[Tig] camera dynamic range quotes are getting silly!

Rob Lingelbach rob at colorist.org
Sat Feb 19 02:47:48 GMT 2011

On Feb 18, 2011, at 4:02 PM, peter_swinson at compuserve.com wrote:

> OK, I stand corrected, but I notice Kevin, if I understand him correctly reckons a raw digital camera at one aperture setting is good for " 8 (stops) on a good day."

what some people tend to forget is that the dynamic range of the human eye-brain system is limited much below these 10s of thousands of nits or of ratios approaching the million.   Although it can adjust up and down, it takes time.   From the Wikipedia entry on Dynamic Range:

. A human can see objects in starlight (although colour differentiation is reduced at low light levels) or in bright sunlight, even though on a moonless night objects receive 1/1,000,000,000 of the illumination they would on a bright sunny day: that is a dynamic range of 90 dB. A human cannot perform these feats of perception at both extremes of the scale at the same time. The eyes take time to adjust to different light levels and the dynamic range of the human eye in a given scene is actually quite limited due to optical glare.

I've come to at least one conclusion about HDR in still photos: they can look quite artificial, depending on a lot of factors.  

Rob   TIG admin
Rob Lingelbach   Colorist, Dolby Laboratories
rob at colorist.org http://rob.colorist.org

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