Sony's new rumoured a7000 may have 'digital overlap HDR'

The latest rumours about Sony’s next APS-C format high end camera say that it might feature ‘digital overlap HDR’ (DOL-HDR).

DOL-HDR is a technology that allows for a semi-HDR image to be taken using two frames from the sensor with less than 1/4000th of second between frames. This allows for two frame HDR images to be taken of moving subjects.

If you look into DOL-HDR on the Web you will find that what basically happens is that the camera takes the normal meter reading, and then takes a frame at about 1.5 stops over, and another frame as 1.5 stops under; then makes the DOL-HDR using those two frames.

Some smart phones (cell phones for my USA readers), such as Googles Pixel, already use DOL-HDR. However, this is on a much smaller sensor than APS-C. Larger sensors make it harder to implement DOL-HDR because of the time taken to clear the sensor and get it ready for the second frame.

Rumours are suggesting that the Sony DOL-HDR implementation has less the 1/6000th of a second between the two frames—which, given the sensor size—is pretty amazing. Given this, then if the actual exposure was 1/1000th the DOL-HDR sequence would happen in about 1/450th of a second.

I have not seen many examples of DOL-HDR but it is said to improve dynamic range by as much as two stops in the RAW image. Imagine the post-processing opportunities that an additional two stops of dynamic range would permit.

Following is about the only good example that I could find on the Web.

Click image to see larger

If the a7000 (assuming the camera is even called this) does include DOL-HDR, and it works as good as suggested, then that will make this new camera very interesting. Even to people who are currently shooting full frame. Especially if the a7000 does have Sony’s new 32MP big-bucket sensor.