In-camera processing of long-exposure RAW data

Started Jan 21, 2010 | Discussions thread
Thom Hogan Forum Pro • Posts: 13,659
Re: Example of detail loss and color shift

jim stirling wrote:

Thank you for posting an image that demonstrates the effect , but I would still conclude that although the difference is visible on this static shot compared directly with another taken with the exact same framing and lighting, and with the only variable being shutter speed.

The direct conclusion of your argument is that "lower quality cameras are okay." Taken to its extreme, your argument means that instead of saving up to buy that D3x you can safely get buy with a D3000. After all, the difference is only visible if you have taken a shot with a D3x and compared it to the D3000 shot.

Remember, we're paying US$5200 and up for these cameras. We do so because we expect them to produce the best possible results. Indeed, in some cases our clients demand it.

In real life shot to shot of a highly reflective material, even the slightest of subject or photographer movement or any variation in light intensity or angle, would result in a completely different pattern of reflected highlights

Two things. As others said, you're endorsing poor technique. But your assertion that "a different pattern of highlights" would "never be noticed" is way off the mark. In both cases, the highlights would not be recorded at shutter speeds greater than 1/4. As I noted before, it comes into play with landscape photography, and I've seen the problem directly in my images: long exposures mask detail. Might as well be applying heavy noise reduction to the image.

but it is not an issue that I would be too concerned about.

This says more about your level of photography than it does about the product being tested. I see a lot of this "I can't see it so it doesn't exist" type of argument. But it clearly does exist, and to those aspiring to the highest level of work, it's a clear problem (or perhaps I should say it's a problem of clarity ;~). Note that the competitors cameras don't do this.

Yes, I can just see Ansel Adams saying "you know, I really didn't need that highlight detail, I guess Tri-X is good enough developed normally."

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (21 and counting)

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