August 22, 2014, 08:08:03 PM

Author Topic: 5D3 Dynamic Range  (Read 18336 times)

weixing

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 230
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #90 on: May 07, 2012, 03:28:03 AM »
Hi,
    Just wonder is it the way how Canon record the RAW images that cause this? For example, the dark frame RAW files from Canon 60D include the bias signal data (no light = 2048), while Nikon D700 RAW file remove the bias signal data (no light = 0).

   Not sure about how this will affect real life image, but may be this is why Canon images look noisier in the dark shadow than Nikon?

   Just my $0.02.

   Have a nice day.

sarangiman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #91 on: May 07, 2012, 03:42:16 AM »
Canon does preserve the noise information more than Nikon does because of this offset, but I haven't seen any data yet that quantitates how much the noise is 'crushed' by this pseudo-noise removal in Nikon cameras.

I'd like to see what the deviation from the expected logarithmic curve one sees in the actual signals of patches of Stouffer Transmission wedge shots with these cameras. That might give some clue as to what degree shadows are crushed in Nikon RAW files, with the added benefit of a seemingly higher SNR in the dark patches due to the effective lowering of noise (which would give them higher DR estimates if you calculate DR by determining the number of stops between the brightest not-blown patch & the darkest patch that still yields SNR=1). I'm attempting to do this now with transmission wedge shots from the 5DIII & the D7000. As of now, the D7000 yields SNR>1 even at patch 42 (13.2EV), but I'm curious if shadow crushing due to Nikon's special processing of low signals ends up not representing the actual gradation between the darkest patches as well as it might otherwise.

I have no doubt that the Nikon/Sony sensors & signal processing yield better DR than Canon (Fred Miranda's comparison is rather convincing!)... I'm just curious if it's as great a difference in the real world as what the DXO testing methodology indicates.

psolberg

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 453
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #92 on: May 07, 2012, 07:21:30 AM »
I have a quick question about the dynamic range of the 5D3 which from what I have been reading is behind the D800.  I have never owned a nikon and currently own two 5D3s.  I understand what dynamic range is and how it is important for retaining details in the highlights and shadows of an image.  I guess I would like to know from one who has seen the differences in the two cameras is what am I missing out on?  How does a really high DR (better than the 5D3) help unless I am mostly shooting in high contrast lighting situations or am trying to push or pull and image by more than a couple of stops.  I have always been really happy with the DR of my 5D2 and now my 5D3 and being a wedding photographer I shoot in about every lighting condition possible.  I always shoot JPEG with highlight tone priority enabled and do my best to get the exposure and WB spot on.  I also shoot in Faithful picture mode with the contrast turned down one notch.  I end up with pretty flat images out of the camera with plenty of details in the highlights and shadows.  Unless I really mis the exposure I have never been unhappy with the DR.  I almost always end up adding contrast to the picture because there is too much DR and the image looks too flat.  I probably won't own a Nikon so I am just curious from those who have seen the difference hands on how big of a difference is it and in what situations will it really be beneficial.  It seems like low ISO high DR performance has become more important than high ISO low noise performance.  I am not trying to start another debate over the two cameras I just want to know how much better it is and how much of a difference it would really make.   

Unlike a lot of people commenting, I have taken the plunge, joined the dark side or whatever they call it, and actually OWN and SHOT with a D800 out in the field under tricky high contrast as well as even smooth controlled scenarios. My experience goes beyond reading reviews or articles about analog/digital SNR and all that stuff. Charts and equations are neat, but when you're in the field, you don't pull a calculator and start thinking about bits and crap like that. You shoot.

Okay, now that you know my angle, I'll make it simple. Whatever many stops of DR the D800 has, it is just destroys any canon DSLR I've ever shot with, 5DII, mKIII whatever. In paticular, at ISO100 - 800. As for the benefits of that range, you ask a very relevant question. Where are the benefits? First of all let's understand who the D800 is for: Landscape, Studio, and Wedding/Portraits. The landscape guys need no explanation. They are always bracketing, using GND filters and pulling all sorts of tricks to get more DR. At $3000 the D800 (or slightly pricier D800E) is a deal since no current 35mm camera can match it . As Lloyd Chambers puts it

Quote
I’m not inclined to disagree here. BTW, the rumor I’m hearing indirectly as word on the street from various dealers is that the Canon to Nikon switch is of tidal proportions, unprecedented.
http://diglloyd.com/blog/2012/20120504_3-ReaderComment-5DM3.html

Studio. Resolution aside (which isn't the subject of this thread), I think they benefit less from the broad DR. But many studio photographers need shadows clean of noise for editing purposes and will do complex light setups so the added headroom isn't bad to have. I shoot under sutdio lights rarely and the times I do, I have kept everything within the range of lesser cameras.

