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06-16-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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HDR labs -Review HDR in K-7

HDR labs is known mostly for CG and visual FX artists .

they review the auto HDR of the K-7 ... and of cures they had to complain

you got a camera that makes the HDR automatically for you ... you can still do it the old fashion way thou... so you only gain no loose here

But Pentax is Pentax and people will always find something bad to say

too bad

I praise Pentax for thinking about the small details

HDRI News

06-16-2009, 01:44 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpigeons Quote
HDR labs is known mostly for CG and visual FX artists .

they review the auto HDR of the K-7 ... and of cures they had to complain

you got a camera that makes the HDR automatically for you ... you can still do it the old fashion way thou... so you only gain no loose here

But Pentax is Pentax and people will always find something bad to say

too bad

I praise Pentax for thinking about the small details

HDRI News
No surprise there, I called this one a long time ago. The HDR in the K-7 is not going to gain many fans among HDR enthusiasts. The HDRLabs mini review of this single feature does a pretty good job of explaining why. Be sure and read the comments too.

Hard core HDR artists are never going to get too excited about an over hyped "make pretty" button that takes the most important part of the creative process out of their hands and runs it through an 8-bit shredder. In their mind, it's just another scene mode on the K-7 that limits their creative options.

For the people that need that scene mode, it's a welcome addition but HDRLabs is not the place to go for a glowing review of this feature.
06-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #3
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As someone who dabbles in HDRI, I think I would have to agree with the reviewer. When I first heard that the K-7 would do HDR, my assumption was that it would do the auto-bracketing, HDR merge and then hand off the 32bit HDR image to the end-user. I had no idea that it was simply going to hand off a tonemapped LDR image with no access to the HDR image itself. For HDRI enthusiasts, tonemapping of the final image is THE thing as you may want to interpret the same HDR in different ways. The auto-bracketing and HDR merge is the "mechanical" part of the process that I just as soon hand over to the camera but the tonemapping is the creative process that needs to done by the photographer to realize the scene the way he/she sees fit.

Perhaps they can fix this in the future with a firmware update but I'd say the HDR feature is a no-go for all but the most causual of HDRI users.

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Terry
06-16-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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wonder how hard it is to change this in a new firmware? perhaps .

06-16-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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i love how new features seem mandatory to people.

"i don't need video!" or "this HDR mode doesn't allow me to do what I want to do", "why the hell would I use continuous auto focus?"

just a curious thing about human nature I guess.

On that note

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06-16-2009, 04:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpigeons Quote
HDR labs is known mostly for CG and visual FX artists .

they review the auto HDR of the K-7 ... and of cures they had to complain

you got a camera that makes the HDR automatically for you ... you can still do it the old fashion way thou... so you only gain no loose here

But Pentax is Pentax and people will always find something bad to say

too bad

I praise Pentax for thinking about the small details

HDRI News
I don't know. That seems a pretty balanced review. Throwing away negatives is a bummer but can't you just take your own set of RAW's using exposure bracketing if you want to play on your own?
Seems the in-camera HDR processing should just be considered a bonus.. Nobody would be happy trying to process them in camera manually.. there would always be issues...... complaints re: it seem to be "much ado about nothing"
06-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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i haven't read it, and am not an hdr fan, but i have said this before: pentax should go the whole mile, and wirte an exr file (or similar, real hdr) to the card, let the user tonemap it after. hdr fans will be all over this, and it should be easy enough to add in firmware (and maybe leave the current tonemapping only as an option). it also needs to be extended to at least 5 shots (or most hdr fans will simply ignore it and use the excellent autobracketing function instead).

another idea which will be even easier to implement would be to somehow write to the exif an "hdr#hash#number" for each hdr shot in a sequence, and provide software (already available) to build the hdr file, with the nice addition of having automation (the software will know which files belong to each final hdr file, instead of having the user select files by hand and such), this is even easier to do, and, i think, again, hdr fans will be very happy about it, as it takes a major pita factor out of hdr workflow, and is so ellegant to do.

just my (non-hdr-ist) thoughts

to put it shortly: pentax deserves credit for taking the time to think of hdr fans, it's a nice thought, and all, but if they don't do it right now, someone else will come and do it in a month or two, and their effort and good thought will go unnoticed. i hope they do it right, no point in having it "half way", especially as it will cost them peanuts to do right.
06-16-2009, 07:13 PM   #8
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I think the review was fair enough.

