,600, do that digitally instead, and then add yet another stop of digital gain.

I'd show you the as-is shot, but it's as solid black as the LCD preview was.

But I am including a 100% crop of the highlights. Yes, the shadows (and midtones) in this shot are junk. Duh! It's a digitally-pushed ISO 51,200 equivalent exposure. But these highlights are what you get from the 5DIII when you push your below Zone I solid featureless black ink blobs to Zone VIII (edit: forgot an "I") and IX near-paper-white highlights.

And if any of all y'all really want -- or think you need -- more out of a camera...well, sorry, but I ain't got no sympathy for you. None whatsoever.

Cheers,

b&

I think the point everyone is trying to make is...those "Zone I solid featureless black ink blobs" are NOT FEATURELESS!! There is obviously detail there. Your latest shots demonstrate the problem Canon sensors have quite well (and the fact you had to pull 10 stops means you are not in a DR-limited scenario, so your previous examples did not have deep enough shadows in the first place.) Do the EXACT same test with a D800. I think your mind will be blown. I can't say any more, because obviously a thousand words isn't enough. You'll have to see for yourself. Borrow, rent, buy, whatever...but if you do the exact same experiment...1/8000th f/22 ISO 100 with a D800, and lift...you won't see any pattern or banding at all. You MIGHT see a little bit of random grain...maybe. The rest...all of those "featureless black ink blobs"...well, they won't be featureless, they won't be black, and they won't be blobs.

Enjoy being knocked on your ass by amazing DR! :)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 05:02:23 PM
Could you post some original images with full EXIF? The original "dark" image looks a little odd...too flat, such that it makes me wonder if it really is a natively under-exposed shot.

Additionally, the noise in those shadows is not clean.

So, you think I faked the shot but wasn't smart enough to fake it without noise? Really? Or are you just trolling now?

I don't have anywhere to upload RAWs to, but here's a screenshot. If that's not enough for you, feel free to think I'm a liar if that'll make you feel better about your D800.

Quote
It looks nothing like the kind of deep NOISELESS or NEAR-NOISELESS shadows you get out of a D800 when it is lifted 6 stops.

So your minivan with the racing stripes doesn't kick in the rev limiter until 105, but my boring minivan's limiter keeps me under 95.

Yawn. Whatever. Good for you. Vroom! Vroom! Yay.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 05:28:50 PM
I am SO enjoying this. :)
And you should borrow a d800 and reshoot that garden shed the same way and push the files the same way.

Why?

I mean, really.

That vent in the 100% crop of the pushed-ten-stops shot has very little noise left in it, even if it's a bit more textured than sharp.

I took something that would normally come out as solid black, turned it into a Zone IX textured highlight, and it's more than adequate for even significant enlargements.

If you can do a bit of math, that means that the 5DIII has, effectively, at least twenty stops of usable dynamic range: ten from the normal highlights these would have been had it been properly exposed to the solid blacks of the standard rendering of this scene, and then another ten from the digital push of those blacks back to highlights.

And, realistically, for me, it actually works out to thirty stops of usable dynamic range. I'd never want to push something from solid black to a highlight, though I may well want to push something as dark as this to a Zone II textured black. -- and the bottom shadows of this ten-stops-underexposed shot would make a fantastic Zone II rendition, even though they're thirty stops darker than the highlights I would have captured with a normal rendition.

That is, imagine a scene like this but with some sort of coal mine entrance in it. If there was a grating like this in said coal mine and the proper exposure there was thirty stops below the outside-the-mine scene, I could render said grating as a readily identifiable -- though very dark -- grating, and not have any visible noise in said rendition.

...and I should care that a D800 has even more dynamic range...why, exactly? So I could render the black grating in the coal mine with as much texture as I could render a white grating in a coal mine?

Really?

No, really. When on Earth am I going to be shooting in a scene with more than thirty stops of dynamic range that I can't just as easily bracket -- assuming I can't fix the light in the first place?

Again, I really couldn't care what insane speed the pickup's rev limiter is set at, so long as I can reliably and comfortably haul a load of sod with enough oompf left over to pass the semi up the hill.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 05:29:20 PM
Could you post some original images with full EXIF? The original "dark" image looks a little odd...too flat, such that it makes me wonder if it really is a natively under-exposed shot.

Additionally, the noise in those shadows is not clean.

So, you think I faked the shot but wasn't smart enough to fake it without noise? Really? Or are you just trolling now?

I don't have anywhere to upload RAWs to, but here's a screenshot. If that's not enough for you, feel free to think I'm a liar if that'll make you feel better about your D800.

Quote
It looks nothing like the kind of deep NOISELESS or NEAR-NOISELESS shadows you get out of a D800 when it is lifted 6 stops.

So your minivan with the racing stripes doesn't kick in the rev limiter until 105, but my boring minivan's limiter keeps me under 95.

Yawn. Whatever. Good for you. Vroom! Vroom! Yay.

b&

Well, I think your ratios are off there. Remember, as top is a factor of two. If 95mph is the equivalent of 12 stops, then the D800 would be like driving at 380mph! :P

The D800's edge is TWO STOPS...or TWO FACTORS OF TWO better than the 5D III. We aren't talking a marginal difference, it's measurable and meaningful....at least at ISO 100. Again, we are not saying the 5D III is a bad camera. It most certainly is not, and it obviously takes phenomenal photos. I plan on getting one myself if the 7D II doesn't make some big waves. We aren't bashing on the 5D III...just trying to point out that in certain circumstances, the D800 can be WAY better. Two factors of two better...not 105mph...380mph! :P

It is also important to point out that the 5D III is better in a number of other ways. At higher ISO, it definitely has the edge. I've seen some amazingly clean ISO 12800 shots from the 5D III that look better than my 7D's ISO 3200. The AF system practically makes me giggle like a little girl, and combined with 6fps, it is an excellent camera for what I do, which is birds and wildlife most of the time (which means I'm always at high ISO and need high frame rates, two things the D800 is NOT good at by any measure.)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 05:38:09 PM
Well, I think your ratios are off there. Remember, as top is a factor of two. If 95mph is the equivalent of 12 stops, then the D800 would be like driving at 380mph! :P

The D800's edge is TWO STOPS...or TWO FACTORS OF TWO better than the 5D III. We aren't talking a marginal difference, it's measurable and meaningful....at least at ISO 100. Again, we are not saying the 5D III is a bad camera. It most certainly is not, and it obviously takes phenomenal photos. I plan on getting one myself if the 7D II doesn't make some big waves. We aren't bashing on the 5D III...just trying to point out that in certain circumstances, the D800 can be WAY better. Two factors of two better...not 105mph...380mph! :P

Spinal Tap - 11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVKWCpNFhY#ws)

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 05:41:15 PM
I am SO enjoying this. :)
And you should borrow a d800 and reshoot that garden shed the same way and push the files the same way.

Why?

I mean, really.

That vent in the 100% crop of the pushed-ten-stops shot has very little noise left in it, even if it's a bit more textured than sharp.

I took something that would normally come out as solid black, turned it into a Zone IX textured highlight, and it's more than adequate for even significant enlargements.

If you can do a bit of math, that means that the 5DIII has, effectively, at least twenty stops of usable dynamic range: ten from the normal highlights these would have been had it been properly exposed to the solid blacks of the standard rendering of this scene, and then another ten from the digital push of those blacks back to highlights.

And, realistically, for me, it actually works out to thirty stops of usable dynamic range. I'd never want to push something from solid black to a highlight, though I may well want to push something as dark as this to a Zone II textured black. -- and the bottom shadows of this ten-stops-underexposed shot would make a fantastic Zone II rendition, even though they're thirty stops darker than the highlights I would have captured with a normal rendition.

That is, imagine a scene like this but with some sort of coal mine entrance in it. If there was a grating like this in said coal mine and the proper exposure there was thirty stops below the outside-the-mine scene, I could render said grating as a readily identifiable -- though very dark -- grating, and not have any visible noise in said rendition.

...and I should care that a D800 has even more dynamic range...why, exactly? So I could render the black grating in the coal mine with as much texture as I could render a white grating in a coal mine?

Really?

No, really. When on Earth am I going to be shooting in a scene with more than thirty stops of dynamic range that I can't just as easily bracket -- assuming I can't fix the light in the first place?

Again, I really couldn't care what insane speed the pickup's rev limiter is set at, so long as I can reliably and comfortably haul a load of sod with enough oompf left over to pass the semi up the hill.

b&

You don't need 30 stops. According to DXO screen DR, which is the direct measure of the native capabilities of a sensor, the 5D III has 10.97 stops of dynamic range. If you try to photograph a scene with 12 stops, your in a DR-limited scenario. Your then faced with a choice...clip the highlights, or block the shadows. Your clipping a whole STOP...that is, DOUBLE the range of light your camera is capable of sensing at once. This is an extremely common occurrence in landscape photography, where dynamic range, especially around sunrise or sunset, can easily surpass 11 stops, and are sometimes 20 stops or more!

Historically, photographers have used graduated neutral density filters to tackle this problem. Drop in a couple of GND filters of varying transitions and strengths, and you can control the dynamic range of the light reaching the sensor. Sometimes you need to add four, five, six stops of above-horizon filtration to allow you to capture the scene. Stacking GND filters introduces more layers of optical material, which has a degrading impact on IQ, and isn't particularly desirable.

The D800 would handle your 12-stop scene no problem. It'll even handle a 13.2 stop scene and allow you to recover right down into the deepest level shadows without any fpn or banding noise at all, and only a hint of grain.

I'll be happy when Canon releases a 12 or 13 stop sensor. I'll be even more happy when Canon, Sony, or Nikon releases a new sensor with a 16-bit ADC, as that opens up ANOTHER two full stops...another two DOUBLINGS, of sensitivity range with DSLRs.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 05:45:15 PM
Well, I think your ratios are off there. Remember, as top is a factor of two. If 95mph is the equivalent of 12 stops, then the D800 would be like driving at 380mph! :P

The D800's edge is TWO STOPS...or TWO FACTORS OF TWO better than the 5D III. We aren't talking a marginal difference, it's measurable and meaningful....at least at ISO 100. Again, we are not saying the 5D III is a bad camera. It most certainly is not, and it obviously takes phenomenal photos. I plan on getting one myself if the 7D II doesn't make some big waves. We aren't bashing on the 5D III...just trying to point out that in certain circumstances, the D800 can be WAY better. Two factors of two better...not 105mph...380mph! :P

Spinal Tap - 11 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVKWCpNFhY#ws)

Cheers,

b&

Heh, we aren't just talking about finer gradations, which is what the whole "Spinal Tap Crank it up to 11" joke would be in this context. That is bit depth. Increased bit depth allows finer gradations, finer measurement, smaller discrete measurements. Regardless of what the dynamic range is.

