Dynamic Range Test: 5DM2 vs D7000 vs T2i

Started Jan 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Dynamic Range Test: 5DM2 vs D7000 vs T2i
Jan 21, 2011

Here is test to compare the dynamic range of the 5DM2/D7000/T2i by shooting a dollar bill with progressively decreasing exposures.


  • 5DM2 w/Zeiss Makro-Planar 50mm f/2 ZE

  • D7000 w/Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/2 ZF.2

  • T2i w/Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/2 ZE

Test Details:

  • All shot on a tripod, MLUP, timer-delay

  • Lighting: Single Eiko 400W-equivalent CFL SP85/5000K

  • RAW, developed in LR 3.3, all default settings, WB set to 4150/+48

  • Exposure pushing starts at 5th photo (+1 stop), one additional stop each subsequent photo

  • To push > 4 stops, LR Adjustment Brush(s) are used

  • Long-Exposure NR on for all cameras

The starting exposure (first photo) for each camera was individually selected based on the highest exposure possible below raw clipping. Raw clipping was established by converting raw to .DNG, importing into RawAnalyze and drawing an exposure square (right-click) around 100% crop area and noting the maximum raw value. The highest exposure achievable for each camera was selected as the starting exposure and then adjusted one stop for each photo. Here are the exposures and approximate max raw values for the first photo in the sequence for of each camera (all within 1/3 stop of each other):

  • 5DM2: f/8 4.0 seconds, 14,837

  • D7000: f/8 2.0 seconds, 14,185

  • T2i: f/8 2.5 seconds, 13,585

Here are 100% crop comparisons of the stops for each camera, captured in a lossless .PNG screenshot. I'm setting up a site to make the raw files, probably in a week or so.

Stops 1-4: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163156637_uCyTZ-O.png
Stops 5-8: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163157232_WtQCj-O.png
Stops 9-12: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163157749_iMU8i-O.png
Stops 13-14: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163158008_eMyiq-O.png

Stops 1-4: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163158593_Cd89r-O.png
Stops 5-8: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163159143_ushuk-O.png
Stops 9-12: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163153636_cwe3f-O.png
Stops 13-15: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163153944_Mfmtv-O.png

Stops 1-4: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163154578_xvvKk-O.png
Stops 5-8: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163155202_EPkUF-O.png
Stops 9-12: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163155823_oePSV-O.png
Stops 13-14: http://horshack.smugmug.com/photos/1163156074_8xYxM-O.png

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Kodak Instant Camera
Kyocera 1MP Camera phone (pre-paid phone plan)

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