Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
I'm missing maybe some more stops that are noise-free in order to push the perceptive DR in an image, especially in HDR deliveries,
This is a common notion. Pushed into community's mind through many misconceptions.

Few things, some of which I've been stressing before:

- When you push the image (pull the shadows up) and squeeze out some stops out of the botom range, you are
a) greatly reducing the density of the image and by that overall "depth" of the image, and all those microtonal subtleties you would otherwise have, because least amount of bits in the image is further reduced by stretching the data over H/S/L range;
b) reducing lower part of available DR necessary to have a proper toe for deep contrast
c) not achieving any gain whatsoever to HDR delivery. Material acuisition DR is what you can capture, presentation DR is how you are showing it. If you make thin shadows by pushing the image, you will have thin shadows in HDR as well.

For the best possible looking image, if starting from standard log, one should push the shadows DOWN, gaining density where it is needed. Not the other way around.

If the image has cleaner shadows, that is a property of noise floor, which does NOT mean you have more stops to push, because 0 is still 0, 1 is still 1 and every additional stop will ALWAYS have twice the amount the data than the stop under. Regardless of how bits it is sampled in and how clean is Stop 1 where you have some information, you will STILL need few stops for the toe and stop under will STILL have half the information from a stop above. Lack of noise does NOT mean you have the neccessary data density for proper image manipulation.

Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
The desire is to match the perception of an image closer to what our eyes see, but as mentioned, we're close to diminishing returns and it's hard to justify pushing for more when most of the time the images are compressed in their contrast for a more beautifully contrasted image.
With today's upper range cameras in normal situations that is already possible. 20 stops in acquisition are not necessary. One or two stops more, with high range priority and that's it. Unless you really want to shoot in the dark with no lights. If you had 20 stops ( distributed how and starting from which sensitivity ?) and were able to capture burning white on summer day and all the details in a dark room in the same time, those additional image details would STILL be in luminance extremes and with a proper contrast curve applied the visible difference would be much less apparent than expected. Just a bit more data in extremes, not a dfferent looking image. High range is often more important because high range part needs to hold saturation of skies, fire, candles, tail lights etc, otherwise it all gets washed out.

If, however, you would still wish to pull down those whites and push up those shadows, you would drift away from a natural looking image into a surreal look.

With help from marketing, misleading sources of information serving as gear promotion sites, and consumeristic outdatedness mentality, people tend to throw imaginary numbers for fun and dream big just because, though many are unaware how much light intensity difference is 14 stops of DR, how difficult is to achieve it and how much it can actually capture.

Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
Many times I think people confuse the technical with the creative and getting more more more possibilities gets confused with possibilities actually needed for creating good images. I rarely hear our worlds greatest photographers, cinematographers or artists actually pushing for more technical specs, they want more support for their actual images created and more often than not, the technical cutting edge isn't really the thing they desire, but other aspects, often ignored by the technicians responsible for innovation. I'm happy with what the Dragon 6K, the Gemini 5K and the Monstro 8K can do, I rather want those specs into smaller bodies with faster operational attributes so that I can actually capture rare moments and interesting angels and camera movements without having to pay a fortune. This is why I see potential in Komodo, far more than others as it seems.
Exactly. Today's upper range cameras have the potential for fantastic imagery. The diminishing returns for typical usage are already here with the resolution factor.

Other aspects of image quality still have room for improvement, as do operability, intuitivity, ergonomics, practicality etc.

Though Phil and Mark are still right in the context of high end and special usage scenarios, where additional resolution gains can make a difference.