The Amazing Dynamic Range of the Fujifilm GFX 50R

Skyline from the Pedestrian Bridge - Austin, Texas

Skyline from the Pedestrian Bridge – Austin, Texas

This is the last photograph I shot on my outing at the end of March, on the same day I captured the photograph of the Lamar Blvd Bridge that I posted yesterday. Yesterday’s photo was looking west along Lady Bird Lake. Today, I’m looking east, but 30 minutes later — the same lake from the same Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.

I like the quiet simplicity of yesterday’s photo, especially with the expressive clouds. However, this view of the skyline is definitely the money shot that most people photograph. From this angle, looking down the river, you can see Austin’s growing skyline in its glory. Though, it doesn’t include all the tall buildings which extend to the left and right of this view. It certainly looks more impressive than what I got from the fields out west in my previous series.

I used the Fujifilm GFX 50R, locked down on a tripod for a 30-second exposure. With post-processing, this view is dramatically better than what you see in real life. The benefits of using a big sensor to bring out all of the hidden details that even the eye might not see. How impressive is the camera with the big sensor? Take a look at the original, unedited RAW photograph below.

Skyline from the Pedestrian Bridge - Austin, Texas

Skyline from the Pedestrian Bridge – Austin, Texas (Original, unedited RAW)

Obviously, I dramatically brightened the shadows and even tamed some of the bright areas. The totally hidden bridge and tree line are completely revealed. Even the graffiti on the bridge is clearly readable. If you are on a computer, click on either image to see a larger version.

In reality, a person looking at the skyline will experience a view somewhere in between the two photographs. I opted to spice things up on my processed photo to meet my creative vision, using my usual Capture One software. The single RAW file has none of the over-the-top processed HDR looks of yore.

The dynamic range capabilities of this camera are amazing. Even at 100%, and heavily processed, there is barely detectable noise, which only becomes slightly noticeable at 200%. And, the details at 51MP are quite remarkable. It’s too bad you don’t get to experience it on a 5K monitor. These web-sized views are like a little tease.

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