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Author Topic: 5D3 Dynamic Range  (Read 16657 times)

V8Beast

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »
Well, I think that whole FF vs crop feature is a big deal. :)

Not really. It seems DR is the only thing that matters.

Speaking of DR, I forgot to mention the D5100. With 13.6 stops of DR for $700, you get:

$51 per stop of DR!

OK, now I need to go start some 5DIII vs. D5100 threads so the Canon bashing can persist :D 

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2012, 06:19:39 PM »
Carrying NDs & grads & umbrellaboxes is not a substitute of the flexibility a greater DR offers you, there is just no comparison.

Flash also gives lower iso, flash compension AND ec, ability to alter light, more contrast etc etc - it wins hands down over flexibility

I was taking pictures in a theatre

1D4, no flash, iso 6400+
1DS3, flash, iso 100

Guess which pictures looks the best?

Flash is all about adding light - the more controlled light the better the picture.

Flash is not automatically a winner. It may be in your eyes, but inverse square law of light means it's range is limited. Unless you match the colour temperature and drag the shutter, all you end up with is a shot where the flas is very obvious and the ambience is lost.

I use flash a lot, both on its own and mixed with ambient but I also know when not to use it.

High dr and high ISO cameras bring something new which couldn't be achieved previously.

Your style might be to use flash but it's that - a style point - not right and wrong.

I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

PhilDrinkwater

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2012, 06:21:42 PM »
Well, I think that whole FF vs crop feature is a big deal. :)

Not really. It seems DR is the only thing that matters.

Speaking of DR, I forgot to mention the D5100. With 13.6 stops of DR for $700, you get:

$51 per stop of DR!

OK, now I need to go start some 5DIII vs. D5100 threads so the Canon bashing can persist :D

Haha!!

To be honest I can't understand why people are still discussing it. It's clear if you need more dr you go Nikon. Each photograper is welcome to their own decision on this point. I have my own view too.

All this won't change the 5d3, which I must admit I'm incredibly excited to receive when it comes since the dual card slots will solve one of my problems - wedding backups for a month or two. I wanted a fourth copy of the data so I've invested in 15 64gb sd cards. That'll be enough for 15 weddings at full raw. After a drive going down (fortunately it was raid so I lost nothing) the peace of mind I get will be fantastic!!

PhilDrinkwater

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2012, 06:30:00 PM »
Carrying NDs & grads & umbrellaboxes is not a substitute of the flexibility a greater DR offers you, there is just no comparison.

Flash also gives lower iso, flash compension AND ec, ability to alter light, more contrast etc etc - it wins hands down over flexibility

I was taking pictures in a theatre

1D4, no flash, iso 6400+
1DS3, flash, iso 100

Guess which pictures looks the best?

Flash is all about adding light - the more controlled light the better the picture.

Flash is not automatically a winner. It may be in your eyes, but inverse square law of light means it's range is limited. Unless you match the colour temperature and drag the shutter, all you end up with is a shot where the flas is very obvious and the ambience is lost.

I use flash a lot, both on its own and mixed with ambient but I also know when not to use it.

High dr and high ISO cameras bring something new which couldn't be achieved previously.

Your style might be to use flash but it's that - a style point - not right and wrong.

I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

Not at all. It's just that people have other options these days, some of which produce superior results in certain circumstances.

Use each tool for its benefits, not just because you *can* use it. Modern methods are not worse just because they are modern.

briansquibb

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2012, 06:47:51 PM »


I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

Not at all. It's just that people have other options these days, some of which produce superior results in certain circumstances.

Use each tool for its benefits, not just because you *can* use it. Modern methods are not worse just because they are modern.

Use of high DR (low ISO) to compensate for poor techniques cannot be considered as advancement - just because you can do it the lazy way.

You mention flash distance - but we place the flash just as close as we used to - just using modern wireless techniques to place the camera where we want it - a good use of new technology.

There are so many top pros that use extensive flash that to dismiss flash would be a folly. These people dont use flash for fun - they use it to improve the picture IQ

PhilDrinkwater

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #65 on: May 05, 2012, 06:58:59 PM »


I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

Not at all. It's just that people have other options these days, some of which produce superior results in certain circumstances.

Use each tool for its benefits, not just because you *can* use it. Modern methods are not worse just because they are modern.

Use of high DR (low ISO) to compensate for poor techniques cannot be considered as advancement - just because you can do it the lazy way.

You mention flash distance - but we place the flash just as close as we used to - just using modern wireless techniques to place the camera where we want it - a good use of new technology.

There are so many top pros that use extensive flash that to dismiss flash would be a folly. These people dont use flash for fun - they use it to improve the picture IQ

Where did I suggest dismissing flash? Please don't place words into my mouth.

