"Exposure Fusion" really makes the SX50 HS stand out...

Started Dec 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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R Johns Senior Member • Posts: 1,843
"Exposure Fusion" really makes the SX50 HS stand out...

I've been playing with HDR type imaging, for quite some time. My pursuit has always been to create "real looking" images with greater DR and/or Color Bit Depth. Just when I believed I've mastered a process in whatever software I was using at that time, I would come across newer, better software/processes. Even still, I have never been fully statisfied with the HDR results I've gotten. That is until now...and the great thing is, I don't have to do anything but Select/Click & Drag/Execute!

That's because I've discovered Exposure Fusion, more to the point, I discovered "Enfuse GUI". the developer of the software makes it too easy, and the results I get are great, because the results look "REAL". Exposure Fusion is a different process than HDR or Tone Mapping. I don't really know how it's different, but that doesn't matter to me. I just like the results, at least from Enfuse GUI...

So enough about Enfuse GUI, because I'm not trying to sell anyone on the software. I just wanted to mention it, because it helps me expalin some of the fun I've been having with my new SX50 HS... Also, in case anyone is wondering, I won't even consider the in-camera HDR function, because it only works with JPEGs. That's a Non-Starter with me...

Even though the SX50 HS has a very good sensor, which is greatly enhanced by its ability to record RAW files (IMHO), it still shows weak DR/SNR/Color Bit Depth results in the singular image files. I would like to show you how improved your images can be, if you were to capture multiple frames and compile them using Enfuse GUI. You will get results as good, if not better than a DSLR. The only catch is this process does not work well on images captured where there is too much change in the imagery (action/motion shots), for obvious reasons. Stationary scenes work best...

I posted another thread, recently, that shows the results of this process. It's the thread with one of my handguns in it. If you want me to share full size images of those results, just ask me to do so, in that thread please, so I can keep things straight. In this thread, I'm going to share a couple of images taken recently (while bored in my hotel room, on a business trip), of a very cheesy studio type scene. My point in sharing these images is to share with you what kind of performance you can get from the SX50 HS, if you consider using this process. By the way, I am actually impressed with this camera's image quality ability in capturing single exposures, just so you know that, too.

Here is a 1080p version of the "EF'd" image, so that I can show you how natural the image looks when processed for "the screen". This image is comprised of three seperate images, taken at different exposures.

Here is the full-sized version of the EF'd image...

Here is the full-sized "0EV" image taken from the set, to compare...

Now, comprising one image from many is not without some drawbacks. Most notable, would be that lens aberations can appear exaggerated. I've also noticed, if the focus point changes, even slightly, then that can smudge details somewhat, as well. I think the later is due to minor changes in lens distortion characteristics, when the focal points move. I've even noticed this on the Canon 70-200 f4L lens too, when doing some focus stacking.

Aside from the obvious increase in DR in the EF'd image, the one thing I would want to demonstrate, with this illustration, is the enhanced Color Bit Depth in the EF'd image. It is important to note that, even though I did not apply any saturation boost to the EF'd image, the EF'd image appears to have much greater color saturation. THAT is what impresses me most, when compiling multiple exposures. I love the rich color information I get from this process. The great thig about this process, is you do not need to even take multiple exposures that have different EV values. They can all be the same EV value, if all you are after is an image with better SNR and Color Bit Depth. That process is called "Averaging". Another person has posted a thread that covers this with higher ISO image capturing. A great idea, I think. His thread is here. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3345259 Check it out, for more cool things to do with multiple exposures.

Let me know your thoughts. I feel this is a great way to get the most from these smaller sensored cameras...



~ Greater is He that is within me, than he who is in this world... ~

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
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