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High Dynamic Range Monitors 131

An anonymous reader writes, "We are seeing more and more about high dynamic range (HDR) images, where the photographer brackets the exposures and then combines the images to increase the dynamic range of the photo. The next step is going to be monitors that can display the wider dynamic range these images offer, as well as being more true-to-life, as they come closer to matching the capabilities of the ol' Mark I eyeball. The guys who seem to be furthest along with this are a company called Brightside Technologies. Here is a detailed review of the Brightside tech." With a price tag of $49K for a 37" monitor (with a contrast ratio of 200K to 1), HDR isn't exactly ready for the living room yet.
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High Dynamic Range Monitors

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  • It's tres cool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhantomHarlock ( 189617 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:06PM (#16415525)
    I've been seeing these at Siggraph for years. They do look very nice. You basically need a very bright light source (not hard) that doesn't generate too much heat (a little harder) and a way to modulate that light over a very large range (harder). It would be fun to have a converter for DSLR RAW images to display in HDR, or the usual bracketed ones.

    The examples they usually use are things like light streaming through stained glass in a church, where normally you'd either only see the stained glass properly exposed, or the rest of the room, but not both. It does work to very good effect in those instances, and heightens the "window into the world" effect that high resolution displays have. If this were to be combined with 2X HD resolution 60P motion video (about 4,000 pixels across) it would kick serious ass as the next 'Imax' lifelike motion picture display.

    Oddly enough, the captcha for the post reply screen right now is 'aperture'.
  • HDR rules (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:07PM (#16415533)
    If it takes an expensive display system before people stop going nuts over excessively tonemapped HDR images, then so be it. It's still going to be different from viewing the real scene because bright highlights and dark shadows will be much closer together on a relatively small screen, so our eyes won't be able to adapt as easily. A nicely tonemapped picture, perhaps combined with a slightly higher dynamic range than on today's displays, will beat "1:1" recreations any day.
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @07:09PM (#16415557)
    Since "true" HDR consumera camera's don't exist (anyone know?), it can be faked [flickr.com], quite convincingly, I might add.
    "It's a feature in Photoshop CS2 or Photomatix or FDRTools."

    Even black and white can be support HDR. This is a great B&W example [flickr.com] of why 8-bit greyscale just doesn't cut it.

    "The difference between Religion and Philosophy, is that one is put into practise"

  • Polaroid XR film (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday October 12, 2006 @09:18PM (#16417211) Homepage
    I can't seem to find a reference to it online... I'd appreciate one if someone has one... but circa 1960 the Polaroid company developed a film for recording nuclear tests, which was similar to three-layer color film except that the three layers, instead of being sensitized to different colors, were given emulsions with widely different sensitivities. The fastest emulation was similar to Kodak Royal-X Pan, ISO 1600, and the slowest was similar to Kodak Microfile, and if I recall correctly had an ISO speed of something like 0.1

    The result was to extend the useful dynamic range of the film by a factor of 10000 or so--more than a dozen additional f-stops of latitude, or extra Ansel zones, if you like.

    The film was processed in regular Kodacolor chemistry (IIRC), each layer coming out a different color. In color, the result was a "false color" image displaying a huge dynamic range of light intensity; or, it could be printed as black-and-white using different filters to select different intensity ranges.

    In effect, the photographer was automatically bracketing every shot by a dozen F-stops, in a single shutter click.

    It was an incredibly neat hack. I wonder whatever became of it?

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