That RAW Troublemaker Again With Files

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
VirtualMirage
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Re: For what it's worth...
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, 7 months ago

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Alan_S wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Alan_S wrote:

...More challengingly lit scenes will provide even more flexibility to extract dramatically more detail, as in this example

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- AlanS

Yep - that is what RAW is for all right!

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Gary Eickmeier

Exactly... not for "fixing mistakes" (in my above example I purposely exposed mid-way between blown highlights and darkest shadows, so that I could extract the best of both from the RAW), but for getting the best possible from each image.

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- AlanS

Fine, but have you heard about the a77 and a99's auto HDR? Works only in JPG mode.

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Gary Eickmeier

But if I am seeing it correctly, that shot isn't HDR.  It is a single shot.  If you do the auto HDR mode in the camera, it takes multiple shots (3 if I remember correctly).  For it to work well, you need to be sure you are on a tripod or holding the camera still (especially for low light situations).  Also make sure there are not a lot of moving subjects, otherwise you risk ghosting.

But this doesn't mean you can't do HDR with RAW.  And also remember, since you mentioned you shoot in RAW+JPEG, the auto HDR doesn't work in that mode either.  It only works in JPEG only setting.

Plus, with a properly exposed RAW file you can take advantage of its 12-bit or 14-bit color depth (per channel) to recover a lot of detail that would normally be clipped out.  From a single, properly exposed RAW file you can produce results that look close to HDR (but isn't true HDR). With JPEG its 8-bit color depth per channel, and compression you are facing an uphill battle to come anywhere close achieving similar results with a single exposure.

The other option is via multiple exposures and blending them together with an HDR plug-in/software.  HDR Effects by Google/Nik works pretty well.  You can start of with 3 shots, but you can do 5, or even 7 shots (the more shots can usually improve the results).  Like any type of blended shot that uses multiple exposures, ghosting will always be a potential problem.  But at least these types of software tend to be better at keeping ghosting under control, with exception to extreme examples.

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Paul

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