That RAW Troublemaker Again With Files

Started Sep 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: For what it's worth...

VirtualMirage wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Alan_S wrote:

Fine, but have you heard about the a77 and a99's auto HDR? Works only in JPG mode.

But if I am seeing it correctly, that shot isn't HDR. It is a single shot. If you do the auto HDR mode in the camera, it takes multiple shots (3 if I remember correctly). For it to work well, you need to be sure you are on a tripod or holding the camera still (especially for low light situations). Also make sure there are not a lot of moving subjects, otherwise you risk ghosting.

But this doesn't mean you can't do HDR with RAW. And also remember, since you mentioned you shoot in RAW+JPEG, the auto HDR doesn't work in that mode either. It only works in JPEG only setting.

Plus, with a properly exposed RAW file you can take advantage of its 12-bit or 14-bit color depth (per channel) to recover a lot of detail that would normally be clipped out. From a single, properly exposed RAW file you can produce results that look close to HDR (but isn't true HDR). With JPEG its 8-bit color depth per channel, and compression you are facing an uphill battle to come anywhere close achieving similar results with a single exposure.

The other option is via multiple exposures and blending them together with an HDR plug-in/software. HDR Effects by Google/Nik works pretty well. You can start of with 3 shots, but you can do 5, or even 7 shots (the more shots can usually improve the results). Like any type of blended shot that uses multiple exposures, ghosting will always be a potential problem. But at least these types of software tend to be better at keeping ghosting under control, with exception to extreme examples.

Yes, sure, agreed. I have not tried all this HDR business yet, especially in camera, but I am a new a77 owner and still awe struck by its capabilities. Now I wonder whether the HDR in camera would be better than a RAW properly processed. One subject that has eluded me in the film days was the effect of a sunset at a mountain shot like maybe some Grand Canyon views where you have bright sunlight on the peaks or some parts of the canyon and shadows deeper down. I could never make that look like it does to the eye in film (negative) shots.

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Gary Eickmeier

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