VESA establishes world's first open standard for HDR displays
HDR is a term increasingly causing confusion amongst both photographers and the masses. 'Isn't it that thing that makes my images look flat and less contrasty by including all the shadows and highlights in my final image?' many of our friends and forum members ask.
Well, yes, if it's not done right. But when it comes to displays, the ironic thing is that 'HDR' is meant to make imagery look less flat, by taking the wide dynamic range encompassed in HDR images and stretching it back out on the display to no longer look flat but, instead, encompass nearly as much punch as the scene had in the real world.
Whenever a new display technology comes along, and particularly when it falls into that gap before it's well defined or understood, monitor manufacturers LOVE to throw the spec all over their products. That, in a nutshell, is what has happened with the 'HDR' moniker and computer displays, making it very difficult for someone to know what is and isn't a "real" HDR monitor.
What kind of brightness and contrast ratio should you be looking for? What's the actual static contrast ratio, not the stupidly high (and irrelevant) dynamic contrast ratio often quoted? What kind of color output should you expect out of an HDR monitor? And what the heck is local dimming?
These are the questions that manufacturers tend to not answer, at least for now, and it's why VESA has created the world's first open standard for HDR displays: DisplayHDR.
Targeted largely at LCD-based computer monitors (not OLED), the purpose of DisplayHDR is to establish an open standard with fully transparent testing methodology, so you can "rate" your display and see where it falls on the HDR scales. Is it really just an SDR monitor, or does it rank as DisplayHDR-400 (low-tier), DisplayHDR-600 (mid-tier), or DisplayHDR-1000 (top-tier)?
Here's how those tiers break down, and the performance metrics they have to hit:
A breakdown of the VESA standard. Click to enlarge
'Corner Maximum Limit' is aimed to ensure local dimming implementations can effectively keep black levels low even when small non-central portions are illuminated brightly. 'Tunnel Maximum Limit' ensures good overall contrast with varied content all over the screen but with nothing hitting pure white. Many of these targets cannot be met without some sort of local dimming capability, which most computer displays don't have. Consider these targets a 'push' to get manufacturers to embrace the future of HDR display.
Up until now, there was no open standard for HDR displays. The closest thing we had is the UHD Alliance Premium Standard, which is essentially just a stamp that you'll see on TVs, Blu-ray players, discs, and the like that ensures your device hits 4K resolution, BT.2020 color space, 10-bit encoding, and a few key contrast and brightness specs. But unlike the VESA standard, there's no gradation: you either have the UHD Alliance Premium Standard badge or you don't.
VESA's standard, on the other hand, aims to grade LCD-based computer monitor displays or grading monitors. It establishes tiers that manufacturers can shoot for when designing computer monitors. And since most if not all of these manufacturers are members of VESA, they have access to the documentation outlining the specifications and testing methodologies.
The hope is that the standard becomes widely accepted. That way, you can look for the VESA badge on your next monitor purchase to make sure the manufacturer isn't just throwing the term "HDR" onto an IPS monitor that can only hit 350 nits brightness and a 1000:1 static contrast ratio (many otherwise highly-rated IPS monitors aimed at photographers from manufacturers like Dell, BenQ, Eizo and the like).
A DisplayHDR-400 rated display would be guaranteed to hit peak brightness of 400 nits, a black level of no more than 0.4 nits for a largely black scene (or 0.1 nits for a more varied scene only hitting 50% white at any point), 10-bit encoding, and 95% sRGB coverage. This would be considered the "first genuine entry point for HDR" by VESA. Funny enough, the otherwise excellent IPS displays many photographers choose might hit this standard, but we'd argue you shouldn't consider such a display 'HDR'. In other words, we here at DPReview don't really consider monitors with the 'DisplayHDR 400' truly 'HDR'. Grading or processing your images on these displays aren't going to guarantee your images will look proper on future, truly 'HDR' displays.
A DisplayHDR-600 rated display would be guaranteed to hit a peak brightness of 600 nits, a black level of no more than 0.1nits, 10-bit encoding, 99% sRGB, and at least 90% DCI-P3 coverage. These specs, according to VESA, describe "professional/enthusiast-level laptops and high-performance monitors." This rating, in our opinion, is far more stringent and is better indicative or a truly 'HDR' display. If you want your images and video to be future-proof, pick a display rated no lower than this.
Finally, a DisplayHDR-1000 rated display would guarantee peak brightness of 1000 nits, a black level of no more than 0.05 nits, 10-bit encoding, 99% sRGB, and at least 90% DCI-P3 coverage. This final tier describes, "professional/enthusiast/content-creator PC monitors." This is the stamp of approval we'd be looking at were we to be grading video or photos that will look good on displays of the future. Monitors with the DisplayHDR-1000 badge will be far more representative of the displays of the future, so if you want to make sure your content is ready to be displayed on future devices, this is the badge you'll want to look for when shopping for monitors.
|This new 5K UltraWide monitor from LG earned the VESA DisplayHDR-600 badge, meaning it hits at least 600 nits peak brightness, 10-bit encoding, and 99% sRGB and 90% DCI-P3 coverage.|
These new standards are also more stringent about color gamut coverage: the 600 and 1000 standards require what we'd call 'wide gamut' color coverage, capable of displaying colors well outside of the old (can we say 'boring') sRGB standard of yesteryear. That means they can display colors well outside of old photochemical printing devices, so you can edit far more saturated and interesting colors into your image that will be displayed by monitors and printers of the future (and current).
