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Author Topic: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters  (Read 9905 times)

jrista

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 12:13:24 PM »
DR is over-rated.

Why would you say that? It's thanks to what is still GOOD DR that you were able to recover that sky! :P It's not the best of the best right now, but one of my points all along is that Canon sensors don't have "bad" DR either. 

Having good dynamic range, or I guess Exposure Range as Ctein would call it, is what allowed you to do what you did with that photo.

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 12:13:24 PM »

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 12:21:51 PM »
DR is over-rated.

Why would you say that? It's thanks to what is still GOOD DR that you were able to recover that sky! :P It's not the best of the best right now, but one of my points all along is that Canon sensors don't have "bad" DR either. 

Having good dynamic range, or I guess Exposure Range as Ctein would call it, is what allowed you to do what you did with that photo.

I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

The quest for DR has been around and argued for decades. I just believe it's an issue of technique rather than technology.


3kramd5

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2013, 12:42:05 PM »
I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

... provided the scene doesn't exceed the capabilities of the D30.
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jrista

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2013, 12:50:53 PM »
DR is over-rated.

Why would you say that? It's thanks to what is still GOOD DR that you were able to recover that sky! :P It's not the best of the best right now, but one of my points all along is that Canon sensors don't have "bad" DR either. 

Having good dynamic range, or I guess Exposure Range as Ctein would call it, is what allowed you to do what you did with that photo.

I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

The quest for DR has been around and argued for decades. I just believe it's an issue of technique rather than technology.

I would say it is an issue of both. I mean, there is no question that the D800 and D600 have better DR and Exposure Range than the 5D III. They would perform just as well as your 5D III did in WORSE situations than that, where the 5D III would eventually fail due to the high read noise. Technique can help you maximize the potential of what you have, but better technology combined with great technique can do even better still. That's not really the point though.

The point I keep trying to make, which I think you will appreciate, is that the 5D III DOES HAVE GOOD DR! I totally agree that people fuss too much over the 5D III's DR, and a lot of people make it sound as though it is a horrid, nasty piece of crap...when it clearly is not. (I mean, go back to the generation of cameras before the 5D II, and all too frequently they couldn't do any better than 6-7 stops, maybe 9 at the most, with only the absolute top of the line cameras offering 10-11 stops.)

I've tried to make other points as well, but I won't bring those up as it'll probably start a huge war, and I don't really want that.

RLPhoto

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2013, 01:01:15 PM »
I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

... provided the scene doesn't exceed the capabilities of the D30.

No, provided that I understand how to get as many stops of DR I need.

3kramd5

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2013, 01:58:01 PM »
I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

... provided the scene doesn't exceed the capabilities of the D30.

No, provided that I understand how to get as many stops of DR I need.

If you're stacking exposures, sure. But in the case where that's impractical (e.g. motion), you're stuck with the capabilities of your equipment, which is limited on one end by the camera.

If sufficiently equipped, you can compress the dynamic range of the scene using filters (ND over bright areas, for example). But one can't always carry an entire supply room around, and at some point it comes down to the equipment you have with you.

If it indeed doesn't matter, would you willingly exchange your camera for one with, say, 3 stops of capability, all else being equal?

For me, quasi-modern cameras (e.g. my 5D2) generally have enough. But if for whatever reason I wanted to expose someone's face indoors with the lights out facing away from an open window, and simultaneously expose someone's face standing outside that window under direct sunlight, I couldn't do it without significantly altering the lighting conditions (flexibility I may have in a studio, but not in the field).

More common may be "overpower the sun" portraiture. If you don't have a powerful flash, the DR of a camera is vastly insufficient. Expand that to a wider set of subjects than a single portrait.

Having more headroom in the camera is a good thing.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:13:33 PM by 3kramd5 »
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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 02:44:38 PM »
Educational! Thanks for posting.
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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2013, 02:44:38 PM »

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2013, 04:44:17 PM »
I know, but it's still overrated. I did this on a supposed "outdated" sensor tech from a camera everyone loves to bash for DR. Heck, with alittle more time I could do this same shot on a d30.  :P

... provided the scene doesn't exceed the capabilities of the D30.

No, provided that I understand how to get as many stops of DR I need.

If you're stacking exposures, sure. But in the case where that's impractical (e.g. motion), you're stuck with the capabilities of your equipment, which is limited on one end by the camera.

If sufficiently equipped, you can compress the dynamic range of the scene using filters (ND over bright areas, for example). But one can't always carry an entire supply room around, and at some point it comes down to the equipment you have with you.

If it indeed doesn't matter, would you willingly exchange your camera for one with, say, 3 stops of capability, all else being equal?

For me, quasi-modern cameras (e.g. my 5D2) generally have enough. But if for whatever reason I wanted to expose someone's face indoors with the lights out facing away from an open window, and simultaneously expose someone's face standing outside that window under direct sunlight, I couldn't do it without significantly altering the lighting conditions (flexibility I may have in a studio, but not in the field).

More common may be "overpower the sun" portraiture. If you don't have a powerful flash, the DR of a camera is vastly insufficient. Expand that to a wider set of subjects than a single portrait.

Having more headroom in the camera is a good thing.

I don't believe your understanding what I'm stating. It's not about DR, its about being at the right place at the right time.

3kramd5

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2013, 05:37:28 PM »
I don't believe your understanding what I'm stating. It's not about DR, its about being at the right place at the right time.

