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  • High Dynamic Range?

    I'm just starting to play around with HDR (High Dynamic Range) images using Photomatix, and I'm noticing that neither of my two Olympus cameras (330 and now 510) offer much help for taking the multiple shots required by HDR.

    Is there any way to communicate with Olympus and ask for new features -- either in a new model or (hopefully) as a firmware upgrade to existing models?

    What I would like is a new scene mode that:
    • puts the camera into aperature priority mode (so the depth of field doesn't vary between shots),
    • sets up exposure bracketing, with something like 2EV between shots (exposure bracketing is currently limited to 1EV between shots),
    • takes 3, 4, or more shots, one at each exposure.

    What would be really cool is if the camera figures out the dynamic range of the scene and keeps taking shots until the entire range is captured. In other words, keeps taking shots until the histogram has no values at either end.

    And finally, if the resulting shots are placed together in a folder, or otherwise marked so you know they are different exposure values of the same shot. Actually, I'd love it if the camera did this for any automated bracketing operation (exposure, white balance, flash). I'm not sure you could do this in the camera, but combining those shots into a single, HDR image would be awesome if possible.

    Currently, I have to do all this manually, including adjusting the exposure between each shot since the bracketing function is limited to 1EV steps and 3 images. Plus manually viewing each image to make sure I have the entire dynamic range of the scene. Automating all of this would be awesome.

    At the very least, augmenting the exposure bracketing functions to allow 2EV steps and more than 3 exposures would be a great help.

    Who has a contact at Olympus I can talk to?

    --wm

  • #2
    Originally posted by wmleler View Post
    I'm just starting to play around with HDR (High Dynamic Range) images using Photomatix, and I'm noticing that neither of my two Olympus cameras (330 and now 510) offer much help for taking the multiple shots required by HDR.

    Is there any way to communicate with Olympus and ask for new features -- either in a new model or (hopefully) as a firmware upgrade to existing models?

    What I would like is a new scene mode that:
    • puts the camera into aperature priority mode (so the depth of field doesn't vary between shots),
    • sets up exposure bracketing, with something like 2EV between shots (exposure bracketing is currently limited to 1EV between shots),
    • takes 3, 4, or more shots, one at each exposure.

    What would be really cool is if the camera figures out the dynamic range of the scene and keeps taking shots until the entire range is captured. In other words, keeps taking shots until the histogram has no values at either end.

    And finally, if the resulting shots are placed together in a folder, or otherwise marked so you know they are different exposure values of the same shot. Actually, I'd love it if the camera did this for any automated bracketing operation (exposure, white balance, flash). I'm not sure you could do this in the camera, but combining those shots into a single, HDR image would be awesome if possible.

    Currently, I have to do all this manually, including adjusting the exposure between each shot since the bracketing function is limited to 1EV steps and 3 images. Plus manually viewing each image to make sure I have the entire dynamic range of the scene. Automating all of this would be awesome.

    At the very least, augmenting the exposure bracketing functions to allow 2EV steps and more than 3 exposures would be a great help.

    Who has a contact at Olympus I can talk to?

    --wm
    I can certainly assure you that there is a good chance that your post will be seen by at least some Olympus personnel.

    But I will also highlight this with some of my contacts.

    Just to recap though - you say that bracketing is limited to 1EV steps, - did I understand you correctly? When I use bracketing I can use one third EV steps. Of course, if you mean that the maximum EV difference between bracketed shots is 1EV, that's different of course.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Ian.

      Yes, by "limited" I meant that a 1EV step is the upper limit. Those cameras can do one third or one half EV steps, but for HDR larger steps are preferred.

      In case anyone from Olympus is listening, let me be clear: I would be more than happy if the exposure bracketing feature allowed 2EV steps and 3, 4, or 5 shots. Even just 3 and 5, if that is easier, but 4 would be nice (-3 -1 +1 +3).

      The other things I asked for would be great, but if I could only get one thing, it would be that.

      Supporting HDR photography would be in keeping with the new highlight and shadow shooting modes, and would be (another) feather in Olympus' reputation as the innovator in digital cameras.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by wmleler View Post
        Thanks Ian.

        Yes, by "limited" I meant that a 1EV step is the upper limit. Those cameras can do one third or one half EV steps, but for HDR larger steps are preferred.

        In case anyone from Olympus is listening, let me be clear: I would be more than happy if the exposure bracketing feature allowed 2EV steps and 3, 4, or 5 shots. Even just 3 and 5, if that is easier, but 4 would be nice (-3 -1 +1 +3).

        The other things I asked for would be great, but if I could only get one thing, it would be that.

        Supporting HDR photography would be in keeping with the new highlight and shadow shooting modes, and would be (another) feather in Olympus' reputation as the innovator in digital cameras.
        We're seeing lots of Japanese IP addresses hitting the site

        Over at DPNow, Stephen is evaluating an inexpensive package called Dynamic Photo HDR, from Mediachance. He's an experienced Photomatix user but he's very impressed with Photo HDR so far.

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
        Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
        Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
        Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dynamic Photo HDR

          Hmmm, looks interesting. Unfortunately, seems to be PC-only. Is there a comparison of Dynamic Photo HDR with Photomatix so I can see if it is worth running the former under Parallels Desktop on my Mac?

          I've also found the open source (and free) program qtpfsgui (what a name!), but don't know much about it.
          Last edited by wmleler; 27th July 2007, 05:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: High Dynamic Range?

            Use RAW to enable generation of wider exposure range. I don't bother with HDR as such I generate 2 Tiffs from one RAW. You can get another +/- 1 EV easily. If I use +/-1 Bracketing this gives a range of 5 stops. Just remember HDR from multiple exposures will only work with images that are substantilly static, inside a church or something.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: High Dynamic Range?

              Originally posted by Glyn R View Post
              Use RAW to enable generation of wider exposure range. I don't bother with HDR as such I generate 2 Tiffs from one RAW. You can get another +/- 1 EV easily. If I use +/-1 Bracketing this gives a range of 5 stops. Just remember HDR from multiple exposures will only work with images that are substantilly static, inside a church or something.
              Haha! That's cheating

              But I can see it could work. But would you agree proper bracketing would be better?

              Ian
              Founder/editor
              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
              Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
              Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
              Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: High Dynamic Range?

                I find that my need for wide dynamic range is in outdoor images mostly. This is a composite of 2 RAW developments. The fishermen were constantly casting so Bracketing would not work. A wide range of bracketing for general use or indoor would be better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: High Dynamic Range?

                  I second the original suggestions for new camera features.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: High Dynamic Range?

                    What would be really cool is if the camera figures out the dynamic range of the scene and keeps taking shots until the entire range is captured.
                    That would be tres cool.
                    Alex

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: High Dynamic Range?

                      I use Photomatix also. And for the shots requiring more than one stops difference, I meter for high, mid, low and then record those meter readings in a note book. After that I set up my camera, take an exposure, change settings per my notes, and repeat until all the exposures I need have been completed. It has worked for me sor far.

                      My camera stays on Manual mode at all times.

                      Joe
                      Joe,


                      "Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: High Dynamic Range?

                        If a camera is able to produce histograms, I can't imagine that this would be particularly difficult to implement, and would be a very powerful feature.

                        Slightly more difficult to implement, but even more powerful, would be if it could produce some kind of RAW format with floating point data (like the ones produced by HDR programs). If this could be done with a single exposure (and I'm not actually sure it could be) then it would mean that HDR images could be made for non-static images.

                        I don't know about the rest of you, but I have enough megapixels now. I'd rather the manufacturers put their effort into making sensors with a higher dynamic range.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: High Dynamic Range?

                          Hi Ian and all others,

                          as I am reading this forum I must join. I think the dynamic range is the bigest problem of curently produced dslr's. In this case I would like to ask you for help. I have a really great idea how to improve the cmos senzor and post processing to achieve much mor biger DR The curently senzor can manage something around 5,5 to 6 EV, could you imagine up to 17EV I can!! and I know how!I am not gona put it onto this forum of corse, all I am asking for is if you have any good contact inside olympus?I am an olympus user and I want to offer this idea to olympus .
                          I welcome any help.

                          Thanks Kosta

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: High Dynamic Range?

                            Originally posted by Kosta View Post
                            Hi Ian and all others,

                            as I am reading this forum I must join. I think the dynamic range is the bigest problem of curently produced dslr's. In this case I would like to ask you for help. I have a really great idea how to improve the cmos senzor and post processing to achieve much mor biger DR The curently senzor can manage something around 5,5 to 6 EV, could you imagine up to 17EV I can!! and I know how!I am not gona put it onto this forum of corse, all I am asking for is if you have any good contact inside olympus?I am an olympus user and I want to offer this idea to olympus .
                            I welcome any help.

                            Thanks Kosta
                            Kodak is experimenting with clear pixels in the Bayer filter pattern to improve sensitivity - replacing half the gree pixels on the sensor.

                            I have contacts at Panasonic and Olympus in Japan - PM me if you like

                            Ian
                            Founder/editor
                            Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                            Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                            Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                            Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                            Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                            Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                            Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: High Dynamic Range?

                              Thanks Ian,
                              but I am new in forums, can you explain what PM means please?
                              And that my idea is based on deferent, and I am not afreid to say, revolutionly way of getting the image dates from curently cmos senzors following with some kind of special post-processing. It could bring a huge DR compering with the one the last cameras can offer and as a litle add you could also choose the range you wish to use for each scene. It would be up to you wheater you use all 17 EV or just 2, 5, ... whatever you need! You would just set up the camera and then take the picture with both details in cloudes and shadows!
                              Thare is not so many changes needed on camera's hardware so as soon as I can give it to olympus the next generation of E3 could be equiped with this system.

                              So thank you for help.
                              Kosta

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