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How Videographers Can Add Three Stops of Dynamic Range to Any Camera

With the wealth of strong video and hybrid cameras banging on the our gates, getting the most out of them is a conversation worth having. Here’s one way you can add better dynamic range to your video.

Between the announcements of the R5, R6, and a7S III, many videographers are salivating. However, a common discussion — which Chadwin Smith addresses in this video — is the question of resolution versus dynamic range. It seems that many of the top videographers care less about 8K, and far more about stops of dynamic range, whereas those working in less strenuous video shoots are excited about the resolution.

In this video, Smith points out an age old technique for increasing dynamic range that photographers have used and still do: the graduated ND filter. Many beginners suffer from a common issue when trying a graduated ND filter for the first time, and that’s objects which clip with the sky becoming darker than the lower parts of the object. This is a horrible and unwanted side effect, but can be managed and avoided more often than you might think. Add in movement though, and many photographers will just opt for an ND filter, not a graduated one. Smith argues that by using the grad ND, you gain stops of dynamic range, and when handled properly, it can be invaluable.

What are your thoughts? Do you use one in videography?

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