Sony A7RII review Part III

In todays part of the review series on the Sony A7RII the simple question….
Do we still need HDR?

 

The answer you may give yourself, but let me first tell you my opinion.
When I shot with Canon I often shot HDR in difficult situations (lighting wise), always 2,1,0,1,2 and I edited those with mostly NIK, when I switched to Sony I found that I actually didn’t need the HDR shots anymore, there is so much detail recoverable in the files that I found myself more and more shooting non HDR and “fixing” it in DxO optics or Capture One (or even Lightroom).

 

Now with the A7R shooting HDR was not perfect, the camera was not as fast as the Canon and I decided to just forget about it. With the A7RII we have a new chance, shooting 5 frames a second and this combined with the new Lightroom HDR merge option you can actually work very fast (and very good) with HDRs so I decided to test this out, but ….. I needed a scene were it would make sense, and we indeed ended up in such a location today. Muir woods.

 

Let me start by showing the HDRs.
All were shot handheld in the order 2,1,0,1,2
Editing was done in Lightroom and tinting in DxO Filmpack 5
I tried to stay away from doing HDR like Highly Destructive Retouching, but I do like some detail 😀

SF  (343 of 689) August 05 2015-HDR-Edit

SF  (424 of 689) August 05 2015-HDR-Edit

SF  (467 of 689) August 05 2015-HDR-Edit

SF  (509 of 689) August 05 2015-HDR-Edit

SF  (554 of 689) August 05 2015-HDR-Edit

 

 

Now these were the HDRs, now let’s look at some images I shot under the same circumstances but now used Lightroom (DxO doesn’t support the files yet and I wanted to keep everything in Lightroom) to get some HDR like looks.

SF  (445 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

SF  (449 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

SF  (601 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

SF  (600 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

SF  (457 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

 

SF  (618 of 689) August 05 2015-Edit

Now a lot will be taste of course, but I have to be honest…. I think the Sony A7RII does pretty well without shooting HDR. The HDRs look smoother without a doubt, and it’s very fast to do with the new HDR option in Lightroom, and it will in the end give you slightly better files, but it will also take up 5x as much space on your harddrive.

 

For me it’s a matter of that I will shoot it more than with the A7R for the simple reason it’s so much faster and as mentioned before with Lightroom you put the HDRs together in seconds, but if we really need it….. I think the dynamic range is pretty “sick” 😀