Real-time High Dynamic Range imaging is coming soon to high-end motion picture cameras, and will likely change a lot about how moving images are captured and seen. In the layman's hands the process is typically reserved for still images because combining two moving images in post is nigh impossible. But Soviet Montage Productions took two Canon 5D Mark IIs and cleverly used a beam splitter to feed each DSLR the exact same image. The resulting 1:30 clip is exactly the kind of camera demonstration that people love to Twitter about, whether the demo is significant or not. But here's the thing about this clip (particularly the first shot): it's gorgeous.
Soviet Montage Productions releases information on the first true High Dynamic Range (HDR) video using DSLRs
San Francisco, CA, September 9, 2010: Soviet Montage Productions demonstrated today the first true HDR video sourced from multiple exposures. Unlike HDR timelapse videos that only capture a few frames per minute, true HDR video can capture 24 or more frames per second of multiple exposure footage. Using common DSLRs, the team was able to composite multiple HD video streams into a single video with an exposure gamut much greater than any on the market today. They are currently using this technology to produce an upcoming film.
Benefits of Motion HDR
HDR imaging is an effect achieved by taking multiple disparate exposures of a subject and combining them to create images of a higher exposure range. It is an increasingly popular technique for still photography, so much so that it has recently been deployed as a native application on Apple’s iPhone. Until now, however, the technique was too intensive and complex for motion. Soviet Montage Productions believes they have solved the issue with a method that produces stunning–and affordable–true HDR for film and video.
The merits of true HDR video are various. The most obvious benefit is having an exposure variation in a scene that more closely matches the human eye–think of filming your friend with a sunset at his or her back, your friend’s face being as perfectly captured as the landscape behind them. HDR video also has the advantage of reduced lighting needs. Finally, the creative control of multiple exposures, including multiple focus points and color control, is unparalleled with true HDR video.
“I believe HDR will give filmmakers greater flexibility not only in the effects they can create but also in the environments they can shoot in” said Alaric Cole, one of the members of the production team, “undoubtedly, it will become a commonplace technique in the near future. ”
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Link: Soviet Montage