HDR or SDR?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
John Koch Senior Member • Posts: 1,452
Re: HDR or SDR?

dantastical wrote:

Shoot in 10-bit log, then you can render out as HDR or SDR.

True. But that uses more space, generates more heat, shortens battery life, and devours lots of time to edit or render, and demands investment in pricey computer hardware.  To shoot 10-bit in bulk for some archival or hypothetical objective serves, most of the time, little purpose.  Exactly what is the purpose?

Can your eyes detect any appreciable difference between HDR and SDR on any video display screens you or your viewers might have? I fail to see much benefit from HDR-10. If the "black" screen really looks gray in a dark room, the dynamic range can't really be very high. If your camera blows out highlights (full moon at night), any added "brightness" from HDR contributes nothing to the aesthetic.

Concerning Rec 709 versus Rec 2020, the same questions apply. Do you (or any viewers) have a Rec 2020 display and do your eyes see any advantage if the source video has the higher depth?

Meanwhile, although the difference between HD and SD video is vastly greater, in the eyes of aficionados, a great many ordinary (normal) people do not notice a difference, and video consisting of facial closeups or graphic animations is likely to minimize any perceived differences.

Finally, because something can stand-out only if one edits and grades video carefully, there is no advantage in using high-end codecs--unless one actually has the time and energy to do this--and unless there is sufficient advantage in terms of monetary reward or other tangible incentives. To shoot 10-bit Rec 2020 "for its own sake" can be a waste of memory, encumber editing, and (if that ever happens) make little difference.

These days, the base-line for video shot by hobbyists is the social media content that the public at large shoots, seldom edits, shares at once, watches on phones, and usually ceases to merit any views after a few days. In that context, a hobbyist or enthusiast who shoots 8-bit video at 60mbps, whether HD or 4K, probably has more than is needed to give a margin of advantage. However, the traits that really matter will be content, audio, and basic editing.  Time and effort spent to develop those qualities will yield a higher return on effort.  No guarantee, though.

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