The dismissiveness is on your side with high dr and the options it brings. So many top pros use high dr too. And high ISO. Tools for the job.

And I'm talking about superior results - not laziness. Flash is not the automatic winner in all circumstances.

I can see this is something you feel strongly about so there's no point continuing the discussion.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2012, 06:59:22 PM »


I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

Not at all. It's just that people have other options these days, some of which produce superior results in certain circumstances.

Use each tool for its benefits, not just because you *can* use it. Modern methods are not worse just because they are modern.

Use of high DR (low ISO) to compensate for poor techniques cannot be considered as advancement - just because you can do it the lazy way.

You mention flash distance - but we place the flash just as close as we used to - just using modern wireless techniques to place the camera where we want it - a good use of new technology.

There are so many top pros that use extensive flash that to dismiss flash would be a folly. These people dont use flash for fun - they use it to improve the picture IQ

But flash is fun!

But, devils advocate, ever heard of natural light photography? :P No flash! more DR is helpful.
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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2012, 06:59:22 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2012, 07:01:52 PM »


I guess if you cant use flash correctly then it is not a good thing. However I dont use it as a style - just a way of controlling the light to improve the IQ. Perhaps this is a skill that is being lost.

Of course if you use high ISO then you lose DR and the ability to get details from the dark places.

Not at all. It's just that people have other options these days, some of which produce superior results in certain circumstances.

Use each tool for its benefits, not just because you *can* use it. Modern methods are not worse just because they are modern.

Use of high DR (low ISO) to compensate for poor techniques cannot be considered as advancement - just because you can do it the lazy way.

You mention flash distance - but we place the flash just as close as we used to - just using modern wireless techniques to place the camera where we want it - a good use of new technology.

There are so many top pros that use extensive flash that to dismiss flash would be a folly. These people dont use flash for fun - they use it to improve the picture IQ

That's taking it to a silly point.  Why don't you just bring out the R,G,B filters and shoot with three frames for each shot with a B&W camera. It's folly to dismiss that old technique. It's poor technique to not shoot that way. You are wasting so much color resolution.

If your camera captures the scene perfectly without spending an hour rigging things up it's not poor technique.
It's called not wasting time and getting a more natural looking results to boot. And it's called also being able to make more spontaneously shot stuff and large-scale stuff look better.

I'm not dismissing flash and rigging and whatnot by any means but you are dismissing things and tossing insults in as well.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 07:04:03 PM by LetTheRightLensIn »

helpful

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2012, 08:57:10 PM »
Quote
Quote
Quote from: helpful on May 04, 2012, 05:39:39 PM
A really high DR better than the 5D3 doesn't really help. As I have explained in previous posts, a lower DR actually stores more data and detail from a scene than a camera with high DR. Ideally the dynamic range would match the scene's DR. Canon's DR probably fits more scenes better than Nikon's. If the dynamic range is higher than the dynamic range intrinsic to the scene, then it actually makes the picture worse (less fine variations in detail of recorded luminosity).
This is false. Increasing the sensor DR will either give you more headroom before clipping, or less noise in the shadows. In both cases, you gain information (for some scenes there might be no data to record there, still you loose nothing).
Quote
In a low dynamic range image (like a frame filled with nothing but green grass), the histogram of a high DR camera like both the 5D3 and the D800 show nothing but a thin peak of data that was recorded. This means lots of detail is being lost because not all 14-bits are being used.
This is false. Most cameras are noise-limited, not quantizer level limited. This means that once the signal reach the ADC, there is (at most) 14 bits of information from the saturation level and down to the noise floor.

Well done clearing up that misinformation, hjulenissen  :)

In your comments there are some mistakes, or perhaps you just read my first sentence which was not clear except in its original context.

* You don't gain information when DR is increased--you exchange one type of information for another. Unless more bits of data are recorded, there is a tradeoff when DR is increased.

I did make one mistake. I should have quoted what I was referring to at the end of the sentence, "A really high DR better than the 5D3 doesn't really help." I was referring to the case being discussed when the scene does not contain more stops of dynamic range than the range already available in the 5D3.

Increasing the DR range of the recorded image does lose data for a scene that does not contain that large of a dynamic range. This is just a mathematical fact--anyone know of the pigeonhole principle? You can't have a RAW file that contains 14 stops of DR and contain as much information in each stop as a RAW file which contains 12 stops of DR. Both RAW files contain 14 bits per color channel, and you can't store those extra two stops without losing data somewhere. The data is lost because the variation between slightly larger changes in color or intensity is "rounded off" to the same value in order to achieve higher DR.

I would like to point out that you actually realized the truth, but didn't grasp it. At the end of your remark, you said, "for some scenes there might be no data to record there, still you loose nothing." So if there is "no data to record there," then that means nothing is recorded there. You may think, "Well, a pixel IS recorded" and so there is no loss. But there is something lost--because that pixel that was recorded could have been recorded with a gamma value closer to one (depending on whether encoding or decoding is being referred to, it could be less than one or greater than one) and stored more tonality and detail.

