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Author Topic: 5D3 Dynamic Range  (Read 18295 times)

Tcapp

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #75 on: May 06, 2012, 01:13:43 AM »
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.

Hahaha. +1

And yea, you can't always use flash.
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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #75 on: May 06, 2012, 01:13:43 AM »

sarangiman

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #76 on: May 06, 2012, 01:46:00 AM »
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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.

Yes, I realize that ADCs are typically matched (loosely) to the DR of the sensor, considering full-well capacity & noise. And what I'm saying is that for the current sensors in question, your statement that the sensor with lower DR will contain more information for a lower DR scene (that is still within the DR of the camera), if of course the end points of the lower DR sensor were still mapped to the endpoints of the ADC, is not correct because of the read noise of the system. If the read noise were lower (say 1 electrons instead of >20 electrons), then your statement would be correct.

But as of ~2008, Martinec convincingly shows quantization error is largely absent because the read noise is more than adequately sampled (~6 ADU for the 5D Mark II/III!). Therefore, any more 'accurate' representation of the signal, as you are suggesting, will only more accurately represent the noise (fluctuations) within that signal, without any tangible benefit in actual image data.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #77 on: May 06, 2012, 03:15:34 AM »
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 understand Trumpet to mean highly contrastly light - which is when high dr/low iso would be useful. Flash is not the panacea for every occasion in the same way the high DR isn't either.  I understood Trumpet to mean bad light as diffucult to shoot in light rather than low light.

Most of my shooting is outside which is why I have had to develop flash skills to compensate - for example last year I had to do both a wedding and a christening in blazing sun. Flash was the only way out of that situation as the DR was way beyond that of any camera.

I like using natual light wherever possible - yesterday was good light - bright day with an even cloud cover.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #78 on: May 06, 2012, 03:22:32 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&

Sorry, but this just isn't true. Imagine a girl walking along a path in the shade of some trees. In the same scene you can see snow tipped mountains in the background lit by evening sun. Let's say the camera is able to record both the girl and the mountains without excessive noise or highlight clipping.

Are you saying that the light in the shade on the girl is bad light? Because I can guarantee you it isn't. It might not be the light you want, but it won't be poor quality. Now think about the catchlights in the eyes: if you use external lighting to approach or match the exposure of the background, you're going to lose some of the beautiful reflections which reflect the brighter surroundings and partially replace it with a pin light. That's not more natural - its less.

Bad lighting would more likely be the "dirty light" of an indoor venue with dozens of light sources, but capturing shade and non shade and using the natural light makes total sense *in some circumstances*. There's times when each approach is right, but as I said earlier, adding light is not the best option in all circumstances.

briansquibb

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #79 on: May 06, 2012, 03:45:08 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&

Sorry, but this just isn't true. Imagine a girl walking along a path in the shade of some trees. In the same scene you can see snow tipped mountains in the background lit by evening sun. Let's say the camera is able to record both the girl and the mountains without excessive noise or highlight clipping.

Are you saying that the light in the shade on the girl is bad light? Because I can guarantee you it isn't. It might not be the light you want, but it won't be poor quality. Now think about the catchlights in the eyes: if you use external lighting to approach or match the exposure of the background, you're going to lose some of the beautiful reflections which reflect the brighter surroundings and partially replace it with a pin light. That's not more natural - its less.

Bad lighting would more likely be the "dirty light" of an indoor venue with dozens of light sources, but capturing shade and non shade and using the natural light makes total sense *in some circumstances*. There's times when each approach is right, but as I said earlier, adding light is not the best option in all circumstances.

I think perhaps the confusion here is the meaning of 'bad light'. I clearly understand it differently to you in that I see it as a more generalised concept. I see bad light as light that makes taking the image difficult.

I think that both Dilbert and yourself have descibed two types of bad light. Dilbert's example might well be resolved by high DR, mixed colours probably wouldn't.

Mixed colours is possibly the hardest light to shoot in - which is why there are still those using monochrome in those circumstances as the shooter is rarely able to influence the lighting ie at a concert or event.

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #80 on: May 06, 2012, 02:02:04 PM »
Now that we have beaten lighting to death, it all comes back to the point of, if you absolutely need the DR and it makes financial sense your path is clear, either add a d800 to your bag next to your canon gear or have a yard sale and switch.  If more DR is not an absolute necessity then,  just a nice thing to have just in case, then you really don't need to be switching or adding to the bag.

