HDR: How Much Dynamic Range Should The Camera Have?

“Although there is no official standard regarding the dynamic range definition of HDR, it is generally recognized that a lower threshold for HDR is 13 stops or 8000:1, advancing via 14 stops or 16,000:1 to the current de facto ‘standard’ of 15 stops or 32,000:1. Most of the latest generation of digital motion picture cameras are capable of capturing a 14 to 15 stop dynamic range of scene luminance without clipping maximum reproducible highlight detail or crushing minimum reproducible shadow detail. By way of comparison, modern film negatives are also capable of capturing 14 stop dynamic range.” – Curtis Clark, ASC, Understanding High Dynamic Range (HDR)

2 thoughts on “HDR: How Much Dynamic Range Should The Camera Have?

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  1. Also by what standard is the DR measured by: SNR= 1 or 2? At least in CineD’s charts the top 2 stops or bottom 3 are excluded so if you see 15 notches you have 12 stops of DR.

    But that brings the generic argument of HDR: how often would you grade where you get all stops in the grade? I think RED has their sensors made right so you can decide if you want to offset the DR by increasing the ISO so you get your highlights captured and not many shadows exist anyway in the scene.

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