L DR100 vs M DR400 (RAW) Dynamic range test [pics]

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DMillier
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L DR100 vs M DR400 (RAW) Dynamic range test [pics]
5 months ago

Well, I may be new around here but I've managed to figure out that this is a subject that is controversial and upsets a lot of people but I did promise I would do this, so I'd better stick to my word.

The following pair of shots were shot in raw + jpg, converted and adjusted in latest lightroom to maximise shadow detail and minimise highlight clipping. They were exported as 4000x3000 jpgs at best quality and uploaded to DPReview galleries.

I shot both at ISO 100 in manual exposure mode with fixed ISO, shutter speed and aperture. One is a Large DR100 shot, the other a Medium DR400 shot. Remember, the source files were the raws and both were adjusted to maximise detail and match as closely as I could.

My preliminary conclusions:

1. Once again, the resolution differences between L and M in raw files is small to trivial

2. The shadow detail, tonality and noise levels are about the same in both.

3. One of the shots shows better protection against highlight clipping

4. The DR differences are clearly noticeable (see the highlight on the toucan's nose and the glass at the top of the picture for instance) but not that massive. While there appears to be some DR benefit from EXR, it's not like shooting 3 shots a 2 stop difference and blending the files. For example, it's nothing like as effective as Guillermo's Zero noise program which can achieve 4 stops less shadow noise using exposure blending outside the camera: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/article/nonoise/index_en.htm .  Still, it's better than nothing.

From this I would conclude that when shooting the X10 in raw, you lose little detail and gain a little DR from shooting M DR400.

However, whatever you choose, the differences are not so night and day that is that obvious that choosing one mode over the other is a catastrophe. So, no justification for flame wars whatever camp you are in...

What do you think?

David

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"...while I am tempted to bludgeon you, I would rather have you come away with an improved understanding of how these sensors work" ---- Eric Fossum
Galleries and website: http://www.whisperingcat.co.uk/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmillier/

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