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06-17-2009, 01:46 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
Pentax added a feature THAT NO OTHER DSLR CAMERA HAS! We never claimed it was the "be all" feature for HDR.

A bunch of these threads say "why didn't you do this, and why didn't you do that", when these items would need to be done on a computer post capture anyway. There is plenty of software out there that does this. Why would Pentax, a camera hardware manufacturer, want to start making software?

Plus, we didn't take anything away to add this feature (but we did add enough processing power to handle it which is why it can't be added as a firmware update to the K20D and K10D, so don't even ask). You can still do HDR photography the "traditional" way.

What is the worst this feature will do? Make someone say, "that is really cool, how can I do more? Maybe I'll bracket and use that cool software." I don't see anything wrong with that.

Believe it or not (because I am one of them), there are people out there that don't spend hours tweaking and modifiying images on a computer simply because they don't like to. This gives them another option for image capture.

Finally, yes, we could probably do anything with a camera, but at a certain point you run into processing issues. We could add full 1080i, 8-channel output, 10fps stills, full HDR with tone mapping, GPS, send e-mails, surf the web, etc, etc, etc, but it would turn into a camera so big and so expensive no one would purchase it.
I think the point is that its a minor tweak... and the review on HDR labs could be.. "Pentax. finally a Real HDR camera" any one that uses a lot of HDR , in photography , visual FX, architecture and so on would get one ... that's just too bad BC obviously Pentax were going in the right direction

06-17-2009, 02:09 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by Quension Quote
There's already data in the EXIF about which images are part of an AEB set; if software's not using that now, it won't use a new tag either.
interesting. care to elaborate on that? if it's there it can be used, it would normally just take me minutes to put something together.
It's in the MakerNotes section, tag 0x0205 is the CameraSettings byte array; check bit 6 of CameraSettings[7] to see if it's in AEB mode, then look at CameraSettings[9] for the sequence numbers. The top 4 bits is this image number (0 = first), bottom 4 is the total number in the set.

QuoteQuote:
QuoteQuote:
Asking for the camera to write out a magical HDR RAW it's not even creating internally is futile
magical hdr raw? what are you on about?
"Magical" in the sense that it doesn't exist within the camera, not in general.

QuoteQuote:
hdr is hdr, nothing magical about it, and there are file formats especially designed for it (openexr is one of them).
OpenEXR is not designed to hold CFA data, is it? Without that (and associated metadata) it's not a RAW format, and you might as well simply combine the bracketed RAW images on the computer as people already do; having the camera do it doesn't seem like much of an advantage. People complain about the lack of a single HDR image now, and lack of control over demosaicing, noise reduction etc will just be the next complaints on the list.

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if the camera never does hdr and tonemapping... well, they shouldn't call it hdr, but judging from the few samples i've seen, it looks like tonemapping to me, at first glance (though in some cases pretty natural looking)

exposure blending is not hdr, however you look at it. there is no hdr image anywhere in there, from start to finish.
The source material is image data for a scene covering a large dynamic range: it most definitely qualifies as HDRI. Being contained and processed in slices instead of a single large blob is irrelevant, as HDRI has never been a definition of the individual processing steps.

You can certainly argue that the output is not HDR, which is of course technically correct, but as far as marketing and feature naming go that isn't terribly relevant either. The output is the result of an HDRI process, and in the common lexicon an "HDR image" is the LDR result of that process, despite being rather inaccurate. It's kind of like the "100% crop" shortcut...

Last edited by Quension; 06-17-2009 at 02:17 PM.
06-17-2009, 02:27 PM   #18
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Well, openexr - that means a new file format which must be supported by the camera. Quite a lot of coding
A much simpler approach would be to save 3 raw files, besides the resulting HDR jpeg. It should be much easier to do. This option could be automatically activated if camera is in RAW+ mode (sounds logical, right? and we won't need a sepparate setting). JCPentax, what do you think? IMO it's a good compromise, maybe worthy of implementing in a future firmware upgrade.
And btw, I'm not complaining (nor see a reason for complaining); I'm merely making a suggestion. Even in the current form the in-camera HDR is IMO a nice addition, and even if it were missing, that wouldn't stop me to buy the camera.
06-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
Pentax added a feature THAT NO OTHER DSLR CAMERA HAS! We never claimed it was the "be all" feature for HDR.

A bunch of these threads say "why didn't you do this, and why didn't you do that", when these items would need to be done on a computer post capture anyway. There is plenty of software out there that does this. Why would Pentax, a camera hardware manufacturer, want to start making software?