The reviewer even finished on a high:


With this in mind, jump over to Adorama to read fellow HDR buff Jack Howard's hands-on review. Jack seems a bit more ecstatic about the K-7 than me, maybe because he got such excellent results out of it. Looking at his slideshow, there is no doubt that this camera is a giant leap. Just not quite the right direction for me...

06-16-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Man, I wish Pentax had never called it in-camera HDR. It's not, and I'm grateful. "Expanded DR" might have been better.

I can't freaking stand HDR images. It's like taking a Beethoven symphony, and reducing it to a single tone.
06-16-2009, 11:16 PM   #10
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The whole point of "in-camera" HDR is to give you as much benefit of the HDR approach without having to do any post-processing. Already, I spend hours slaving away in front of a monitor when I should be taking more pictures. Since the degree of HDR is mostly personal preference, the "heavy" and "light" settings should be enough for the majority of casual shooters to get a useful result. Even if it is a JPEG. (of course, RAW would be nice).

To me, the route Pentax took makes a lot of sense, if you see it for what it is. If you're bothered by it, or for the times the in-camera HDR looks horrible to you, that means you're willing to take the time to auto-bracket a series of RAW files (which takes, what, 10 seconds?) and then spend the time in your basesment to create your masterpiece. But you were gonna do that anyways.
06-17-2009, 02:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
another idea which will be even easier to implement would be to somehow write to the exif an "hdr#hash#number" for each hdr shot in a sequence, and provide software (already available) to build the hdr file, with the nice addition of having automation (the software will know which files belong to each final hdr file, instead of having the user select files by hand and such)
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.

The problem with many of these "reviews" is that people see "HDR" and assume additive combining followed by tonemapping is the only possible way to get an HDRI result. The K-7 is not combining images into a single HDR dataset internally, then tonemapping and throwing away the intermediate result. It's doing exposure blending with the individual images, something that's more easily optimized and gives more reliable results than the myriad of tonemapping software out there.

Asking for the camera to write out a magical HDR RAW it's not even creating internally is futile
06-17-2009, 03:13 AM   #12
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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.

QuoteQuote:
The problem with many of these "reviews" is that people see "HDR" and assume additive combining followed by tonemapping is the only possible way to get an HDRI result. The K-7 is not combining images into a single HDR dataset internally, then tonemapping and throwing away the intermediate result. It's doing exposure blending with the individual images, something that's more easily optimized and gives more reliable results than the myriad of tonemapping software out there.
i happen to prefer exposure blending and not like hdr, i use it all the time. however hdr is hdr, with the tonemaping connected to it, and some people like it.

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? hdr is hdr, nothing magical about it, and there are file formats especially designed for it (openexr is one of them). 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.
06-17-2009, 06:03 AM   #13
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I admit this web site is less about photography and more about my other passion CG art

HDR are used in many ways in the 3D animation world to create super realistic lighting to your CG

I think only the fact that HDR labs aknoledged the K-7 for the HDR function shows that Pentax should have gone the all way

HD video + easy HDR creation + Pentax lenses and price could make this camera best production camera for this industry

the post production market is a huge market !! if Pentax will start advertising there ... it is a huge market share , they have budgets and the upgrade every year
06-17-2009, 07:19 AM   #14
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I am 100% with HDR Labs.

Having HDR .jpeg right from the camera is nice, and I would probably end up using it in 90% of situations, but there should be a way to save 32 bit image and process it later on computer. Why the hell not?

Last edited by awo425; 06-17-2009 at 07:27 AM.
06-17-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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What an extremely frustrating thread.

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.
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