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Author Topic: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters  (Read 18814 times)

dilbert

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2012, 11:18:21 AM »
Good photographers can somewhat compensate using HDR techniques, but the facts don't change that 5D Mark III has much lower DR than the competition.

I don't know why people are saying only landscape needs high dr - as soon as I'm shooting an animal with black & white fur or trying to raise the shadows I'm always wishing for more dr no matter what the scene is.

Canon raw files are said to have more potential for highlight recovery than Nikon, and while I cannot make the comparison myself Lightroom is certainly able to recover a lot with ettr images without using hdr - but it's annoying to to this with every second shot.

Except for special circumstances, currently ETTR is the only way to get the best out of the sensor. Now if camera manufacturers would just make that easier for us...

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2012, 11:18:21 AM »

Kernuak

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2012, 01:11:40 PM »
Good photographers can somewhat compensate using HDR techniques, but the facts don't change that 5D Mark III has much lower DR than the competition.

I don't know why people are saying only landscape needs high dr - as soon as I'm shooting an animal with black & white fur or trying to raise the shadows I'm always wishing for more dr no matter what the scene is.

Canon raw files are said to have more potential for highlight recovery than Nikon, and while I cannot make the comparison myself Lightroom is certainly able to recover a lot with ettr images without using hdr - but it's annoying to to this with every second shot.
Actually, I think that wildlife photography would benefot more from a high DR than landscape photography, because it's easier to control the light in landscapes. The argument was that professionals need high DR, but the truth is actually that they shoot landscapes in the golden hours, when light is more diffuse, as someone mentioned and will almost invariably use grad filters (as I do and you don't always need to have a straight horizon, that's what soft grads are for). To some extent, that is also true for wildlife, but there are some animals, where that isn't possible, then more DR would benefit (oystercatchers are one animal that comes to mind). However, many pro wildlife photographers (not all by any means) will then balance the light with fill flash and some use flash extenders. Of course, the low frame rate of the D800 is then likely to be a greater barrier than the lower DR of the 5D MkIII, depending on what is being photographed. In fact even the 6 fps of the 5D MkIII won't be enough for some things, but the 50% increase over the D800 would be useful. I also know from experience with the 7D, that the higher pixel density sensors change the rules of at least 1/focal length for sharp photos. The higher density sensors are less forgiving of focus inaccuracies and motion, which means pushing the ISO higher, where the 5D MkIII has the advantage in DR anyway. There aren't many days in the UK where I can drop below ISO 400 when shooting fast moving wildlife.
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Albi86

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2012, 01:33:08 PM »

Actually, I think that wildlife photography would benefot more from a high DR than landscape photography, because it's easier to control the light in landscapes. The argument was that professionals need high DR, but the truth is actually that they shoot landscapes in the golden hours, when light is more diffuse, as someone mentioned and will almost invariably use grad filters (as I do and you don't always need to have a straight horizon, that's what soft grads are for). To some extent, that is also true for wildlife, but there are some animals, where that isn't possible, then more DR would benefit (oystercatchers are one animal that comes to mind). However, many pro wildlife photographers (not all by any means) will then balance the light with fill flash and some use flash extenders. Of course, the low frame rate of the D800 is then likely to be a greater barrier than the lower DR of the 5D MkIII, depending on what is being photographed. In fact even the 6 fps of the 5D MkIII won't be enough for some things, but the 50% increase over the D800 would be useful. I also know from experience with the 7D, that the higher pixel density sensors change the rules of at least 1/focal length for sharp photos. The higher density sensors are less forgiving of focus inaccuracies and motion, which means pushing the ISO higher, where the 5D MkIII has the advantage in DR anyway. There aren't many days in the UK where I can drop below ISO 400 when shooting fast moving wildlife.

IMHO you are perfectly right but for one thing: I don't think the D800 is actually meant for wildlife photographers as much as the 5D3 isn't, although their 1.7x teleconverter and 1.2x crop mode look interesting to me. I think this issue along with sport will be covered by the upcoming D400 and its 24MP APS-C sensor.

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2012, 01:48:11 PM »
I don't know why people are saying only landscape needs high dr - as soon as I'm shooting an animal with black & white fur or trying to raise the shadows I'm always wishing for more dr no matter what the scene is.

