15+ DR on New Dragon Sensor?!?

Discussion in 'Cameras' started by Josh Lambeth, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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  2. Mark Melville

    Mark Melville Member

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    Sometimes there can be to much DR. There's times you want things to go black. Then again I guess in the new world order you just crush the blacks.
     
  3. Joshua Barker

    Joshua Barker New Member

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    OK, beginner question, I read this article and I see the large spectrum of light that this Dragon sensor can track but I am new to cameras and I do not understand the benefit of this new sensor? Care to dumb it down for the laymen?
     
  4. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    It's the difference between light and dark. Lesser cameras can only properly expose a small range of light and dark at the same time, and when you see an auto exposure change if you point at the sun, versus point at some dark trees, for instance, it's only necessary because the camera can't handle the wide contrast.
    The high dynamic range gives you the ability to see detail in the shadows without blowing out the highlights.

    There NO SUCH thing as TOO MUCH dynamic range, Mark! Shame on you.** :)
    For aerials it is really helpful to have a wide DR, especially sunset shots where you want to keep detail in the sky and see something on the ground.

    **edited to add- Not while shooting. In post and for finishing is a different story. You don't always want to see everything, but it's nice to have the flexibility.
     
  5. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Joshua the human eye has a huge dynamic range. I've read perhaps as high as 20 stops. True photo film has a good range that generally exceeds that of any digital camera. Even great cameras today typically only have a 12 f stop range. That's why photographers shoot HDR(High Dynamic Range) exposures with a normal exposure and then an exposure -3 followed by a +3 (under and overexposed) and then blend the resulting images together. I do that for the majority of my landscape work. As Tim said you want to see detail in the brightest parts as well in the darkest parts. Better to have the data bits and suppress them. You can't process what isn't there in the data bits of the image.

    So the Dragon sensor in theory is approaching the range of the human eye with one exposure rather than needing multiple exposures to achieve the same results.

    For those shooting RED can you see much difference in the RED HDR mode?
     
  6. Joshua Barker

    Joshua Barker New Member

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    Thank you guys very much!
     
  7. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Yup, just like the crop or no crop decision. It's hard to uncrop a photo that's cropped too tightly. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Mark Melville

    Mark Melville Member

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    Guys I come from this as a DP not as an aerial guy. I can understand in aerials you may want more DR but cameras are built for production purposes for the most part.

    I'm and old film guy. I've probably shot over 8 million feet of film between 35mm and Super 16 and been on board shooting high end digital systems for the last 6 or 7 years.

    The idea is to have control on set. When lighting a scene I want to control where highlights, mid-tones and black fall. Controlling these elements is how you achieved depth in a frame. There's many situations where I want things to fall to black. Even the older Vision II stock had quite a bit of DR and you had to work to get things to fall to black. The newer stocks realistically had a 6 stop range on either side of 18% grey. Learning the old school way I would set exposure using the Zone System (Ansel Adams) with my spot meter. I would decide where to place middle gray and consequently highlights and blacks would fall where I would want them to.

    By controlling these things on set I could also protect my work being fiddled with by some kid in a post production house. Often I could not follows through with jobs in post and the grading process because I was off some place doing another project. It's about control.

    Now with digital there's an increase in DR even over film. This is a dual edge sword it gives you more room to play with it in post when your shooting S or C Log which is great. I do also like sitting there with my DIT and doing a pre-grade directly on set. However on the back end it also allows some idiot producer with shit for taste to f&**k with you work. Not good. I try to pigeon hole my images so there's very little latitude in post so a producer can't screw with it and has to post it like I shoot it and this becomes ever increasingly more difficult with increased DR.

    I'm on a 30 week show right now using the Alexa. Great camera, shoots very pretty pictures in ProRes 4:4:4:4. For our purpose it's perfect given that it's heavy in VFX and going digital allows me to give the file directly to the VFX guys to work with in post. This saves an enormous amount of time by by-passing putting the film through an Arri Film Scanner. However if given a choice I still prefer film for a very simple reason.

    I looks better. Sorry. It just does and it has nothing to do with DR but simply because one is organic (chemical) and the other is zeros and ones. I'm sure in the very near future some geek will write an algorithm that will convert square pixels in digital to organic grain like film. It's only a matter of time.
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    You eloquently state your case, Mark.
    If some is good, more is not always better.
    (This rule does not apply to good Grappa. ;) )

    Andy.
     
  10. Brad McGiveron

    Brad McGiveron Active Member

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    I'll take more DR any day...

    I am just glad I will be able trade in my Scarlet at full value to upgrade and have a second Epic with Dragon.
     
  11. Mark Melville

    Mark Melville Member

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    Completely agree on all forms of alcohol.
     

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