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D300 Highlight Rendition and Control?


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#1 paquito

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 05:11 AM

Hello Everyone,

As loftus has mentioned, I too am interested in how the D300 handles highlights and noise in comparison to my D200. Noise is a little less of a factor to me, though it would be wonderful to have even more room to work with, better highlight(s) control ais the make or break for me to upgrade.

I've read the initial reports on noise levels at high ISOs but have yet to see anything on how the D300 handles hightlights (which seems to me a challenge for all digital capture)?

Has anyone put it through its paces, better yet, anyone who currently owns a D200 who has put their D300 to test? I realize the bodies haven't been out very long, but someone there who has one in their hands has to also be curious about this but no one is saying much about highlights?

One a seperate note: Subal said that they would determine whether they would offer a D300 back to accommodate a D300 in a D200 housing once they received their camera. I then asked, if its possible would you do it or are you going to tells us to simply buy all new housings? The answer was, if its possible, we will do it. I have yet to hear any further information. Does anyone (Ryan, Berkley, etc) know any update to this?

Thanks everyone, and hope you have some great diving adventures coming up!

paquito

#2 Charlie_Matco

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 05:28 AM

If avoiding blown highlights is your concern, the Fuji S5 Pro with its R+S (dual sensitivity) pixel -- And built on the D200 -- is still a better choice than a D300... And probably a D3 as well (though the D3 has a full frame CCD, but which means nothing for dynamic range of each pixel).

Also, see this D200 vs S5 comparison, paying attention to the highlight detail in the paper clips.
All links open a new window for each camera at www.DPReview.com

EDIT: This puts the cameras in side-by-side comparisons -- As of today (30 November), Askey has not finished his D3 & D300 reviews (prelim only); but check back and eventually the link will have full reviews. I also included the Kodak DCS SLR/c (identical to the SLR/n; but links to a full review with identical image quality to the Nikon F-mount).

As loftus has mentioned, I too am interested in how the D300 handles highlights and noise in comparison to my D200. Noise is a little less of a factor to me, though it would be wonderful to have even more room to work with, better highlight(s) control ais the make or break for me to upgrade.

I've read the initial reports on noise levels at high ISOs but have yet to see anything on how the D300 handles hightlights (which seems to me a challenge for all digital capture)?

Thanks everyone, and hope you have some great diving adventures coming up!

paquito


Edited by Charlie_Matco, 30 November 2007 - 05:40 AM.


#3 loftus

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 06:39 AM

If avoiding blown highlights is your concern

I don't think avoiding blown highlights is the issue, nothing will prevent this if one overexposes. My concern is the transition between 'desirable' blown highlights, those I call specular highlights, and the next levels of highlights with detail. One sees these in many topside and sunball type and schooling silverfish underwater photographs. For example you will see this on chrome and glass reflections etc, figure studies in sunlight etc. For example there is a photograph of a brass player on the net taken with a D3, great photograph, excellent noise at 6400, but still the telltale poor transition in the area where there are bright reflections on the saxophone. It's a characteristic of digital, that I'm not sure will ever be solved. Never used to bother me until Jeff Dunas a pro I did a workshop with pointed it out to me comparing film to digital; now it bugs me.
I have not seen anything with the Fuji that is any better in this respect. The paper clip pictures are difficult for me to assess this, I also think it is much more visible in prints than on the screen

Edited by loftus, 30 November 2007 - 07:10 AM.

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#4 Photobeat

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 06:42 AM

The d3000 has something called active D lighting, it has multiple settings on this mode to bring more detail in the shadow areas and less blown highlights. The samples I have seen really show more details on the shadows and better color in the highlights. It works well much like the shadow highlight sliders in photoshop but automatically in camera, you can set the stregnth of it..
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#5 paquito

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:23 AM

Hi Charlie,

Thank you for putting all of that together. While the Fuji is a good alternative, I'm waiting upon more detail to come out from behind the D300 first because I appreciate a couple of other features the D300 has; like the 100% coverage of the viewfinder and some other slight nuances (I could care less about LiveView but the better screen for review has its appeal). Some landscape scenes and sunballs u/w have been tougher for me (others are far more skilled than I) because I'm trying to control the burnt highlights while not losing detail. While we wait for Askey's viewpoint, I'm hoping someone who has the camera sees a degree of difference and shares that with us.

Thanks again,

paquito

#6 craig

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:24 PM

The S5 may be a better choice than the D200 IF all you need is 6MP. It remains to be seen how it compares to the D300 and D3 as those cameras haven't had final testing published yet. There's nothing especially magic about the Fuji approach. It offers improvements in dynamic range at the expense of resolution, storage, processing, and clumsy piecewise-linear operation. A conventional approach can outperform the Fuji design as evidenced by MF digital cameras that have existed for some time.

Of course, Fuji claims that the diagonal layout of its sensor allows for an increase in resolving power when processed properly. It does, in fact, do that but at the expense of diagonal resolution. If all your detail is oriented either vertically or horizontally, the Fuji approach makes up partially for it's uncompetitive resolution. If you shoot real images the benefit is questionable. You can always upres during raw conversion with any raw file.

Nikon's active D-lighting applies to its jpeg processing and possibly its own raw converter. It isn't helpful to anyone shooting RAW and using 3rd party conversion software. It might be a real benefit to deadline-shooters who need JPEG for their jobs but I doubt underwater shooters will care about it.
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#7 Charlie_Matco

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 07:36 PM

Dear Craig,

I think you're confusing two proprietary Fuji technologies they have locked up tightly with patents: The Hexagonal layout of their "Super CCD" which they've had since the S1 Pro back in 2000; and the R+S pixel architecturePosted Image
which was introduced with the S3 Pro back in 2005, which caused wedding shooters to drop everything else to capture the highlight detail in the folds & lace of bridal gowns, while not losing the shadow details in the black tux...

Incidentally, take a look at the Wikipedia entry for Bayer filter, especially about Kodak's new patent on the Panchromatic cell layout.

The S5 may be a better choice than the D200 IF all you need is 6MP. It remains to be seen how it compares to the D300 and D3 as those cameras haven't had final testing published yet. There's nothing especially magic about the Fuji approach. It offers improvements in dynamic range at the expense of resolution, storage, processing, and clumsy piecewise-linear operation. A conventional approach can outperform the Fuji design as evidenced by MF digital cameras that have existed for some time.

Of course, Fuji claims that the diagonal layout of its sensor allows for an increase in resolving power when processed properly. It does, in fact, do that but at the expense of diagonal resolution. If all your detail is oriented either vertically or horizontally, the Fuji approach makes up partially for it's uncompetitive resolution. If you shoot real images the benefit is questionable. You can always upres during raw conversion with any raw file.



#8 fras

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 04:55 AM

Hello Everyone,
...

One a seperate note: Subal said that they would determine whether they would offer a D300 back to accommodate a D300 in a D200 housing once they received their camera. I then asked, if its possible would you do it or are you going to tells us to simply buy all new housings? The answer was, if its possible, we will do it. I have yet to hear any further information. Does anyone (Ryan, Berkley, etc) know any update to this?

Thanks everyone, and hope you have some great diving adventures coming up!

paquito


Hola Paquito,
I translate a PM from Rolf Sempert (Subal Austria):

> Hello José,
>
> meanwhile we checked it - the D300 will fit into the frontpart of the
> SUBAL ND20 but! Some of the push-buttons will not meet the buttons at the
> camera exactly in the center - but this should work in any case. The
> 'Multi Selector' at the upper left side of the camera can be not used if
> the D300 sits in a D200 housing.
> And, in any case, you need a new housing back.
>
> With kind regards,
>
> Rolf