Dynamic range is about sensitivity range. That doesn't have to do with fineness...it has to do with capability. Better dynamic range increases the capabilities of a camera. A higher bit depth improves the fineness of how its capabilities are differentiated. This isn't like "Cranking it up to 11", its more like "Using 8 speakers instead of 2".
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 05:49:18 PM
According to DXO screen DR, which is the direct measure of the native capabilities of a sensor, the 5D III has 10.97 stops of dynamic range. If you try to photograph a scene with 12 stops, your in a DR-limited scenario. Your then faced with a choice...clip the highlights, or block the shadows.

So, clearly, if I was to take a scene with some solid black areas in it and push those solid blacks ten stops, they'd still be solid black because the camera only has twelve stops of dynamic range and those solid blacks would still be clipped.

...except, of course, that the exact opposite is the case, if you've been paying even the slightest bit of attention to what I've been posting in this thread.

So, one or more of three possibilities presents itself.

I could have been faking everything; the 5DIII might actually have more than twelve stops of usable dynamic range; and / or you might not have a very firm grasp on what dynamic range actually is.

I'm pretty sure I didn't fake anything, so I'm going to go for both of the other two options.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 05:58:32 PM
According to DXO screen DR, which is the direct measure of the native capabilities of a sensor, the 5D III has 10.97 stops of dynamic range. If you try to photograph a scene with 12 stops, your in a DR-limited scenario. Your then faced with a choice...clip the highlights, or block the shadows.

So, clearly, if I was to take a scene with some solid black areas in it and push those solid blacks ten stops, they'd still be solid black because the camera only has twelve stops of dynamic range and those solid blacks would still be clipped.

...except, of course, that the exact opposite is the case, if you've been paying even the slightest bit of attention to what I've been posting in this thread.

So, one or more of three possibilities presents itself.

I could have been faking everything; the 5DIII might actually have more than twelve stops of usable dynamic range; and / or you might not have a very firm grasp on what dynamic range actually is.

I'm pretty sure I didn't fake anything, so I'm going to go for both of the other two options.

b&

There is no such thing as "solid blacks". That is what I mean about applying an archaic system like the Zone System to the digital era. Solid black doesn't exist. In the scene, its just detail with lower illuminance. The only time you would have a true "solid black" is if you photographed something that was solid black in a closed, sealed room with no light. Or photographed a cave without any flash. In those cases...you have no light at all. That is the SOLE means of achieving this theoretical "solid black".

Any other time, there is going to be light. If there is any light in a scene, some of it will reach your sensor. Those deep shadows, when photographed with a 5D III won't actually be black. Lift the shadows a few stops, and you'll see noise. Those same deep shadows when photographed with a D800 would be deep shadows, with detail that can be recovered.

The difference is that while the 5D III sensor is probably capable of registering most of the light from those deep shadows in your scene, and IS actually probably recording some detail, when the analog signal is converted to a digital one by Canon's off-die ADC's in the DIGIC 5 chip, that detail is overridden by noise introduced into the signal by the ADC electronics themselves. THAT is where all that nasty, noisy detail comes from, and THAT is what reduces the 5D III's dynamic range from whatever the sensor itself is probably capable of, which is probably similar to the D800's Exmor sensor, to the 10.97 stops that you actually get. Dyanmic range. The ratio between maximum signal and the noise floor. NOISE FLOOR. Without the noise floor, or with a much lower noise floor, you'll have more dynamic range. The D800 doesn't introduce as much noise, hence the greater dynamic range...and the reason why "solid black" is actually "deep shadows with detail" rather than "deep shadows with noise and muddy, useless ink blobs".
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 05, 2013, 06:00:08 PM
TrumpetPower, I don’t understand what you are trying to show. That pushing a Canon raw file six stops makes it look terrible? We already knew that.

There have been actual examples posted showing where more native dynamic range would be useful. Do you think posting examples where it is less useful changes anything? I have hundreds of shots myself where DR is not an issue. But that doesn’t change what I showed in my examples.

Maybe it’s just me but it comes across as sidetracking the discussion. Trying to make the point go away by directing attention to something else. Let’s recall the following:

- You asked for such real world examples. I provided them. You proceeded to try to discredit them (and by proxy my competence as a professional photographer, though perhaps the latter was unintentional).

- You seem to accept that GND filters (and by extension exposure blending) are valid tools for light modification. But when pointed out that these tools exist to compensate for dynamic range limitations, you made an argument that prints have not been affected by the dynamic range limitations of cameras for decades. I explained this is not the case, again referred to an example of my own print, and observed that many other photographers have (and continue) to use GND filters and exposure blending for printed work to compensate for DR limits. You seemed to ignore this point.

- You also seem to have ignored my point that both content and context are important factors with prints. So any judgement of what is “acceptable” without a discussion of its context is incomplete.

The impression that comes across is you are not actually interested in evaluating the practical limits of dynamic range and where it can impact photography. I understand DR is not an issue for you, and that’s fine. But the logic of “I don’t have issues with DR so therefore no one should have issues with DR” doesn’t really work.

Still, I hope that this discussion has been useful for others who might read it.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: BrettS on April 05, 2013, 06:08:38 PM
Say, that's a real nice shed.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 06:23:54 PM
TrumpetPower, I don’t understand what you are trying to show. That pushing a Canon raw file six stops makes it look terrible? We already knew that.

If you think that the pushed-six-stops image here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10008.msg253382#msg253382 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10008.msg253382#msg253382)

looks terrible, then either I'm truly blind or you're not living in the real world.

Either way, we've clearly reached the end of this discussion.

Or perhaps you didn't actually read the text accompanying said post? Maybe you're under the mistraken impression that I only pushed the shadows in said image? You do realize that I pushed the entire image six stops, no?

Because, to my eye, at least, everything from Zone IV and up is perfectly free of noise and as sharp as anything you'll see. Zone III is starting to get a tad gritty, but it's nothing you couldn't easily clean up -- and it certainly wouldn't show even if you didn't clean it up in a 12" x 18" print. And the noise in the shadows darker than that looks like the texture of the objects themselves, so it's a non-factor.

And, again. Every single pixel in that image has been pushed six stops.

I'd call that freakin' amazing, not terrible.

But maybe I'm blind, or maybe you're insane.

Either way, best of luck with your clearly inadequate Canon gear. Maybe it's not too late to trade it in for a Nikon that you'll be so much happier with?

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 05, 2013, 07:28:49 PM
TrumpetPower, I don’t understand what you are trying to show. That pushing a Canon raw file six stops makes it look terrible? We already knew that.

If you think that the pushed-six-stops image here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10008.msg253382#msg253382 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10008.msg253382#msg253382)

looks terrible, then either I'm truly blind or you're not living in the real world.

Either way, we've clearly reached the end of this discussion.

Or perhaps you didn't actually read the text accompanying said post? Maybe you're under the mistraken impression that I only pushed the shadows in said image? You do realize that I pushed the entire image six stops, no?

Because, to my eye, at least, everything from Zone IV and up is perfectly free of noise and as sharp as anything you'll see. Zone III is starting to get a tad gritty, but it's nothing you couldn't easily clean up -- and it certainly wouldn't show even if you didn't clean it up in a 12" x 18" print. And the noise in the shadows darker than that looks like the texture of the objects themselves, so it's a non-factor.

And, again. Every single pixel in that image has been pushed six stops.

I'd call that freakin' amazing, not terrible.

But maybe I'm blind, or maybe you're insane.

Either way, best of luck with your clearly inadequate Canon gear. Maybe it's not too late to trade it in for a Nikon that you'll be so much happier with?
Please accept my apologies and in place of where I said "six stops" note that I meant "ten stops."

All of my points which I made in that post, however (which you did not comment on) still stand regardless.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 07:59:07 PM
The rest of my points, however still stand regardless.

Apology accepted...but now I'm really confused.

If we agree that there's no trouble cleanly pushing an image six stops, maybe more...well, how is that not enough for all but the most extreme photographic situations?

I mean, we're talking about easily photographing scenes with at least sixteen stops of dynamic range from brightest highlight to darkest shadow, and retaining noise-free detail in everything.

Are you really trying to tell me that it's not an extreme situation to need even more than that?

And you still seem to not wish to address the matter of your pixel-peeping clients that you're so concerned about, and instead keep going off on tangents about consistency of presentation.

Presentation of what? Reasonable-sized prints, or pixel peeping and huge enlargements?

Do your clients not actually pixel peep? Do they pixel peep but nobody actually cares about what they see when they do so? Or are you somehow not quite understanding that there's no difference between pixel peeping and shoving your nose in a door-sized print?

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 05, 2013, 08:21:37 PM
The rest of my points, however still stand regardless.

Apology accepted...but now I'm really confused.

If we agree that there's no trouble cleanly pushing an image six stops, maybe more...well, how is that not enough for all but the most extreme photographic situations?

I mean, we're talking about easily photographing scenes with at least sixteen stops of dynamic range from brightest highlight to darkest shadow, and retaining noise-free detail in everything.

I think you are misunderstanding what photographic dynamic range is. No camera is currently able to photograph sixteen stops of dynamic range in a single photo. According to the statistics, we'll use DXO since that seems to be the only source people really trust. According to the Screen DR setting, which is a direct measure without any processing...the 5D III has 10.97 stops of DR, while the D800 has 13.23 stops of DR. Neither of those cameras are able to photograph a scene with 16 stops of DR, and reproduce all 16 on screen.

For one, the dynamic range of the output image is limited by the bit depth of the ADC, and since both cameras are 14-bit cameras, the maximum native DR is theoretically 14 stops, regardless. The D800 has very low read noise thanks to the design of Exmor and its low frequency digital readout and CP-ADC, and it loses only about 2/3rds of a stop to noise (hence the 13.23 stops of DR). The 5D III has low read noise, but it does not have the benefit of on-die CP-ADC or digital readout, so the analog signal picks up noise when it's shipped over the bus to the DIGIC 5 DSP, and the high frequency ADCs inject a whole lot more noise. That reduces the 5D III's DR by a full two stops!

If you photograph a scene with 16 stops of dynamic range, neither the 5D III nor the D800 is going to be able to capture the scene without either clipping highlights, or losing detail in the shadows to noise. The difference is that the D800 only loses two stops, while the 5D III loses four stops. Stops are factor-of-two...if we reduce the difference between the D800 and 5D III in terms of capturing a 16 stop scene in a single frame to a scalar score where lower is better, the D800 gets a score of 4, while the 5D III gets a score of 16!

Are you really trying to tell me that it's not an extreme situation to need even more than that?

