Film versus DSLR dynamic range

Started Jul 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
Slough Senior Member • Posts: 1,809
Re: Film versus DSLR dynamic range

I was curious about the difference between DR and latitude, and I believe it is like this.

A film has two processes, namely exposure and development. A pre-developed film has a potential namely the information stored in the latent image i.e. the chemical reactions caused by light. Once developed, the negative (or positive) has a DR which can be measured. Development does not bring out all of the image in the latent information. Develop it for less time than usual, and you will favour highlights, but the grains in the shadows will not appear. Develop it for longer than usual, and you will bring out the shadows, but the highlights will be burnt out. In other words, latitude is a measure of how much you can push or pull the film, whereas DR is a measure of the amount of information in the processed image. For a DSLR the latitude is what you recorded in the electronic pixels i.e. in the RAW image. How you convert that to an image determines the dynamic range. Clearly you can have DR less than or equal to the RAW latitude, but not more.

Someone might wish to correct this as and where wrong.

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