dante stella stories photographs technical guestbook
|Ex oriente lux|
|Sony NEX underexposure recovery|
| Here's a little bit of a
torture test. Grab an (obviously) underexposed shot, in tunhsten
lighting, taken at high ISO, taken with a kit lens at the minimum
focusing distance - where you have both black and white objects in the
frame. Here you go:
Above: Sony E 18-55mm lens, f/3.5, 1/13 second, ISO 1600, at about 0.3m. Subject is 1.5m from a 60-watt tungsten light source. Red reflection on right side is from Christmas lights. This is not looking good. At all.
So take the Sony ARW file, plug it into Lightroom, click white balance on the white wall, hit Auto Tone, and jimmy a little with the noise reduction (no lens profile applied, since this is a test that needs to be valid both for the lens tested and legacy lenses that won't have profiles). You get:
Above: Same file rendered in Lightroom (temp 2000, tint -3, exposure +2.85, brightness +12, contrast +46, sharpening at default, luminance noise reduction 50, detail 50, color 50, detail 50).
Much better, no? Actually, it's pretty miraculous when you consider where this picture started (Lightroom could not delete the holiday light reflections from the Konica II on the right). But since we are very discriminating and want to know what's really in this corrected image, we have prepared some 100% blowups to show you what detail that chrome lens cap and black leatherette might contain.
You can draw your own conclusions, but with a modern rendering engine like Lightroom, it is indeed possible to see in the dark with what some people might consider a "toy" camera and its "crappy kit" lens. It makes one want to revisit D700 files with Lightroom to see whether its noiselessness can be pushed to ISO 6400...