And you know, if the need for it does arise, more times than not it would be on a job and if you knew it was an important job and want that little extra DR, why not go with a rental on body and lens? 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 04:16:45 PM by Chuck Alaimo »
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Tcapp

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #81 on: May 06, 2012, 02:55:47 PM »
Now that we have beaten lighting to death, it all comes back to the point of, if you absolutely need the DR and it makes financial sense your path is clear, wither add a d800 to your bag next to your canon gear or have a yard sale and switch.  If more DR is not an absolute necessity then, you know, just a nice thing to have just in case, then you really don't need to be switching or adding to the bag.

And you know, if the need for it does arise, more times than not it would be on a job and if you knew it was an important job and want that little extra DR, why not go with a rental on body and lens?

Finally, common sense returns!
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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #81 on: May 06, 2012, 02:55:47 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #82 on: May 06, 2012, 11:24:26 PM »
And you know, if the need for it does arise, more times than not it would be on a job and if you knew it was an important job and want that little extra DR, why not go with a rental on body and lens?

If the 5DIII isn't going to have enough dynamic range or resolution for your gig, you'd be a fool to rent (or buy) the D800. The improvement you get with the D800 is just too minimal to have a significant real-world impact in all but the most meaningless of marginal instances.

No, if the 5DIII can't cut the mustard, nothing in the 135 format ever will. What you need for those jobs is medium format -- and not the entry-level $10K kit, either. Plan on at least something in the range of the median annual household income.

The good news is that, if you're actually doing gigs where you really, truly need more than the 5DIII can deliver, then you're charging your clients enough that the MF gear will almost come out of your petty cash account. A single body and its lenses certainly won't be the most expensive part of your capital budget, regardless.

Cheers,

b&

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #83 on: May 06, 2012, 11:31:58 PM »
And you know, if the need for it does arise, more times than not it would be on a job and if you knew it was an important job and want that little extra DR, why not go with a rental on body and lens?

If the 5DIII isn't going to have enough dynamic range or resolution for your gig, you'd be a fool to rent (or buy) the D800. The improvement you get with the D800 is just too minimal to have a significant real-world impact in all but the most meaningless of marginal instances.

No, if the 5DIII can't cut the mustard, nothing in the 135 format ever will. What you need for those jobs is medium format -- and not the entry-level $10K kit, either. Plan on at least something in the range of the median annual household income.

The good news is that, if you're actually doing gigs where you really, truly need more than the 5DIII can deliver, then you're charging your clients enough that the MF gear will almost come out of your petty cash account. A single body and its lenses certainly won't be the most expensive part of your capital budget, regardless.

Cheers,

b&


Funny how when canon was 1-2 stops better than nikon sensors the nikon sensors were trash and canons sensors made a huge difference and now that canon is THREE stops worse in one area, that even in that area the difference is non-existant other than in the most meaningless of marginal circumstances. LOL

I'm not saying it is the end of the world, but come on with the ridiculous talk. Just admit it is 3 stops worse and that for some things that can be a difference and how much that matters depends upon the person and let's be done with it.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #84 on: May 06, 2012, 11:45:27 PM »
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.

The sensors have linear capture, RAW files are not tone-mapped but stored in linear fashion, they all have enough bits in the format, all the sensors with better DR do is make the shadow have less noise.

The Canon sensors themselves aren't really any worse they have same DR as Sony it is how they get the read from them where it differs so the only difference those high DR ones provide is cleaner shadows.

Quote
* 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.

With the Exmor sensors that pretty much is the case. They are basically ISO-less. Shooting ISO100 and raising it in post 4 stops is basically the same result as shooting at ISO1600. With Canon cameras that is not at all the case.

Quote
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.

Most cameras can't even handle a basic 14bit linear file so we are not that sort of worry yet.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #85 on: May 06, 2012, 11:52:20 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.

No the D800 might be adequate if the difference is within three stops.

Quote
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 what about when Canon did 10 stops why isn't the new 12 stops they can do bad light? Because Canon can do it??

Quote
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.

It depends what you are shooting. If it spontaneous and dynamic, careful light sculpting won't work. If it is a grand scene of nature, forget it.

