Canon EOS 5D Review
Dynamic Range (contd.)
The second part of the dynamic range story is of course the additional headroom available in RAW files. Experience has told us that there is typically around 1 EV (one stop) of extra information available at the highlight end in RAW files and that a negative digital exposure compensation when converting such files can recover detail lost to over-exposure. Much experimentation lead us to eventually use Adobe Camera RAW for conversion with the settings show below to retrieve the maximum dynamic range from our test shots.
It would appear that the EOS 5D's RAW files contain just over one stop of extra highlight detail, although interestingly this was pretty much unavailable in any Canon RAW converter because of their conservative approach to potentially incorrect data. At the shadow end it is possible to lift shadow detail however this also increases the visibility of noise. Another interesting artifact here was that using the default ACR conversion we lost a tiny bit of highlight range and about a stop of shadow range, it appears that ACR's default 'Medium' tone curve is a little more contrasty than the camera curve and also that ACR is doing less noise supression in shadows (hence it hit our lowest acceptable SNR earlier than in-camera JPEG).
- ACR Default: Exp. 0.0 EV, Shadows 5, Bright. 50, Contrast 25, Curve Medium (Default)
- ACR Best: Exp. -1.25 EV, Shadows 0, Bright. 50, Contrast 0, Curve Linear
The issue with highlight data above the normal 'clip' point is that the RAW converter can not be sure that it is 100% color correct, it appears as though rather than risk false color the Canon converters simply discard it. Adobe Camera RAW (and some other third party RAW converters) however do attempt to reproduce as much extra detail as possible and where a single channel is completely clipped they instead produce a gray of the correct luminance (seen below).
Real life example
Step wedge shots are great for analyzing the optimum response from a camera but nothing beats a real life example to get some idea what all this means. Below left you can see an example of an EOS 5D image with a large area of over-exposure. Using Adobe Camera RAW we produced two additional versions of this shot, the first with the 'optimum' -1.25 EV compensation and the second with a -2.00 EV compensation. While initially the -2.00 EV shot looks better a closer look shows that where ACR could not correctly calculate the color of a pixel it instead turns it gray (with the correct luminance), some of the brickwork has its correct color, other bricks are gray. The -1.25 EV shot shows no less detail it's just about optimum for the amount of additional information available in this RAW shot.
|Default conversion (original)||-1.25 EV, lower contrast||-2.00 EV, lower contrast|
Different RAW converters
Lastly it's worth comparing a couple of other RAW converters. In these cases we used -2.00 EV, despite the fact that it's more than the available headroom to explore how each converter deals with the lack of complete (accurate) data for some pixels. As you can see Adobe Camera RAW produces the most natural looking image with the best 'guess' for the value of pixels with inaccurate color data, RawShooter comes in second and Canons DPP takes the conservative approach, if it can't be sure of the pixel color then it just leaves it white / gray.
|Adobe Camera RAW, -2.00 EV||RawShooter, -2.00 EV||Canon DPP, -2.00 EV|
|Iconic Tree by Jerry-astro|
from Fall colors
|USA1053a by embie|
from We salute you!
|Pot of Gold by Take5|
from Flower center
|Zombie DP by MarioSS|
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.
After releasing a popular 4K action cam and an affordable mirrorless M43 camera, Chinese camera maker YI is diving into yet another market: 360° VR. Meet the YI 360 VR: a powerful little two-lens camera that can shoot and stream in 4K.
The DJI Spark has received a lot of attention thanks to its diminutive size, but how does it stack up? In our review, we take a look at what it's like to fly this pint-sized drone, as well as what's in it for photographers.
Between now and the end of the year we'll be counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Coming in at #10 is a fast wide prime and part of the highly-acclaimed Sigma Art series.
DxOMark has awarded the Pentax 645Z 101 points, making it the second-highest scoring medium format camera it's tested (or the highest scoring from 2015 to now, based on the originally published results).
A small explosion that sounded like a gunshot caused a panic and 24 flight cancellations at Orlando International Airport last Friday. As it turns out, it was a camera battery that exploded inside a traveler's bag.
At last, a premium superzoom bridge camera with phase detect autofocus. Is this the best all-in-one camera ever made? Read on.
Unlike most smartphone cameras, the new Google Pixel 2 devices combine optical and electronic image stabilization for a smooth video experience. Here's how it works.