Is there a context within which you wish to apply that statement? You seem to be ignoring a very obvious example where photographers will probably always need and be able to use more dynamic range.

Have you ever photographed landscapes? When it comes to landscape photography, the need to photograph scenes with 14, 16, 20 stops is not uncommon, on the contrary it is quite common. It's why every serious landscape photographer treks around with a stack of GND filters...we ALWAYS face DR problems, and the only way to mitigate them is either by optically changing the scene dynamic range with filtration...or with a camera that can natively capture more in the first place, thus improving the quality of shadow recovery.

GND filters are less than ideal. They can reduce IQ, and in scenes with truly extreme DR, stacking strong GND filters is often necessary to reduce the sky enough to avoid clipping. That usually results in unnatural shading on any landscape or scenery that peeks above the horizon...such as mountains, trees, etc....producing a less than ideal shot, or a shot that does not fully replicate the artists vision. A camera capable of more dynamic range means you have to use less filtration, or may even allow you to ditch filtration altogether and just capture the scene as it really is, and fully realize your artistic goals.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 05, 2013, 09:02:26 PM
No camera is currently able to photograph sixteen stops of dynamic range in a single photo.

And yet, I've posted an example of exactly that in this very thread. Huh. Fancy that.

Indeed, not only have I posted an example of capturing sixteen stops in a single exposure, I've posted an example of how one could go about capturing thirty twenty stops in a single exposure, though, granted, the bottom end would be a bit on the muddy side -- but still quite usable if you know what you're doing with it.

Maybe I'm not the one who doesn't understand what dynamic range is...?

Pro tip: don't tell somebody something can't be done after he's just done it.

Quote
Neither of those cameras are able to photograph a scene with 16 stops of DR, and reproduce all 16 on screen.

That would be quite a feat, indeed, considering the ten stops of the ICC PCS that applies to every RGB image in any color-managed environment. Not to mention how uncomfortably bright -- painful, even -- a display with that much dynamic range would have to be.

Of course, if you understood what dynamic range is, you'd understand all that, too.

Quote
Have you ever photographed landscapes?

I see you haven't paid the slightest bit of attention to a single thing I've posted in this thread, for I've included at least three landscape photographs of mine, including one that captures detail not only from the shadows at the bottom of the Grand Canyon but in the very Sun itself, all in the same image.

You, on the other hand, seem to be much more interested in waxing poetic about DXOs and Exmors than actually taking pictures.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 05, 2013, 09:52:45 PM
The rest of my points, however still stand regardless.

Apology accepted...but now I'm really confused.

If we agree that there's no trouble cleanly pushing an image six stops, maybe more...well, how is that not enough for all but the most extreme photographic situations?
We do not agree on that. Because pattern noise will be more clearly evident in some photos more than others. (As an example I refer again to the 20x30 inch print).

The content of the photo does matter. I could post examples all day long of photos where pattern noise isn't an issue. So what? That does not invalidate the examples of when it does happen. Such as the two examples I provided.

Quote
I mean, we're talking about easily photographing scenes with at least sixteen stops of dynamic range from brightest highlight to darkest shadow, and retaining noise-free detail in everything.

Are you really trying to tell me that it's not an extreme situation to need even more than that?
jrista already answered this above. I will just add that I do not believe "extreme" is the correct term to describe the photos I have presented. This is probably an issue of semantics. However, as has been repeated, valid tools such as GND filters and exposure blending exist for a reason: to deal with DR limitations. The very existence and common use of those tools should be proof enough that the number of situations where DR limitations happen are not as negibible as the phrase "extreme situation" would seem to imply.

Quote
And you still seem to not wish to address the matter of your pixel-peeping clients that you're so concerned about, and instead keep going off on tangents about consistency of presentation.

Presentation of what? Reasonable-sized prints, or pixel peeping and huge enlargements?

Do your clients not actually pixel peep? Do they pixel peep but nobody actually cares about what they see when they do so? Or are you
I think you are muddling the discussion. Let me make it clearer:

a) I talked about consistency of quality in my image files that I provide to my clients. This means that any given image file will be perceived as having roughly the same level of quality as any other file. Scenes will all be exposed correctly, images have a certain minimum level of resolution, and I will not give a client any files which contain fixed pattern noise. You made the suggestion that in the prison door photo, any noise would be marginalized by smaller print sizes, and who would want to print that photo bigger? Well, it's not my place to say. I can tell you that I've been surprised a few times by which images people choose to make prints of. So I won't presume to tell them what images they can have at what print size. And as I've already said, fixed pattern noise can be an issue in even moderately sized prints.

b) Separately, I talked about the context in which a print is presented and how that affects what one might consider "acceptable." Again as an example, the amount of noise or detail smudging that I would tolerate in a print for display in a conference room is different from what I would tolerate for a gallery print.

And as I've explained, I have seen pattern noise become objectionable in reasonable-sized prints. You probably would not see it you were standing five feet away. But you would if you standing a two feet away. And I am not about to rope off a five-foot area in front of my prints so people can't get too close to them.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Aglet on April 06, 2013, 12:05:13 AM
I am SO enjoying this. :)
And you should borrow a d800 and reshoot that garden shed the same way and push the files the same way.
Why?
I mean, really.

But why should you try this with a D800 or other Exmor-equipped camera?.
Why not?
Call it a learning experience, pushing the/your envelope.

Want an application?
Shooting into the sun and being able to underexposure more to capture color gradients even closer to old Sol and still bringing up the rest of the scene to visible levels and retaining more color and tonal information without FPN.

Edit: here's an example of just that:
www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8105.msg161888#msg161888 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8105.msg161888#msg161888)
Significant PP work to re-tone the original image to get what I wanted from it, so that it matches my perception of how it looked, standing on that beach.  No NR was used or needed. There are no pure black pixels.  There are no pure white pixels.  There is no FPN.  (I did remove an ugly boat.) It looks good in print, 36" wide, could go double that easily. /edit

Or, underexposing more to capture textural information on objects with lots of specular highlites or highly reflective areas while also still retaining good liftable data on the rest of the scene.
I actually did such a shot last week with a D5100 as I was poking around a snowy rural landscape in bright sunshine and shot a subject that also contained very deep shadow information and I paid close attention to how it looked visually so I could recreate it later.  Come to think of it, coal may actually have been involved!
It's not as good or extreme an example as a sunset, it's not even a great shot but I took it as an exercise to examine later.
That you can't imagine situations where this is useful surprises me and makes me wonder about your range of photographic experience.  Some of us like to try extreme things for the sake of it, to discover where the limits are.  For some of us, that edge is where the fun and learning happens.

I took something that would normally come out as solid black, turned it into a Zone IX textured highlight, and it's more than adequate for even significant enlargements.

if that's something that would normally come out as solid black I don't want you doing my printing or prep work. ;)
Perhaps you like an overly contrasty tone curve - some do. I certainly don't.

If you can do a bit of math, that means that the 5DIII has, effectively, at least twenty stops of usable dynamic range: ten from the normal highlights these would have been had it been properly exposed to the solid blacks of the standard rendering of this scene, and then another ten from the digital push of those blacks back to highlights.

uhmmmm...  :o
The only relevant math is how much DR can be captured in ONE shot and it's qualified by how one defines the lower limit noise floor; whether that's an average RMS value of the noise, or a more useful Peak to peak level of noise (FPN) becoming visible at 100%.  The latter is my more stringent standard.
As it stands, the 5d3 and the d800 are still limited to less DR than many daylite scenes can present.
When challenged with such a scene tho, I'll use a more capable D800, thank-you.

BTW, Thanks for supplying a 7 stop under-exposed 5d3 image on the previous page.
I'm slightly impressed that it recovers as well as it does when bringing it back those 7 stops without the banding being any worse.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 01:37:38 AM
No camera is currently able to photograph sixteen stops of dynamic range in a single photo.

And yet, I've posted an example of exactly that in this very thread. Huh. Fancy that.

Indeed, not only have I posted an example of capturing sixteen stops in a single exposure, I've posted an example of how one could go about capturing thirty twenty stops in a single exposure, though, granted, the bottom end would be a bit on the muddy side -- but still quite usable if you know what you're doing with it.

Maybe I'm not the one who doesn't understand what dynamic range is...?

Pro tip: don't tell somebody something can't be done after he's just done it.

Quote
Neither of those cameras are able to photograph a scene with 16 stops of DR, and reproduce all 16 on screen.

That would be quite a feat, indeed, considering the ten stops of the ICC PCS that applies to every RGB image in any color-managed environment. Not to mention how uncomfortably bright -- painful, even -- a display with that much dynamic range would have to be.

Of course, if you understood what dynamic range is, you'd understand all that, too.

Quote
Have you ever photographed landscapes?

I see you haven't paid the slightest bit of attention to a single thing I've posted in this thread, for I've included at least three landscape photographs of mine, including one that captures detail not only from the shadows at the bottom of the Grand Canyon but in the very Sun itself, all in the same image.

You, on the other hand, seem to be much more interested in waxing poetic about DXOs and Exmors than actually taking pictures.

Cheers,

b&

Before I even begin to address the rest of that, you need to explain how the scene of the shed you have used demonstrates SIXTEEN STOPS of dynamic range. You claim it is, you have even claimed its as much as THIRTY stops, but you have not offered any explanation as to what you mean by "stop of dynamic range" or how you arrive at 16 or 30 stops worth, especially from the shed scene (which doesn't even come remotely close to having 10 stops of DR, let alone 16 or 30).

I don't agree with what DXO claims with their Print DR numbers (and anyone who knows me on these forums can attest to that), but I do trust their Screen DR numbers. There isn't a DSLR on the planet that has electronics (sensor + ACD) capable of producing a RAW image with more than 14 stops. Theoretically, it's impossible. The best there is is the D800 going by DXO numbers, and that tops out at 13.23 stops.

Another excellent and reliable source of information on this kind of thing, at least for Canon sensors, is Roger Clark's site ClarkVision.com. Clark's site gets a million hits a month, and he has a Ph.D and has done some prestigious work for NASA involving optics and digital imaging for some of their mars missions. Clark provides extremely detailed analyses, including the data he uses in his analysis, for a number of Canon cameras. The 5D III analysis can be found here (http://clarkvision.com/articles/evaluation-canon-5diii/index.html), and it clearly states 10.9EV at ISO 100.  Also at ISO 100, you can see that read noise (which enjoys a small contribution from the sensor readout itself, from amplification, and primarily from ADC) is at its highest of 34.9 electrons, and at ISO 200 is 18.3 electrons. The increase in read noise is why Canon sensor DR flattens out at ISO 400, 200, and 100 rather than maintaining a linear increase right up to 14 stops.

