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Raw and extended dynamic range (no, not HDR)

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by tazio35, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. tazio35

    tazio35 Well-Known Member

    New cameras, such as the Alpha 700, are being launched which can do whizzy processing which boosts the dynamic range. Does this work in raw or only on jpegs? I thought raw was pretty much the data straight off the sensor without any processing.
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I can only speak for the Sony a700. The raw files are just that but also contain the data of the DRO setting at the time of exposure. This can optionally be applied when the raw file is processed (using the Data Image Converter software supplied by Sony with the camera). The result can be anything from very subtle to OTT depending on what degree of DRO had been set.
  3. tazio35

    tazio35 Well-Known Member

    Ah, that's clever.
  4. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    I assume that the extended dynamic range thing only relates to JPEGs and is the same as applying shadow and highlight compensation during the RAW conversion process on a computer. After all, as you say, the RAW file is basically all the data from the sensor - I don't think there's any way the camera can extend the dynamic range of an image by using data that isn't part of the RAW file. My experience is that an amazing amount of detail can be recovered from a RAW image by careful processing on a computer and I doubt the camera can do as well, I guess it's just more convenient i.e. it requires less thought.
  5. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    There is a DRO converter in the Sony supplied software to extract the flagged information from raw files. Read David Kilpatrick's article here.
  6. Rhys_Hardwick

    Rhys_Hardwick Well-Known Member

    It all seems like gimickery to me. It is not extending the dynamic range of the sensor, just lifting the shadows via a curve-like operation. I can do this on the computer much better than the camera will be able to do it.

    That said, for those who do not want to fiddle, it's nice and easy. I am a RAW user, after all, and so like to tinker!

    I just hope people don't get the wrong idea and think it somehow improves the sensor dynamic range.

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