I am not just speaking off of mathematical logic, but out of my knowledge, training, and education. I have my Ph.D. in mathematics and my field is inverse problems and mathematical imaging. I have multiple articles on the subject published, and the latest is pending publication. These are in top journals--the cheapest of which costs almost $1,500 British pounds for a yearly subscription.

I am also not just a theoretical textbook person. I just got back from spending the entire day photographing.

My purpose is to be helpful through my knowledge, for free and anonymously. You can take it or leave it.

* The last sentence is completely unbelievably painful to even read:

"Most cameras are noise-limited, not quantizer level limited. This means that once the signal reach the ADC, there is (at most) 14 bits of information from the saturation level and down to the noise floor."

That sentence is equivalent to worshiping RAW and saying that 14 bits is the end-all, be-all of everything--the most data that can possibly be contained in an image. If that were true, it wouldn't even be possible to change the ISO level on the camera, because the camera would be recording everything that could be recorded.

There is a compromise in everything. Isaac Newton made the mistake (based on 3rd-party eyes that he trusted better than his own vision) of thinking that there was no diffraction, and hence, he wrongly believed that an infinitely small aperture would be perfect. Likewise, a high dynamic range does not comes without trade-offs, unless a higher quality image format is introduced to store the additional stops of data. Personally, I am advocate of a 48-bit color (3x 16-bit RGB) + 16-bit logarithmic luminosity channel, like Sony's new RGB+W encoding, except with more bits to fit into the current processing standard of 64-bit "words" (i.e., chunks of data).

We can think of these encodings all day long, but no one has control of the market, and no one knows what will be successful.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 09:06:57 PM by helpful »
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sarangiman

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2012, 09:17:26 PM »
helpful,

Since you yourself pointed to Emil Martinec's website, I'm curious why you're still talking about rounding errors when he shows, rather convincingly, that cameras as of ~2008 didn't really benefit from even a 14-bit ADC b/c, essentially, noise is being oversampled at that point. Canon 5D Mark II's noise level at ISO 100, for example, is almost 6 ADU. That means that noise is being oversampled & it is unlikely that higher bit depth would lead to a more accurate representation of the signal since the signal itself can vary by ~6 ADU.

If the noise level were 1 ADU or less, I would agree that there could be rounding errors due to quantization. But as it stands, Martinec's findings seem pretty convincing to me.

So I'd like to hear your counterargument.

Thanks.

helpful

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2012, 09:31:22 PM »
helpful,

Since you yourself pointed to Emil Martinec's website, I'm curious why you're still talking about rounding errors when he shows, rather convincingly, that cameras as of ~2008 didn't really benefit from even a 14-bit ADC b/c, essentially, noise is being oversampled at that point. Canon 5D Mark II's noise level at ISO 100, for example, is almost 6 ADU. That means that noise is being oversampled & it is unlikely that higher bit depth would lead to a more accurate representation of the signal since the signal itself can vary by ~6 ADU.

If the noise level were 1 ADU or less, I would agree that there could be rounding errors due to quantization. But as it stands, Martinec's findings seem pretty convincing to me.

So I'd like to hear your counterargument.

Thanks.

Right now the 14-bit data per color channel in the RAW is scaled appropriately to store the dynamic range of the camera's sensor, whatever that might be. If the scaling was changed, then the image from the camera's sensor could actually contain much more data. It's all integrated into hardware and firmware, so camera manufacturer's like to tell a little white lie and say that "RAW" is exactly what the camera is getting, i.e., coming through the lens. But the analog data always has more available than after analog to digital (ADC) conversion. True, the semiconductor components mess up the analog signal a lot, but there is still no reason to arbitrarily limit it at 14-bits.

I'm sorry for being harsh about your comment. It just seemed ironic to me why RAW would always be assumed to represent the maximum that "nature" has to offer--"nature" being the signal. 14-bits is an arbitrarily chosen number--a compromise.

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TrumpetPower!

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2012, 10:12:24 PM »
If your camera captures the scene perfectly without spending an hour rigging things up it's not poor technique.
It's called not wasting time and getting a more natural looking results to boot. And it's called also being able to make more spontaneously shot stuff and large-scale stuff look better.

Actually, flash is a lot like makeup. A good lighting job will look much more natural than natural light, just like a model with a good makeup job doesn't look like she's wearing any makeup at all.

And that really cuts to the heart of the matter, and to why I keep pounding on the fact that, if the 5DIII is inadequate, then so is the D800.

