High Dynamic Range pictures are taken by capturing the same subject at varying exposure levels and then combining those images in photo editing software. The idea is to create something that's more detailed and potentially more representative of what your eye can see.
Canon's new patent wants to turn that sort of complicated process all in-camera. The way it works:
According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, preliminary image capturing is performed using the image capturing unit, and the exposure time is assigned to each pixel based on the result of the preliminary image capturing. Image capturing can thus be performed with a wide dynamic range without a loss of highlight detail and a loss of shadow detail.
Other cameras, like the Sony A550 and A500, are capable of doing in-camera HDR but they're more of a quick chop method. Mapping out the exposure level by the pixel is far more detailed and if done correctly, has huge implications. HDR has its fair share of fans and haters but Canon's patent would give Canon cameras the ability to capture a much wider dynamic range in a single image and a stand out feature in the ever evolving camera wars. [PhotographyBay]