Dynamic Range with the D800 - shadows versus highlights in exposures

Started May 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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calson
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Dynamic Range with the D800 - shadows versus highlights in exposures
May 25, 2012

Something I noticed with the D3 was that compared to prior generations of Nikon pro DSLR cameras it was more forgiving of both under and over exposed areas in the image file when shooting RAW. I could underexpose a full stop or overexpose a full stop and recover a usable image with ACR.

With the D800 I find that the camera is not as good as the D3 with one stop underexposed image but significantly better with a one and even two stop overexposed image. The inability to recover from the underexposed sections of a scene as compared to the D3 does make sense as the photosites on the D800 are much smaller and less efficient. It is only by way of greater signal amplification that the D800 can achieve ISO 6400.

With the D3 I learned it was better to overexpose portions of a scene and capture the shadow detail in most situations. It appears that this is doubly true with the D800.

It will be interesting with HDR shots and the D800 camera to see if this translates into more emphasis on shadows with the low end EV exposures in a set.

Nikon D3 Nikon D800
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