DSLRs and High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI)

This was filmed using two Canon 5D mark II DSLRs, each capturing the exact same subject via a beam splitter. The cameras are set so one records the subject overexposed, the other underexposed. After the footage has been recorded, a variety of HDR processing tools are used to to combine the video from the two cameras, yielding the clips you see above.

This can also be done with one camera such as Canon T2I with Magic Lantern.

High dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a way to achieve a much higher contrast ratio (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal photo techniques can typically achieve. The goal of HDRI is not to create an unnatural image, but one that accurately records the wide dynamic range of maximum black and the whitest white that occurs in one image.

For instance an image can have extreme contrast differences, but most photo and video technology cannot record these extreme differences. If you exposed for the darkest areas, you would over-expose the highlights and vice versa. Choosing what to expose properly and what to let go – ether under or overexpose is a judgement call of the photographer and is an important element of the art of photography. It applies equally to cinematography and videography.

If you took one photograph and exposed for the darkest areas and then from the same vantage point you took more photos and exposed for the lighter areas and selectively superimposed these photos into one image, you would get an image with remarkable dynamic range. So instead of allowing the windows to “blow out” or overexpose while keeping the room properly exposed, you can do both. This was the old way of doing this by combining the different shots in Photoshop or another program after the fact.

Taking different exposures with differing f-stops is called bracketing and is a time-tested technique in photography. Instead of taking three separate photos, each exposing for a different light value, today’s DSLRs can do this automatically. By taking just one shot, the camera will automatically take several different shots at different exposures.

Is it cheating? Well, perhaps in the same way that auto focus and auto iris are also cheating, not to mention all the other auto functions in today’s cameras. It’s really just another tool at your disposal.

Video

While most video camcorders cannot process multiple images for each frame, the Red camera and Arriflex have both been working on digital sensors that can capture HDR video. The operator can choose 1 to 3 stops in additional contrast range. This gives them lots more options in post for beautiful images.

In the more affordable arena, DSLRs can capture multiple images per frame if the rate is much less than 30 frames per second. Time lapse video fits that bill because it has typical frame rates of 1 frame per second and less.

As TV sets are now featuring enhanced dynamic range, it won’t be long before TV and other video applications will find it commonplace.

Keep Reading...

Better Than James Bond – Sunglasses that Record 1080p with Audio

These glasses give new meaning to the term POV!. 1080P with audio. Records up to 60 minutes. Works with MAC and PC. Download with USB cable.

Read More
New GoPros And A Drone

2 New GoPros And a Drone

GoPro introduces 2 new GoPros and a Drone. The new Hero 5 Black ($399 )includes a 2-inch touch screen display. The new Hero 5 Session ($299) is intended as an entry level camera. Both cameras have built-in waterproof casings, good for up to 10 meters. Both cameras can shoot 4K video at 30 frames. The […]

Read More

Virtual Reality Documentary presented by New York Times and Google Cardboard

The New York Times and Google gave away over a million virtual reality headsets. They also presented a virtual reality documentary.

Read More
Cine Squid Car Mount

Drive-by Shooting: Car Shots with the CineSquid Car Mount

This video shows you how to make car shots without spending a fortune. These shots work in so many types of films.

Read More




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award