Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Started Jul 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
PIXSurgeon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Roger's results are *correct* and, on top of that...

Alfredo Li Pira wrote:

( ) clearly show the contrary, with slide film having about 5 stops dynamic range, print film about 7 and a DSLR getting to 10 stops.

...they are CONSERVATIVE, and manageable.

The tonal range where Digital destroys films is in the shadows, especially in today's best-in-class sensors with fairly high signal-to-noise ratios and basically photon-noise limited, without mentioning how beautifully aligned and uniform are digital's density-response curves when you dive in the shadows, as opposed to the mess provided by Film, especially at anything above ISO100.

You can pull out about 11.0-11.3 from an 12-bit A/D loaded on a EOS 1D-class cam or 5D, for instance, and keep up a good chunk of that DR even on high-ISO.

Anything else you read on this subject is pretty much non-sense, or simply put, incompetence with digital pipelining/workflowing.


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