According to scientific analyses by two well-known and trusted sources, DXOMark and Ph.D Roger Clark, the 5D III doesn't even achieve a full 11 stops of DR. In light of that, I believe it is only fair you explain to everyone here how you have determined the 5D III is capable of capturing a scene with sixteen stops of DR in a single shot, or at least how you are evaluating your shed shot and processing to arrive at either 16 or 30 stops of DR. Because it doesn't conform with any other form of measurements I've ever come across.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 02:00:48 AM
Here is an example of a scene with extreme dynamic range that perfectly demonstrates the "window test" that Art_d mentioned a page or two back:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/)

Nearly-blown highlights as well as areas that appear to be completely black, as the scene had around 13 stops of DR. I want to contrast this against the underexposed shed shot...which did not really have even moderately-bright highlights...I think pretty much every pixel was below a middle toned gray in the shed shot. That indicates it was not a DR-limited scene. The scene above, however, is definitely a DR-limited scene...you have every level from near total black to near pure white (and the pixels on the seat of the chair outside on the patio may indeed be clipped whites). This is exactly the kind of scene where having more DR than the 5D III offers is valuable.

The D800's additional two stops of DR allow both the highlights and the deep shadows to be recovered, and recovered completely cleanly, cleanly, devoid of any noise:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/)

There was a long period of time where I wasn't really sure of the true value of the extra two stops of DR that the D800 offered until I saw these two shots. I'd seen Fred Miranda's examples, and they were pretty amazing, and that was the first time I'd seen a real-world example of Canon's ugly shadow banding noise. But it was this scene that really blew my mind. Seeing these really demonstrated the value of a near-noiseless sensor...at least 75% of the above scene would fall into "zones 1-3" (maybe only zones 1-2), and yet they recover not only well, but beautifully, and with very good color fidelity!

The RAW files for this scene used to be available here (http://www.3mille.com/docs/nikon-d800-raw-nef-samples-wide-tonal-range.zip%20nikon-d800-raw-nef-samples-wide-tonal-range.zip). The link is apparently dead now (they were posted a year ago), but it was amazing messing with these files. Pushing exposure around like it was entirely, losslessly fluid...the only thing I ever saw was a little bit of luminance grain in the deepest shadows (i.e. along the bed fringe of the near lower-left corner bed)...and that was it. It was a little difficult to cleanly correct both the highlights and the shadows as well as the person who posted the versions I linked above (they must have spent some careful time on them), but still...the most amazing example of shadow recovery I think I've seen.

When I first saw these photos was when I decided to wait before I bought any new Canon DSLRs for my landscape photography, and see if they could come out with something that would be capable of something similar. Even the amazing 1D X couldn't recover that scene that cleanly at ISO 100...not without visible banding and blotchy color noise.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RLPhoto on April 06, 2013, 09:00:45 AM
Just to buy a nikon art_d. I thought for a second there that this thread wouldn't degrade again into another DR thread.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 09:46:58 AM
Darn  :(

Imagine if we had shot this on a D800 instead of out dated gear from 2005  :'(
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sach100 on April 06, 2013, 10:21:48 AM
@Sporgon Great shots on your website!
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 10:41:16 AM
@sach100,

Thanks for that, much appreciated.

We try to shoot in dramatic light so do a lot of shadow / low lights recovery. As you have found, there's no problem in practical application.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: psolberg on April 06, 2013, 11:08:28 AM
Quote
When I first saw these photos was when I decided to wait before I bought any new Canon DSLRs for my landscape photography, and see if they could come out with something that would be capable of something similar. Even the amazing 1D X couldn't recover that scene that cleanly at ISO 100...not without visible banding and blotchy color noise.

yup. pretty much why I shoot landscapes with a D800 exclusively. DR, color depth, resolution. It's a waste to hike miles to shoot with anything else, except off course MF.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 06, 2013, 11:33:18 AM
Just to buy a nikon art_d. I thought for a second there that this thread wouldn't degrade again into another DR thread.
Why? There is more to a camera system than just the sensor. I have no desire to switch to a Nikon system and downgrade my lenses, work with poor live view, etc.

Examples were asked for. So examples were provided. And then those examples were attempted to be  discredited and dismissed. As I've said, I too can post images all day long where DR is no problem at all, but that doesn't make the images when it is a limitation magically disappear.

I see nothing wrong with illustrating the scenarios where sensor limitations come into play which are based on my actual experience. Nor with expressing the opinion that if Canon could improve this area, it would be very useful.




Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 11:38:06 AM
Just to buy a nikon art_d. I thought for a second there that this thread wouldn't degrade again into another DR thread.
Why? There is more to a camera system than just the sensor. I have no desire to switch to a Nikon system and downgrade my lenses, work with poor live view, etc.

Examples were asked for. So examples were provided. And then those examples were attempted to be  discredited and dismissed. As I've said, I too can post images all day long where DR is no problem at all, but that doesn't make the images when it is a limitation magically disappear.

I see nothing wrong with illustrating the scenarios where sensor limitations come into play which are based on my actual experience. Nor with expressing the opinion that if Canon could improve this area, it would be very useful.

This is it exactly. I'd love to have more DR with a Canon DSLR, but I'm not willing to give up all my excellent glass, my awesome ergonomics, or any of the other features that attract me to Canon in order to get some more DR at low ISO. It's a very nice thin to have when you need it, which is not always, but it is not quite compelling enough to make me want to switch on its own. I also don't think Canon is literally incapable of improving in this area, as some have stated in the past. I figure it won't be too terribly long before they start catching up in the DR area...maybe it will even be the 7D II.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: RLPhoto on April 06, 2013, 11:46:59 AM
Why complain about DR any longer? Jeez, it like when people asked me why shoot slide film? It doesn't have enough DR is what they'd complain about but I loved my velvia 50.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 12:02:45 PM
Why complain about DR any longer? Jeez, it like when people asked me why shoot slide film? It doesn't have enough DR is what they'd complain about but I loved my velvia 50.

This debate was not about complaining about DR. Trumpet was making some rather bold claims, and dismissing the original point Art_d was trying to make. The debate has been about the validity of Trumpet's claims, as in many cases they are wildly off base. I'm a Canon fan, I love my gear and I wouldn't give up my glass for the world. I think there is more to IQ than DR (hell, I've argued that side of the fence far more than I've argued the other side), and for what I shoot most of the time, wildlife and birds, low ISO DR is a moot point anyway, and Canon has the high ISO, accurate AF, high frame rate end of things covered more than good enough.

That said, you cannot simply offhandedly dismiss the value of more DR at low ISO for certain types of photography as Trumpet has been trying to. They may be limited in number, but they certainly are not limited in scope. And we aren't talking about something on the order of a third of a stop, which would be largely irrelevant.

There is obviously a serious misunderstanding when one thinks that the difference between the 5D III and the D800 in terms of ratio, by convoluting the argument into a comparison of cars....one that goes 95mph and another that goes 105mph...as an example of the difference in DR between those two cameras. The fact that every "stop" is a doubling seems to have been lost. Two stops is a FOUR FOLD increase in dynamic range, and that is more like the difference between tops speeds of 95mph and 380mph...a very significant and very meaningful difference.

On top of that, the claims that the 5D III was capable of 30 stops of DR was just flat out ludicrous. Claims that the 5D III can capture 16 stops of DR is ludicrous. The notion that the "10-stop shed lift" resulted in "ok IQ" is also ludicrous...the noise in those images is atrocious, and completely unacceptable.

Sorry, but even though I usually like to defend Canon's IQ for what it is...excellent if no longer "the best of the best", I couldn't just ignore so many blatant misunderstandings and incorrect information lie unaddressed. I enjoy a good argument, and in this case, the Canon guy was wrong, and I responded.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 12:57:15 PM
Two stops is a FOUR FOLD increase in dynamic range, and that is more like the difference between tops speeds of 95mph and 380mph...a very significant and very meaningful difference.

I've yet to meet a Nikon fanboi who has any idea what a logarithm is or why anybody would ever want to use one.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 01:35:53 PM
So, I tried to think of the silliest thing I'd ever actually contemplate doing in the real world. Here it is.

It's a single exposure developed twice: once for the Sun and sky, once for the foreground.

And, normally, when shooting something like this, I'd render the shadowed, backlit foreground as a couple stops underexposed. You know? Shadowed and backlit?

But, no, for the sake of silliness, I rendered it "properly" exposed -- as if I had an insanely massively huge array of octabanks aimed at that back wall. (Can you imagine the power you need to evenly and softly light up that much wall at f/11 from 30' away?)

I then blended the two exposures with a single giant gradient mask from top to bottom. I suppose I could have used a hard-edged mask on the contours of the wall to mimic the octabank, but this already looks unnaturally ugly enough to me.

A camera that can pull off something this silly in a single shot has all the dynamic range any competent photographer needs and then some. Whether the D800 can do even more is irrelevant, as the 5DIII already has ludicrous dynamic range.

TL/DR: If you can't get the shot with a 5DIII, it's your problem, not the camera's.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sdsr on April 06, 2013, 02:03:29 PM
Here is an example of a scene with extreme dynamic range that perfectly demonstrates the "window test" that Art_d mentioned a page or two back:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/)

Nearly-blown highlights as well as areas that appear to be completely black, as the scene had around 13 stops of DR. I want to contrast this against the underexposed shed shot...which did not really have even moderately-bright highlights...I think pretty much every pixel was below a middle toned gray in the shed shot. That indicates it was not a DR-limited scene. The scene above, however, is definitely a DR-limited scene...you have every level from near total black to near pure white (and the pixels on the seat of the chair outside on the patio may indeed be clipped whites). This is exactly the kind of scene where having more DR than the 5D III offers is valuable.

The D800's additional two stops of DR allow both the highlights and the deep shadows to be recovered, and recovered completely cleanly, cleanly, devoid of any noise:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/)


Yes, it's clever that a camera allows you (or whoever's photo this is) to do that, but (and this is an aesthetic opinion more than anything else) I can't help noting that in this particular case it's been done rather heavy-handedly to what was evidently a botched (deliberately?) photo in the first place.  Doesn't the "correction" look disconcertingly unreal?  It's obvious from the still overblown highlights and other features of the exterior that it's bright and sunny outside, yet the exterior looks less bright than the interior (even though there doesn't seem to be any sunlight illuminating the room).  If it really was brighter inside, would the original be so dark?  (And could the horrible green and red fringing on the tree trunk not have been removed?)   

Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 03:10:18 PM
@sdsr, you've got to the nub of the matter; to really try and prove the benefit of lifting under exposure on the exmor sensor these guys are having to go to extremes. Something that poor old TrumpetPower has been trying to point out until he's turned purple.