Plus, we didn't take anything away to add this feature (but we did add enough processing power to handle it which is why it can't be added as a firmware update to the K20D and K10D, so don't even ask). You can still do HDR photography the "traditional" way.

What is the worst this feature will do? Make someone say, "that is really cool, how can I do more? Maybe I'll bracket and use that cool software." I don't see anything wrong with that.

Believe it or not (because I am one of them), there are people out there that don't spend hours tweaking and modifiying images on a computer simply because they don't like to. This gives them another option for image capture.

Finally, yes, we could probably do anything with a camera, but at a certain point you run into processing issues. We could add full 1080i, 8-channel output, 10fps stills, full HDR with tone mapping, GPS, send e-mails, surf the web, etc, etc, etc, but it would turn into a camera so big and so expensive no one would purchase it.


I totally agree. This is just another example that no matter what you do or how much you give, people will always bitch and find something to complain about.
I swear, if you gave some people $1000 they'd bitch because you didnt give them $2000.

06-17-2009, 03:00 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
What an extremely frustrating thread
Don't worry about it. I am sure many people would find the feature useful and introduce many people to the world of HDR.

As with any feature, some people would never be satisfied; but that's life. OTOH, there is no harm in knowing that there will always be room for improvement.

In the same vein, how many users who are serious about B&W photography would rely on the in-camera B&W filter? That was not the point of the feature, nor those users the target audience of that feature.
06-17-2009, 03:20 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quension Quote
It's in the MakerNotes section, tag 0x0205 is the CameraSettings byte array; check bit 6 of CameraSettings[7] to see if it's in AEB mode, then look at CameraSettings[9] for the sequence numbers. The top 4 bits is this image number (0 = first), bottom 4 is the total number in the set.
interesting, i will have a look, although, if i understand correctly, i was aware of that. what i would really need would be a tag "this is image id "2345", all these 5 images are one bracketed image, with the same id", this means i would not have to manually select the images which make up one "hdr", this would make all the difference. am i making any sense? . it should be possible, though, to cheat and "group" consecutive images which consecutive image numbers, and break the group when either the aeb tag goes away, or the sequence number is reset. hmmm, talking about it gives one ideas. thanks

QuoteQuote:
"Magical" in the sense that it doesn't exist within the camera, not in general.

OpenEXR is not designed to hold CFA data, is it? Without that (and associated metadata) it's not a RAW format, and you might as well simply combine the bracketed RAW images on the computer as people already do; having the camera do it doesn't seem like much of an advantage. People complain about the lack of a single HDR image now, and lack of control over demosaicing, noise reduction etc will just be the next complaints on the list.
that is a good point, it would mean taking demosaicing and all the other "raw fun" away from the users computer, and there would be complaints. i am leaning more and more towards helping making the postprocessing (upto and including creating the hdr, as in exr, file) as easy as possible. the tonemapping part will always be voodoo, and i understand hdr fans love that (i wouldn't know, i simply hate it ).

QuoteQuote:
The source material is image data for a scene covering a large dynamic range: it most definitely qualifies as HDRI. Being contained and processed in slices instead of a single large blob is irrelevant, as HDRI has never been a definition of the individual processing steps.

You can certainly argue that the output is not HDR, which is of course technically correct, but as far as marketing and feature naming go that isn't terribly relevant either. The output is the result of an HDRI process, and in the common lexicon an "HDR image" is the LDR result of that process, despite being rather inaccurate. It's kind of like the "100% crop" shortcut...
it's true, it's mostly terminology, come to think of it, it's just that i see no resemblance between exposure blending (what i usually do) and hdr + tonemapping, the difference is oranges to rocks to me. most people will not identify my pictures with hdr, and hdr fans would never be happy with the "boring" look of my process (enfuse, may those guys be blessed ). hdri is associated almost inseparably with tonemapping these days, if it's wrong or right is irrelevant, it's, i think, just the way it is. i guess this is the more correct way of stating my point (your explanations above are, as i said, very reasonable)

john: we are all friends here (with pentax too ), we are not beating on this new feature, we are actually proud pentax came up with it first, and that it is getting attention, and we are merely brainstorming over what could be done to make it even better, cheaply and without too much trouble (just some "easy" firmware tricks), in the hope of being helpful, and in the hope "somebody might be listening" (nice to see that you are, btw). you will see a lot of this here, sometimes it sounds like "argggh, they did it wrong, crap", but usually it is accompanied by a lot of effort to figure out how it could be done better, sometimes realistically, sometimes naively, but it's there if you read through the "moaning" . honestly, i think this is great, and shows you have a very dedicated community, trying to work with their vendor; i would be proud . if you looked at the "dear pentax thread" (i bet you have), you will see a lot of cases where users are actually wishing for features which are not a big deal, but would make a difference, sometimes also because they believe it would matter if pentax was first, you can see stuff there from "classic strap lugs" (we got it on the k-7, not sure if somebody was listening, or it was coincidence) to "voodoo" stuff like "oss firmware" (by yours truly, but others too ).

