Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?

Started 11 months ago | Questions
CAcreeks
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Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
11 months ago

Has anyone investigated the cameras (X10, X10, XF1, XS1, HSnn) that have a setting for highlight and shadow treatment (soft means more detail) to see how well it works compared to DR 200 + 400?

I was just reading the X-M1 review and it seems that soft highlight and shadow settings do not increase ISO, as does the DR setting.

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Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm XF1 Fujifilm X-M1
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

Has anyone investigated the cameras (X10, X10, XF1, XS1, HSnn) that have a setting for highlight and shadow treatment (soft means more detail) to see how well it works compared to DR 200 + 400?

My interpretation of "soft" is not "more detail", but "greater dynamic range in the JPG", "more color retained in JPG", or "smoother tone curve," something to that effect. In fact, I tend to use them with DR 200, 400, etc. to obtain a more pleasing JPG. I suppose that can mean more detail, but I think of it as recovering blocked shadows and blown highlights in the resulting JPG. I frequently apply this on the X10, either when there's a backlit or when the contrast is high.

I might not be describing the effect correctly, having discovered it on my own, & finding the effect pleasing in certain situations. In all the talk about sizes & DR, I don't recall anyone talking about this (recently). Well, except myself in one thread, but no one seemed to pay attention then.

I might be able to provide an example of what I mean later, but I'm at work now, don't know when I'll be able to get my hands on the computer I can use for these things (kids at home all week), & besides, you can test it yourself in a fairly high contrast situation. (Upon edit:) Though, not too high contrast. This is a genuinely software DR tool, used in processing only. You can't recover data that's lost even in the Raw files.

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prime
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

Has anyone investigated the cameras (X10, X10, XF1, XS1, HSnn) that have a setting for highlight and shadow treatment (soft means more detail) to see how well it works compared to DR 200 + 400?

The direct answer is no; I have not taken the care to take test shots to see the effect. However, my default menu settings for both Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone are "M-Soft." I am not certain that "Soft" means more detail -- where did you get that information? The XF1 manual (page 106 paper, page 120 .pdf) gives no clue as to what adjustment of Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone do; the settings are just there, like the close-the-door buttons on the panels of elevators in office buildings, which I always have suspected to be unconnected to anything other than the egos of the people who push them.

I was just reading the X-M1 review and it seems that soft highlight and shadow settings do not increase ISO, as does the DR setting.

Which review was that, this page on DPReview, or some other?

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CAcreeks
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Re: highlight Soft vs DR 200 400?
In reply to prime, 11 months ago

prime wrote:

The direct answer is no; I have not taken the care to take test shots to see the effect. However, my default menu settings for both Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone are "M-Soft." I am not certain that "Soft" means more detail -- where did you get that information?

It looks to be the case in the X-M1 review, but not on the dynamic range page as you would expect, rather on the Features page:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-m1/6

The picture of the neon yellow escalator, in Soft (-2) setting, looks very similar to the escalator picture in their X-M1 samples gallery that was converted with ACR to recover highlights.

As you can see there is also Soft (-2) for shadows.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

cantanima wrote:

My interpretation of "soft" is not "more detail", but "greater dynamic range in the JPG", "more color retained in JPG", or "smoother tone curve," something to that effect. In fact, I tend to use them with DR 200, 400, etc. to obtain a more pleasing JPG...

I might not be describing the effect correctly, having discovered it on my own, & finding the effect pleasing in certain situations. In all the talk about sizes & DR, I don't recall anyone talking about this (recently). Well, except myself in one thread, but no one seemed to pay attention then.

Was this on the Finepix forum or the Fuji X forum? I searched for posts about this, but only went a few yeas back, and might not have used the correct terms, so I missed yours.

The XF1 manual describes the settings (highlight tone and shadow tone) on page 106, but gives no useful information about them. Guess I will have to buy this camera and try it, especially because it comes in red!

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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

Was this on the Finepix forum or the Fuji X forum?

This forum, in a recent thread. It isn't worth looking up, trust me.

The XF1 manual describes the settings (highlight tone and shadow tone) on page 106, but gives no useful information about them. Guess I will have to buy this camera and try it, especially because it comes in red!

For some reason, I thought you had an X10; I had confused you with someone else. Before you pull the trigger, let me look up one of my photos where I use this, and I'll post some examples. I'll try to do it tonight.

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Lightpath48
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

To my eyes the soften and harden controls relate to the pulling of highlight and shadow portions of the characteristic curve toward the midpoint (softening) or the extremes (hardening).

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CAcreeks
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to Lightpath48, 11 months ago

Lightpath48 wrote:

To my eyes the soften and harden controls relate to the pulling of highlight and shadow portions of the characteristic curve toward the midpoint (softening) or the extremes (hardening).

I agree. Highlight Soft creates roll-off in the shoulder, while Shadow Soft creates roll-off in the toe. Together they create a nice S curve.

Not sure how DPreview produces their dynamic range graphs, but I would love to see one for Soft (-2) highlight and shadow.

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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

As promised! I have other examples, but of the ones I was looking at tonight, this is my favorite for how it shows the effect on both highlights and shadows.

