Monday, April 1, 2013

Sony RX1 & Dynamic Range

How much dynamic range do the files from the RX1 contain?

Let me start out by saying that I've had my Sony RX1 for about 3 weeks now, and every time I transfer pictures to Lightroom I'm still amazed. The color, crispness, lens character, & dynamic range are jaw dropping for a camera this size. Actually, the image quality is jaw dropping for a camera of any size!

I'm going to try to keep up on a series of posts regarding my observations on different aspects of the RX1's image quality that I haven't seen covered on other websites in great detail. I'll use real world example shots to illustrate my points, and try to keep the articles short & concise.

So without further adieu, the photo below was captured at F2, 1/2000 second, & ISO 100. The garage was quite dark, and the window extremely bright.

dirty window 3

After pushing the shadow recovery slider to 100, I was able to bring out an amazing amount detail from the area surrounding the window. I made other exposure, tone & color adjustments, as well as a slight adjustment to the highlight recovery slider to bring back any overexposed detail in the window.

dirty window 2

Here's the shot again, but in color. I've noticed an odd circular banding that occurs when you push severely underexposed areas in post. You can see slight green & magenta rings in the boards to the right of the window. These have nothing to do with flare, as I've seen them before in other shots that have been pushed in post. I'm not complaining here, just observing. Most digital cameras seem to exhibit some sort of artifact when pushed this hard. I don't plan on pushing underexposed shadow's 100% in Lightroom often.

dirty window 3

In conclusion, I'm elated with the dynamic range of the RX1's files. It's no replacement for getting the exposure right when you take the original shot, but it does allow for some creative opportunities like the one above. With older technology, I would have had to take a series of photos & combine them in order to get this final image. Well done Sony.


Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting, but it would be better to check DR on broad daylight...and get the high lights and shadows from a given subject, better people or a portrait.

Scott said...

Thank you for the input. Perhaps I will add a Part 2 to this article!

Pete said...

Tons of DR for sure. That ring in the center looks similar to artifacts I used to get all the time shooting Infrared on my X-Pro1. That was caused by light bouncing around inside the lens which overexposed the center. It was only a problem when shooting IR though, there was no way to avoid it. I would be interested to see this same test with the Corner Shading Correction set to OFF. I have read that these settings get burned into the RAW files. It may be what's causing that ring.

I know this was only an example but the built in HDR function would work great for this type of photo.

Scott said...

You're absolutely right. The in camera "shading" correction setting is baked into the RAW file. I have done extensive testing on this, but haven't updated the article.

Micheal Gross said...

I don't use professional camera to create HDR photos, as for me it's easier to edit photos using this app helps you to save even the worst photo.

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