shortly, don't get it wrong, nobody here is bashing the new feature, it's just that you have very critical users, and, fortunately, constructively so, for the most part. better get used to it

kunzite: very good idea, and should be trivial to add to the firmware. this will mean you can use the hdr feature which is already there, the same way i (and i think many others) am using the jpg functions: i shoot raw, but i tweak the jpeg settings to see a preview as close to what i will get as i can, this helps a lot (especially that it also works with monochrome, for instance). for hdr it would be brilliant, i am sure that would shut them up, you have to love having reasonable preview for hdr

edit: i _hate_ smileys, please insert imaginary smiley where you think appropriate. thank you

Last edited by nanok; 06-17-2009 at 03:29 PM.
06-17-2009, 06:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
interesting, i will have a look, although, if i understand correctly, i was aware of that. what i would really need would be a tag "this is image id "2345", all these 5 images are one bracketed image, with the same id", this means i would not have to manually select the images which make up one "hdr", this would make all the difference. am i making any sense? . it should be possible, though, to cheat and "group" consecutive images which consecutive image numbers, and break the group when either the aeb tag goes away, or the sequence number is reset.
I know what you mean, but no, I'm not aware of any unique ID for a single group of bracketed images. I was envisioning software doing the grouping, as you say. I suppose the most reliable method would be to sort by ShutterCount, but apparently extracting that number requires some effort. I believe AEB avoids changing folders and such until the set is complete, so in practice just going by the number in the filename is probably good enough for any reasonable application.

QuoteQuote:
it's true, it's mostly terminology, come to think of it, it's just that i see no resemblance between exposure blending (what i usually do) and hdr + tonemapping, the difference is oranges to rocks to me. most people will not identify my pictures with hdr, and hdr fans would never be happy with the "boring" look of my process (enfuse, may those guys be blessed ). hdri is associated almost inseparably with tonemapping these days, if it's wrong or right is irrelevant, it's, i think, just the way it is. i guess this is the more correct way of stating my point (your explanations above are, as i said, very reasonable)
Ah, that I understand. I have managed to produce some obviously unrealistic images using enfuse with some extreme exposures as input, but I too like it for the much more natural-looking results in general. The candy plastic of many tonemapping operations is rather distinctive.
06-17-2009, 07:21 PM   #23
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very good idea about shutter count, that should make the sequencing as safe as possible. effort? no, it's not, thanks to another great guy (hint: exiftool)

nanok@spartakus:~$ exiftool pics/hustopece-2009/k20a3932.pef | grep -i shutter\ count
Shutter Count : 8622
nanok@spartakus:~$

i will find some time and hope to be able to share a quick and dirty bash script (linux here) for doing everything automatically (with enfuse and the like, for my purposes, but i will look at adding the option to output an exr file too, for hdr fans). it should be easy to rewrite for windows or whatever after, as bash is very easy to read. it might take me a few days to find the time to get to it, i'll post back here.

enfuse: true, you can get some weird stuff, but you have to try hard. for the most part, it tends to look as your eyes see, almost incredible to get so much dinamic range displayed on a low dinamic range capable device, and still have it look natural. blows me away every time, i love it.

06-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Well, openexr - that means a new file format which must be supported by the camera. Quite a lot of coding
A much simpler approach would be to save 3 raw files, besides the resulting HDR jpeg. It should be much easier to do. This option could be automatically activated if camera is in RAW+ mode (sounds logical, right? and we won't need a sepparate setting). JCPentax, what do you think? IMO it's a good compromise, maybe worthy of implementing in a future firmware upgrade.
And btw, I'm not complaining (nor see a reason for complaining); I'm merely making a suggestion. Even in the current form the in-camera HDR is IMO a nice addition, and even if it were missing, that wouldn't stop me to buy the camera.
This idea, I like. I kind of wondered why they didn't include this originally.
06-18-2009, 03:49 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
This idea, I like. I kind of wondered why they didn't include this originally.
Ditto! And apologies for coming off like a Pentax basher on this one. That wasn't my intent. I'm sure it is frustrating to see an innovation you are justifiably proud of getting panned. Let me take another run at it:

I think most HDR enthusiasts are going to dismiss this feature in the same vein that a professional photographer would dismiss the scene modes but many people will probably find it useful. There are several suggestions in this thread that would probably make it more useful to HDR enthusiasts as well. Thanks to Pentax for getting the in camera HDR ball in play. Here's hoping they continue to carry it forward to a fully mature implementation.
07-26-2009, 05:03 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
Pentax added a feature THAT NO OTHER DSLR CAMERA HAS!
Perhaps no other DSLR camera has the feature because it is hardly worth having at this level of maturity?