Wedding/Portrait.
I just shot an engagement session in NYC and I'm absolutely in love with the D800, and a big reason is it's DR. The highlights slider in LR4 pulls so much detail out of the images that I almost fell of my chair. I was literally pulling sky detail from images where the 5DII would be dead white blown out. I could have done the same with a big strobe but in NYC you can't set those up anywhere. That is by far my favorite thing about this camera.
In another shot, under shade, I incorrectly metered the background so my subject was nearly gone. No problem, I just re-meterd it it. But in post I went to the bad shot and rescued it. Shot at ISO100, I pulled all the detail I wanted out of the darks with nearly no hint of noise and whatever noise there was left, slight LR4 touches erradicated it. Awesome. Knowing I can pull that much out of the shadows and highlights I can now worry less about DR and more about composition and posing and more importantly, can now take shots I couldn't have before without strobes. I'm still going to use strobes naturally since even the D800 won't show all 20 stops of DR in a scene but it has definitively changed my mind about when I need strobes.

Lastly, girls in white dresses and guys in black moving around outdoors can stress your camera's metering system. The D800 has a very sophisticated 91K RGB meter (on par with the 1DX/D4), but even it goofs up sometime because its algorithms react as you expect: as an engineer not an artist. Having to compensate the meter up and down based on situations is extremelly annoying and a daily routine with lesser cameras. The D800's broader DR makes the inevitable glitch (camera or photographer) much less of an issue, if at all. It's one less crap to think about and if you shoot weddings, you already have enough in your mind.

Well hopefuly that sumarizes my own personal experience with the D800 coming from the red team. As usual, your subjects, shooting style and preferences may result in different reactions. So as they say, your mileage may vary. IMO this is the 5DmkIII I hoped for, it's just made by Nikon  ;D. sorry.


V8Beast

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 919
    • View Profile
    • Stephen Kim Automotive Photography
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #93 on: May 07, 2012, 09:39:08 AM »
Unlike a lot of people commenting, I have taken the plunge, joined the dark side or whatever they call it, and actually OWN and SHOT with a D800 out in the field under tricky high contrast as well as even smooth controlled scenarios. My experience goes beyond reading reviews or articles about analog/digital SNR and all that stuff. Charts and equations are neat, but when you're in the field, you don't pull a calculator and start thinking about bits and crap like that. You shoot.

Amen to that, brudda :) 

Quote
I just shot an engagement session in NYC and I'm absolutely in love with the D800, and a big reason is it's DR. The highlights slider in LR4 pulls so much detail out of the images that I almost fell of my chair. I was literally pulling sky detail from images where the 5DII would be dead white blown out. I could have done the same with a big strobe but in NYC you can't set those up anywhere. That is by far my favorite thing about this camera.
In another shot, under shade, I incorrectly metered the background so my subject was nearly gone. No problem, I just re-meterd it it. But in post I went to the bad shot and rescued it. Shot at ISO100, I pulled all the detail I wanted out of the darks with nearly no hint of noise and whatever noise there was left, slight LR4 touches erradicated it. Awesome. Knowing I can pull that much out of the shadows and highlights I can now worry less about DR and more about composition and posing and more importantly, can now take shots I couldn't have before without strobes. I'm still going to use strobes naturally since even the D800 won't show all 20 stops of DR in a scene but it has definitively changed my mind about when I need strobes.

Lastly, girls in white dresses and guys in black moving around outdoors can stress your camera's metering system. The D800 has a very sophisticated 91K RGB meter (on par with the 1DX/D4), but even it goofs up sometime because its algorithms react as you expect: as an engineer not an artist. Having to compensate the meter up and down based on situations is extremelly annoying and a daily routine with lesser cameras. The D800's broader DR makes the inevitable glitch (camera or photographer) much less of an issue, if at all. It's one less crap to think about and if you shoot weddings, you already have enough in your mind.

Thanks for posting your impressions. I find feedback from the field much more useful than debating lab tests. Looks like you'll be putting your D800's DR to good use, that is whenever Nikon decides to ship it :) I've been curious why most of the praise has been heaped at the D800's shadow recovery, and not the highlights, but your testing seems to confirm that its DR is great for recovering highlights as well.

Quote
Well hopefuly that sumarizes my own personal experience with the D800 coming from the red team. As usual, your subjects, shooting style and preferences may result in different reactions. So as they say, your mileage may vary. IMO this is the 5DmkIII I hoped for, it's just made by Nikon  ;D. sorry.

That's funny, because the 5DIII is more of what I expected from the D700 replacement, which is why I own a  5DIII. That makes me wonder how content D700 users are with the D800? Instead of a baby D4 like they were hoping for, they got a D800 with triple the resolution and a slower burst rate than the camera it replaces. That gives them the option of switching from the "low-light, high speed" religion to the "slow-speed, high-resolution" religion, or buying a D4 or a used D3s. You'd think that the D4/D3s option - or switching to Canon for the 5DIII - would be the most practical solution, but switching religions for the sake of fanboyism isn't all that uncommon ;D
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 09:40:42 AM by V8Beast »

well_dunno

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 356
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #94 on: May 07, 2012, 12:31:42 PM »
Sorry if this is a noob question but most of what I read  talk of photosite size positively correlating with the DR. Somehow the cameras with better DR are not the ones that have the biggest photosites though. I understand SNR is a limiter however not sure if that is the reason for, let us say, mk3 with bigger photosites having worse DR than D800.

I took a look at the thread but could not get it clear for myself. Could anyone shed light on this?  :-[

Cheers!

psolberg

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 453
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2012, 01:37:20 PM »
Quote
That's funny, because the 5DIII is more of what I expected from the D700 replacement, which is why I own a  5DIII. That makes me wonder how content D700 users are with the D800? Instead of a baby D4 like they were hoping for, they got a D800 with triple the resolution and a slower burst rate than the camera it replaces. That gives them the option of switching from the "low-light, high speed" religion to the "slow-speed, high-resolution" religion, or buying a D4 or a used D3s. You'd think that the D4/D3s option - or switching to Canon for the 5DIII - would be the most practical solution, but switching religions for the sake of fanboyism isn't all that uncom

You make a good point. However, I think that the Nikon crowd remains very well served with the D700 which shoots up to 8fps, has a 51pt AF system of the prior D3 flagship, full frame, and high ISO capabilities between the mkII and mkIII. Lacking video yes, but that aside, for $2200 dollars, it is very good value for a budget fast shooter that isn't concerned with movies. Certainly many canonites wished they had a similar camera from canon for that price. To date, nothing quite matches the full frame D700 speed at that relatively cheap price point. They can buy nearly 3 cameras for the price of one 1DX/D4 flagship body and only give up 4 - 6 MP and a few fps in the process.

So I think Nikonians are a little spoiled if you ask me. I understand they are eager to see a D710 just to push ISO levels...even if they don't use them, but after seeing what the 5DIII costs, they better watch what they wish for....

LetTheRightLensIn

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3447
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2012, 01:59:49 PM »
Canon does preserve the noise information more than Nikon does because of this offset, but I haven't seen any data yet that quantitates how much the noise is 'crushed' by this pseudo-noise removal in Nikon cameras.

I'd like to see what the deviation from the expected logarithmic curve one sees in the actual signals of patches of Stouffer Transmission wedge shots with these cameras. That might give some clue as to what degree shadows are crushed in Nikon RAW files, with the added benefit of a seemingly higher SNR in the dark patches due to the effective lowering of noise (which would give them higher DR estimates if you calculate DR by determining the number of stops between the brightest not-blown patch & the darkest patch that still yields SNR=1). I'm attempting to do this now with transmission wedge shots from the 5DIII & the D7000. As of now, the D7000 yields SNR>1 even at patch 42 (13.2EV), but I'm curious if shadow crushing due to Nikon's special processing of low signals ends up not representing the actual gradation between the darkest patches as well as it might otherwise.

I have no doubt that the Nikon/Sony sensors & signal processing yield better DR than Canon (Fred Miranda's comparison is rather convincing!)... I'm just curious if it's as great a difference in the real world as what the DXO testing methodology indicates.

I think it is.

OTOH I believe it is said to not be good for astro photography since it messes up proper stacking.

Tcapp

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Capp Photography
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #97 on: May 07, 2012, 05:39:21 PM »
Sorry if this is a noob question but most of what I read  talk of photosite size positively correlating with the DR. Somehow the cameras with better DR are not the ones that have the biggest photosites though. I understand SNR is a limiter however not sure if that is the reason for, let us say, mk3 with bigger photosites having worse DR than D800.

I took a look at the thread but could not get it clear for myself. Could anyone shed light on this?  :-[

Cheers!

Photosite size will only help DR if all else is exactly the same. D800 sensor has different technology going into it than other sensors, so it overcomes the smaller photosite thing. If you took the D800 sensor, and just reduced the resolution but changed NOTHING ELSE, it might have even better dynamic range and low light performance. But you cant compare different sensors from different generations or manufacturers based on photosite size. Advancements in technology over shadow the size difference.

