I took some measurements of the tonemapping in HDR Game and HDR Standard in my current C6 firmware, 5.30.25:
Many of you should immediately be able to see why I'm not a big fan of the brighter HDR Standard mode, because it crushes a ton of the brighter highlight details. Essentially this is the way it's curved:
- 0-500 nits -> 0 - 632 nits
- 500 - 900 nits -> 632 - 702 nits
- 900 - 4000 nits -> 702 - 703 nits (crushed detail)
- 0-1400 nits -> 0 - 604 nits
- 1400 - 2000 nits -> 604 - 696 nits
- 2000 - 4000 nits -> 696 - 706 nits (somewhat crushed detail, slightly more visible than HDR Standard's crushed detail)
Yes, HDR Game is substantially darker (43% exposure vs 126% exposure, so about 1/3 the brightness), but it reveals a ton
more detail in the highlights, which also brings out more brilliant colors and just overall makes the image pop a lot more. And for those of us who can watch in a blacked out room, our eyes can adjust to a darker image, so it doesn't feel darker at all, but your eyes can't adjust away crushed highlights.
Here's another example of how much this can impact the image. The same shot from Batman v Superman in HDR Standard vs HDR Game, with the exposures adjusted to mimic how our eyes adjust in a dark room:
(click for higher quality)
So yeah, if the darker mode is truly gone with the new update, I'm going to be pretty disappointed, but hopefully HDR controls improve in games (more peak white controls specifically), and more movies get released in DV, so that I won't miss the mode quite as much. Ultimately the improvement to DV will probably be worth it, but it does frustrate me that changing this mode wasn't necessary because games could almost always be made brighter in the settings to compensate for any darker image.