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There’s been a lot of movement on the “HDR in motion” front lately, and we’re seeing a slew of new techniques and processes, all designed to capture moving images with an expanded High Dynamic Range. You can see an interesting HDR experiment from a group known as Soviet Montage here: http://vimeo.com/14821961 The test utilizes a beamsplitter rig consisting of Two Canon 5D mark II’s to capture dual streams of footage at different exposures, then merged in post to attain the HDR effect. The result is pretty remarkable, but I would imagine the physical size of the rig, and the difficulty of synchronizing the two cameras, let alone the difficulties of locking focus zoom, iris, and shutter settings, makes this approach less than ideal for anything but experimental captures.
The big news of the day is that RED Digital Cinema has revealed the first HDRx™ footage shot with the soon to be released EPIC camera. RED has announced two new approaches for capturing HDR: RED “EasyHDR™” which is an in camera technology, and RED “HDRx™” which combines in camera advances with post production tools to allow for a wide range of imaging flexibility in the editing/coloring suite.
The test, shot in the streets of Las Vegas, utilizes the HDRx™ Mode, and defintely showcases more of the amazing capabilities of the upcoming Epic camera system. The footage captures a wide latitude, retaining detail in both the shadows and highlights of an otherwise nightmarish night scene filled with blinking neon and punctuated with a racing emergency vehicle in front of the Golden Nugget Casino… The HDR translation of the scene retains a very “old school” look due to the “flatness” of the image, but for those in the know, the footage reveals an amazing dearth of visual color information, allowing filmmakers near endless possibilities to transform the wide expanse of color information to just about any “Look” imaginable. For you tech heads out there, per Jim Jannard, the test was captured using REDcolor2 and REDgamma2, at ISO 800, using a 1/48th (180 degree) shutter, and REDCODE 50 (just over 5:1 compression). The end effect is impressive, and certainly teases to the latitude we will have for image post-production and color correction once the Epic Camera hits the market!