Original photo: highlight and shadow tones at STD.

Processed in-camera: highlight and shadow tones both at SOFT.

In this case, I much prefer the second image. The clouds show more texture, and the bushes, more foliage. The tree goes from all black (or nearly) to clear definition in the bark! The shadows in the columns and the building likewise seem more natural, or at least pleasing, than in the first shot. This is not always the case; oftentimes, SOFT can produce images that seem to give an unnatural glow, especially to skin tones.

As noted, both shots come from the same exposure(s), using in-camera Raw processing. I changed only the highlight & shadow tones: no noise reduction, sharpness,  film simulation, etc! So this should provide an accurate demonstration of what's meant by those terms.

I read somewhere that all the X series cameras feature in-camera raw processing, so the XF1 should also offer this, but I'd check the manual to be sure.

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Lightpath48
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

Good use of in-camera raw processing, and excellent example of highlight and shadow control!

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CAcreeks
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

Thanks very much, great example!

Do you always have your X10 set to M (medium) size? Presumably 2816x2112 pixels are not due to downsampling. In the EXIF there's no evidence of DR 200 or 400.

cantanima posted in-camera Raw re-conversion:

Processed in-camera: highlight and shadow tones both at SOFT.

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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

Do you always have your X10 set to M (medium) size?

Yes. I don't like to postprocess off camera, and I like to maximize DR while minimizing ISO. That puts me in the "M school", so to speak. I have no doubt that L size provides more detail, but 6 MP + 4x zoom is more than enough for nearly all my uses, & provides a better overall picture IMHO. I have an HS25 & haven't pulled it out for any "serious" work since the X10 arrived.

Note that, on the X10, it is not possible to shoot DR 400 / ISO 100 / f/2.0 / shutter speed of 1000. In fact, I'm not sure you can even shoot a true DR 400 shot with ISO 100, f/20, and shutter speed of 640 (say), on account of the shutter limitations (max 1000 at f/2.0). I was recently looking at an AE BKT (+/-1) where all three shorter exposures were the same, much to my dismay. Had I known that in advance, I would have decreased the aperture. :-/

I don't know if this is true with the XF1.

Presumably 2816x2112 pixels are not due to downsampling. In the EXIF there's no evidence of DR 200 or 400.

DR 400.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

cantanima wrote:

Do you always have your X10 set to M (medium) size?

Yes. I don't like to postprocess off camera, and I like to maximize DR while minimizing ISO. That puts me in the "M school", so to speak.

OK, thanks.

It is DR 400.

Oddly, your image on Flickr contains the Fujifilm specific "Development Dynamic Range" line, but when the original got posted to static.dpreview, that item got stripped out.

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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

Oddly, your image on Flickr contains the Fujifilm specific "Development Dynamic Range" line, but when the original got posted to static.dpreview, that item got stripped out.

That is odd. How are you analyzing the exif? If you're doing in with the exif command line tool on Linux, you have to add the option --show-mnote to see the DR information.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Dpreview stripping EXIF tags?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

cantanima wrote:

That is odd. How are you analyzing the exif? If you're doing in with the exif command line tool on Linux, you have to add the option --show-mnote to see the DR information.

No that did not work either.

After downloading the Flickr full-size image, I got Development Dynamic Range without using --show-mnote.

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Re: Dpreview stripping EXIF tags?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

CAcreeks wrote:

cantanima wrote:

That is odd. How are you analyzing the exif? If you're doing in with the exif command line tool on Linux, you have to add the option --show-mnote to see the DR information.

No that did not work either.

After downloading the Flickr full-size image, I got Development Dynamic Range without using --show-mnote.

Dunno. Sorry. The only thing I can say is that I uploaded the photo directly to DPR from my computer, and likewise uploaded it to Flickr from my computer. I didn't transfer it to DPR from Flickr, though I have done that with other photos. It looks as if DPR is stripping info.

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CAcreeks
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Re: Dpreview stripping EXIF tags?
In reply to cantanima, 11 months ago

cantanima wrote:
Dunno. Sorry. The only thing I can say is that I uploaded the photo directly to DPR from my computer, and likewise uploaded it to Flickr from my computer. I didn't transfer it to DPR from Flickr, though I have done that with other photos. It looks as if DPR is stripping info.

Yes, it seems so. Thanks for pointing to the image on Flickr! Interesting to see hardware EXR in addition to Soft highlight and shadow.

I wish Fujifilm had made an X10 without optical viewfinder but with full 3" LCD, instead of the XF1 with (apparently) fragile lens. That lens is great, but I'm an LCD guy.

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Elyharbour
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Re: Soft highlight + shadow VS DR 200 400?
In reply to CAcreeks, 11 months ago

Checked today what soft / hard is doing on my X20. SOFT pulls the histogram extremes towards the centre (both highlights and shadows). HARD does the opposite. SOFT did a nice job of improving skin tones in bright sunlight, and bringing colour / texture to the sky. On the shadows, it brightens them. I couldn't see the advantage of using HARD for either HLs or Shadows, but if I had a low contrast scene it might well be a different story.

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