What is the dynamic range of D800 JPEG?

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Sep 19, 2007
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Quick question. I have a D800E and from what I gather the dynamic range in RAW is about 13-14 stops. I have always used JPEG RGB for all my photography but I can't find out what the dynamic range the D800 gives in JPEG fine setting.

From online reviews the D800 JPEG is as good as identical to a processed RAW image but what about dynamic range? Is that still around 13 stops?

Thanks for any guidance.
 
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Jan 15, 2010
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This may help
Even an ordinary 8-bit JPEG image file can conceivably record an infinite dynamic range — assuming that the right tonal curve is applied during RAW conversion (see tutorial on curves, under motivation: dynamic range), and that the A/D converter has the required bit precision. The problem lies in the usability of this dynamic range; if too few bits are spread over too great of a tonal range, then this can lead to image posterization
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dynamic-range.htm
Note: You will lose colour depth as jpeg are 8 bit vs capturing in raw and utilising the camera sensor to it fullest. For many this is not an important factor and subject to heated debates so you decide which :)
 
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Joined
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Thanks Tony - that link looks very helpful and I will read it at the weekend when I am not so brain tired.:smile:

I do try to expose very carefuly so as to not clip either end of the histogram (a bit like the slide film days) but this question is something I have wondered for a while.
 
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Hi, some time ago we measured two different D800 bodies' jpgs with the Sekonic software. We shot a test chart using the 85/1.8, and as I recall, the first jpgs gave a reading of about 6.2, and the second 7.1 (which was a gigantic difference, totally unexpected). We pretty much eliminated all variables, in a studio setting, and it was the exact same set up for both. Basically we shot 3 different exposures for the software, the first being 'correct', second being 3 stops over and third 3 stops under.

Hope that helps. Thanks.
 
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Hi, some time ago we measured two different D800 bodies' jpgs with the Sekonic software. We shot a test chart using the 85/1.8, and as I recall, the first jpgs gave a reading of about 6.2, and the second 7.1 (which was a gigantic difference, totally unexpected). We pretty much eliminated all variables, in a studio setting, and it was the exact same set up for both. Basically we shot 3 different exposures for the software, the first being 'correct', second being 3 stops over and third 3 stops under.

Hope that helps. Thanks.
That is a real help - thanks.

Actually I too tried similar. I have a D800 and was using that quite happily but after trying an in-store D800E I noted that it had more dynamic range in JPEG. I ended up getting the E model as backup for this reason for using in difficult lighting. The E model was 8 months newer production so perhaps the JPEG engine had been upgraded.

I tried the NX2 that came with the E model but my fumblings with all the settings made the images worse than the JPEG and all purple and smudged too. I had to admit a defeat with the RAW. Here is a D800 (non E) RGB JPEG I took today (SOOC) I am generally pleased with the JPEG ouput and it works well enough for print publishing my photos.
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Jan 13, 2008
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I dunno about "dynamic range" of the JPEGs but that's all I shoot. Maybe a crop
here and there, but always SOOC. I'll print 16 X 20 on a regular basis, and they
come out amazing. Just sayin' :biggrin:

D800 300 f4 handheld
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Aug 12, 2005
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Well what settings are you folks getting with the great jpeg output. I generally RAW but have shot jpeg when the are "unimportant" high volume shots. I usually set the jpeg to standard to get everything on histogram.

That's the third thread that pheasant has shown up in and it still looks great every time I look at it. It's one of those once in lifetime shots.
 
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Rut-roh...didn't know there was a limit here :eek: Must be up 4x or so on FM
as people usually only visit a forum or two and I'll post a recent capture if it's
appropriate proof to the thread. Here's the shots before AND after so I won't be
ripped for additional redundancies. :wink:


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