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Thread: A6000 DRO Bracketing

  1. #1

    Question A6000 DRO Bracketing

    One of the features of the A6000 is the ability bracket the DRO manual settings - you can select "Lo" (1-2-3) or "Hi (1-3-5). I went out today (to Red Rocks Canyon, just west of Las Vegas) to test this. I normally leave DRO on Auto, but DRO Auto tends to be pretty subtle, and I wanted to test the effect of more DRO adjustment. I have RAW + JPEG turned on, and took a normal shot (with DRO Auto) and then the same shot with DRO bracketing turned on. What I expected to get for the bracketed shots was a ARW file and three JPG files. What I got was one ARW and one JPG for each shot.

    Does anyone know how the DRO bracketed photos are identified? I don't see anything in the EXIF metadata either. I wonder if I have to turn off DRO Auto before selecting the DRO bracketing because now I don't think I got any bracketed shots - I think everything was shot with DRO Auto.

    Help!

    David

  2. #2
    Never mind! I just did a test - and you have to first turn off DRO Auto before you can use the DRO Bracketing. If DRO Auto is on, and you select DRO Bracketing, it just ignores that selection - no error message. If just doesn't bracket. If you turn off DRO Auto and then select DRO bracketing, you get the three JPGs with the different adjustments.

    This seems to me to be poor interface design. It should give you an error message when you try to select the (incompatible) settings. And, it is awkward if you are trying to test DRO Auto vs. the Manual settings.

    David

  3. #3
    Thanks for sharing the info and answer The Sony Menu system is a bit weird to get used to for sure!

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  4. #4
    This is really confusing. I think I did get the DRO bracketing. I'm looking at the JPGs in LightRoom and I can see sets of three JPGs with varying "exposure". I think this is the DRO bracketing being applied - but there is no indication in the EXIF what has been done. Exposure information is exactly the same for each photo but they are obviously different - you can see the dark areas lightening up. You just have to know that you applied the DRO Bracketing High (1-3-5). I have a question in to Sony about this. Stay tuned.....

    David

  5. #5

    Further Discoveries on DRO Manual Bracketing

    The camera is producing the DRO Manual adjustment JPGs but in a very confusing way. I imported all the images into LR5 and I can see three (different numbered) JPGs with fairly obvious lighting differences - the 1, 3, and 5 DRO Manual settings. These images are not identified in the EXIF Metadata that I could find, anyway. You have to just know that this is what the settings were. I have a question into Sony Support about this.

    What faked me out was when I imported the photos with OS X Image Capture to my Photos directory, what you see is ARW, JPG alternating by name. So, I see, for example:

    DSC00055.ARW
    DSC00055.JPG
    DSC00056.ARW
    DSC00056.JPG
    DSC00057.ARW
    DSC00057.JPG

    etc.

    I think the camera is writing another copy of the RAW file for each JPG image created (with the different DRO manual settings). This wastes a lot of space, considering the sizes of the RAW files. When in imported to iPhoto, it preserved this same structure - ARW, JPG, ARW, JPG….. so that the DRO Manual settings are not obvious. LR5 does the same thing, and I only figured this out when I created Smart Collections separating the RAW and JPG photos. In the JPG collection, it was easy to see the repeating photos with the different DRO Manual adjustments.

    This is very confusing. I am most surprised that there is no indication of the DRO setting in the EXIF Metadata. I can’t find anything, anyway. There are apparently programs available that dump _all_ the metadata, and I will try to find one to see if there are any hidden information about the DRO settings. It would be very nice to be able to select photos based on the DRO setting.

    Incidentally, examining my DRO Manual settings (I was using 1-3-5 bracketing) it is pretty clear that 5 is too much. The 3 setting also seems to lighten too much for the landscape photography I was doing (at Red Rocks Canyon, west of Las Vegas - beautiful red rocks, but also high dynamic range). I will do some additional testing, but I suspect the optimal manual setting for my use will be 2 or 3. And, I will probably just leave DRO Auto on all the time unless I run into obvious lighting challenges.

    David

  6. #6
    Yeah, the Exif is limited for sure when using Lightroom or Mac software. You must be set to jpeg + raw quality if you have both copies on your card. Just switch to jpeg only if you want to use the DRO and other camera processing features. What setting is best will certinaly depend on the conditions and how the camera interprets the scene. Bracketing is a great way to get used to how it works which is exactly what your doing! Some scenes may require 3 or 4 possible, who knows. The jpegs files have a lot more contrast than the raw files, and none of these settings will effect the raw files.

    Thanks again for sharing and please let me know if you have and specific questions? I think you have it all figured out other than the raw+jpeg?