Most of us know that the Nikon has less noise/ banding etc when you really push it, but when it comes to producing real pictures the benefit is much less noticeable - unless you're main pleasure from digital photography is lifting under exposed data to mid tones and viewing it at 200%.  ::)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 03:12:09 PM
Here is an example of a scene with extreme dynamic range that perfectly demonstrates the "window test" that Art_d mentioned a page or two back:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/)

Nearly-blown highlights as well as areas that appear to be completely black, as the scene had around 13 stops of DR. I want to contrast this against the underexposed shed shot...which did not really have even moderately-bright highlights...I think pretty much every pixel was below a middle toned gray in the shed shot. That indicates it was not a DR-limited scene. The scene above, however, is definitely a DR-limited scene...you have every level from near total black to near pure white (and the pixels on the seat of the chair outside on the patio may indeed be clipped whites). This is exactly the kind of scene where having more DR than the 5D III offers is valuable.

The D800's additional two stops of DR allow both the highlights and the deep shadows to be recovered, and recovered completely cleanly, cleanly, devoid of any noise:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/)


Yes, it's clever that a camera allows you (or whoever's photo this is) to do that, but (and this is an aesthetic opinion more than anything else) I can't help noting that in this particular case it's been done rather heavy-handedly to what was evidently a botched (deliberately?) photo in the first place.  Doesn't the "correction" look disconcertingly unreal?  It's obvious from the still overblown highlights and other features of the exterior that it's bright and sunny outside, yet the exterior looks less bright than the interior (even though there doesn't seem to be any sunlight illuminating the room).  If it really was brighter inside, would the original be so dark?  (And could the horrible green and red fringing on the tree trunk not have been removed?)

It's even worse than you make it out. Much worse.

First, the non-lifted scene is exposed about right for the outdoors if that was all that was in the photograph. Flip between the two and you can see that the sky is actually darker and much muddier in the HDR rendition!

If you're going to do something like this, you want the outside to appear bright and the inside to appear not dark but dim. The sky should be a very light blue -- almost white, but shy enough from white to still have color in it.

Assuming, for whatever reason, that I couldn't light this scene properly, I'd take two exposures regardless of camera -- one for the outdoors and one for the interior. And the exposures I'd make would already be a bit overexposed for the outdoors and a bit underexposed for the interior -- basically exactly as they'd wind up in the final image. Editing would be nothing more than masking the two together.

Here's a quick-and-dirty edit. The shadows under the beds are still blocked, but I'm not going to waste more time fixing somebody else's bad post-processing.

And the 5DIII would have no trouble doing this shot, noiselessly, even with a single exposure if you were so lazy you couldn't press the shutter twice.

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Cgdillan on April 06, 2013, 03:16:19 PM
Darn  :(

Imagine if we had shot this on a D800 instead of out dated gear from 2005  :'(

Love this shot!!!!!!
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 06, 2013, 04:12:45 PM
@sdsr, you've got to the nub of the matter; to really try and prove the benefit of lifting under exposure on the exmor sensor these guys are having to go to extremes. Something that poor old TrumpetPower has been trying to point out until he's turned purple.

Most of us know that the Nikon has less noise/ banding etc when you really push it, but when it comes to producing real pictures the benefit is much less noticeable - unless you're main pleasure from digital photography is lifting under exposed data to mid tones and viewing it at 200%.  ::)

I don't consider this as "extreme":

(http://www.arthurdomagala.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/IMG_6414-web.jpg)
Let me summarize the blog post which accompanied the example. The scene was exposed to capture the colors in the sky. Because of DR limitations, not blowing out the sky meant the the lower left corner of the exposure was essentially black. The goal was to lift the shadows there a bit and get to the dark blue color. This resulted in ugly fixed pattern noise in that area which was noticeable in an actual print. Also note we are not talking pushing blacks into midtones. As you can see those are still shadows that area.

We can go on all day long posting examples of where DR is not a limitation. That doesn't change anything in the photos where it is.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 04:26:04 PM
Darn  :(

Imagine if we had shot this on a D800 instead of out dated gear from 2005  :'(

Love this shot!!!!!!


Many thanks cgDillan, it's one of our favourites.  :)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 04:39:56 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.

Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.

Unfortunately missionaries sometimes get eaten.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 06, 2013, 04:50:10 PM
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.

 ;)

I should point out that some of us believe in DR (should I call it 'salvation' in this context?), but don't find the tradeoffs worthwhile.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 04:58:53 PM
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.

 ;)

I should point out that some of us believe in DR (should I call it 'salvation' in this context?), but don't find the tradeoffs worthwhile.

Our DR, Who art in Nikon, Exmor be Thy Name....

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 05:05:58 PM
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.

 ;)

I should point out that some of us believe in DR (should I call it 'salvation' in this context?), but don't find the tradeoffs worthwhile.

Our DR, Who art in Nikon, Exmor be Thy Name....

b&

  ;D ;D ;D ;D  That is so funny !

We should go on tour.....
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 05:40:26 PM
Here is an example of a scene with extreme dynamic range that perfectly demonstrates the "window test" that Art_d mentioned a page or two back:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/7043690229/#lightbox/)

Nearly-blown highlights as well as areas that appear to be completely black, as the scene had around 13 stops of DR. I want to contrast this against the underexposed shed shot...which did not really have even moderately-bright highlights...I think pretty much every pixel was below a middle toned gray in the shed shot. That indicates it was not a DR-limited scene. The scene above, however, is definitely a DR-limited scene...you have every level from near total black to near pure white (and the pixels on the seat of the chair outside on the patio may indeed be clipped whites). This is exactly the kind of scene where having more DR than the 5D III offers is valuable.

The D800's additional two stops of DR allow both the highlights and the deep shadows to be recovered, and recovered completely cleanly, cleanly, devoid of any noise:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26562595@N02/6897594964/#lightbox/)


Yes, it's clever that a camera allows you (or whoever's photo this is) to do that, but (and this is an aesthetic opinion more than anything else) I can't help noting that in this particular case it's been done rather heavy-handedly to what was evidently a botched (deliberately?) photo in the first place.  Doesn't the "correction" look disconcertingly unreal?  It's obvious from the still overblown highlights and other features of the exterior that it's bright and sunny outside, yet the exterior looks less bright than the interior (even though there doesn't seem to be any sunlight illuminating the room).  If it really was brighter inside, would the original be so dark?  (And could the horrible green and red fringing on the tree trunk not have been removed?)

It goes back to Art_d's question: If you are in a room that is lit only by sunlight from outside, and you look out the window...does the room suddenly become black?

Obviously the answer is no. The room looks...normal. Illuminated, colorful, even "bright"...as in the examples I posted. Our eyes are capable of seeing far more dynamic range in a scene than a camera, so...if one wishes to take a photo of such a room as the one I linked, they must either take bracketed shots and blend an HDR in post...or use something like the D800 which has more DR to start with.

I wouldn't say the room looks "surrealistic", which I believe is what you are getting at. I believe it is a bit over-saturated, but other than that I think it looks how a human standing in the room would see it...diffusely illuminated...not pitch black dark. I can stand in my living room right now. I have a black blanket over my sliding door/window, shutters closed over all the others, leaving only two short but wide windows near the ceiling open. I don't see a black room...I see a very brightly lit room. My Canon 7D, however, sees this:

(http://i.imgur.com/E92Wd4s.jpg)

Both the highlights from outside the window are clipped, and the room itself is largely shrouded in darkness. Not realistic at all. If I was a realtor, taking photographs of a home for sale, that would be entirely unacceptable. Having completely blown window highlights wouldn't be acceptable either. Granted, this IS an extreme scenario, but that does not make it an INVALID scenario, or one which the average photographer would never encounter...it is simply extreme, and probably fairly rare (at least, for interior design photography...one could easily encounter this kind of DR in landscapes every time you take a shot!) Normally, one would resort to HDR for this kind of thing. A camera with more dynamic range would be able to capture the scene in a single shot, or do significantly better in a single shot.

In my naive attempts to compensate for the excessive DR and determine the actual total DR of the scene, I underexposed by one stop at a time until the highlights in the window were no longer clipped, then overexposed by one stop at a time until the shadows were no longer blocked. I ended up with -5 EV for the highlights, and +2 EV for the shadows, around 0 EC. According to DXOMark, the 7D has 11.12 stops of DR at ISO 100 (even better than the 5D III by a small margin, however the 7D has significantly worse banding noise, so the 5D III would probably do better in this situation), which leaves us with a scene DR of 18 stops. Is my 7D sufficient to capture the scene in a single shot? Technically speaking, even a D800 couldn't capture this in a single shot, however I'm inclined to rent one and perform the same exposure...just to prove a point.

We cannot recover clipped highlights...so the only recovery option is to lift shadows (as you can never actually "clip" shadows...you just lose shadow detail to read noise.) If the scene is 18 stops, and my camera is capable of capturing 11 stops, then I need to lift by SIX STOPS to correct the exposure to something more realistic. The below shot, barring the noise, represents more what I saw with my own eyes:

(http://i.imgur.com/eEdXkrg.jpg)

Obviously, the shadow recovery capabilities of the 7D are not top shelf. This is similar to what people have demonstrated with a 5D II in equally extreme situations. The 5D III probably wouldn't do quite as bad when it comes to banding noise, however it also wouldn't do as well as the D800 (my DR is similar to the DR of the scene from Flickr that I linked before). If I use the most over-exposed shot and attempt to recover, well I can get better results, but I have clipped highlights. Unlike shadows, which can always be recovered, even if they contain noise...clipped highlights are gone for good:

(http://i.imgur.com/FbTKIcs.jpg)

The above shot is much more accurate, but those windows are painfully bright. I wouldn't show such a photo to a prospective buyer...and the shadows and midtones are still not great...too much contrast and not enough realistic detail. Blending an HDR from the the 0EV, -5EV, and +2EV in Nik HDR Efex results in the following:

(http://i.imgur.com/zyd1Vci.jpg)

Much more accurate...and, much more like the recovery of the D800 sample photos from Flickr. The highlights are in tact, one can actually see out the window. The midtones and shadows are richer and more realistic. I spent about 15 minutes tweaking this HDR, however even with some meticulous tweaks, it still isn't great. The top of my pine tree through the window has some nasty posterization. The clouds are starting to look a little surrealistic as well. There are some quirky CA effects that were present in the lens, and exacerbated by the HDR process. I could clean those up, but its more work, more time, more effort.

