Ricoh Theta S Testing Inbuilt NR, HDR, DR Modes

Started Aug 23, 2016 | Discussions
Steve Swayne
Steve Swayne Junior Member • Posts: 49
Ricoh Theta S Testing Inbuilt NR, HDR, DR Modes

Hi all, to get to know what my camera is doing better I have taken a series of photos.
1) in manual mode at 1/125th sec indoors near a window as a base comparison.
2) using a third party Panolife HDR app which took 3 photos 1/120th sec +1.7EV, 1/250th sec -2.0EV, and 1/125th sec 0EV. The three images are retained in the camera, they are all transmitted via wifi to the phone app and a final HDR image in produced in the phone.
3) using the inbuilt Ricoh HDR auto setting.
4) using Ricoh NR mode auto setting.
5) Editing the first manual shot in Adobe Lightroom to reduce noise as best I could.
6) using Ricoh DR mode auto setting.
7) using Aurora HDR software on my Mac computer with the three images generated by the third party iPhone HDR app.

Comparing the 7 images, I have used the Ricoh 360 viewer app, zoomed in to the maximum extent and selected the same area of the 360 image, then I took screen captures. Keep in mind this is zoomed in to about 300%.

1) The original image out of camera shows considerable noise and some chromatic aberration.

1 1.125th Sec Standard

2) The 3rd party iPhone HDR app reduces the noise considerably and seems to contain the chromatic aberration reasonably well. The colours are not enhanced. Shadow detail is not really enhanced. Any movement will produce ghosting.

2 3rd Party HDR App

3) Ricoh HDR mode reduces the noise considerably. Colours are boosted and chromatic aberration is emphasised. Any movement will produce ghosting.

3 Ricoh HDR Mode

4) Ricoh NR mode reduces the noise considerably whilst still maintaining the dynamic range of a single image. Any movement will produce ghosting.

4 Ricoh NR Mode

5) In Adobe Lightroom I was able to reduce the noise and slightly enhance the detail with a result that came out similar to the Ricoh inbuilt NR mode. However, the Ricoh NR mode image retains more detail in the letters and the hat rim.

5 Lightroom NR Edit

6) Ricoh DR seems to introduce more noise than even a standard image, with a slight improvement in dynamic range.

6 Ricoh DR Mode

7) Using HDR software on my computer and the three images produced by the iPhone Panolife HDR app I could produce a reasonable HDR result. However, the seam when viewed in a 360 viewer is very apparent, and this would require additional editing and fiddling about.

7 Aurora HDR

You will need to see all the images full size to appreciate the details I refer to in the text.
My conclusions: The inbuilt Ricoh NR mode will produce images with less noise as long as the subjects are still, so no real use in a scene with dynamic movement. Editing a single standard image in Lightroom to reduce noise is as effective as the Ricoh inbuilt NR setting - and moving subjects will not be affected. Avoid Ricoh DR mode - why on earth does it exist at all? Ricoh HDR mode produces reasonable results, but the images will need some post processing if chromatic aberration is to be reduced, Also colour saturation is a tad high for my taste.
I hope other Theta S users find this useful.

 Steve Swayne's gear list:Steve Swayne's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Ricoh Theta S Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Apple iPhone 4S Apple iPhone XS Max +5 more
Ricoh Theta S
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