How much DR is enough?


Mar 2, 2012
Orangutan said:
3kramd5 said:
Orangutan said:
Keith_Reeder said:
Orangutan said:
That's not my experience: according to DxO, my 70D has 11.6EV of DR, yet I frequently encounter problems in landscape where important highlights are blown out, and important shadows clipped in the same image.
And which Raw converter were you using?
Usually Lightroom, but sometimes DPP. Not much difference between them. I'm not sure that matters, though: the histogram tells me I'm at least 3-5 stops from full coverage of the scene DR. (I sometimes block a highlight area of the scene to see where it spikes on the histogram, then watch the spike move as I change exposure)
You mean in-camera, yes? If so, it is JPEG-based, and not representative of the full capability.
Correct, but not as relevant as it might appear, for two reasons: (1) even though it's JPEG based, the JPEG histogram is (from my experience and what I've read on the web) about 1 stop different from the RAW histogram; i.e., if the JPEG is clipped by about 1 stop, I can probably recover it in post, and I take this into account in my exposure settings. (2) I've also bracketed and examined RAW histograms after the fact. In deep forest, when exposing for the shadows, I'd need to take a second frame 3-5 stops darker to keep the back-lit leaves (or splashing water) from being blown-out in the RAW files. Of course, this depends on the angle of the sun (time of year/day) and other factors, but I've tried it several times with fairly consistent results. YMMV.

I will also say, that I have yet to get the full DR of a male wood duck in full light: I have several wood duck photos that are clipped at both ends of the histogram.
Sure. The histogram is a functionally useful tool, I’m just suggesting it can’t be used to quantify the dynamic range capability of a camera (even if it were RAW it couldn’t). It’s clear now that’s not what you were saying.