1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

A Case for Increased DR (E-M5?)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dcassat, May 7, 2012.

  1. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Went to a local redwood grove yesterday and really struggled with the light challenges. While I was able to make compromises that worked out, I was reminded once again that dynamic range is so important. If I expose for the sky I'm going to get lot's O' noise in those shadows. But compromise is the name of the game with this technology. Still love the 9-18 though!!



    <a href="http://500px.com/photo/7359142"> 4. "The Majestic by Dan Cassat (dcassat) on 500px.com" border="0" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0;"></a><br/><font style="font-size: 120%;"><a href="http://500px.com/photo/7359142">The Majestic</a> by <a href="http://500px.com/dcassat">Dan Cassat</a></font>
     
  2. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    I guess negative film still has it's advantages over digital. I hope not to start a war here. :biggrin:
     
  3. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    I just realized that the title of my post could be misunderstood. This shot was taken with a E-PL2. I'm thinking the EM-5 would handle this shot...
     
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Last I heard, the idea of film's expanded dynamic range was a misconception. I'll have to hunt down the article.

    As far as the lighting challenges, yes more DR in camera is always going to be helpful. But with a static scene like this, a gentle application of bracketed HDR can be an enormous help to bring details back.
     
  5. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I do lots of hiking in the woods and do waterfall pictures. Bracketing HDR doesn't work too well if there is any wind at all since I need to use long exposures with ND filters. For regular snapshots, bracketing does help.
     
  6. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    I'm finding the E-M5 to have at least a full stop (if not a little more) of highlight headroom over previous m4/3 cameras (including the GH2 and GH1). Shadow DR is a little better too, but not as noticeable. I'm finding the ability to keep detail in highlights with ease (in RAW) in situations where my GH2 or GX1 would have been blown out to pure white. Tough to say if you'd have been able to keep all of the highlights in this shot with the E-M5, but I'm betting you'd have been pretty darn close.
     
  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    How did you (the OP) shoot and process this photo? Is it an OOC jpeg? If so, you're probably demonstrating the disadvantage of jpeg. Shoot in raw, and use a good post processing program like LR, and I'll bet you can recover at least 2 stops of additional shadow detail without affecting the highlights.
     
  8. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Yes, Lightroom - 3.6

    This shot was PP'd in Lightroom version 3.6. I'll be upgrading when 4.1 comes out.

    During the shoot on almost every shot I had blue and orange blinkies(lost highlights and shadows) to deal with simultaneously. I just had to make choices and they all weren't good ones!

    BUT, I opted to keep the shadows most of the time and blow the highlights and it was usually the light coming through the trees and not a major sky portion.

    With the E-PL2 if you choose the highlights, you're going to have to pull the shadows quite a bit and the noise will be objectionable. The noise reduction helps a little but the smudging you get as a result is unacceptable (usually).

    From what I've seen from the E-M5 the low ISO noise is SO much better that I could pull those shadows and NOT pay a penalty.
     
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    No camera will handle this scene without losing detail in highlight and/or shadow because you're shooting right into the sun.
     
  10. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    You'll still have a noise penalty when pushing the shadows, but they keep integrity pretty well on the E-M5. You will still have to do noise reduction or just enjoy the grain, though, if you push the shadows more than about 2/3 of a stop (there's detail about 2 stops pushed, but you'll get a good bit of noise with it.)
     
  11. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    While, the shot posted was into the sun, many were not.

    The problem is still an issue because it is so dark in the forest with very intense rays of light throughout. The light play on the trees is often makes the shot.

    No doubt we are at the edge of what a camera can do without HDR, which I also applied during the shoot. HDR might still wind up being my full time answer but I would rather avoid it most of the time.
     
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    With GH2 files, at least, it's amazing just how much better LR4 is than LR3 at pulling detail out of both shadows and highlights. I've got one shot which has detail in the shadowed overhang of a building, and the highlights are in bright sunlight. With LR 3, I could make the shadows look good, but even if I let the shadows go nearly black I couldn't prevent the highlights from being badly overexposed. LR4 let me get detail out of both. It's almost as good as HDR, without the ugly artifacts that HDR can so easily generate.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think you make a good point in the OP. Perhaps an E-M5 or similar sensor would have helped. My first thought in seeing the shot was that this would be a good time for HDR. I'd be interested to see your HDR images from the shoot.
     
  14. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    Thanks Amin, I will post one of the HDRs when time permits.
     
  15. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Not to hijack this thread, but for more reference.

    This is a 3 shot stacked image. I converted the RAW to jpeg and then stacked in GIMP. One at -1, 0, and +1 EV with the E-PL2. The highlights (leaves and rock in the background) are almost at clipping point. The foreground is still a little dark, but the more I pushed it the noisier it got. The only reason this worked is because I had no wind to move the leaves around. These types of shots are everyday for me. I wonder how much the OMD or GH2 would help me out.

    P3118070blends.JPG
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    No, that's relevant. I appreciate you adding to this discussion!