It would have, plain and simply, been easier with a D800. I'm not about to jump ship. Like I said, I like my Canon gear, and I primarily shoot high ISO, however I also primarily shoot wildlife and birds these days, as I would prefer to have more resolution, full frame, and more DR for my landscape work. If Canon doesn't release a camera with more DR, then I'll be picking up a 5D III for that purpose. Otherwise, I'll happily grab the next Canon camera that offers more than 11 stops of dynamic range, and be grateful for the benefit it'll most certainly provide in my landscape photography (which is almost always around sunset, sometimes around sunrise, where DR can even be more than 18 stops.)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 06, 2013, 05:42:15 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.
This is the sort of thing that I've been talking about. When a legitimate example is provided, an attempt is made to discredit that example and call into question the competence of the photographer.

With all due respect, there is nothing wrong with my technique or my processing skills. The photo was exposed optimally for the shooting conditions. The photo was exposed as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the exposure, and then highlight recovery was used in post processing to reduce the brightness in the sky to bring out the colors and the textures in the clouds.

In other words, the photograph was properly exposed. Any more exposure would have blown the highlights. The problem here is not underexposure. The problem is the scene is exceeding the dynamic range of the sensor.

Quote
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.
That's a straw man tactic. I have never expressed an opinion that anyone should switch to Nikon, that Canon cameras were terrible, etc. I have tried to provide an explanation of dynamic range limitations and how they present in real world scenarios with Canon cameras. And to explain how it could benefit some photographers if Canon did improve their dynamic range.


Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 05:48:45 PM
BTW, I have a full set of Canon CR2 raw files that I used for my previous post above. If anyone wants them, I will be happy to upload the whole set.

I'd also offer that the 7D shot with all the noise could probably be cleaned up pretty well with Topaz DeNoise 5, which has debanding and DR recovery features. It would probably still be stuck with the rather extreme red cast, and you would have to deal with a loss of detail as well due to the NR. But, one COULD recover a fair amount of DR from that most extreme frame. Maybe a stop. I've done that a few times for some of my bird photography where shadows underneath a wing of an in-flight bird had a little bit of banding, and the results can be quite good.

Still...they aren't as good as what you can get out of a camera that doesn't have banding noise to start with.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 05:50:01 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.
This is the sort of thing that I've been talking about. When a legitimate example is provided, an attempt is made to discredit that example and call into question the competence of the photographer.

With all due respect, there is nothing wrong with my technique or my processing skills. The photo was exposed optimally for the shooting conditions. The photo was exposed as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the exposure, and then highlight recovery was used in post processing to reduce the brightness in the sky to bring out the colors and the textures in the clouds.

In other words, the photograph was properly exposed. Any more exposure would have blown the highlights. The problem here is not underexposure. The problem is the scene is exceeding the dynamic range of the sensor.

Quote
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.
That's a straw man tactic. I have never expressed an opinion that anyone should switch to Nikon, that Canon cameras were terrible, etc. I have tried to provide an explanation of dynamic range limitations and how they present in real world scenarios with Canon cameras. And to explain how it could benefit some photographers if Canon did improve their dynamic range.

To lay the issue to rest...it might help if you can post an example of the original, unedited exposure, to demonstrate where highlights and shadows fell before post-processing.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 06, 2013, 06:12:43 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.
This is the sort of thing that I've been talking about. When a legitimate example is provided, an attempt is made to discredit that example and call into question the competence of the photographer.

With all due respect, there is nothing wrong with my technique or my processing skills. The photo was exposed optimally for the shooting conditions. The photo was exposed as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the exposure, and then highlight recovery was used in post processing to reduce the brightness in the sky to bring out the colors and the textures in the clouds.

In other words, the photograph was properly exposed. Any more exposure would have blown the highlights. The problem here is not underexposure. The problem is the scene is exceeding the dynamic range of the sensor.

Quote
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.
That's a straw man tactic. I have never expressed an opinion that anyone should switch to Nikon, that Canon cameras were terrible, etc. I have tried to provide an explanation of dynamic range limitations and how they present in real world scenarios with Canon cameras. And to explain how it could benefit some photographers if Canon did improve their dynamic range.

To lay the issue to rest...it might help if you can post an example of the original, unedited exposure, to demonstrate where highlights and shadows fell before post-processing.

A screenshot of the raw file at the default settings (except blacks which default at 5 but are pulled to 0 here):
(http://arthurdomagala.com/temp_example/raw_screenshot.jpg)
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 06:19:35 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.
This is the sort of thing that I've been talking about. When a legitimate example is provided, an attempt is made to discredit that example and call into question the competence of the photographer.

With all due respect, there is nothing wrong with my technique or my processing skills. The photo was exposed optimally for the shooting conditions. The photo was exposed as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the exposure, and then highlight recovery was used in post processing to reduce the brightness in the sky to bring out the colors and the textures in the clouds.

In other words, the photograph was properly exposed. Any more exposure would have blown the highlights. The problem here is not underexposure. The problem is the scene is exceeding the dynamic range of the sensor.

Quote
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.
That's a straw man tactic. I have never expressed an opinion that anyone should switch to Nikon, that Canon cameras were terrible, etc. I have tried to provide an explanation of dynamic range limitations and how they present in real world scenarios with Canon cameras. And to explain how it could benefit some photographers if Canon did improve their dynamic range.

So why doesn't the luminosity of the light source, the sky, match what it is illuminating ? The sky is too flat compared with the rest of the scene. Either you have under exposed or corrupted the balance in post.

As jrista rightly points out: you'd have to let us have access to the RAW data. 


Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 06:57:08 PM
A screenshot of the raw file at the default settings (except blacks which default at 5 but are pulled to 0 here):
(http://arthurdomagala.com/temp_example/raw_screenshot.jpg)

Unless I'm quite mistraken, that's taken with a 5DII.

I'd comment further, but I'm not sure I can do so politely.

Just as I would comment on jrista comparing a 7D with the D800...if I wasn't certain there's no way I could do so politely.

I'll just note that these are garden-variety Nikon troll tactics, whether intentional or otherwise: complain about how lousy Canon gear is, but compare two- or three-generation old Canon equipment with latest-generation Nikon equipment. And, for bonus points, compare APS-C to 135 format while you're at it. That doesn't exactly do a whole lot to your credibility, guys.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 07:00:55 PM
@art_d, I agree that's not an extreme example of manipulation, and you haven't lifted it too much. The lighting however is quite extreme but the picture, to me, is demonstrating signs of under exposure in the first place.

If you've struggled with unacceptable results from lifting these low lights then you really have to review your technique and the programs you are using to post process.
This is the sort of thing that I've been talking about. When a legitimate example is provided, an attempt is made to discredit that example and call into question the competence of the photographer.

With all due respect, there is nothing wrong with my technique or my processing skills. The photo was exposed optimally for the shooting conditions. The photo was exposed as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the exposure, and then highlight recovery was used in post processing to reduce the brightness in the sky to bring out the colors and the textures in the clouds.

In other words, the photograph was properly exposed. Any more exposure would have blown the highlights. The problem here is not underexposure. The problem is the scene is exceeding the dynamic range of the sensor.

Quote
Yourself and jrista are behaving like Nikon missionaries trying to spread your good word to the great unbelievers.
That's a straw man tactic. I have never expressed an opinion that anyone should switch to Nikon, that Canon cameras were terrible, etc. I have tried to provide an explanation of dynamic range limitations and how they present in real world scenarios with Canon cameras. And to explain how it could benefit some photographers if Canon did improve their dynamic range.

So why doesn't the luminosity of the light source, the sky, match what it is illuminating ? The sky is too flat compared with the rest of the scene. Either you have under exposed or corrupted the balance in post.

As jrista rightly points out: you'd have to let us have access to the RAW data.

I disagree that the sky is too "flat" in the unedited screenshot. It goes right up to the high white in the upper right corner, and down to fairly deep shadows in the lower left corner. The lighting is "flat" because of the angle...high angle, high reflectance and dispersion, less local contrast. The sky itself looks a bit hazy, which will quickly flatten out any depth and muddy up saturated colors. The histogram even rides up the right-hand side, and nearly touches the left-hand side. There is nothing wrong with Art_d's exposure...there is probably at least 12-13 stops of DR in that scene.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: Sporgon on April 06, 2013, 07:25:18 PM
@jrista, agreed. I posted my reply without seeing that art_d had posted his screen shot.

From what I can tell from what I can see of the histogram there should be no problem in lifting lowlights. Appears to be a good example of bring back highlights.

The rest of the exposure settings I can't make head or tail of.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 06, 2013, 07:41:07 PM
Unless I'm quite mistraken, that's taken with a 5DII.

I'd comment further, but I'm not sure I can do so politely.
What is the problem with it being a 5DII image? It has essentially the same DR as a 5DIII.

In fact, I have seen some reports that at ISO 100 (which is what this photo was shot at) the 5DIII actually has
a fraction less dynamic range and higher readout noise:

http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/1DX.html (http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/1DX.html)

The 5DIII does improve on the banding. But from what I have seen those improvements are not substantial enough to eliminate it.

Quote
I'll just note that these are garden-variety Nikon troll tactics, whether intentional or otherwise: complain about how lousy Canon gear is, but compare two- or three-generation old Canon equipment with latest-generation Nikon equipment. And, for bonus points, compare APS-C to 135 format while you're at it. That doesn't exactly do a whole lot to your credibility, guys.
TrumpetPower, every time I call you out on this you ignore me. This is a straw man argument. Show me where I have complained about Canon gear or called it lousy. Is this really the best you can do? Sling mud at me?
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 06, 2013, 09:04:04 PM
Just as I would comment on jrista comparing a 7D with the D800...if I wasn't certain there's no way I could do so politely.

I'll just note that these are garden-variety Nikon troll tactics, whether intentional or otherwise: complain about how lousy Canon gear is, but compare two- or three-generation old Canon equipment with latest-generation Nikon equipment. And, for bonus points, compare APS-C to 135 format while you're at it. That doesn't exactly do a whole lot to your credibility, guys.

I challenge you to try something similar with the 5D III. The results will be nearly exactly the same. The 7D and the 5D III have almost exactly the same DR, and the 5D III has not eliminated banding noise problems. You can complain all you want about me comparing a 7D to the D800, but in terms of DR, it is not any different than comparing the 5D III to the D800. I seriously CHALLENGE you to perform the exact same test.

Either you accept my challenge, honestly, and show the world that we aren't just full of S____, and that Canon has some areas to improve upon...or you are too afraid to be proven wrong, and you'll ignore my challenge. Assuming you'll be ignoring my challenge, I'll be renting a 5D III once I receive my lens back from being repaired by Canon (should be sometime next week), and redo the test myself. This is no joke, and it is the SOLE legitimate complaint I think Canon users have regarding Canon equipment. In every other respect, it's stellar gear.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 06, 2013, 09:45:54 PM
Just as I would comment on jrista comparing a 7D with the D800...if I wasn't certain there's no way I could do so politely.

