June 27, 2011

New AMP HDR Camera Records Up to 20 Stops of Dynamic Range

In the High Dynamic Range imaging arena, it looks like RED's HDRx mode just got some competition. But while RED's technology cleverly combines two different exposures taken with the same sensor (fractions of a second apart), newcomer AMP uses a beam splitter to divvy up incoming light onto three separate sensors. We've seen beam-splitting HDR before, but this is a single unit that currently claims 17.5 stops of exposure, with up to 20 being claimed for the production unit. However, while the demo video says it "reveals reality," in fact tasteless HDR can render reality into a garish mishmash:

"Isn't it time everyone had HDR video?," the clip asks. Judging from many of the examples, no, it's not. That said, the technology is very interesting, and used wisely, could result in some beautiful images. The camera uses Nikon F-mount lenses, records raw data onto SSDs, weighs less than 5 lbs (without lens), and should be released by the end of the summer. No word on pricing, but I would expect this to be a specialty rental item as opposed to something shooters feel a need to own. For a less hypetastic demo and more informative video, see here:

Of interest, from their FAQ:

AMP was designed to be sensor independent. Technically speaking, any sensor in the world can be incorporated with the AMP technology to produce a camera system with HDR and other video features.


[via FreshDV]

Your Comment


That's impressive engineering and all, but why oh why would you showcase those garish photo-puke HDR effects? The whole advantage of this is being able to have 17stops dynamic range for color correction, not to create some un-realistic hypervision effects (though Im sure someone will find a good use for that eventually).

Great Camera design–awful marketing and video.

June 27, 2011 at 9:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Isn't it time that all marketing videos used Bank Gothic and Soundtrack loops?

June 28, 2011 at 12:13AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Also, Hasselblad lenses? Hang on, let me whip out my 555; it's just gathering dust anyway...
Does anyone seriously use Hasselblad lenses for video?

June 28, 2011 at 12:18AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I use some pentacon six lenses (Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4.0), which are very close to that (read: very old medium format), but not adaptable to hasselblad

June 28, 2011 at 3:36AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Jesus. That's horrendous. I hate over-processed HDR for stills, for video it's even worse. It's like hanging a velvet Elvis next to a Picasso, and saying, "Now doesn't THIS look more realistic?".

If HDR is done RIGHT you don't even notice it.

June 30, 2011 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Denny Mack

Oh i thought it was just me.
I got scared after looking at it and wondered why the video looked like that... isnt HDR supposed to look good ? and if thats what u get out of the camera they wont be selling much of those....

June 30, 2011 at 5:22PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Really interesting.
The idea is really good, i find some mistakes on the subject edges somethimes, like the woman
on the balcony, but i think with time end testing this is solvable.
Cool i keep my eyes on.....

July 1, 2011 at 4:18AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


God that looks awful. I'm sure it's capable of making some nice images out of punchy scenes, but for every person that uses this tool properly to make something beautiful, 1,000 internet morons, will make endless streams of ridiculously ugly, nuclear test shots. Like Denny said, when it's done right, you shouldn't even notice it. The purpose of HDR is to fit a whole scene onto the histogram, without blowouts or solid blacks, not to have an entire scene exist in the middle 30% of the histo.

I think that is one of the biggest problems emerging these days with new filmmakers, videographers and photographers. There's such a wealth of info in the web and in book about techniques and skills and blah blah (which is great), but no one is learning when to use something or why, which largely only comes from experience or internship/mentorship. Too many people out there have the technical skills of a 10 year shooter, but make the artistic decisions of a 5 year old.

July 6, 2011 at 11:31AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM



July 7, 2011 at 11:19PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


It will never be time with a pile of crap video like that.
Might have to pay someone who know show to make a video with motion graphics to suit the music.
Anyone on this site probably could, with the camera as payment.

July 10, 2011 at 3:39AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


After watching the SIGGRAPH video and reading all about the design at the home site, I came away thinking just might be a very good Movie camera HDR is just one effect option , while the HDR tonemapping is not done very well at the site. Ill take real raw files across three exposure ranges that match pixel for pixel anytime. Red Epic hdrx will have big time problems with any fast movement no matter the control software that comes with. At post with the raw files a whole other world opens up with all that info in the raw files, very natural looking images with real 17 stop range are more than possible with all that info. Package with some high speed sensors and you have one hell of a camera, give me a PL mount though or at least a Cannon, they talk about a Nikon mount on the first run coming at the end of summer?. Ill take one now PLEASE

July 17, 2011 at 11:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Ugh. Not for me

July 12, 2012 at 10:45AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
There's no doubt that that you ought to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don't speak about such subjects.
To the next! Best wishes!!

April 16, 2013 at 3:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


I usually do not leave many responses, however I browsed through some comments on New AMP
HDR Camera Records Up to 20 Stops of Dynamic Range

July 16, 2013 at 8:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM