Subject: Re: raw 3.1 professional custom profiles for highend digital cameras
It's a question of dynamic range.
I think that Bruce and Jeff are trying to say the following:
Suppose that the average digital camera can usefully capture about 3 stops of dynamic range above your middle gray reading.
If you measure a graycard or take an incident reading for a scene with middle gray as the reference, both the camera, as well as the meter will give you about the same exposure values.
However, the highlights of the scene may be 4 stops over the middle gray reading. With film that wouldn't be too much of a problem. With digital capture it means unrecoverable blown highlights.
So what you really want to do is spot-meter the highlights, and expose for a middle gray that preserves the highlights. There are probably no lightmeters that will do that calculation for you. There are also no cameras currently that will do that calculation for you, because they are build around the middle gray paradigm so photographers can use their previous experience for exposure settings.
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