Furthermore, these new standards set stringent requirements on bit-depth: while 8-bit monitors with dithering are allowed, each one of these standards require you hit 10-bit color reproduction with or without 2-bit temporal dithering (many monitors of the past would only hit 8-bit by 6-bit panels with 2-bit dithering: a big no-no for HDR content capable of displaying a wider range of luminances and colors that might otherwise band or posterize with 6-bit panels).
To learn more about the new VESA standards, head over to the DisplayHDR website. There, you'll find a simple breakdown of what constitutes an HDR display, why the standard was set up, and a link to download the DisplayHDR CTS (Compliance Test Specification) for free.
|times are tough by jp wildlife|
from Your City - Garbage
|After the Storm by Domenick Creaco|
Keith Ladzinski is a wildlife and adventure photographer and filmmaker based in Colorado. In this interview he explains the background to his most recent project, and looks back at what's changed since he bought his first digital camera in 2004.
Depth and focus in iPhone Portrait mode images can now be modified in Google Photos for iOS after capture.
Leica has announced the release of its latest compact camera, the D-Lux 7.
As a D750 owner and someone primarily concerned with still photography, DPR staffer Dan Bracaglia does not see a compelling enough reason to go Nikon mirrorless - yet. But that may not be the case for you.
Instagram has developed machine learning tools to detect the use of third-party apps that violate its terms and conditions.
According to reports the camera on some Google Pixel 3 devices crashes when accessed by a third-party camera app.
A handful of hotspots in Kansas City are banning photographers following a number of incidents from 'a few bad apples.'
New firmware for three Tamron zoom models makes the lenses work with Nikon's new Z mirrorless models and FTZ adapter.
Gentlemen Coders has released an update to RAW Power, its macOS and iOS photo-editing app.
Gimbal manufacturer Zhiyun-Tech has introduced zoom control as well as focus control for its new flagship model, the Crane 3 Lab.
We spoke to wildfire photographer Stuart Palley about his experiences shooting the recent Woolsey fire, why the Nikon Z7 isn't quite ready to take a permanent spot in his gear bag, and 'that' Tweet from Donald Trump.
Cinematographer Martin Lisius has shared the video and detailed the work it took to create his 16K HDR video titled "Prairie Wind."
The Z7 presented Nikon with a stiff challenge: how to build a mirrorless camera that measures up to its own DSLRs and can deliver a familiar experience to Nikon users. Chris and Jordan tell us whether they think Nikon succeeded.
National Geographic has shared a collection of entries hand-selected from editors showing off some of the best entries so far.
Rhino has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new Arc II 4-axis robotic camera system.
Skylum Software will be supporting 10 artists on the EyeEm platform with $10,000 to help them focus on their photography.
Researchers have been able to exploit an iOS vulnerability in order to access photos stored in the Photo app's Recently Deleted folder.
Nikon's D3500 may be an inexpensive DSLR, but the company didn't cut corners when it comes to image quality. See how it handled fall colors and tropical seas in our sample gallery.
Nikon has released firmware version 1.02 that resolves a flickering issue when scrolling through images, an ISO limitation problem, and an occasional crash that could occur when displaying certain Raw files.
500px has announced an update to its Home Feed that's aimed at getting more photographers more exposure.
DxO announces the latest update to Nik Collection (version 1.1) that brings better compatibility, fewer bugs to the plugin suite it acquired from Google a year ago
The Nikon Z6's oversampled 4K video impresses in both our studio scene and real world shooting. See for yourself.
Bailey Richardson, one of the original 13 employees at Instagram, has deleted the app, saying it's lost its identity.
Fujifilm says firmware updates for its GFX 50S, X-T3, and X-H1 cameras are around the corner, with plenty of new features and functionality to boot.
NASA has shared satellite imagery of the wildfire that's been confirmed as the deadliest in California history.
Google has published a post, explaining the technologies behind its new Night Sight feature in detail, on the company's Research blog.
The new Lume Cube Air is a small, lightweight and affordable portable light source aimed at vloggers, casual photographers and other content creators.
Nikon USA has announced that its Z6 full-frame mirrorless camera will be shipping Friday, November 16th at a price of $1999 body-only and $2599 with the Nikkor Z 24-70 F4 S lens.
The Insta360 One X is the company's latest consumer 360-degree camera, supporting 5.7K video, including excellent image stabilization, as well as 18MP photos. And, in our experience, it's a really fun camera to use.