My take on D5000 vs D90 after using both

Started Aug 18, 2009 | Discussions thread
goldbean Regular Member • Posts: 199
Re: My take on D5000 vs D90 after using both

Cedarhill wrote:

Please post for my education a photo that was overexposed to the point the sky is white and you were able to bring back the color and cloud details using a NEF file. I have attempted to do that before and have never been successful. I know all about "expose to the right" but by default (no exposure compensation) the D80 completely obliterates the highlights in high contrast situations. You have to apply substantial exposure compensation to get anything to recover. I am told the D90 behaves similarly but not quite as badly.

The D90 exposes well. It exposes better than my old 40D, and I can't think of a camera in its price range that exposes better.

The D90 also has great DR and pretty flexible NEF files. I have frequently recovered 1EV or more from bright skies in NEF files. Blowing unrecoverable highlights with the D90 is rare unless the dynamic range of the scene is just too great. Given the D90's DR, this happens less frequently than with competing cameras.

Example. Use a D80 to take a picture of something like a dark log cabin against a blue sky background. Using zero exposure compensation and matrix metering will result in a correctly exposed cabin and a sky that is essentially white. That is the way it will stay unless you substitute a sky from some other image.

You are confusing DSLR DR limitations with poor metering. The DR of the scene you describe simply exceeds what a DSLR can handle. Either the camera exposes the cabin "correctly" (which blows out the much brighter sky) or the camera exposes the sky "correctly" (which destroys shadow detail in the cabin), but it can't do both. That's why people use filters to equalize the exposure (e.g., grad ND, polarizer, or whatever is appropriate) or try to equalize the exposure in PP.

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