The biggest problem is that the camera doesn't attempt to align the images. If you are serious enough about HDR to use a tripod then why should you not be serious enough to do PP on a computer? I can hardly fault reviewers who associate the term "gimmick" with the HDR feature as implemented in the K-7.

May I suggest to you that you take constructive criticism on board and feed it back to the engineers instead of complaining about users who see potential for improvement?

When someone asked a simple question about better backward compatibility for lenses a while ago, you just responded by saying "This kind of comment always blows me away. Pentax offers an unprecedented level of backward lens compatibility, but it is still criticized.".
I don't think that's the right way to respond.

What do you think people have been buying Pentax for in the past? For the their world-class FPS performance? Or the class leading AF? Or the latter's accuracy in Tungsten light?

Backward-compatiblity with old lenses has been a big plus and instead of sending the message "be satisfied with what you've got", you should be either trying to improve on backward-compatibility or explain why it cannot be had for reasonable prices.

QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
...it can't be added as a firmware update to the K20D and K10D, so don't even ask...
No one having witnessed the recent firmware upgrade policy would even begin to think that such a feature would be added when even simple to fix but annoying bugs like the K20D hyper-program bug (now fixed in the K-7) are not removed with a firmware upgrade. I can understand (not endorse though) that a company may not want to remove all bugs from a firmware but I don't understand how a company representative can be so unfriendly about it.

QuoteOriginally posted by JCPentax Quote
What is the worst this feature will do?
Lead to a downgrade in a review. Sometimes it is better to not include a feature then to have someone criticise it for being half-baked only. This may be silly as you can typically ignore half-baked features, but it is the reality of reviewing. "What Digital Camera" already complained ("Cons: ... "HDR a disappointment ...") and I'd be surprised if DPReview would not negatively comment on it.

I really like the K-7, it is a tremendous effort by Pentax and I don't know any other camera I'd prefer over it. That doesn't mean though that suggestions for improvement should be answered with a shake of the head.

Last edited by Class A; 07-27-2009 at 05:44 AM.
07-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
If you are serious enough about HDR to use a tripod then why should you not be serious enough to do PP on a computer? .

Huhh?? I shoot almost every single image from a tripod. Fiddling in photoshop is something that put me off (modern) photography.
Many like me, coming from slide film where the image must be finished and perfect the moment you trip the shutter, has little interest sitting in front of a computer adjusting images. I find it incredibly boring....
Anything included in a digital camera that cuts down computer time is welcomed by me......
07-26-2009, 08:12 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I shoot almost every single image from a tripod.
Good technique, but I reckon more people than not do more handheld shots than tripod shots.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Fiddling in photoshop is something that put me off (modern) photography.
Try another software.
Last time I used photoshop, I hated it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Anything included in a digital camera that cuts down computer time is welcomed by me......
Same here. That's why I'm arguing in-camera alignment for HDR images would be very useful.

I personally am not saying the HDR feature as it is, is a useless gimmick, but with a little more support it could be much more useful (and wouldn't require "surf the web" technology).
07-26-2009, 08:15 PM   #29
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I still haven't seen enough REASONABLE examples to figure out if this feature is worth while but I'm quite excited about it. I really dislike the HDR LOOK and the thought of BUYING software to do this really puts me off. On the other hand I have been out in the field many times and realized that my camera did not have quite enough dynamic range to pull off a shot I want to take. My suspicion is that the K7 will accomplish this for me. From what I've read I don't even need a tripod if I can find something solid to put the camera on - since it locks the mirror up while taking all 3 pictures so there will be no extra shaking going on with the camera.

I have no doubt that people who actually LIKE HDR would hate the idea of the camera doing something like this. But it seems like this feature was built for me and not you. Now if I could just find a reviewer who understood what this feature is meant to accomplish then I could get an idea if the feature actually works as advertised.
07-27-2009, 01:20 AM   #30
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I think those who know much about HDR cannot understand that this feature may be useless FOR THEM but useful for others.
I understand well why, Class A, you'd like it to be better and HDR in K-7 isn't much of use for you right now. But is it really difficult to understand that others who do not know anything about (me included) will be VERY happy to use this feature, even if onlu as an introduction to HDR world (and go deeper into things with PS). ??
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