Canon 5D Mark III and Dolby's JPEG-HDR

Seems like hell has frozen over! The new Canon 5D Mark III has an HDR mode, and what's even more important: wide bracketing. Chuck Westfall from the Professional Engineering & Solutions Division at Canon USA explains it like this:



The important part is that you can also save the original exposures. Fully automatic "HDR art mode" always looks great on paper, but ultimately it takes out the fun of creating something unique. Michael James has been collecting all the relevant (and sometimes conflicting) info on HDR in the 5D Mark III on hdriblog.com. No need to repeat it all here.

In the meantime, something of bigger magnitude happened at the Mobile World Congress:

Dolby licenses JPEG-HDR to Qualcomm



Highslide JS

JPEG-HDR shown on an Android tablet with full exposure control.
(image credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)


This is the type of HDR mode I have been waiting for. JPEG-HDR is a true HDR format, it preserves all the dynamic range and can be re-exposed and tonemapped any way you like. On top of that, it is disguised as normal JPEG for programs without HDR capabilities. This movie wraps it up quite nicely:



Putting real HDR capabilities into the Qualcomm's next Snapdragon S4 processor is a stroke of genius. Because it will be instantly available to an entire generation of Android devices. Samsung Galaxy, Blackberry, HTC Evo … all together that's 340 devices running on the current generation Snapdragon S3 processors. The S4 is the first snowball that may unleash an avalanche. It also supports the OpenCL standard and has advanced GPU-acceleration for the Unreal and Unity 3D engines, which will make many people in the CG world very happy. The unconfirmed rumor on the streets (PCmag) is that another unannounced chipmaker licensed JPEG-HDR. Canon? Nikon? Sony? Who knows…

Head over to CNET to read the full story, or read Qualcomm's Press Release on Snapdragon S4.
You can also read an introduction to JPEG-HDR in my HDRI-Handbook (p 57-59). It was written 5 years ago, but this is the first time this tech is actually coming out of the closet.


So these are the two major game changers of last week.
I don't want to sound ungrateful, but if everybody could please just stop revolutionizing HDR Imaging for a month or two; some people are trying to write an HDR-book down here.
Thank you very much.

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