I think people are talking about landscape photographers not because 'only' they need high DR, but because they are a group that typically (or more often then most) encounter situations where 'the more the better'.  Sorta like how sports photographers need high FPS, but naturally lots of other types also benefit from it.

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2012, 02:27:12 PM »
It's called using a DSLR people.  No, DR will not be infinite and superb, on any DSLR camera. 
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aznable

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2012, 02:45:48 PM »
Good photographers can somewhat compensate using HDR techniques, but the facts don't change that 5D Mark III has much lower DR than the competition.

I don't know why people are saying only landscape needs high dr - as soon as I'm shooting an animal with black & white fur or trying to raise the shadows I'm always wishing for more dr no matter what the scene is.

Canon raw files are said to have more potential for highlight recovery than Nikon, and while I cannot make the comparison myself Lightroom is certainly able to recover a lot with ettr images without using hdr - but it's annoying to to this with every second shot.

just because landscape photographer doesnt need a very reactive af/camera like the 5dmk3, but are more interested in DR/resolution of the sensor.

yes it seems canon in test has and edge in highlight parts of pictures, but maybe wsiht acreful underspose you can get better overall results with the d800 sensor; someone would try with both sensors
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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2012, 02:59:56 PM »
My example of "damn I wish I had more DR":

I went to Munich last May, to the Champions League final. We spent the day walking around the city, taking shots of the colorful fans. Many of those shots were "stolen": you don't want that group of drunken monkeys to know you're taking pictures of them. There shouldn't be any problems, but there could be, so better be quick and low-key, just in case. So auto-exposure it is, and the camera gets to decide where to put the shutter speed.

Say there's a group of people under the shadow of a tree, and they would be properly exposed at 1/100s. If the camera goes to 1/250s, you can still push the image in post and it will look nice. But if it decides to expose for the sky or the building in the background and chooses a faster shutter, you end up with an unusable shot.

If instead of a Canon we were using something like a D800, D7000, or even a D3200 or a NEX-5N, we'd have 3 more stops of DR at our disposal. Even at 1/2000s, that same shot should would end up perfectly fine. Yes, that's what 3 more stops of DR looks like. We probably wouldn't have bothered with auto-exposure: just set the shutter at 1/1000 and fix it in post. Yes. Because you can.

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2012, 02:59:56 PM »

Viggo

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2012, 05:34:40 PM »
To those that don't think DR is too important, I provide the following hand-held shot.  Although it is an extreme example, it demonstrates how a little more DR could make more the frame more usable.  A crop is fine, but the entire frame is horrid.  I could not get this shot in magic hour, and I could not take it on a tripod (HDR) or use an ND grad.

Indeed, but this kind of shots is where you pull out your flash. Landscape is way harder when flash really can't be used, but for these type of shots, using a flash makes them REALLY pop..

Keep in mind these aren't purposely made to show the most DR possible, but edited to my liking.



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dtaylor

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2012, 07:45:05 PM »
If you are a landscape shooter and are not married to Canon, then you will get much, much more bang for the buck if you use D800/E.

I'm the first person to complain that the 5D3 is 22 MP, and that Canon is behind Sony in sensor DR. (This is related to a Sony patent that Canon has not worked around yet, btw. The specific patent was discussed in a DPReview thread.) But I do not think you will get "much, much more bang for the buck" from a D800.

The DR difference is there and is quite noticeable while pixel peeping test images designed to reveal it. In the real world it is mitigated by two factors.

* Landscapes with a wide scene brightness range tend to have a really wide SBR, one that exceeds either camera. If you shoot landscapes you will find yourself using exposure blending, HDR, and/or filters with either camera.

* Online pundits will declare the 5D3's shadow range done the moment they see some noise while pixel peeping. I've found that when making prints I can usually make use of another stop or even 1.5 stops of shadow range from Canon sensors. It's noisy on screen at 100%, but fine in print even at 24".

Quite frankly I consider the D800's resolution advantage to be more important, and even that is only important if you regularly make >30" prints.

Too bad there aren't any good Nikon lenses that will utilize the full DR potential of the 800/E.

No FF lens can utilize a 36mpx sensor to its "full DR potential".

Lenses do not attenuate scene brightness range. Any lens made can utilize any sensor to its "full DR potential."

If either of you were referring to resolution, there are plenty of lenses that can take advantage of 36 MP, even in the Nikon lineup.

dtaylor

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2012, 07:47:30 PM »
coming close to the full potential yields far greater IQ than whatever inferior sensor Canon is stuck on, at least for landscape photography.

"Far greater"? The 5D3 is a 24-30" print camera when producing landscape prints for critical review. The D800 is a 32-40" print camera. A judge standing 6" away from two 36" prints will notice a fine detail advantage to the Nikon one. However, people standing a few feet away in your home will not. Even a judge will struggle to see the differences in a 24" or smaller print. As for other subject matter...well, you might have to fill a wall to see a difference in a portrait, for example.

If you don't regularly produce 30" and larger prints there's not much IQ difference between the two cameras.

According to reviews that I have read, the 5DIII has a tad less dynamic range than the 5DII, and the 5DII has a total latitude of 11.2 stops, of which about 8.5 stops is usable

All 11.2 is usable. I would argue that for prints (not pixel peeping) you can dig a little deeper into the shadows and use 12 or even 12.5 stops. Published DR results assume a noise floor for the shadow side. If you can accept...or process away...a little more noise then you can make use of more detail (to a point).

Of course the same holds true for Nikon, which would yield even more impressive numbers. But at the end of the day it's not a massive practical difference. I wish Canon would catch up, but it's not the end of the world.

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2012, 08:47:26 PM »
@Poias

Could you substantiate your claim below, in a more factual way? Looks pretty bold to me...wonder what your opinion is on high Mpx MF Backs/lenses.

"No FF lens can utilize a 36mpx sensor to its "full DR potential".

br

Neeneko

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2012, 08:59:59 PM »
It's called using a DSLR people.  No, DR will not be infinite and superb, on any DSLR camera.

There is nothing magical about a medium format or other sytems with higher then common DR.  There is no mechanical reason why a DSLR can not have a high DR sensor, it is just a matter of economics.  There are machine vision sensors that meet or exceed human DR, and in another 5-10 years the common DLSR (or mirrorless, depending on how the market goes) this will be likely be available to regular photographers.

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2012, 10:15:47 PM »
It's called using a DSLR people.  No, DR will not be infinite and superb, on any DSLR camera.

There is nothing magical about a medium format or other sytems with higher then common DR.  There is no mechanical reason why a DSLR can not have a high DR sensor, it is just a matter of economics.  There are machine vision sensors that meet or exceed human DR, and in another 5-10 years the common DLSR (or mirrorless, depending on how the market goes) this will be likely be available to regular photographers.

Once the DR technology is perfected, and high ISO noise is completely eliminated, and all cameras are 60 mega pixies... What excuse will all the spec-sheet-pixel-peepin-chart-reading-camera-testers complain about as the reason their photos aren't good enough? I'm so excited for these future point-and-shoots!
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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2012, 10:15:47 PM »

birdman

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2012, 10:26:13 PM »
There's so many examples of excellent 5d2 and 5d3 landscape shots out there that DR limitations are not as prevalent as reading this forum would suggest IMHO.

It's as simple as a higher MP competing FF body that came along and bested Canon's top MP in a couple of technical specs....according to DXO mark. The D800 is a great camera. The 5d2/5d3 are great cameras. What would sway me to the D800 (if I strictly did landscape photog) is more about Resolution, IQ, and Nikon's slightly better wide angle offerings.

I say slightly better because 1) I am a Canon owner and 2) I don't want to feel the wrath of hate if I claim this is better than that. This camera crap is only a hobby for me; an obsessive compulsive hobby, but still a hobby. Pardon the reference, but I see it as a D!ck measuring contest. "Mine is bigger than yours." Happy Father's Day folks. Time for some shut eye. GNite. 
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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2012, 01:56:20 AM »
What would sway me to the D800 (if I strictly did landscape photog) is more about Resolution, IQ, and Nikon's slightly better wide angle offerings.
I just tested out my new TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, and I'm not sure how much sharper Nikon could make any lens compared to that one (when it is shot properly).  It is amazing.

I agree

The 200 f/2 is not far behind either ...

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Re: Examples of DR photos and why this is important to landscape shooters
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2012, 01:56:20 AM »