How does Lumix LX3 do this in-camera HDR?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by johncarvill, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Have a look at this:
    Now, this photo was an 8 second exposure. I just don't get how the camera can have exposed that grass like that in just 8 seconds, no matter how many photos it took and combined using whatever algorithm. Hw long would a conventional exposure have to be to see that grass so clearly? Could it even be done? Just wondering how the Lumix LX3 achieves this effect in just 8 seconds?
  2. The grass is obviously lit by a light source from behind - check shadow from gravestone and probable tree.
    Note the poor quality also. The in camera hdr mode only works only with ISO 400 and tries to brighten the shadows and maintain the highlights.
  3. Hmmmm dunno about 'low quality', the original looks pretty good for 400 ISO HDR shot taken at midnight.
    I see the shadow behind the gravestone by that light (wherever it came from) was not apparent when I was there!
    Makes me wonder, did I use a dab of flash on this one after all? But the EXIF says no. Anyway, I hate the fact that I left in a slice of kerb at bottom left so will go back and re-shoot this one.
  4. I don't know how it does it, but if that photo is a good example of it, the Sony WX1 I had for a short while does it a LOT better with its amazing "handheld twilight" mode. Just stand there, point the camera where you want, press the shutter... The camera takes a rapid succession of about 6 shots and combines them somehow for an instant HDR type shot. And it doesn't have to be only in twilight either.
    I no longer have that camera, but I wish I could have kept it just for that.
  5. Not sure 'handheld twilight' equates to HDR.
  6. It does if we're talking about combining exposures in order to get detail in both shadows and highlights for scenes where a straight image would blow out the highlights. This is exactly what the WX1 does. It doesn't just take a number of shots and chooses the best one. It combines a number of exposures automatically and instantly (it has a super fast mechanical shutter that lets it do this). You can't get much more HDR than that, can you.
  7. Well, you seem very convinced that your WX1 is the bees knees, and who am I to argue?
  8. Sony HHT (and Fuji Pro Low Light mode, which is similar) are primarily intended to reduce noise, not increase dynamic range. As Paul says, the LX3 has a dynamic range mode, but this image (at ISO 80 according to EXIF) does not use it.

    John, why do you believe the LX3 image is HDR? Just because Fielding Mellish says so? I suppose he could have combined images with some editor, but I can tell from the large JPEG that it was not Photoshop.
  9. You can see from the shadows that the stone is strongly side-lit. I would think that there is a light of some sort providing far greater exposure to the foreground than the background.
    The camera is not working any magic here and it has nothing to do with HDR. The variables you have are ISO, shutter speed and aperture- that's it!
  10. Hmm some confusion setting in - first off, 'Fielding Mellish' on flickr is me, just a silly pseundym I registered under and never got round to changing.
    I took the photo, and the ISO is 400, HDR mode was used to take the photo. I have a nuber of similar shots taken, in HDR mode, in the dark with only ambient light, where the grass is green. Yes I see the shadow behind the gravestone so maybe there was another light and I am mis-remembering. BUt look at the strip of grass (or bushes) in front of the church - green.
  11. John, do you mean you did High Dynamic mode (firmware 2.1), or did you do the in-camera Multi Expo with +/0/- EV compensation? I'm assuming the former, given your initial question. Here's a blog on the latter method.

    Anyway, the LX3 is still a great camera despite being two years old.
  12. Man o' man, welcome to the internet. I post an example of what one camera can do that is in the same context as the original poster's comment and photograph, and I get a remark to the effect that I don't know what HDR is, or that I'm plugging my camera. I don't even own a WX1, or any Sony at all. No wonder I stayed off of for 7 years.
  13. >I get a remark to the effect that I don't know what HDR is,
    I made no such remark. Actually, you came over kind of aggressive.
    >or that I'm plugging my camera.
    Well, you do seem very keen on it
    > No wonder I stayed off of for 7 years.
    My natural response to this comment has been self-censored.
  14. Bill - yes I meant I used the in-camera HDR mode. I know it's no substitute for 'proper' HDR, I was just amazed that it worked so well.
    On reflection, I guess there was a light behind me when I took this photo (evident form the shadow behind the gravestone) but even so I still find the results impressive. I will go back and take a few shots in the same location, and compare.
  15. It is not clear to me why the OP thought that he needed to use the High Dynamic scene mode for this shot when there are no bright highlights combined with dark regions in the scene, just dark and darker subjects.
    The posted sample is way off in white balance and underexposed, there is absolutely nothing special here.
  16. Thank you, Berg, for that helpful and gracious comment. The 'OP' is now regretting having posted this in the first place. For what it's worth, I did not 'think it was necessary' to use HDR mode, I'd just bought a new camera and was trying it out. Sorry.
  17. Maybe the LX3 took an image sample at 4 seconds and combined it with the 8 seconds final image? I am sure this photo would have been less interesting without High Dynamic mode.
  18. HDR is not just about landscape skies. It's HDR for night shots too, if more than one exposure are combined in order to end up with fewer white-out highlight areas of the parts of the scene which are brightly lit.
  19. Another theory: it's pretty much what Fuji did on the F100FS (pre EXR sensor). They underexpose at ISO 100 or 200, and overdevelop 2 or 1 stops respectively to protect highlights.

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