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: Some of those links were interesting
In reply to odl, Oct 18, 2011

odl wrote:

D7000 has done very well with DR.

Understatement of the year.

Interesting how Sensor Performance seems to be mostly related to current tech than sensor size or MP.

Yes! That's the key point that I've been trying to make!

Also an interesting note just for you and me GB, the choice by Canon to keep the MP at 18 for their new body, lets see how that compares as they have chosen a modest MP increase on average, or even a MP decrease compared to their 5DM11.

See my reply "Let's put it all together" to FrankyM above:

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

It directly addresses those points.

Based on my believe that either no MP increase or a modest MP increase should yield faster gains for IQ (ala D700, D3, D3s) this should be a superb camera for IQ relating to noise and DR... But lets see

The rumored Nikon D800 will feature a FF version of the Sony Exmor sensor in the D7000, and thus be 36 MP. I don't see it going well for Canon.

That said, Canon does make the best pixels in the business, but their sensors are limited by the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter). What this amounts to is that Canon sensors will lag far behind at lower ISOs, but catch up and surpass at the higher ISOs. So, what we may well see is the 1Dx delivering higher IQ at high ISO, but substantially lagging at lower ISOs.

That said, the sensor tech in the 1Dx is new (as opposed to merely scaling down and making refinements on previous tech, as Canon has done for several years, now). So, it may actually be better than the Sony tech all the way through (but I woudn't bet on it).

The lower pixel count may simply be because they needed a lower pixel count to get the frame rate they wanted (ala Nikon D3) or because 18 MP was the most they could produce with the current tech.

One big challenge for Canon is QE (Quantum Efficiency -- the proportion of light falling on the sensor that gets recorded by the sensor). The 5D2 has a QE of 33% compared to the 57% of the D3s -- that's almost a full stop advantage for Nikon.

However, Canon has claimed that they finally were able to make gapless microlenses (which Nikon has had for some time now), and, hopefully, that will close that huge QE advanatage that Nikon has.

Interesting Times

We shall see. I'm actually prepared to be fairly disappointed by Canon's latest and greatest -- see Bob's post on the matter:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=39619535

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