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02-14-2011, 02:49 PM   #1
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Anyone using the Expanded Dynamic Range feature on your K5?

I just got my K5 and have been playing around with different settings. I was just wondering if anyone had any insight on the Expanded Dynamic Range feature. The review at DPReview suggested leaving the highlight correction on, but I really have a hard time letting go of that ISO80 ability

Highlight correction causes the lowest ISO to be 160. I don't really understand why this is necessary. My concern would be that dynamic range would be lessened by doing this. This forum has a few posts about the K5 at ISO 80 having the best dynamic range available in an APSC sensor. Why would anyone want to sacrifice this in order to have the highlight correction turned on? Is it because the camera is, in a way, using ISO 80, underexposing a little to avoid clipping highlights, then processing the image in the camera to correct it for exposure while leaving the highlight areas underexposed. Or something similar? Would it be similar to me doing my own version of underexposing a little, then going in to Adobe camera RAW and raising the fill light to expose the shadows areas, and using recovery to keep the highlights under control? My big questions are: Who is using this feature? Is it worth giving up the low ISO abilities to salvage highlights?

Secondly, what is the Shadow Correction feature actually doing? I couldnít find an explanation in the manual. There are 3 settings to choose from and this feature does not affect the ISO range. Is it recommended?

My main concern is that Iíd like to preserve the high dynamic range capabilities of this camera and was wondering if using these features would actually help in that area, or if it actually sacrificed dynamic range in order to avoid certain areas being clipped. In other words, if my highlights clip at ISO 80 without the highlight correction feature turned on, will the image still have more dynamic range than if I took the same photo, Highlight correction turned on, ISO upped to 160? If so, it seems to me that the highlight correction feature is not necessary. I can underexpose the image slightly, and use the RAW editor to bring back the shadows. Am I correct in this thinking?

I hope this isnít too much of a newbie question. The K5 is so much more of a beast than my K200dÖ.a much steeper learning curve. I really want to make the most of what this camera can do, so I greatly appreciate the feedback.

Best Regards,

Ches

02-14-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Good question. I'm looking forward to hearing people's responses.

Has anyone tested the Dynamic Range of the camera at ISO160 with Highlight correction on? (Falk?)

How does it compare to ISO 80?
02-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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I'm curious of this answer as well because I wouldn't want to sacrifice ISO 80. I've always been told to shoot at the lowest ISO possible.
02-14-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by secateurs Quote
Good question. I'm looking forward to hearing people's responses.

Has anyone tested the Dynamic Range of the camera at ISO160 with Highlight correction on? (Falk?)

How does it compare to ISO 80?
I believe there is a thread showing "Highlight Correction On - ISO160" is slightly lower in dynamic range than "Highlight Correction On - ISO200", with a lot of back and forth as to whether or not it is true.

It makes sense to me that "Highlight Correction On - ISO160" wouldn't work as well, as it is based on ISO80. Since ISO80 is an expanded sensor range and not a native sensor speed (ISO100 is the lowest standard sensor speed). These ideas may help in the search for the best ISO setting.

02-14-2011, 08:22 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Thanks, BetaPhoto....

I believe I found the thread you were referring to: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/130190-low-light-160-200...fferences.html

It is mostly a bunch of speculating, but the original poster's dilemma is very interesting. When he turned D-Range highlight correction on, ISO set to 160, it actually did the opposite of what one would think. ISO 200, without D-Range turned on had less highlight clipping. Basically, the dynamic range seems much lower in the highlights with D-Range turned on.

Of course, this is mostly speculation, and no one could really give a good explanation. But it does make me, at least for now, lean towards leaving the D-Range Highlight Correction turned off. If needed, I will lower the EV a bit to avoid clipping and depend on my RAW editing abilities to make up for it in post production.

Also, I did some more searching around the forum and other websites. There are virtually no threads about the D-Range for the K5, but I've seen a few others in regards to the K7 and the Kx. In these threads, posters claim that the D-Range feature does not effect RAW images, but will not automatically default back to the lower ISO setting when shooting RAW. But on DPReview's K5 review, it says the D-Range settings to affect the RAW files. My intuition makes be think that DPReview is probably incorrect about this. Since I am an avid RAW shooter, I will probably just leave the D-Range off unless I need to shoot JPEG in a very high-contrast situation.

If anyone would care to shed some more light, please do.

Thanks again.
02-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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does highlight / shadow correction even affect raw?
02-14-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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According to dpreview, it does affect RAW, but i think this may be a mistake.

