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02-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Why no HDR with RAW?

I went out today and (froze my digits off) and finally had the opportunity to try HDR. The only problem was the HDR option was greyed out, and of coarse I didn't have my manual with me. I have been shooting raw only for a while now and have never looked back... until now. As soon as I got home I looked it up and found that HDR is only available with jpeg format, why is that? It seems to me that it would be more advantageous in raw than jpeg anyway. Is it a hardware issue with the k-x or are all the bodies like this?

Thanks,
Chris

02-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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All bodies are like this, because RAW is (pretty well) data straight off the sensor, and HDR is a combination of multiple images that needs to be interpreted to be combined (and so not straight off a sensor).

Best way to do HDR is shoot multiple RAW's and combine them in PP.
02-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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Isn't the HDR actually a composite of three different exposures? That would rule out a raw save, at least as a single file, anyway.
02-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Isn't the HDR actually a composite of three different exposures? That would rule out a raw save, at least as a single file, anyway.
Agreed. I don't know if any camera can do a 3-image RAW compilation... would require quite a big amount of processing resources.
The K-x surely can't do that, but it can do a 12mp jpg HDR nicely.. well, to a certain extent. Manual PP to compile still does it better.

02-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Yup by definition, the result of the combination would no longer be a raw file

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02-12-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Thanks to all.. Good point Adam, makes sense. That being said though, it seems like they could do an override so that you could still select HDR and the result would just be jpg even thought I have raw set for single mages.
02-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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The menu diving is a pain in the butt....
02-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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I have read somewhere that HDR raw can't be done. As a HDR raw it would need to select raw pixels to keep and others to eliminate. My understanding is that HDR works combining 3jpgs and using some fancy maths to average out as well as prioritize selected digital data.

02-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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RAW images/files CAN BE merged together with the resulting image/file still being a RAW file, this is how multi-exposure works. HDR is essentially the same thing with the exception being the images are Toned-Mapped, thus the actual images being merged need to be processed through the jpeg processor in order for tone-mapping to work, resulting in a final jpeg image.

Tone mapping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pretty awesome example of an HDR image toned from multiple images - as seen on the Wikipedia Tone-Mapping page linked above
02-12-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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Nice helpful response, Joe.
My only concern is that this image reminds me too much of Thomas Kinkade.
Too much of a good thing can only lead to trivialization.
02-12-2012, 11:54 PM   #11
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Going back to the original question posted - the OP appears to be indicating that he was trying to do in camera HDR. In that case, the camera body takes multiple images and automagically decides what is best, slices, dices, folds, spindles and mutilates the individual bits of the images together into one single image that is then recorded. As indicated previously its a JPG.

However - there is another option, and that is to shoot and have recorded, several individual images (RAW or JPG - although personally, I believe that RAW works better). The body supports this also - and its called bracketing (3 up to 5 images depending on the body).. The K20 has a single button on the back to assist with this (which I consider a really nice feature). With the K5, they have moved it to the menu (where it is not as convenient). The rub here is that the magic is done in post processing and you the photographer provides the automagic presto digitation in making the HDR product - through the use of additional software.

02-13-2012, 07:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
RAW images/files CAN BE merged together with the resulting image/file still being a RAW file, this is how multi-exposure works. HDR is essentially the same thing with the exception being the images are Toned-Mapped, thus the actual images being merged need to be processed through the jpeg processor in order for tone-mapping to work, resulting in a final jpeg image.

Tone mapping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pretty awesome example of an HDR image toned from multiple images - as seen on the Wikipedia Tone-Mapping page linked above
That is not what it looked like in real life. HDR = High Dynamic Range not cartoon Photoshop. Here is what I consider HDR.

02-13-2012, 08:08 AM   #13
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Technically it's still HDR since the image has high dynamic range. Sure, colors, toning, and all sorts of brightness levels have been tampered with to make it look like that.. but it's still HDR.

Back to the OP - yes, I wish we could use HDR mode even when shooting RAW - that the camera is smart enough to say "ok, HDR mode, he wants it in JPEG" so we don't have to menu dive. That would have been the smart option for the camera. Maybe the K-01's new HDR dial mode is the solution to that.
02-13-2012, 04:40 PM   #14
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I wonder if they can make it save the HDR as 32bit tiff file instead, hell they could use DNG maybe for that if it support 32bit.
Anyway the next gen processor that might come next year does have JPG XR support, that means basicly RGBE (radiance) like HDR file.
02-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Technically it's still HDR since the image has high dynamic range. Sure, colors, toning, and all sorts of brightness levels have been tampered with to make it look like that.. but it's still HDR.

Back to the OP - yes, I wish we could use HDR mode even when shooting RAW - that the camera is smart enough to say "ok, HDR mode, he wants it in JPEG" so we don't have to menu dive. That would have been the smart option for the camera. Maybe the K-01's new HDR dial mode is the solution to that.
Just set up a user mode for it, easy enough right?
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