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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6 Comments

FocusPulling (.com)'s picture

It's sad seeing the fine folks at Fstoppers slowly turn into No Film School, which mostly creates blog posts actually repurposing found content with only occasional original content. It's been astonishing to watch that practice backfire on No Film School, in terms of plummeting traffic and interaction there. Same would happen here...

Ryan Mense's picture

In the first 7 days of August there have been 18 original pieces posted to Fstoppers. Not what I would consider “occasional.” https://fstoppers.com/originals

vegaroyfoss's picture

Sounds great. Sooooo an average of 2.5 daily original content

I just did a quick count of 14-16 YouTube repost the last 24 hours. Does not look good in comparison does it?

And then you have original content such as the garbage Nikon should quit article by Mike S. Jesus.

I don't even know why I bother coming to this site anymore

Ryan Mense's picture

Looks excellent in comparison to other outlets.

Ken Flanagan's picture

Y’all are doing a fine job. Unlike some of my fellow readers here can appreciate the sheer amount of work that goes into putting a site like this together and keep it running. I’ve never paid you guys a penny, but I still get great value from the content here.

Tovi Andurrson's picture

Agreed, the aggregated content or ads from YouTuber's is getting too be a bit much.