I'll just note that these are garden-variety Nikon troll tactics, whether intentional or otherwise: complain about how lousy Canon gear is, but compare two- or three-generation old Canon equipment with latest-generation Nikon equipment. And, for bonus points, compare APS-C to 135 format while you're at it. That doesn't exactly do a whole lot to your credibility, guys.

I challenge you to try something similar with the 5D III. The results will be nearly exactly the same. The 7D and the 5D III have almost exactly the same DR, and the 5D III has not eliminated banding noise problems. You can complain all you want about me comparing a 7D to the D800, but in terms of DR, it is not any different than comparing the 5D III to the D800. I seriously CHALLENGE you to perform the exact same test.

Either you accept my challenge, honestly, and show the world that we aren't just full of S___, and that Canon has some areas to improve upon...or you are too afraid to be proven wrong, and you'll ignore my challenge. Assuming you'll be ignoring my challenge, I'll be renting a 5D III once I receive my lens back from being repaired by Canon (should be sometime next week), and redo the test myself. This is no joke, and it is the SOLE legitimate complaint I think Canon users have regarding Canon equipment. In every other respect, it's stellar gear.

Dude.

I've done nothing but post exactly those sorts of tests.

Hell, the most recent one I posted had the Sun in the frame.

So, by all means. Tell me I'm full of it if it'll make you feel better about your Nikon love.

But I've proven everything I need to and then some.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 07, 2013, 10:40:20 AM
With respect, you haven't proved anything. When it is shown that an argument you've made is incorrect, instead of admitting you are wrong you either ignore that point, misdirect the conversation to a different point, or resort to straw man attacks.

Let's go back to this statement of yours:

There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.

Most photographers understand this is not true. I pointed out how this is not true and even provided the example of a print. You ignored my example for a while but then when I brought it up again and went so far as to post what the actual raw image looked like, you then claimed my example was not valid because it uses a 5DII and not a 5DIII. I then pointed out that the two cameras have essentially the same dynamic range. (I would also observe, in reference to your comment above, the 5DII does fall into the category of having been produced within the past few "decades.")
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 07, 2013, 11:27:26 AM
There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.

Most photographers understand this is not true.

ORLY?

And what model printer with what paper, exactly, is it that can make 12-stop prints?

Do tell, please.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 07, 2013, 12:56:53 PM
TrumpetPower, you seem to be going out of your way to be obtuse on this. Do you really not understand how dynamic range applies to photography? Are you really trying to tell us that for all these "decades" that photographers who have been using graduated neutral density filters, fill flash, etc. to compensate for dynamic range limitations have been doing so needlessly?

If you are honestly confused on this topic, then rather me explaining it to you, I will provide you with a resource which I think already does an excellent job:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/dynamic-range.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/dynamic-range.html)

For your benefit I will quote a short excerpt from that article to show it might be worth your while:

"A big source of confusion is the range of the display media, whether it's printing paper or a monitor or anything else. You'll constantly come across people saying that since a certain range is all you can display, then that's all the DR you can have, or can use, or whatever. Not so. Any subject brightness range can potentially be represented accurately and proportionately within a given display range—as long as you captured the brightness levels of the subject correctly relative to each other in the first place."

There is much more there. If you are still not clear after reading that article (and in partciular the "Output" portion of that article) then let me know.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: sdsr on April 07, 2013, 01:59:36 PM

It goes back to Art_d's question: If you are in a room that is lit only by sunlight from outside, and you look out the window...does the room suddenly become black?

Obviously the answer is no. The room looks...normal. Illuminated, colorful, even "bright"...as in the examples I posted. Our eyes are capable of seeing far more dynamic range in a scene than a camera, so...if one wishes to take a photo of such a room as the one I linked, they must either take bracketed shots and blend an HDR in post...or use something like the D800 which has more DR to start with.

I wouldn't say the room looks "surrealistic", which I believe is what you are getting at. I believe it is a bit over-saturated, but other than that I think it looks how a human standing in the room would see it...diffusely illuminated...not pitch black dark.

[snip]

[end quote]

When you look out a window onto sunny exterior, no, the interior doesn't *become* black, and it doesn't *appear* to be as dark as cameras "see" it if they're exposed for the exterior; but the interior doesn't *look* as bright as it does when you're looking directly at it either, and it certainly doesn't look *brighter* than the exterior does when it's sunny outside (unless there's an unusual level of artificial light inside).  I assume that the point of the way this photo was processed was to make the exterior look as bright as it would look if you were looking through the window, and to make the interior look as bright as it would if you were looking at the darkest part of the room, simultaneously.  If *that* was the point, the result strikes me as a failure: the interior is brighter, and has more saturated colors, than the exterior.  (I don't much care for the intention either, but that's a purely aesthetic matter - I don't share the evidently rather common desire to shine lights onto every shadow.)  The end result in the example you posted today looks much more successful to me.

This, of course, is a side issue to the general points being made re dynamic range.  If you need or want more, go for it.  (I think you would find that you can push shadows better with a 6D than with a 5DIII.)   By the way, anyone who prefers APS-C and really likes being able to brighten shadows should check out, not Nikon (reviews suggest that their new APS-C sensors, which are no longer made by Sony, are noisier) but Pentax.  I used to own a K-5, which was quite amazing in that regard, and its successors may be even better (but this comes at a price - worse lenses and less accurate focusing...). 
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 07, 2013, 02:53:47 PM
TrumpetPower, you seem to be going out of your way to be obtuse on this.

Art, your own link quite clearly states that the cameras capture significantly more dynamic range than you can output, and that the challenge is compressing the input into the range of the output

That's exactly what I've been writing from the beginning of this thread -- including in the very sentence you quoted of mine that you stated was complete bollocks.

Somebody's clearly got some reading comprehension issues going on here.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 07, 2013, 03:38:18 PM

It goes back to Art_d's question: If you are in a room that is lit only by sunlight from outside, and you look out the window...does the room suddenly become black?

Obviously the answer is no. The room looks...normal. Illuminated, colorful, even "bright"...as in the examples I posted. Our eyes are capable of seeing far more dynamic range in a scene than a camera, so...if one wishes to take a photo of such a room as the one I linked, they must either take bracketed shots and blend an HDR in post...or use something like the D800 which has more DR to start with.

I wouldn't say the room looks "surrealistic", which I believe is what you are getting at. I believe it is a bit over-saturated, but other than that I think it looks how a human standing in the room would see it...diffusely illuminated...not pitch black dark.

[snip]

[end quote]

When you look out a window onto sunny exterior, no, the interior doesn't *become* black, and it doesn't *appear* to be as dark as cameras "see" it if they're exposed for the exterior; but the interior doesn't *look* as bright as it does when you're looking directly at it either, and it certainly doesn't look *brighter* than the exterior does when it's sunny outside (unless there's an unusual level of artificial light inside).  I assume that the point of the way this photo was processed was to make the exterior look as bright as it would look if you were looking through the window, and to make the interior look as bright as it would if you were looking at the darkest part of the room, simultaneously.  If *that* was the point, the result strikes me as a failure: the interior is brighter, and has more saturated colors, than the exterior.  (I don't much care for the intention either, but that's a purely aesthetic matter - I don't share the evidently rather common desire to shine lights onto every shadow.)  The end result in the example you posted today looks much more successful to me.

Well, I'm not sure I've ever experienced what you stated, that looking outside the window makes the interior darker. I'm looking outside the same windows I photographed, and there is no darkening of the interior. The interior is lit by diffuse bounce from those very windows themselves...the lighting is fixed, and what I see remains fixed as well, whether I'm looking at a wall or looking out the window. I've never seen the "bloom" effect when looking out a window, however I have experienced something like that when I go outside into the bright sun for a while...which forces my irises to contract. Going back inside after THAT results in a slightly darker interior for a minute or two, after which it normalizes again.

The end result was an HDR image that had the full 18 stops of dynamic range. I had to spend about 15 minutes tweaking and tonemapping to get it to look that good in the first place, and it doesn't look great...there are definite and visible problems. The D800 probably wouldn't do quite as well on the DR front...but it would do nearly as well, and much better than any Canon camera could currently do. The shadows, and my black leather couch, would just have more random luma noise with the D800. Regardless, the point is, using a camera with more dynamic range means you can get good or better results with less work. That's kind of what it's all about.

This, of course, is a side issue to the general points being made re dynamic range.  If you need or want more, go for it.  (I think you would find that you can push shadows better with a 6D than with a 5DIII.)   By the way, anyone who prefers APS-C and really likes being able to brighten shadows should check out, not Nikon (reviews suggest that their new APS-C sensors, which are no longer made by Sony, are noisier) but Pentax.  I used to own a K-5, which was quite amazing in that regard, and its successors may be even better (but this comes at a price - worse lenses and less accurate focusing...).

Well, I use APS-C for reach when photographing birds. But to photograph birds, you are rarely ever below ISO 400. Any DR benefits you get at low ISO are usually gone or mostly gone by ISO 400, and entirely gone by 800. Canon read noise is actually better at higher ISO than the competition (until you get into the top one or two stops usually, then it just falls off a cliff like every other brand.) My 7D performs well enough for what I do now, and since I'm always at high ISO any potential gains by moving to any other brand are so marginal as to be meaningless.

I want more DR for my landscape photography. In the past, when I did landscapes much more, I frequently ran into the problem of too much DR in the scene. I often clipped highlights or blocked shadows, and was unable to lift the shadows due to noise. I'm sure a 5D III will do much better than any of my previous cameras, but I'm still going to see if Canon has something up their sleeve in the big mp camera that will improve their DR. There was a rumor a while back about them moving to 16 bit, which I can't imagine them doing unless they managed to improve their read noise. There were also rumors about them using some kind of active cooling, which if they cool their electronics enough, could have a fairly significant impact on reducing read noise.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 07, 2013, 04:48:47 PM
TrumpetPower, you seem to be going out of your way to be obtuse on this.

Art, your own link quite clearly states that the cameras capture significantly more dynamic range than you can output, and that the challenge is compressing the input into the range of the output

That's exactly what I've been writing from the beginning of this thread -- including in the very sentence you quoted of mine that you stated was complete bollocks.

Somebody's clearly got some reading comprehension issues going on here.

b&

Let's provide some more context to what you said:

Yes, there is a huge limitation with respect to dynamic range and photography. Absolutely monstrous.

But the cameras aren't the problem.

The elephant in the room, the one that nobody ever seems to want to talk about, is the print.

There hasn't been a film / sensor made in decades that can't cleanly produce significantly more dynamic range than a print.

