PetaPixel

Example Showing the Benefit of RAW’s Higher Dynamic Range

One of huge benefits of shooting in RAW is that RAW files usually have considerably more dynamic range than a JPG. This means that details in the shadows and highlights of an image that would otherwise be lost if shooting JPG are stored in the RAW file, and able to be recovered if needed during post-processing. Reddit user Jake Kelly shot the photo on the left of his friends in a dark movie theater, severely underexposing the image but avoiding hand-shake with a shutter speed of 1/60. A quick adjustment in Lightroom helped him recover a ton of detail that definitely wouldn’t be possible had he been shooting in JPG (try taking the JPG on the left and getting the result on the right).

For a more in-depth look at this topic, you should read the “Dynamic Range & Exposure Compensation” section of the RAW tutorial over on Cambridge in Colour.

(via Reddit)


Image credits: Photographs by Jake Kelly and used with permission


 
  • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

    This is why I do HDR, for the larger range of exposures to choose from in the final image.

  • Kadarpik Toomas

    You can do this with very high dynamic ranges sensors only, currently Pentax and Nikon have taken the lead, Canon is very weak in restoring shadow details like this image, even in professional models (look DXOmark). But the same technique can be used to improve images taken at harsh bright sunlight. Remember to use low ISO.   The camera uses Sony’s sensor.

  • Kadarpik Toomas

    You can do this with very high dynamic ranges sensors only, currently Pentax and Nikon have taken the lead, Canon is very weak in restoring shadow details like this image, even in professional models (look DXOmark). But the same technique can be used to improve images taken at harsh bright sunlight. Remember to use low ISO.   The camera uses Sony’s sensor.

  • Aus_Guy

    Sure, it’s good. But best to get it right in camera if possible.

  • Aus_Guy

    Sure, it’s good. But best to get it right in camera if possible.

  • lloyd -

    Raw saves me 1 – 2 stops. meaning i can shoot faster and fix it later!

  • http://twitter.com/delayedflight spectre257

    Better to get the exposure right the first time instead of wasting time in post trying to fix it.

  • Travis

    Where does he live that he can bring an SLR camera into a movie theatre? 0.o

  • Anonymous

    Very true.  In Shouldsville, that is.  In the real world, underexposures happen and it’s better have something recoverable than something not.

  • http://twitter.com/pteriss Pēteris Rūcis

    in Latvia, Europe, noone checks your bag as you enter a cinema. so – just take a backpack with you and you are all set. 

  • http://twitter.com/pete_boyd Pete Boyd

    Clearly not in the same locked-down fascist state as you :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1024085348 Dominick Delli Paoli

    posts like this is why peta pixel will never be taken seriously by pro photos….mike be it as it may this is a poor feature…nothing new nothing exciting just reason to argue 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1024085348 Dominick Delli Paoli

    posts like this is why peta pixel will never be taken seriously by pro photos….mike be it as it may this is a poor feature…nothing new nothing exciting just reason to argue 

  • Janez

    still better to nail it right!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570832408 Stefan Heymanns

    Of course it is ALWAYS better to do it right in the first place.  Always! No argument against that.

    However, I shoot RAW because of the what-ifs. I shoot in environments that don’t always give me the ideal situation/time to get everything right. That’s when I am glad that I can fix things in post.

    For me the “get everything right the first time” argument is a little like saying: “Why get a good car insurance, if you never get in an accident in the first place, you don’t need it”.

  • http://twitter.com/zeptom Joakim Bidebo

    And still sometimes you can’t nail it right. :) You may not have a 2.8 or better lens or your camera doesn’t have high enough ISO.

    For me at least it’s better to have a end photo that’s sharp and noisy then a photo with camera shake/blurry but right exposed :)

  • http://twitter.com/Myrddon Henning Nilsen

    good luck doing HDR with sports photography or photojournalism…

  • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

    Oh, so there are only sports photography or photojournalism type photography out there?

    I use it for landscape photography, nature photography, art reproduction photography, and any kind of photography I can ask the person to stay still ‘for a moment’. I don’t over cook the HDR stuff that I do: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avaviel/5989632907/

  • http://www.flickr.com/avaviel Avaviel

    Oh, so there are only sports photography or photojournalism type photography out there?

    I use it for landscape photography, nature photography, art reproduction photography, and any kind of photography I can ask the person to stay still ‘for a moment’. I don’t over cook the HDR stuff that I do: http://www.flickr.com/photos/avaviel/5989632907/

  • Travis

    You can’t do anything these days, no bags in movie theatres, hell, I refuse to shop in stores ever again that ever give me hassle over my camera bag.  It seems weird to the minimum waged-register jockey that I refuse to leave a 5DII and Zeiss 50mm lens with them and accept that they have no liability over my equipment.

    I remember abuot 6 years ago my best friend and I decided to go see a movie, he had his camera and lived in another town, the theatre let him in but they had to confiscate his batteries… and this was a cheap theatre with an old movie and the camera couldn’t even do video haha.

  • Travis

    You can’t do anything these days, no bags in movie theatres, hell, I refuse to shop in stores ever again that ever give me hassle over my camera bag.  It seems weird to the minimum waged-register jockey that I refuse to leave a 5DII and Zeiss 50mm lens with them and accept that they have no liability over my equipment.

    I remember abuot 6 years ago my best friend and I decided to go see a movie, he had his camera and lived in another town, the theatre let him in but they had to confiscate his batteries… and this was a cheap theatre with an old movie and the camera couldn’t even do video haha.

  • Morgan Stanley

    At least use a competent photo as an example. Instead all I see is an unimaginative photo that would be a throw-away wether or not it was shot in RAW. And, by the way, RAW also lets you correct White Balance… why didn’t he fix that on this shot?

  • Morgan Stanley

    At least use a competent photo as an example. Instead all I see is an unimaginative photo that would be a throw-away wether or not it was shot in RAW. And, by the way, RAW also lets you correct White Balance… why didn’t he fix that on this shot?

  • http://twitter.com/Soiden Sebastián Soto

    I see PetaPixel as a great site for both amateurs and those who are between amateur and pro level.

    Also, sometimes pros need to remember some basics, not only in photography, but everything.

  • http://twitter.com/Soiden Sebastián Soto

    I see PetaPixel as a great site for both amateurs and those who are between amateur and pro level.

    Also, sometimes pros need to remember some basics, not only in photography, but everything.

  • http://twitter.com/Soiden Sebastián Soto

    I see PetaPixel as a great site for both amateurs and those who are between amateur and pro level.

    Also, sometimes pros need to remember some basics, not only in photography, but everything.

  • http://d2c-photography.com D2C

    Why so harsh Dominick? The target audience for this site is photo enthusiast. That would include both pro and amateur photographers. 

  • http://regex.info/blog/ Jeffrey Friedl

    I posted something similar five years ago, with an interactive component so you can compare in detail:  http://regex.info/blog/2007-10-08/598

    Two years later, I posted a more ambitious interactive article that concentrates on the highlight range and recoverability of shooting raw:  http://regex.info/blog/2009-02-28/1154

    PS: “raw” is a word in the sense of “uncooked/unprocessed”. It’s not an acronym or file extension.

  • Matt

    Where on earth do you live?

  • Matt

    Where on earth do you live?

  • Nbrown4

    Hi Travis, I’m his friend in the picture. We’re from Las Vegas. I asked Jake if the camera would be a problem and he said it never had been before. When we walked through the gate where they punch our tickets the guy didn’t have any problems with it. It was almost like the camera wasn’t even there.