Being at the right place at the right time is all well and good for pro landscape photographers (or even hobbyists with ample time). But that's not most people. It's not so good for people who photograph things which don't coincide with the solar cycle, or for people who can't get out of the house before dawn or return after dusk.

Suppose someone gets home from his once-in-a-lifetime trip to... Banff for example. He downloads his pictures and is instantly disappointed at the block of white at the upper 1/3 of all his landscape frames, or at the big shadow between the trees where he knows a bear was playing with her cubs.

Technological advancements are welcome. They aren't the end-all-be-all, certainly, but they're welcome nonetheless (and not just for the lay user).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 05:41:55 PM by 3kramd5 »
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RLPhoto

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2013, 06:11:40 PM »
I don't believe your understanding what I'm stating. It's not about DR, its about being at the right place at the right time.

Being at the right place at the right time is all well and good for pro landscape photographers (or even hobbyists with ample time). But that's not most people. It's not so good for people who photograph things which don't coincide with the solar cycle, or for people who can't get out of the house before dawn or return after dusk.

Suppose someone gets home from his once-in-a-lifetime trip to... Banff for example. He downloads his pictures and is instantly disappointed at the block of white at the upper 1/3 of all his landscape frames, or at the big shadow between the trees where he knows a bear was playing with her cubs.

Technological advancements are welcome. They aren't the end-all-be-all, certainly, but they're welcome nonetheless (and not just for the lay user).

I never said tech advancements aren't welcome. I stated that technique will improve DR more than any sensor will. Understanding this you can determine how much DR is needed.

agierke

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2013, 06:55:06 PM »
Quote
I never said tech advancements aren't welcome. I stated that technique will improve DR more than any sensor will. Understanding this you can determine how much DR is needed.

ugh...thank you for stating this. this entirely sums up my feelings towards the dynamic range discussion. i get the feeling that many (not all...dont jump on me) people argue for greater dynamic range so that they dont have to worry about problem solving "photographic" problems anymore. as if greater dynamic range would free them up to shoot in any kind of light (including the absolute worst nightmare impossible situation you can think of) and the camera would be able to turn it into something resembling a good photo in good light. forget finding better light, forget planning a shot out for optimal conditions, forget lighting....ie forget technique altogether.

i'm not against tech advancements either...but it seems as though some want to forgo 150+ years worth of technique so they can get the greatest shot ever in a single frame...anytime...anywhere...any conditions.


i'm with you RLPhoto.....
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 06:59:36 PM by agierke »
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3kramd5

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2013, 07:06:20 PM »
I stated that technique will improve DR more than any sensor will.

What techniques are you referring to to improve DR? Genuinely curious, not being pointlessly argumentative.

Are you talking about post processing like your Before/After? Making brights darker and darks lighter compresses DR and improves the image, yes. There are other ways to limit the DR requirement. You can choose to shoot when the scene doesn't greatly exceed camera capabilities. You can choose to limit the scene DR as viewed through the lens with filters, or by artificially lighting the shadows.

If you don't have those options, and if the scene you photographed clips white and black, what do you do?
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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2013, 07:44:23 PM »
If you don't have those options, and if the scene you photographed clips white and black, what do you do?

Concede defeat and try again when......

Quote
You can choose to shoot when the scene doesn't greatly exceed camera capabilities. You can choose to limit the scene DR as viewed through the lens with filters, or by artificially lighting the shadows.

If you're shooting with natural light, and you don't have the means/skill/will power to manipulate that light with modifiers, filters, diffusers, flash, etc., then you just have to accept that there are certain situations where you simply can't get the shot you want to get. That's just he way it goes, homie :)

More DR is always welcome, but unless you shoot landscapes and have little control over where and when you shoot those landscapes, I can't think of many situations where a photographer has no means of stacking the odds in their camera's favor.
 

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2013, 07:44:23 PM »

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2013, 07:52:32 PM »
I stated that technique will improve DR more than any sensor will.

What techniques are you referring to to improve DR? Genuinely curious, not being pointlessly argumentative.

Are you talking about post processing like your Before/After? Making brights darker and darks lighter compresses DR and improves the image, yes. There are other ways to limit the DR requirement. You can choose to shoot when the scene doesn't greatly exceed camera capabilities. You can choose to limit the scene DR as viewed through the lens with filters, or by artificially lighting the shadows.

If you don't have those options, and if the scene you photographed clips white and black, what do you do?

Those are a few methods. I knew you'd get it sooner or later.

3kramd5

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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2013, 08:25:53 PM »
I stated that technique will improve DR more than any sensor will.

What techniques are you referring to to improve DR? Genuinely curious, not being pointlessly argumentative.

Are you talking about post processing like your Before/After? Making brights darker and darks lighter compresses DR and improves the image, yes. There are other ways to limit the DR requirement. You can choose to shoot when the scene doesn't greatly exceed camera capabilities. You can choose to limit the scene DR as viewed through the lens with filters, or by artificially lighting the shadows.

If you don't have those options, and if the scene you photographed clips white and black, what do you do?

Those are a few methods. I knew you'd get it sooner or later.

You stated technique will improve DR; those are a few methods which reduce it.

I understand working within capabilities. The best camera in the world is the one you have with you and all that. But is not this forum fundamentally about future technology, not working around the limitations of current technology?

Should I expect [CR2] about canon's next great camera which will audibly instruct you to take 60 a second exposure whilst waving your hand in front of the lens like you're burning in the darkroom?
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Re: Dynamic Range vs. Exposure Range, and why the difference matters
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2013, 08:25:53 PM »