You called it the "elephant in the room." You said "the cameras aren't the problem." You were basically trying to make the claim that more dynamic range in cameras doesn't matter because cameras already have more dynamic range than prints. Read the below again please. It explains why you are wrong. It tells you why cameras are the problem.


"A big source of confusion is the range of the display media, whether it's printing paper or a monitor or anything else. You'll constantly come across people saying that since a certain range is all you can display, then that's all the DR you can have, or can use, or whatever. Not so. Any subject brightness range can potentially be represented accurately and proportionately within a given display range—as long as you captured the brightness levels of the subject correctly relative to each other in the first place."

(Emphasis added this time around is mine).
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: TrumpetPower! on April 07, 2013, 04:54:27 PM
Let's provide some more context to what you said:

If you were to provide just a weeee bit more context from that very same post, you might discover that I make the exact same point as the online source you found.

So what's yours? Point, I mean.

b&
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 07, 2013, 06:03:00 PM
Let's provide some more context to what you said:

If you were to provide just a weeee bit more context from that very same post, you might discover that I make the exact same point as the online source you found.

So what's yours? Point, I mean.

b&

That you are arguing AGAINST the value of using a camera with more DR. You've been arguing against it from the get-go, stating that you don't even need all the DR the 5D III has, let alone the D800. The only way we could interpret the print comment was that you were just making another argument against more DR, stating that since print has so little DR, having more couldn't possibly be valuable, because all the "extra" DR would just fall into "Zone 0-1", and thus just be "solid blacks".

You seem to be ignoring the fact that you can compress dynamic range. If your camera has 14 stops, you can compress those 14 into the 8 stops of a computer screen, or even the 5 stops of a print. All it takes is a little tonemapping, assuming you have the DR to start with.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 07, 2013, 06:54:35 PM
long story short
nice that you have seen what I have tried to explain about read noise and banding  since I started as a member here

Not really. My problem with you in the past has been that you have tried to make it sound as though Canon cameras are incapable of taking good photographs, period. My scene had EIGHTEEN STOPS of DR (at least). The D800 will fare better than the 5D III, but even the mighty Exmor will still fall short by four stops in that situation. You'll still have noise...the benefit of Exmor is that it won't be banded noise. As I've always stated in the past...that IS an EXTREME situation, and purposely puts Canon in the worst possible light (no pun intended). You've always made it sound as though Canon sucks donkey danglers, is incapable of producing a good camera, hell you (and Mikael and TheSuede) have even claimed they are incapable of innovating new technology and are literally incapable of producing a better sensor. I dispute those notions. Exmor is an advancement, no doubt about it. It doesn't instantly invalidate every previous sensor design and suddenly make them take crappy photos 100% of the time.

If you had provided a balanced argument in the past, I wouldn't have argued with you. But just like Trumpet, you have provided skewed arguments, straw men, etc., or refuse to accept the facts or prove your case with physical evidence. In the case of Mikael, I believe he frequently posted examples that were unequally weighted against Canon (a 1D X example comes to mind that appeared more underexposed than a D800 shot), and when I demanded actual RAW files, he refused to produce them. That made me even more suspicious, and gave me all the more reason to push harder for the truth. I'll debate the points with anyone who doesn't present a balanced argument or tries to obfuscate the facts. Yes, Canon has some nasty read noise. Read my posts here on CR, you'll see I've never denied that (although I will admit I had very high hopes for the 5D III at its release, and wasn't willing to accept the fact that its DR hadn't changed a bit in a generation until the evidence was too much to deny). However it DOES take an extreme scene with lots of DR to make that actually present as a problem...it does not occur in every single shot, which has been indicated in the past...particularly by Mikael.

There is a balanced argument here, somewhere. I just wish people would make it.

DR is good. There is nothing wrong with having more. More DR is always usable. In certain types of photography, having as much DR as you can get your hands on is critical. Shadow recovery with two extra stops of DR can be amazing, and in the case of Exmor is banding free.

Conversely DR is not the end-all, be-all for every kind of photography. Additional DR, in the case of 14-bit ADC, can only be had at the lowest ISO settings. At higher ISO SNR is the far more relevant factor, and currently Canon stands as the king of high ISO. Sensor IQ is also not the final factor in IQ, AF systems, frame rate, lens quality, etc. are just as important, and for many types of photography, more important than the sensor.

There are pros and cons to everything. Trumpet is arguing there is no value whatsoever to having more DR (probably because of the application of the Zone system, which I believe is invalidated by modern technology, and is skewing his understanding). Ankorwatt and Mikael (assuming they are actually different people) have argued that DR is the only thing that matters and everything else is moot if you don't have more DR.

Neither of those are true, and it really depends on the kind of photography whether more DR matters or not. For most of what I do, I use ISO 100 so rarely that it doesn't matter a wit. I am rarely below ISO 800. Right now, the best cameras I could get my hands on are the 5D III and 1D X, as both offer the cleanest high ISO I've ever seen (particularly the 1D X...I've seen ISO 51200 shots that floor me.) In the case of Art_d's work, it's clear that more DR can be a very valuable thing in a pinch. For pretty much every landscape photographer on earth, more DR will still not be enough, and I am sure people will still be using GND filters when we finally have cameras with 16 stops of DR.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 07, 2013, 07:22:08 PM
long story short
nice that you have seen what I have tried to explain about read noise and banding  since I started as a member here

Not really.......................................................

No one (at least, no one with a shred of objectivity) has denied that Sony/Nikon sensors have more DR than Canon sensors. But jrista is correct - the suggestion that DR at low ISO is the be-all-end-all of what matters for camera performance - for every photographer - is ludicrous and absurd.  Yet...that is exactly how the repeated Mikael/ankorwatt/etc. posts came off. That was the problem with the former persona, and I sincerely hope we don't go down that road again.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 07, 2013, 08:05:00 PM
Let's provide some more context to what you said:

If you were to provide just a weeee bit more context from that very same post, you might discover that I make the exact same point as the online source you found.

So what's yours? Point, I mean.

b&

That you are arguing AGAINST the value of using a camera with more DR. You've been arguing against it from the get-go, stating that you don't even need all the DR the 5D III has, let alone the D800. The only way we could interpret the print comment was that you were just making another argument against more DR, stating that since print has so little DR, having more couldn't possibly be valuable, because all the "extra" DR would just fall into "Zone 0-1", and thus just be "solid blacks".

You seem to be ignoring the fact that you can compress dynamic range. If your camera has 14 stops, you can compress those 14 into the 8 stops of a computer screen, or even the 5 stops of a print. All it takes is a little tonemapping, assuming you have the DR to start with.
Yes. Exactly what jrista wrote.

To remind you, TrumpetPower, this was my point:
"If we accept that GND filters and exposure blending are useful to address dynamic range limitations, then we come to the inevitable conclusion that sensors that natively posses more dynamic range are useful."

This is the point you then tried to refute by saying you don't gain anything by using a camera with more dynamic range because everything has to get compressed down to the dynamic range of a print. And that is just flat out wrong.

I don't know if you actually read the rest of Mike Johnston's article that I linked to, but you and he certainly were not making the same point. I will quote again from that the article (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/dynamic-range.html (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/02/dynamic-range.html)):

"So why, then, if people like higher contrast in the midtones, do photographers want devices with greater dynamic range?

The answer comes down to two things. The first is options. Creative options. Having more information in the file to start with simply gives you more creative and interpretive options for the end result...."

"....The second reason is that for those who love photography because of its power to show what the world looks like, adequate DR is a critical tool in the service of realism."


My impression is you have been arguing against that. If you have not, then we can be in agreement.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 07, 2013, 08:14:29 PM
long story short
nice that you have seen what I have tried to explain about read noise and banding  since I started as a member here

Not really.......................................................

No one (at least, no one with a shred of objectivity) has denied that Sony/Nikon sensors have more DR than Canon sensors. But jrista is correct - the suggestion that DR at low ISO is the be-all-end-all of what matters for camera performance - for every photographer - is ludicrous and absurd.  Yet...that is exactly how the repeated Mikael/ankorwatt/etc. posts came off. That was the problem with the former persona, and I sincerely hope we don't go down that road again.

your opinion, not mine.

The suggestion that DR at low ISO is the be-all-end-all of what matters for camera performance - for every photographer - IS ludicrous and absurd.  Granted, it's my opinion that that's how your posts sounded - and clearly I'm not alone in that opinion.  But maybe that's not what you meant...
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: jrista on April 08, 2013, 11:18:07 AM
long story short
nice that you have seen what I have tried to explain about read noise and banding  since I started as a member here

Just to prove my point. Here is a full-sized JPEG of the "best fit" shot from my living room. The highlights are still blown...probably by about three stops (as this was one stop down from 0EC, and it took five stops down to fully recover the highlights). There is about a stop of super deep shadow detail that is also completely lost to noise and thus unrecoverable. There IS noise, even some banding, so we are definitely at the limits of our DR. Unlike the most extreme example before, which tried to capture the entirety of the full 18 stops of DR in a single shot and expose the worst qualities of a Canon sensor, this is a the best I could do without putting a Canon sensor in the worst possible light. This is a "reasonable" recovery. It is not as good as a D800...we wouldn't have lost the highlights with the D800, only a little bit of the shadows. But it is not the "worst case possible" scenario you/Mikael have frequently put forward:

(http://i.imgur.com/VAmOF7cl.jpg)
Full size (100% crop): http://i.imgur.com/VAmOF7c.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/VAmOF7c.jpg)

BTW, this image has no noise reduction of any kind. With a little bit of basic luma NR and some Topaz DeNoise 5, those shadows can be recovered quite nicely. We are still at least four stops short of fully resolving the DR of the scene, so noise reduction will only take us so far. We might gain a stop of DR with NR. The clipped highlights are gone for good, but we can probably gain on the shadow end. If one is willing to take NR to the limits, and spend the time to extract every last ounce of detail, you could probably get away with another stop, maybe two of underexposure and still recover. It won't be as clean as a D800, and will probably still have some clipped highlights, but it also won't be riddled with the nasty red banding that is the hallmark of Mikael/Ankorwatt's attempts to prove how terrible Canon cameras are.

Hopefully this rounds out the balanced argument.
Title: Re: Canon 5d Mark III Shadow recovery
Post by: art_d on April 08, 2013, 11:48:43 AM
Topaz DeNoise is a pretty useful tool that can help minimize banding. I will add the comment that it can make areas of the photo look smudgy and plasticky if overused, though. It can obliterate banding if you crank it up, but then you'll be left with lumpy/blotchy looking shadow areas. So, moderation is key. (Even in moderation, I find after trying to fix pattern noise with it, it's usually best to add grain back into the photo to help cover the plastic look.)