Monday, June 15, 2009

Extended Dynamic Range

  I big issue, largely a secret unknown by most new camera purchases, is that digital cameras have a limited dynamic range compared with film cameras. The problem often leads to washed out highlights (eg often leadfing to the sky will be a bleached white) and no shadow detail (big black areas) which can leave a print from a digital photo looking flat. It is also in past made worse by the cameras light meter which when confronted by with high contrast lighting must choose to what to expose correctly and usually its decision is to try and make an over all "average", which is seldom the right choice. The poor digital photographer has had to choose between correct exposure of the sky or the foreground.

My new camera body, a Pentax 20D, has a feature called Expanded Dynamic Range, which apparently "expands" the light levels expressed by the CMOS Sensor pixles, making it difficult for bright areas to occur in the image. Difficult yes, impossible no, but it has done a good job with strongly backlight pale subjects like these artifical flowers.
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