RED's Dragon sensor - 20 stop dynamic range

Started Jan 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
Hans Kruse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,398
Re: RED's Dragon sensor - 20 stop dynamic range
I think you're getting mixed up with sensor DR and printed DR.

Here is an example of a HDR scene (not mine)


This was shot with a GND filter. Notice the gradient shadow on the upper left and right side of image? This was cause by the filter. Obviously there's no "V" shape GND filter and this camera's sensor DR was not high enough to effectively capture the details and colors of both shade thus GND filter was the only solution.

Now if we had a sensor with 18+ stop of DR, you can eliminate the use of these filter or flash fill most of the time if not completely. Who knows, but I can honestly say that 14 stops on my D800 is VERY useful and the more you have the better it'll hold details and colors.

If this image was printed, the details and colors would look just like this, probably around 5-6 stop but the original scene was most likely much much higher.

I think all your criticism towards poorly done high DR image are just that... they are all poorly done. While the ones that are done right looks completely natural and you wouldn't even guess that the shadows or highlights has been brought back.

In the case of DR, the more really is the better. Just my two cent.

The scene above can be shot easily with just two exposures and a Canon sensor! I do it all the time with my Canon gear an a scene like this is no problem. I normally don't use grad filters since blending in post is so easy to do. Multiple exposures will always look better than a single if the dynamic range in the scene is really large. If you pull shadows a lot you also pull a lot of noise. I have looked at many D800 RAW files and I don't like the shadows when pulled a lot in post processing. The D800 is a fine camera but not a substitute for multi exposure techniques.

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Kind regards,
Hans Kruse
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