Thread: The Dynamic Range of the Human Eye

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  1. #1 The Dynamic Range of the Human Eye 
    Senior Member Jody Neckles's Avatar
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    My hope is one day images aquired by digital cameras will be just like the human eye.

    In researching the capabilities of the human eye I read this artical on Pro Video Coalition.

    http://provideocoalition.com/index.p...story/the_eye/

    It suggests the human eye has the Dynamic Range of 20 Stops but this is *not* available simulatenously. The eye actually adjusts its sensitivity to different lighting conditions (chemical changes in the eye and adjusting the iris) and can only see 6.5 Stops simulataneously. This range is known as the Brightness Adoption Level.

    I find 6.5 Stops difficult to believe. Am I understanding this correctly?

    So what would be the Brightness Adoption Level be of the Epic which is supposed to be 18 Stops with HDRx™™?
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  2. #2  
    If you are talking about "not simultaneously" available dynamic range, there's no limit on the upper range of any camera since you can always add external ND filters to take pictures of the surface of the sun, etc :-) However, the dynamic range of HDRx is actually all available in the same frame (maybe not exactly simultaneously, see "magic motion", but in the same frame).
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    Senior Member Kalani Prince's Avatar
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    Right now, I'm seeing the world at about f.045 : ) maybe your brain trashes extra data as you change focal points.
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    Senior Member Jody Neckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbeale View Post
    If you are talking about "not simultaneously" available dynamic range, there's no limit on the upper range of any camera since you can always add external ND filters to take pictures of the surface of the sun, etc :-) However, the dynamic range of HDRx™ is actually all available in the same frame (maybe not exactly simultaneously, see "magic motion", but in the same frame).
    Ok... perhaps I shouldn't have complicated the question by mentioning HDRx.

    If the Brightness Adoption Level of human sight is 6.5 stops at any one time. What is it for digital camera's like the RED one or the Epic etc?
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Neckles View Post
    The eye actually adjusts its sensitivity to different lighting conditions (chemical changes in the eye and adjusting the iris) and can only see 6.5 Stops simultaneously.
    What "eye sees simultaneously" and what is final vision are two different things. Picture created in the mind is constantly refreshed and assembled as a higher DR image. Also, what "eye sees" many times is not even perceived consciously because subconscious systems define it as "redundant" and don't pass it into consciousness to avoid the overflow of data.

    Don't take every incomplete "scientific" thesis as a fact of life because science fails where "exact" and "quantifiable" end. Also, humans tend to evolve upon realization of own limits.

    Anyone who will shoot Epic in HDR mode will get a good impression of real visible DR and my guess is that it will vary between 14-16 stop range from person to person.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Neckles View Post
    It suggests the human eye has the Dynamic Range of 20 Stops but this is *not* available simulatenously. The eye actually adjusts its sensitivity to different lighting conditions (chemical changes in the eye and adjusting the iris) and can only see 6.5 Stops simulataneously. This range is known as the Brightness Adoption Level.
    Unless I have super-vision I would say that's almost certainly 100% untrue. I'm looking out my window right now at a light colored building in direct sun and can see detail on a black chair indoors in a corner in shadow. There's at least 11-12 stops of simultaneous dynamic range there.
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    Senior Member Jody Neckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Greenwalt View Post
    Unless I have super-vision I would say that's almost certainly 100% untrue. I'm looking out my window right now at a light colored building in direct sun and can see detail on a black chair indoors in a corner in shadow. There's at least 11-12 stops of simultaneous dynamic range there.
    Indeed, I really don't get what this artical is saying about the human eye only have 6.5 stops at any one time.....
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Greenwalt View Post
    Unless I have super-vision I would say that's almost certainly 100% untrue. I'm looking out my window right now at a light colored building in direct sun and can see detail on a black chair indoors in a corner in shadow. There's at least 11-12 stops of simultaneous dynamic range there.
    Can you see them both without moving your eyes? If not... then you are adapting, although you may not be consciously aware of it.
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    REDuser Sponsor Andy Jarosz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cail Young View Post
    Can you see them both without moving your eyes? If not... then you are adapting, although you may not be consciously aware of it.
    Right. You're brain is like the greatest, quickest automatic camera in existence. Every time you change where you're looking, it's changing everything else to compensate--focus, iris, dynamic range. If you think about the size of the fovea, you don't need any more then 6.5 stops at a time.
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cail Young View Post
    Can you see them both without moving your eyes? If not... then you are adapting, although you may not be consciously aware of it.
    Yes. They're right next to each other and I'm doing my best to focus on something between the two haha. It's tricky I admit.

    I also know the lighting at night in my apartment pretty well from photographing in here and I know the 5D blows out a couple spot light highlights when my black leather chair is exposed above black. Even in my peripheral it's easy to tell those points aren't blown out. I would say the eye has at least as much sensitivity at any given time as a 5D.
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