All the talk of EXR/HDR etc.

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Andy Hewitt
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All the talk of EXR/HDR etc.
Sep 7, 2013

After owning the HS50 for a few weeks now, and having taken only a modest number of shots, mostly in less than ideal lighting conditions, I have spent much effort trying to understand the EXR system.

My conclusion at the moment is that it's just about under the heading of 'snake oil'.

I mean, I just want to take photos guys, not spend my walks out poking around in the settings trying to decide which EXR setting, ISO setting, and resolution setting combinations I need for certain conditions.

As far as the M-mode Raw+JPG at DR400 and ISO400 Auto goes, it just doesn't do it for me. As soon as the camera gets above about ISO200, then you start visibly losing detail and sharpness, and DR400 certainly loses something in the colours too.

Maintaining highlight detail isn't always the holy grail of photography, and certainly doesn't deserve the attention it's getting on this matter. For sure, it can be handy to recover such detail at times, but only if the highlights are a significant factor in the photo.

From what I read about this so far, both on this forum, and on the web, the permutations seem far too complex to make any sense as far as being a photographer's tool goes. I moved from DSLR to simplify things, not make them more complicated.

So far I've only found that the best images have been those I've shot Raw only, using DR100 and ISO100, default on the other settings, and -2 on the NR, with perhaps a little -ev dialled in. You can of course recover a little more of the clipping by reducing contrast.

Some comments have suggested that when using Lightroom, only half the image data is used from a high DR shot anyway, making it pointless as far as I can see. Might as well just shoot in full resolution, and gain some of that data back that way.

All said, I'm not a megapixel chaser either, many of my best photos have been taken at 5MP (the Olympus E-1 still takes astonishing photos even now), or even less, and often with less DR than I have with the HS50.

I think it's time to stop worrying about this, and just get out and take pictures. There's far too much pixel peeping going on. The HS50 is capable of taking very good images, as is any other camera on the market, but it's not going to match a DSLR.

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Andy Hewitt

Using FujiFilm HS50EXR and Apple Mac Mini '09.

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