From dpreview's K5 review:
"The K-5 features a highlight expansion function which applies to both JPEG and RAW; shadow expansion can also be applied to the camera's JPEG output. With Highlight correction activated ISO 160 becomes the minimum sensitivity setting, and the tone curve is flatter in the highlights giving an extra stop or so of highlight range. If you compare the K-5's dynamic range curve with hghlight correction turned on against the Nikon D7000's default output, you can see that they match almost exactly. Since the two cameras share closely-related sensors, this strongly suggests that the Nikon is essentially performing an equivalent to highlight correction by default. The noise floor of both cameras is low enough to do so without any serious penalty in noise levels, and for this reason we'd recommending keeping highlight protection activated on the K-5."
02-14-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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I believe that it will apply to RAW if using the Pentax-provided software, which understands what it is supposed to do with the data. I doubt that it works with third-party software, yet (hopefully yet).

02-14-2011, 10:40 PM   #9
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I've not turned on highlight correction since I discovered how much I like ISO 80. And I've been so impressed with how much you can recover with an underexposed picture without getting extra noise that I leave the camera set to Ev -.3 for the most part. It's funny, the K20 I used to own seemed to underexpose consistently so I left the camera set to Ev +.3 most of the time. The first K7 (returned because of green line) tended to overexpose a bit and I was thinking about setting it to Ev -.3. The K7 I now have is just fine at Ev 0.
02-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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Just did a quick test of photos with highlight correction on and off shot in RAW with some minor blown highlights and I could not see any differance in the highlights...Shot first at ISO 80 and Second at ISO 160. The shadow correction on the otherhand visibly lightens up the shadow areas.
02-15-2011, 12:49 AM   #11
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with which raw processor?
02-15-2011, 01:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mccamp82 Quote
Highlight correction causes the lowest ISO to be 160. I don't really understand why this is necessary. My concern would be that dynamic range would be lessened by doing this. This forum has a few posts about the K5 at ISO 80 having the best dynamic range available in an APSC sensor. Why would anyone want to sacrifice this in order to have the highlight correction turned on? Is it because the camera is, in a way, using ISO 80, underexposing a little to avoid clipping highlights, then processing the image in the camera to correct it for exposure while leaving the highlight areas underexposed.
I believe that is exactly what is happening.
02-15-2011, 01:49 AM   #13
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I have Bright/Dark Areas ticked (page 236 of the manual ) for display playback and if it shows a highlight blow out I adjust ev settings and re-shoot,

Otherwise I have a user setting for highlight correction and also have my RAW button set to autobracketing.

ISO 80 rocks


cheers

Neil
02-15-2011, 03:21 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mccamp82 Quote
Is it because the camera is, in a way, using ISO 80, underexposing a little to avoid clipping highlights, then processing the image in the camera to correct it for exposure while leaving the highlight areas underexposed. Or something similar?
Yes, it's that. The camera actually shoots at ISO80 (instead of ISO160) so 1EV underexposed and then corrects the exposure by whatever amount is needed to preserve the highlights, e.g. applies +0.7EV for that particular photo when generating the jpg output.

This also affects raw because the raw is 1EV underexposed. If you take the same shot with D-Range on and off with same settings (e.g. F2.8, 1/100, ISO160 for both photo) then in some raw converters (e.g. Raw Therapee 2.4) you'll see that the photo with d-range on is exactly 1EV underexposed (due to being shot at ISO80, 1EV less than ISO160). On the other hand some raw converters notice the d-range on in the exif and automatically "correct" the exposure by adding 1EV, therefore in these raw converters you won't see any difference between the two shots.

QuoteOriginally posted by mccamp82 Quote
Would it be similar to me doing my own version of underexposing a little, then going in to Adobe camera RAW and raising the fill light to expose the shadows areas, and using recovery to keep the highlights under control?
Yes, more or less. If you shoot raw then you can just as well set -0.3EV (or whatever you prefer) as a general exp.compensation on your camera and then correct the exposure in your raw converter by applying whatever exp.compensation (or "fill light" or custom curve or whatever you prefer) is needed for a pleasing exposure without clipping highlights.


Shadow correction just lifts up (brightens) the shadows during jpg processing. If you shoot raw then it doesn't matter, you can do the same in your raw converter by using whatever tool/slider it has to brighten the shadows.
02-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #15
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I appreciate all of the replies....they have been very helpful and informative. I'm glad to hear I had at least a little bit of a clear understanding of what was happening in the camera when D-Range is turned on. I will undoubtedly leave the D-Range features off when shooting RAW, and may possibly use them if I need to use JPEG in a contrasty scene (which rarely happens).

Thanks again!
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