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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:32 PM   #1
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Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

Did some test with shooting outdoors on the last shoot. I use the rule, expose for highlights outdoors and expose for for skin tones indoors. If you let the skin tones go to shadows outdoors, you can recover them in post, and since the iso is low, you don't introduce noise and loose out on image quality. No more blown out sky's outdoors and just use the shadow highlight tool in photoshop, premier, AE or whatever other grading program you are using.
Original shot (expose for highlights)
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Graded video in photoshop
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Typical blown out clip
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Old October 24th, 2011, 06:28 AM   #2
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

I disagree & prefer to expose for for skin tones outdoors as otherwise as in your examples you lose detail in the shadows & there is loss of definition in faces & clothes. The dynamic range just isn't there to recover these details in post so it's far better to expose correctly & let the highlights blow.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

Just my preference, but I think the 3rd looks the best. The 2nd example looks like "shadow/highlights" and/or neat video were used? True, you can regain the highlights details, but it looks less processed.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

Technically you achieve the best overall image quality when you expose as bright as possible without overexposing anything that should not be white and then grade down to the correct exposure. This compresses the bulk of the image data into the data rich area of the sensor minimizing the signal to noise ratio.

However - this is negated by the baked in lower color spaces that video operates in (sRGB or Adobe RGB in the case of DSLRs) as well as video compression which can add noise like artifacts to what should be a mostly noise free image.

Any kind of grading will degrade the final image quality where as intentionally allowing part of the scene to clip will also degrade the image. You have to pick your compromise and roll with it.

I will say that you can get away with a bit more grading than you can with blown out images. We choose to expose for the brightest element and recover as needed. Better to have data everywhere even if it is in need of adjustment than no data at all.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

Make sure you are shooting with the cinestyle picture preset to begin with if dynamic range is your primary concern
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Old October 28th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #6
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

if HDR can ever be processed in a video camera i will pee my pants. three exposures (or more?) combined in camera into one shot that is more like the eye sees...
hurry up engineers!!!!
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Old October 28th, 2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: Maintaining highlights with dslr's outdoors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
if HDR can ever be processed in a video camera i will pee my pants. three exposures (or more?) combined in camera into one shot that is more like the eye sees...
hurry up engineers!!!!
RED can already do this but surely the better solution is sensors with greater dynamic range not a fudge like HDR to get around the technical limitations of current sensors
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