If the scene is so contrasty that you really need 14 clean stops instead of 12 clean stops, you're shooting in bad light. Not insufficient light, but bad light. And the purpose of flash or other modifiers at that point is only secondarily to add light to the scene. That's incidental, an oh-by-the-way benefit. the real purpose is to fix the light. You know? Add depth and dimesion, sculpt the subject, separate it from its background or surroundings, that sort of thing. And I don't give a damn how much you play with sliders in Lightroom or even with a Wacom airbrush, that's stuff you simply can't do in post if you're even coming close to bumping up against the 5DIII's DR limits.

Once more, with feeling: if the 5DIII hase inadequate dynamic range (or megapixels), the answer isn't to be found in the D800. It's to be found in fixing the light or using some other technique (like HDR or graduated ND filters or whatever). And if you need more megapickles, you either need a multi-shot panorama or you need a larger sensor format.

Really, people. The differences between the two cameras in terms of image quality amounts to little more than a rounding error.

Cheers,

b&

dilbert

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2012, 10:39:33 PM »
And that really cuts to the heart of the matter, and to why I keep pounding on the fact that, if the 5DIII is inadequate, then so is the D800.

If the scene is so contrasty that you really need 14 clean stops instead of 12 clean stops, you're shooting in bad light. Not insufficient light, but bad light. And the purpose of flash or other modifiers at that point is only secondarily to add light to the scene. That's incidental, an oh-by-the-way benefit. the real purpose is to fix the light. You know? Add depth and dimesion, sculpt the subject, separate it from its background or surroundings, that sort of thing. And I don't give a damn how much you play with sliders in Lightroom or even with a Wacom airbrush, that's stuff you simply can't do in post if you're even coming close to bumping up against the 5DIII's DR limits.

Bad light? Really? Have you ever gone outside to take a photograph when the sun is shining?

The difference between the sunlight reflecting off the snow on top of the mountain and the shadow it casts on the trees below can be quite large and for some reason, a flash just doesn't work on all of those trees.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2012, 10:39:33 PM »

cpsico

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #73 on: May 05, 2012, 10:51:18 PM »
And that really cuts to the heart of the matter, and to why I keep pounding on the fact that, if the 5DIII is inadequate, then so is the D800.

If the scene is so contrasty that you really need 14 clean stops instead of 12 clean stops, you're shooting in bad light. Not insufficient light, but bad light. And the purpose of flash or other modifiers at that point is only secondarily to add light to the scene. That's incidental, an oh-by-the-way benefit. the real purpose is to fix the light. You know? Add depth and dimesion, sculpt the subject, separate it from its background or surroundings, that sort of thing. And I don't give a damn how much you play with sliders in Lightroom or even with a Wacom airbrush, that's stuff you simply can't do in post if you're even coming close to bumping up against the 5DIII's DR limits.

Bad light? Really? Have you ever gone outside to take a photograph when the sun is shining?

The difference between the sunlight reflecting off the snow on top of the mountain and the shadow it casts on the trees below can be quite large and for some reason, a flash just doesn't work on all of those trees.
I kind of agree with both of you, lol yes you are shooting in bad light if you need all that DR, but sometimes bad light is all you have  when the moment wil never happen again

Michael7

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2012, 12:25:24 AM »
If your camera captures the scene perfectly without spending an hour rigging things up it's not poor technique.
It's called not wasting time and getting a more natural looking results to boot. And it's called also being able to make more spontaneously shot stuff and large-scale stuff look better.

Actually, flash is a lot like makeup. A good lighting job will look much more natural than natural light, just like a model with a good makeup job doesn't look like she's wearing any makeup at all.

And that really cuts to the heart of the matter, and to why I keep pounding on the fact that, if the 5DIII is inadequate, then so is the D800.

If the scene is so contrasty that you really need 14 clean stops instead of 12 clean stops, you're shooting in bad light. Not insufficient light, but bad light. And the purpose of flash or other modifiers at that point is only secondarily to add light to the scene. That's incidental, an oh-by-the-way benefit. the real purpose is to fix the light. You know? Add depth and dimesion, sculpt the subject, separate it from its background or surroundings, that sort of thing. And I don't give a damn how much you play with sliders in Lightroom or even with a Wacom airbrush, that's stuff you simply can't do in post if you're even coming close to bumping up against the 5DIII's DR limits.

Once more, with feeling: if the 5DIII hase inadequate dynamic range (or megapixels), the answer isn't to be found in the D800. It's to be found in fixing the light or using some other technique (like HDR or graduated ND filters or whatever). And if you need more megapickles, you either need a multi-shot panorama or you need a larger sensor format.

Really, people. The differences between the two cameras in terms of image quality amounts to little more than a rounding error.

Cheers,

b&

Lol. Try "fixing the light" in the middle of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Once more, with  feeling: Huge advantage for people who shoot nature, moving or not.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2012, 12:25:24 AM »