Its like saying that a bigger car engine gives more power. Its a true statement for the most part. But if you compare engines made today to ones produced 20 years ago, todays better technology can get more power and efficiency out of a smaller engine.
5DIII, 5DII, 7D, 50 1.4, 85 1.4, 70-200 2.8 IS L, 70-200 2.8 IS L II, 2x TC III, 15 Fisheye 2.8, 100 Macro 2.8, 24 1.4 L
http://www.TimothyCapp.com
Follow me on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timothy-Capp-Photography/94664798952

sarangiman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #98 on: May 07, 2012, 06:15:10 PM »
Quote
OTOH I believe it is said to not be good for astro photography since it messes up proper stacking.

Why would shadow crushing mess up proper stacking? It can change the noise profile, but random noise will still be removed by stacking...

I'm wondering if shadow crushing was the reason astrophotographers generally don't go w/ Nikon (aside from the fact that Canon offers cameras w/ better filters for astrophotography)? But if the read noise is extremely low, that may be irrelevant when compared to the noisy Canon images (especially when you consider FPN).

But I don't really know. Would love for an actual astrophotographer to chime in...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 01:23:26 AM by sarangiman »

LetTheRightLensIn

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3447
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #99 on: May 08, 2012, 01:45:45 AM »
Quote
OTOH I believe it is said to not be good for astro photography since it messes up proper stacking.

Why would shadow crushing mess up proper stacking? It can change the noise profile, but random noise will still be removed by stacking...

I'm wondering if shadow crushing was the reason astrophotographers generally don't go w/ Nikon (aside from the fact that Canon offers cameras w/ better filters for astrophotography)? But if the read noise is extremely low, that may be irrelevant when compared to the noisy Canon images (especially when you consider FPN).

But I don't really know. Would love for an actual astrophotographer to chime in...

Wouldn't it mess things up if all of the less than zero noise was gone and you wanted to average frame right near black?

Anyway I hear that they also automatically apply NR to RAW files for long exposures. Apparently people using them for astro have to play games by switching modes or shutting it off an somehow restarting the same exposure again, perhaps a few different times, to build up a long exposure without getting NR baked into the RAW.

sarangiman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #100 on: May 08, 2012, 02:11:07 AM »
Quote
Wouldn't it mess things up if all of the less than zero noise was gone and you wanted to average frame right near black?

I don't see why it would. Temporally variant noise is temporally variant whether or not its negative variation around an arbitrarily set 'black point' is clipped. You'd still get rid of it by image averaging.

Tcapp

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
    • Timothy Capp Photography
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #101 on: May 08, 2012, 02:15:43 AM »
Quote
Wouldn't it mess things up if all of the less than zero noise was gone and you wanted to average frame right near black?

I don't see why it would. Temporally variant noise is temporally variant whether or not its negative variation around an arbitrarily set 'black point' is clipped. You'd still get rid of it by image averaging.

And here I thought I knew a lot about the tech side of photography. I have ZERO idea what you just said, but you sound smart. :P
5DIII, 5DII, 7D, 50 1.4, 85 1.4, 70-200 2.8 IS L, 70-200 2.8 IS L II, 2x TC III, 15 Fisheye 2.8, 100 Macro 2.8, 24 1.4 L
http://www.TimothyCapp.com
Follow me on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timothy-Capp-Photography/94664798952

sarangiman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #102 on: May 08, 2012, 02:31:20 AM »
Yet another example of FPN on my 5D Mark III...

Here's the full shot:


And here's a 100% crop:


See the full image at 100% here (drag it around on your screen to see banding): http://cl.ly/GSVA/Canon5DIII-FPNinSkies.png

I personally find this somewhat unacceptable in the light of EXMOR sensors, though I understand others may not.

FYI I averaged 5 exposures (this is ISO 200), which actually accentuates FPN b/c temporally variant noise is removed.

FYI the blue sky in the original RAW is 10% R, 17%G, 24%B... hardly unreasonable, IMHO, for a little shadow lift.

Yet it shows this kinda FPN.

This is sort of unacceptable to me in the face of technology like the D800. YMMV, of course, but I think Canon should step it up & offer something somewhat competitive.

sarangiman

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #103 on: May 08, 2012, 02:34:44 AM »
Quote
And here I thought I knew a lot about the tech side of photography. I have ZERO idea what you just said, but you sound smart.

Er, uh... thanks?  :P

TrumpetPower!

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: 5D3 Dynamic Range
« Reply #104 on: May 08, 2012, 08:16:31 AM »
Yet another example of FPN on my 5D Mark III...

I must be blind. I don't see any fixed-pattern noise in that shot.

I DO see some clouds generally running horizontally through the scene. Perhaps that's what you're referring to?

b&