Canon's looking to change the way you take HDR pictures. Previously, in order to capture images like these, you'd have to combine photos in post. With a new patent, the process will be done in-camera, at the pixel level.
High Dynamic Range pictures are taken by capturing the same subject at varying exposure levels and then combining those images in photo editing software. The idea is to create something that's more detailed and potentially more representative of what your eye can see. You can see what HDR photos look like in one of our Shooting Challenges.
Canon's new patent wants to turn that sort of complicated process all in-camera. The way it works:
Other cameras, like the Sony A550 and A500, are capable of doing in-camera HDR but they're more of a quick chop method. Mapping out the exposure level by the pixel is far more detailed and if done correctly, has huge implications. HDR has its fair share of fans and haters but Canon's patent would give Canon cameras the ability to capture a much wider dynamic range in a single image and a stand out feature in the ever evolving camera wars. [PhotographyBay]
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Strangely enough, I was just thinking earlier this morning about how cool it would be to be able to take more HDR-esque pictures with a camera, and then started thinking about how it would work. This kind of summed it up.
However, I have mixed feelings now that I've seen a proof-of-concept. Auto-HDR is convenient, but I feel HDR pictures should require tweaking by the photographer in post-production anyways to achieve the most aesthetic result, or at least a result to befit the artist's style.
Plus, it puts HDR in the hands of a lot of people who really don't understand HDR. I can't wait for the metric shit-ton of myspace pictures taken with the cheaper commercially available cameras with this technology.
...and isn't everything done "at the pixel level" with digital processing? :raise: