X10 dynamic range confusion.

Started May 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
Trevor G
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Re: X10 dynamic range confusion.
In reply to eltocliousus, May 21, 2012

eltocliousus wrote:

I believe I understand the meaning behind dynamic range with photography being the context,
I'm unsure on what DR settings to use on the X10,

I don't have the means to measure dynamic range. I would need to purchase expensive software to quantitatively evaluate it.

However, if we recognise that Fuji's DR settings actually relate to Highlight Recovery then you will get a better understanding of what the settings do.

The DR settings are most effective when used in RAW, which means using PASM or Auto modes, and when shooting a high contrast scene .

By definition, in this context, a high contrast scene is one which would see the histogram clipping at both the bottom and top ends. Examples could be a bright sunny day with some picture elements in shade, or with artificial lighting on a night time scene.

DR100 equals no highlight recovery , a standard digital image, if you like.

DR200 gives somewhere around 1.5 to 1.8EV of highlight recovery - when you load the RAW image into Silkypix or similar you will find that you can recover around 1.5EV of image highlights which would otherwise be clipped (compressed and detail lost) in DR100 or even the matching OOC JPEG.

DR400 gives somewhere around 2.7EV of highlight recovery .

When you view the matching JPEG you will see clipped highlights, which can never be acccurately recovered. Nonetheless there is around 1EV to 1.5EV of highlight recovery visible in JPEGs, the 1.5 to 2EV above that point will be somewhat compressed. In other words, clipped.

When processing the matching RAW you will be able to pull back those highlights so that they are not clipped. However, you will then need to lift the shadows, because they will also be reduced in level as you reduce the highlights.

In Silkypix as bundled (Raw File Converter) this is done by using the Center contrast control, or by using the Gamma control. You then add some contrast and will have a great looking shot.

In Silkypix DSP5 (the lates full version) you can also lift lowlights back either by using the Dodge or the HDR controls.

If using DR200 or 400 as explained above and shooting RAW you will find that you seldom, if ever, need to adjust the EV compensation control. Without DR200 or 400 you usually have to pull EV back by 0.3 to 0.6EV to avoid clipping highlights.

On dull days or with a low contrast scene, such as in rainy weather, you can actually add at least +1EV of compensation in DR400 and get brighter lowlights (= less noise) without losing highlights through over-exposure.

I have posted examples of all the above in threads last year. I can dig them out if you cannot easily locate them.

For best results always shoot M size with ISO less than DR. That gibes maximum highlight recovery straight from the clever EXR sensor design. Other settings then add a certain amount of ISO manipulation (curves-type adjustment) to yield recovery results. In practise, the difference between the two settings (DR higher than ISO or DR lower thaan ISO) is minimal, but the setting itself (DR200 or preferably DR400) is very effective.

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Cheers

Trevor G

Silkypix tutorials at: http://photo.computerwyse.com

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