7.07.2013

Testing the limits of overexposed RAW Sony files. Unintentionally.

 Accidentally overexposed by about a stop and a half in the camera.

Two stops of "pull" in Aperture.

I'm always curious to see how various cameras handle over and underexposure. In digital we probably fear overexposure more because when there's no detail there's nothing left to recover in post production. I don't do tests where I intentionally screw up files. I screw up enough on my own. So when I came across this file instead of trashing it I saved it in my "bloopers" folder and just today decided to take a look at what could be done to save it. Well, I moved the exposure slider to the left. And there you go.

File taken with a Sony Alpha 850 camera and the cute, little Sony 85mm 2.8 lens. Very nice lens, and dirt cheap. I know the file wasn't totally blown but a couple of generations ago I wouldn't have even considered the file to be salvageable but now I guess I'll look at anything that doesn't appear pure white on the screen.

11 comments:

Craig Yuill said...

This is rather impressive. You clearly show why it is a good idea (necessary?) to experiment with the capabilities of cameras and software. In Aperture you also have the Highlights and Recover sliders to play around with, if the exposure slider alone doesn't do it. I import all of my Nikon V1 RAW+JPEG files into Aperture, tending to use RAW files. Even though the V1 doesn't have the very-best DR, I've found slightly blown highlights in RAW files can be nicely recovered in Aperture. Yes, today's cameras and software do have amazing capabilities.

Corwin Black said...

Its not blown out, when file is truly blown out in A900/A850 its gone. There are few pieces of software that can literally reconstruct something from remaining channel (green channel usually) but thats all. Thats why auto-exposure system on these two seems to be constantly underexposing..

But sure, dynamic range of these cameras is pretty impressive (A99 even more, that thing has crazy good dynamic range).

Dr.Nick said...

That's just expose to the right!

Claire said...

I actually would have "pulled" it back only a stop and a half, but very impressive nonetheless.

Jason Hindle said...

Everything we might expect from a full frame Sony sensor. Because of where Olympus seems to stick most of its dynamic range (i.e. at the highlight end, at least with their 12MP sensors), I find it beneficial in certain scenes (often scenes where one side is going to be very dark) to be in the habit of chancing a +1/1.3 exposure and mucking about with the raw file. It doesn't always work, and the outcome isn't predictable, but it has netted me a few usable exposures from hard to capture scenes. I'm currently playing about with the newer (allegedly Sony) 16MP sensor; now that is is different kettle of fish.

Joe Gilbert said...

ETTR is a good bet on the Sonys, specially at higher ISO.. I leave DR at Level 2 on the 900 and usually have no issue. It's incredibly forgiving.

Kirk Tuck said...

I think forgiveness in a camera is a really important spec.

Bob Dein said...

I recently REALLY blew out a portrait by accident with the Oly OM-D E-M5. The file was VERY forgiving in Adobe Camera RAW. I grabbed a couple of screen captures of ACR and put them into a blog post. I don't think that I can post images here, so here is the link.

http://deinfaces.com/blog/2013/6/25/mary-and-overexposing-with-the-olympus-om-d-e-m5-336-06-28-13

I was very (happily) impressed.

Corwin Black said...

Thats pretty good. Im glad Olympus changed sensor manufacturer to Sony. Kodak (their first maker of sensors) were great, but only if it was at least APS-H size (that said, old E-1/E-300/E-500 still have pretty amazing colors, just base ISO only cams). Panasonic is as sensor maker a bit meh, E-3 was probably best they managed to do and they fed poor Olympus always at least 2 gens behind sensors. So Sony which made for them pretty much downsized NEX 16 mpix sensor is much much better choice..

If you would make same mistake with E-3, there wouldnt be any data left to recover..

Kirk Tuck said...

You're probably right.

The Photography Indonesia said...

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