Quote
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 so if three stops can make a difference for some scene it doesn't actually make the difference?

Really and before the 1Ds3 and 5D2 I guess you told people who wanted 21MP that the answer was not in 35mm but to go MF, and as soon as Canon has a 40MP camera then you will ok 35mm is fine for 40MP after all?

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

Cheers,

b&

I don't wanna bash the 5D3, but that is ridiculous. 3 stops is hardly a rounding error. In that case the 6fps of the 5D3 in FF compared to 4fps in FF for the D800 is just a mere rounding error then too no? If you 4fps is not enough then 6fps will hardly be the answer either right??  yeah....

Aglet

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #86 on: May 07, 2012, 01:07:47 AM »

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

Atta boy.  ;)
I'll already provided the fodder for that one.

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #87 on: May 07, 2012, 01:37:45 AM »
Quote
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.

Yes, I realize that ADCs are typically matched (loosely) to the DR of the sensor, considering full-well capacity & noise. And what I'm saying is that for the current sensors in question, your statement that the sensor with lower DR will contain more information for a lower DR scene (that is still within the DR of the camera), if of course the end points of the lower DR sensor were still mapped to the endpoints of the ADC, is not correct because of the read noise of the system. If the read noise were lower (say 1 electrons instead of >20 electrons), then your statement would be correct.

But as of ~2008, Martinec convincingly shows quantization error is largely absent because the read noise is more than adequately sampled (~6 ADU for the 5D Mark II/III!). Therefore, any more 'accurate' representation of the signal, as you are suggesting, will only more accurately represent the noise (fluctuations) within that signal, without any tangible benefit in actual image data.

I think what helpful means is that IF the DR of the ADC was MATCHED to the DR of the scene, then more info could be had from a low DR scene, even with a lower resolution ADC, but he's not describing his idea clearly.

You could certainly get more info from a low DR scene and low DR ADC if they were matched up to the same low and high levels - but there aren't and they won't be.  That kind of fiddling is ridiculous to do in a practical ADC system that's used in imaging this way.  Not saying it can't be done, it just isn't at this point and doing so would require that a lot more post-processing scaling would have to be done for each image and then you would still have to move it up or down to place the relative data you acquired into an absolute frame of reference.  That's why cameras work the way they do now.

Full scale of the ADC needs to be set to the full-well capacity of the sensor, everything else below scaled normally until base noise is a problem.  We don't want to putz around by setting ADC's max to 2/3 of full well for this shot because nothing in the scene is that bright.  If you were going to do that you'd do better scaling the analog signal from the sensor to match its peak value to ADC max.  but that's still not a good system because we don't want relative data, we need absolute data to simplify creating the final image.

14 bits of ADC is good on SoNikon's latest sensors at low ISO
14 bits of ADC is 2 or more LSBits of noise on Canon's, even at low ISO

16 bits might be done on some specialty or analytical cameras with cooled sensors to get super low read noise.

compress all that down with the non-linear gamma we use and we get a useful 8 bit jpg sort of image.

Helpful, if you and the rest of the academics really want to improve SNR and DR performance, you'd devise a non-linear ADC and processing system to better utilize those bits by spreading them over a log function instead of a linear one.  Then a 14 bit log ADC could = 14 stops of DR. :)

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #87 on: May 07, 2012, 01:37:45 AM »

sarangiman

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #88 on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:25 AM »
Quote
Helpful, if you and the rest of the academics really want to improve SNR and DR performance, you'd devise a non-linear ADC and processing system to better utilize those bits by spreading them over a log function instead of a linear one.  Then a 14 bit log ADC could = 14 stops of DR.

But even if you, say, threw a 16-bit ADC into a 5D Mark III, that wouldn't help at all even for low signals, b/c those signals are subject to 6ADU (for a 14-bit ADC) of fluctuation anyway b/c of the ~33 electrons of read noise, correct? All you'd do is represent the noise even more adequately... the read noise would effectively go up to ~31ADU...

So what you're suggesting would only really help for a sensor/read combo that actually has 14 or more stops of DR (I think if read noise were only 1ADU, you might benefit from a little more precision? i.e. read noise of 2 ADU?). Yes?

pete vella

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #89 on: May 07, 2012, 03:13:13 AM »

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Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #89 on: May 07, 2012, 03:13:13 AM »