David Kilpatrick wrote:Digital is actually very capable of handling highlights and shadows, much as colour negative film is. Both far exceed the capabilities of colour slide film, but digital needs to be exposed like slide film. What screws up your view of digital is the in-camera JPEG or the RAW preview embedded, and the use of fairly powerful tone and saturation curves before you even get to see what the raw file contains. Here is an example of the real content of a digital capture, shown using Linear export with zero contrast, neutral gain adjustment, and maximum shadow and highlight range:
David Kilpatrick wrote:I've just done an HDR from one raw file from the Canon 6D. As Barry says, the gain is all in shadow zones, the highlight headroom is still about 2 stops as it always was for Min/Sony.
David Kilpatrick wrote:The problem with just exposing more, or less, is that digital raw files will at some point clip entirely (no more data present). It's best to give a normal exposure, so that there will a reasonable amount of hidden range at the highlight end that can be pulled back in without colour clipping or total clipping. Some 10-bit raw files have very limited information in the shadows (hence the outdated Canon 'expose to the right' advice) so you can't brighten up the shadows without introducing noise. Most 12-bit files are a bit more robust, but 14-bit raws tend to be far better - you can dial in +2 exposure and the shadows will brighten up perfectly and stay clean without tone breaks or noise. When this is combined with good highlight recovery headroom, you can really work the raw file to an extreme.
David Kilpatrick wrote:It goes far beyond the range ever possible with film of any type.
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