6D + Canon 50/1.8 or D600 + Nikon 50/1.8? Help me decide.

Started Jan 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Dynamic Range
In reply to roustabout66, Jan 7, 2013

roustabout66 wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

If you start with a file that that only hold 12 stops of scene data you are limited in your output vs the file with higher DR.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Extended dynamic range is great as long as you are talking about transmitted light (computer monitor, television etc.), but why does anyone need high resolution files to display on a computer monitor or TV which is 2.1 megapixels for a full HD 1080P? As soon as you print it is a totally different world because you are dealing with reflected light and a piece of paper. A print is lucky to have 8 stops at best so having ONLY 12 stops is of little importance. Moose Peterson talks about 5 stops being more likely in print.

This is a very common misunderstanding of DR. And it is unfortunate that it gets repeated every DR discussion thread. very similar to the situation about high-MP vs noise discussions we have been having over the years. luckily more people are educated on that issue now and realised more MP does not mean worse noise.

DR captured by sensor is not the same concept as DR on paper print or on LCD display or in jpeg file.

DR limitation in display format only affects the precision of brightness in that display format. for example jpeg is 8 bits, there are only 256 levels of brightness a jpeg file can have. Some high end LCd displays may have 10 bit, so the maximum number of levels of brightness is 1024. but it does not mean it is 4 times brighter than what jpeg is capable of - the maximum brightness is still pure white.

On the other hand, DR limitation in sensor affects the range of brightness  that sensor can capture. a landscape scene can easily have over 14 stops of variance of brightness. we are long way away from the state of "have more than enough DR in our cameras".

With a sensor that can capture more range of brightness, once we capture that scene, we can then process it into a display format that may well have limited precision  but deepest dark is still black and brightest bright is still white, it's just in between the jump between different brightness level may be more coarse. however in practice it more often than not does not affect image quality.

High contrast scene with bright window view and much less light in the room, DR of the scene easily exceed 12 stops.

After heavy processing, you now see what my eyes saw. the image would have been much more clean and tidy if the camera had more DR.

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