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  7. #7
    Image Data Converter does show the DRO in the image properties panel, but it says "DRO Auto" even when I was using the DRO Manual Settings Bracketing. I turned off DRO Auto and set DRO Bracketing on - and the camera immediately changed the DRO setting back to Auto. When you turn on bracketing and take a shot, it does produce three JPGs - but for each photo, the metadata is set to "DRO Auto" - that is what you see in the camera information window after the shot and what you see in the EXIF Metadata after importing the photos. This is not helpful at all - the shots were not taken with DRO Auto.

    I set the camera to JPG Fine for this test so the RAW+JPG setting doesn't affect this behavior (other than producing multiple copies of the RAW files when RAW+JPG is turned on).

    I can't find any way to set the DRO to one of the manual levels (1-2-3-4-5) - only DRO OFF, DRO Auto, or DRO Bracketing (Lo/Hi). I think the "DRO Auto" Metadata is a bug.

    David

  8. #8
    Oh I see what your saying, sorry about the confusion. Yes that is no good and should be fixed in the next firmware update! It should not say auto when using manual DRO settings for sure.

    I just tried DRO lv5 with no bracketing selected. Single shot mode. The image says Lv5 on the camera in playback mode on the A7s. Does that work on your camera?

    Thanks,
    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  9. #9
    I set the A6000 to DRO Lvl1 and that does show up on the camera screen and also in the Metadata when it is imported and viewed in IDC. So, it is just when you set DRO bracketing that the metadata is (incorrectly) labeled as "DRO Auto".

    David

  10. #10
    Cool, I guess the bracketing is what messes it up as you said

    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  11. #11
    Check out this article from 2007 (referenced by Gary Friedman in his A6000 book) for more discussions of how DRO works.

    http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2007/1...-magic-bullet/

    What was interesting here is how the camera will under-expose the RAW image it works with to make sure there are no blown-out highlight areas. The other point was his suggestion that DRO is less useful for standard landscape photography. That is consistent with what I saw in my own testing - DRO Auto had very subtle effects, and the DRO manual settings of 3 or 5 were too much.

    David

  12. #12
    I have been also testing the A6000 HDR function and it works very nicely. (We are leaving on a European vacation next month - Lisbon to Rome - and I expect to take a lot of church shots including the Sistine Chapel. HDR will be very helpful.) Of course, the metadata for this setting only shows up in IDC - not in LR5, DxO or iPhoto. HDR produces one standard JPG and one HDR/merged JPG. So again, you have to inspect the images to see what is going on. Normally the HDR effect will be obvious. (I experimented with HDR 5EV, and liked the results better than HDR Auto.)

    David

  13. #13

  14. #14
    I used DRO 5 with the Auto ISO limit pushed to 6400 for a lot of photography I did in churches in Europe. In general, it worked very well - with a few failures. (I'll try to post some examples later.) Gary Friedman suggested that the HDR function would work better in this situation because DRO can push up noise in the dark areas, but I didn't see that problem. The nice thing about DRO is that it takes only one shot, not three, and processing is faster. The one thing that has irritated me a bit about the A6000 is the delay after shooting in getting the view back on the electronic viewfinder (and the back screen). You can still shoot - but you are shooting blind.

    David

  15. #15
    I have compared Auto HDR to DRO and the Auto HDR is much better in my opinion, if you can hold the camera steady. It does take multiple shots, but this is necessary to capture all the dynamic range in the scene. The camera takes different EV exposure's and then combines them for a great result. Much less noise and more detail in the highlights plus shadows. The Auto HDR is much more likely to be blurry though, so you must try and be steady at the very least. I prefer to lean on something if possible

    When things are moving in the scene, DRO is a much better option for sure! DRO also works great for a lot of situations, but some scenes benefit from the HDR big time!

    Jay


    Jay
    Jay - Comments, Questions, and Critiques always welcomed and encouraged!

    Current Everyday Gear: Sony A7r, Sony A6400, Sony Nex-6, Sigma 56mm f/1.4 Lens, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Lens, Sony E 18-55mm, Sony E 55-210mm OSS Lens, Sony E 16mm f/2.8 Pancake, Rainbow Imagining MC/MD Lens Adapter w/ Minolta MD 50mm f/1.4 PG Rokkor Lens

  16. #16
    I did some testing with my A6000 and the auto HDR function out at Red Rocks Canyon this week. (We had some snow in Las Vegas on Monday - first time in eight years!) There was lots of snow on the mountains at Red Rocks and I wanted to see how HDR performed. The camera saves one normal photo and the HDR result of combining the three separate images. I had no problems with blurring (the camera was hand-held, in some heavy wind), but in every case, I preferred the "standard" version of the photo. The HDR output is very "flat" looking, and you have to do further "tone mapping" to finish the photo. That's a lot of work. I still prefer using DRO Auto for most of my photography. I would be nice if Sony did the tone mapping in-camera.

    The next version of Lightroom is supposed to have a HDR function and I will see how that works. (You can just take three bracketed shots and process later.) However, the Sony A6000 has pretty much convinced me that the best shots are JPGs out of the camera. It saves a lot of time and work!

    David

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