Dynamic Range Torture TestOne of the interesting features of the S5 Pro is the expanded dynamic range feature. But, does it really make a difference that can be seen? I came up with the scenario that I might typically use--photographing someone inside a car without a flash, while hoping to keep as much of the detail outside the car windows. This would be roughly equivalent to photographing someone inside a house against a window and wanting to keep the outside scene through the window visible.
Now, normally what I would do is meter for the exterior, adjust the camera to ensure the shutter speed is at or slower than sync speed, and use a flash. This keeps the dynamic range within what a camera can handle. However, sometimes I don't want to use a flash or a flash will ruin the look I want.
Sadly, I didn't have a model handy for this torture test, but maybe in a few weeks...
So, here's the overall layout. It's a black interior of my auto on a sunny day. In the background is a neighbor's house. This shot was taken with the S5 Pro at the 400% DR setting, manual exposure at 1/15 and f/11 at ISO200. The meter actually recommended (correctly) 1/60 at f/11, but I deliberately set the shot at 1/15 to match what the D50 meter recommended for the D50 and to pick up more detail of the interior of the car:
Now, here's how three cameras, the D50, the D200, and the S5 Pro compare. These are 100% crops, which is why the D200 has a "zoomed" image look to it. All three cameras were at 1/15 and f/11 at ISO 200. Notice how the S5 Pro retains not only details from the tree in the background, but also shows a branch just outside the car window, in front of the roof. You'll probably have to click on the image to see the full-size comparison.
When I can get a real human to pose in the car, I'll redo this torture test. But in the meantime, be aware that the DR feature of the S5 Pro is real and it can make the difference between a white fluffy cloud and just a white blob in the sky.