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RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blending"

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  #11  
Old 09-14-2011, 10:37 AM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Lane, I'll throw in an answer to one of your questions (assuming I understand Andrew correctly). The Native ISO of your camera is how much over exposure it can handle while not loosing detail in the highlights. Since half of the pixel data is used for highlight info you will give up some of this while shifting more data to the mid and shadow tones. You might take a picture of a bright scene using several steps of 1/3 stop over exposure then examine the pictures on your computer (0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3). Use that to determine how much you can go with ETTR and still retain detail.
Ron
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

There are two possible sources of noise added to the signal for processing, lets call them NoisePre and NoisePost. The degree of each is going to depend on the camera system. The path looks something like this:

Sensor> NoisePre> ISO Settings> NoisePost> Analog to Digital converter>

As you see above, NoisePre is added before ISO amplification, while NoisePost is added after ISO amplification. ISO amplification, altering its value alone, doesn't alter the Signal to Noise Ratio. Remember that ETTR produces less noise due to a better Signal to Noise Ratio. The ISO amplification does't improve output Signal to Noise Ratio with respect to NoisePre. However depending on the camera system, with NoisePost this can be quite different. In this case, the higher ISO produces a higher signal versus what we had previously with NoisePost so there is an improvement in Signal to Noise Ratio (so we see less noise of course).

On a camera where a significant portion of the total noise is added after the ISO amplification (my Canon), the higher the ISO the larger the ouput Signal to Noise Ratio is for a given a amount of photons reaching the sensor and the result is less noise.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:50 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Andrew, Thanks for the feedback. In your notes there is a link to your article and this part has me confused. I understand that these results will vary depending on equipment. What was the actual sensor ISO that you extrapolated? Thanks. - Lane

"For the ISO 800 image, I was able to use the normalize exposure preset used for ISO 400 to produce a close match to the base exposure. With this information, I was able to extrapolate the actual-sensor ISO for exposing images to place as much data in the first stop of highlight data without blowing out the highlights."
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:10 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

The image in my notes was from a Canon 5DMII. In the article I think it was a 5D.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:58 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Just a follow up on the request during the Webinar to check out the HDR product from Nik Software. I did download a demo and I’m quite impressed. If you are a fan of their Upoint technology, this can be used within HDR EFEX PRO. The GUI is nice, there’s lots of control and presets. At $159, it appears so far to be worth the extra cost over the deal I got for HDR Express ($85 with coupon). At the very least, download a demo and give it a shot.
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2011, 05:44 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

In addition to the programs mentioned, it would be worthwhile test driving an HDR program called Photoengine by Oloneo. Like all of the other HDR applications, this one has its strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:
- Without a doubt the fastest product on the market. Previews are real time so what you see is what you get.
- Claims to be the most color accurate product on the market. I found this to be true in my benchmarking.
- While this program can create grungy, overbaked, and surrealistic results, it is exceptional if you are looking for HDR merges and tonemapping which create realistic results. It is superb for architecture work.
- Does the best job of preserving extreme highlights during a merge of bracketed images
- Most realistic starting position when it either merges a set of bracketed images or opens a single image.
- Photoengine uses different algorithms and handles local & microcontrast differently than Photomatix. You don't get some of the "fuzziness" that Photomatix produces.
- The program can function really well as a RAW processor. You can't do everything you can do in ACR or Lightroom, but if your photo doesn't need correction for lens distorion or chromatic aberation, you canreally make images pop.
- There is a powerful roup of High Dynamic Range sliders and a separate group of conventional Low Dynamic Range slider. The interface is very user friendly.
- It has a set of neat adjustment curves which are equivalent to a graphical version of the HSL tabs in Adobe Camera RAW.
- Lots of presets for different looks
- A history palette called Timeline that logs all of your edits and saves them in a small file. Afterward you can double click that log file and the program will find, reopen, and merge all of the raw source files and step thru and apply every edit you did (as if it were an action) and you can step back and forth to re-edit.
- Excellent and rapid product support plus feedback on new feature requests.

Cons:
- The products version 1 was realeased in June of this year. This 1st version does not do well with alignment and deghosting. So if you do not use a tripod and rely heavily of s/w to align and deghost, you may be frustrated. However, if you are compelled by the program's superior performance in other areas, you can use Photoshop or Photomatix to merge / aligh / deghost the source images, export the 32 bit radiance hdr file and then open it in Oloneo and perform tonemapping there.
- It does not have control points like Nik's HDR Efex Pro but most other apps don't.
-The 1st release of the product is PC only. No word on when the MAC version will be out.

Disclaimer: No I do not work for or have any connection to Oloneo. My toolbox includes Photomatix, HDR Efex Pro, and I spent many hours benchmarking other products. I do a lot of HDR work and OPE end up be used for 90% of it.

Regards, Murray
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2011, 06:15 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

I am seeing so very ugly shadow degradation in several HDR images processed with NIK which I still need to further investigate. Might even have to contact them about this.

http://digitaldog.net/files/artifacts.jpg
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2011, 08:56 PM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
I am seeing so very ugly shadow degradation in several HDR images processed with NIK which I still need to further investigate. Might even have to contact them about this.

http://digitaldog.net/files/artifacts.jpg
Yes, that's pretty characteristic. But what I find much worse and much more fatal is the loss of highlight detail in the merge of source images. While HDR Efex avoids blowing out the highlights, it seems to do so at the expense of detail which gets lost in the merge. Usually the 1st thing I look for when checking HDR s/w is how it treats "fragile" highlights. I can't find a usable setting on the tone compression slider that will produce acceptable results for images with fragile highlights. There is plenty of info available across the set of bracketed images. Attached is a typical example. In the Efex result there is a loss of fine detail, the water droplets are not present in the merged image even before tonemapping. You can also see that droplets of water are missing from the Efex output compared to the other example which was done with Oloneo Photoengine. I did not include Photomatix as it blew out a number of spots in the water and while I could recover partially them, the shadows and midtones were rendered too dark.
I have a pretty fast PC and I find Efex one of the slowest HDR apps of any.
There are other issues I won't go into here. But Efex also has some neat features. None of the many HDR apps out there are perfect, they all have their weaknesses and strengths. I think when looking for HDR s/w you need to decide match it to your usage requirements.
Re Attachments: DeGhosting, Alignment, Noise Reduction all turned OFF.
Regards, Murray
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC4402-08 Nik.jpg (192.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSC4402-08 OPE 2011-09-19 Screenshot.jpg (183.7 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by mistermonday; 09-19-2011 at 09:43 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2011, 08:15 AM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Well I sent them a tech support note about this issue, with the same screen grab and the URL to this post. I’m not seeing this on every image. But it looks awful when it shows up and as I told their tech support people, didn’t show up in any of the other products used in the Webinar. I hope its just a bug that they know about and can fix. This is a pretty new product.
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:50 AM
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Re: RetouchPRO LIVE "ETTR, HDR and Exposure Blendi

Photoengine looks awesome but I only have one Windows machine (a laptop) and want to see the OS X version running on my desktop instead. Their raw processor looks pretty slick.
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