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Best Dynamic Range?


andrgl
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I've started shooting landscapes for fun and I've managed to hit the DR ceiling with my BMPCC rather quickly.

What's the next smallest camera that can capture greater than 13 stops? There doesn't seem to be any consumer alternative to the BMPCC for capturing raw, high dynamic images. Anyone know of a USB3 image sensor that can do something like 120 dB of dynamic range?

Oh, and this is why I love shooting RAW. This is what I would've got had I shot H.264 or even ProRes.

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No shit there's halos. That's a side effect of maximizing every stop.

And no, I didn't ask for someone to comment on personal footage that I purposely shot handheld on horrible, cheap lenses, I solely uploaded to get an opinion on high dynamic range image sensors.

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way too: the grade is over-saturated, WB is completely off, footage is clearly over-sharpened, there's vignetting, there's fringing and the highlights suffer from magenta tearing.

Thanks anyways though, I'll treasure your post.

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And no, I didn't ask for someone to comment on personal footage that I purposely shot handheld on horrible, cheap lenses, I solely uploaded to get an opinion on high dynamic range image sensors.

Wow, my bad. I see enough shitty footage on here that sometimes it's hard to tell who's doing it on purpose and who doesn't know any better. Now that I know you're in the former group, I'll be sure to leave you to your own devices from now on.

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Cheapest digital cameras claiming above 13 stops I know of is the URSA and URSA mini. But those are not out yet. 

​Another step up in price is FS700 + 7Q for RAW. Supposedly 15 stops, but I doubt it amounts to that in practice. FS7 does RAW as well, but I don't know of anyone shooting it in RAW. Maybe Oliver has?

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Andrygl if you're interested in dynamic range I strongly recommend all the articles and data (which pertain to stills) of Bill Claff 

https://home.comcast.net/~NikonD70/

What you're after is best achieved using Magic Lantern's Dual ISO feature (or whatever they call it now).  It essentially takes one interlaced frame at a low ISO, another at a high ISO, and stitched them together, sort of video HDR.  Cool stuff.

Nikon has the highest dynamic range in still cameras, but it doesn't translate, far as I can tell to their video.  Sony's A7S has great high ISO dr, but is limited on the low end.  Believe it not, what some people really love about the Nikon D800 (for still again) is that it can shoot at a real 50 ISO, or something like that.  It means they can shoot wider open at a fast shutter speed without a ND filter.

The shots you took could achieve a high effective DR by shooting with a graduated ND filter, that's probably what a professional would do.  

Finally, DR is more of a physical nature of the silicon light detecting materials which, I believe, has long ago been maximized.  I doubt it will ever get much better than the BMPCC in MFT sized sensors.  In full-frame, the 5D3 already shoots RAW with ML.  If Sony ever makes an A7S that records RAW that will probably be as good as it gets in our lifetime, until, if ever, they find another light detecting material.

 

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I don't think there is such a limit, if a pixel could store indefenetily without saturating or continiously write the data you could have as much DR as you want.

Overexposed Portra 160 has some crazy lattitude because it has a lot of lattitude in both directions (over and underexposed), more than the d800, it has some obvious colorshift but it's very pleasant, you can expose for the shadows and scan or even develop for the highlights and get something like 16 stops or more (with "strange" colors).

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I doubt it will ever get much better than the BMPCC in MFT sized sensors.

​Gotta thank you max, was about to write a long-winded response when I realized:

Blackmagic's soon to be released Micro version of the BMPCC has an expansion port to control camera settings. Assuming we can control the ISO (which we can't because it's one of the settings not mentioned in any promotional material,) we could simply alternate the value every frame during a 60 FPS rolling shutter capture. Will have to wait for it's release to see if it's possible.

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Blackmagic's soon to be released Micro version of the BMPCC has an expansion port to control camera settings. Assuming we can control the ISO (which we can't because it's one of the settings not mentioned in any promotional material,) we could simply alternate the value every frame during a 60 FPS rolling shutter capture. Will have to wait for it's release to see if it's possible.

