Dynamic Range: D5100/D7000

Started May 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 24,897
Re: In two words: a lot! With examples.

I don't think you need RAW histograms, jpegs is enough and a few tests indicate that when no channel blows by more than 1/2 stop you are in safe territory, that's my experience so far, but I am even more conservative, only 1/3 stop and in very difficult situations. Otherwise I prefer to see no channel clipped in the in-camera histograms (blinkies are not good enough in-camera, since it uses only the mixed channles values, won't indicate a single channel clipped).

Re CNX2, it's true its recovery tools and exposure control only go a certain distance, but more than enough if one controls exposure as I mentioned above. Using too much LLs recovery takes some of the naturality of final image for my style. Those that like a somewhat harder HDR effect will use the appropriate tools, as you mention. I never go beyond 50 in either of the recovery controls in CNX2.

sem wrote:

Robert Hoy wrote:

  • there is no raw histogram for optimizing exposure manually,

That's because RAW is a file format not an image format. A RAW file only provides a histogram once conversion settings are applied to the RAW data. If you want to see what's in your RAW file without lots of contrast settings added, choose as conservative a image/picture style as possible that has the least contrast, saturation, and least steep tone curve applied.

I can't wholly agree conceptually. NEF contains image data, which clearly is "histogramizible", check Photobola Rawnalyze. But it is true that it makes sense to apply a "picture control" (tone curve) to make the histogram more "legible". UniWB also produces an approximation of the raw histogram for the highlights end, but it certainly is clumsy. It is a big question how this should be implemented in a camera to make it most useful and not disturbing for certain groups of users. One option I've seen somewhere was to extend the RGB histogram on both ends, so that any spikes indicating blown highlights (right) or shadows (left) are expanded to indicate the content of the raw headroom in white and the size of the headroom for each channel.

Notice mostly no PC is conservative enough - Nikon's processing is not designed for processing high DR. I guess considerable modifications are required to change this.

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