Dynamic Range -- what it is, what it's good for, and how much you 'need'

Started Oct 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Re: Bringing it back to 1022
In reply to unsubscribe, Oct 18, 2011

unsubscribe wrote:

Don't know anything about all this technical stuff. And kind of skipped a bunch of posts because of all the fighting.

I almost think the entertainers do it by design for exactly that effect.

But is high DR a function of sensor size, pixel size, or something else?

It's a function of the sensor efficiency . The DR is the number of stops from the noise floor to the saturation point, so the lower the noise floor and/or the higher the saturation point, the greater the DR.

It's worthwhile to note that the Sony Exmor sensor in the D7000 is tremendously more efficient at lower ISOs than other sensors, but the other sensors catch up, and even pass it, at the higher ISOs. In other words, the pixels of other sensors are likely as good, and even better, than the pixels in the Sony Exmor sensor, but the Sony ADC design is significantly superior.

If it's pixel size, isn't conceivable to make a 43rd sensor with fewer pixels that are larger to get more DR?

It would be just the opposite, actually. There is no evidence to suggest that pixel size adversely affects sensor efficiency. As it works out, the more pixels you have for a given efficiency, the greater the DR100 / area -- just like noise. However, pixel size is a secondary effect, not a primary effect -- see my post above:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=39618352

If you are interested in the specifics, I can work an example for you to show you exactly how it works out.

If it's something else, what does it take to make a 43rd sensor with more DR?

As Rikke suggested above, contracting Sony to make one of their Exmor sensors for them would have been a good move, which is the same solution I wish Canon sought for their sensors!

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