​When shooting RAW, ISO is only a "directive" to the processor on how to "expose", or create an image from the RAW data.  When you set a higher ISO on the BMPCC it only shows you an expected ISO image on the screen, it doesn't actually CHANGE what RAW data is recorded, unless there's something I don't know.  Hopefully someone can CORRECT THIS if I'm wrong about that.  What we would want is for the BM camera to change it's shutter speed every other frame (give more or less light to the sensor).  I don't know what ML does to create the dual-ISO stuff.  

I don't expect this any time soon.  I believe we (humans) have a natural dynamic range of 6 stops, so if you expose correctly, you never really need more than that.  Sigma cameras, which I'm a big lover of, have a DR of about 8.  

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I've started shooting landscapes for fun and I've managed to hit the DR ceiling with my BMPCC rather quickly.

What's the next smallest camera that can capture greater than 13 stops? There doesn't seem to be any consumer alternative to the BMPCC for capturing raw, high dynamic images. Anyone know of a USB3 image sensor that can do something like 120 dB of dynamic range?

Oh, and this is why I love shooting RAW. This is what I would've got had I shot H.264 or even ProRes.

tXqPAHO.png
yl6pxXF.png
ckU5wZm.png
c7U3wTP.png
gHVOjSg.png
RRWDDAh.png
zVeVj2K.png
VZ00NI8.png

​Footage looks horrible.........

 

This has nothing to do with dynamic range, you can capture something great just knowing the correct time of day to shoot. Also Blackmagic cameras with 12 stop dynamic range for video is amongst some of the best in the "prosumer" world. My suggestion if you want better footage would be to shoot "Raw" time-lapse photos where you can maximize the dynamic range of any slr camera.

 

If you want the best in video you would have to be looking at Arri, but even still you need to know how to grade + color correct which you obviously don't have a clue....

 

Sometimes "tough love" is best......

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The problem is DaVinci Resolve. Your grade is not pushing the footage in the right manner. I typically edit footage using Adobe Camera Raw if I have to push the best Dynamic Range from the BMPCC and the BMCC. Oddly, there is a lot more latitude with these cameras using a better program than DaVinci.

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​When shooting RAW, ISO is only a "directive" to the processor on how to "expose", or create an image from the RAW data.  When you set a higher ISO on the BMPCC it only shows you an expected ISO image on the screen, it doesn't actually CHANGE what RAW data is recorded, unless there's something I don't know.

For digital cameras, ISO is really a quantification of signal gain based on photon sensitivity. Signal data changes based on amplification. When you change ISO you're literally changing the amplification of the image sensor, which affects how it responds to light.

I've posted a sample image as proof, and I'll link to a fairly good explanation on stack exchange.

rFNIuJa.jpg

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For digital cameras, ISO is really a quantification of signal gain based on photon sensitivity. Signal data changes based on amplification. When you change ISO you're literally changing the amplification of the image sensor, which affects how it responds to light.

I've posted a sample image as proof, and I'll link to a fairly good explanation on stack exchange.

rFNIuJa.jpg

That's not the case with Blackmagic, Bolex and I'm not exactly sure about Red. 

Which camera did you use for the test?

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Some cinema cameras, like the Bolex, Blackmagic, and Alexa, have only one native ISO. They use digital gain to "push" that data and produce brighter results for higher ISO values, but the RAW data never changes. It always captures at its native ISO on the sensor level. 

Some cameras, like all DSLRs/DSLMs, Canon's Cinema line, and the Panasonic Varicam 35, have more than one native ISO. They use analog gain on the sensor level to change the way the sensor actually "sees" photons, resulting in better dynamic range and noise characteristics at higher sensitivities. 

Hope that clarifies things. 

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Some cinema cameras, like the Bolex, Blackmagic, and Alexa, have only one native ISO. They use digital gain to "push" that data and produce brighter results for higher ISO values, but the RAW data never changes. It always captures at its native ISO on the sensor level. 

Some cameras, like all DSLRs/DSLMs, Canon's Cinema line, and the Panasonic Varicam 35, have more than one native ISO. They use analog gain on the sensor level to change the way the sensor actually "sees" photons, resulting in better dynamic range and noise characteristics at higher sensitivities. 

Hope that clarifies things. 

You're almost right. But we don't store 22-bit DNG files. Changing the camera ISO preserves different areas of the sensor signal.

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