E510/620 Highlights Difference

Started Apr 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
Ehrik Veteran Member • Posts: 8,014
Re: Ok, let's talk about highlight range....

Raist3d wrote:

Ehrik wrote:

Raist3d wrote:

Ehrik wrote:

the extra latitude is added on the highlight end
(at the expense of some more noise, limiting DR, at the shadow end).

You are making it sound like the DR doesn't change total, or as if
you lost a lot of shadow noise.

I used the words "some more noise" to indicate the loss wasn't substantial, but I guess it may be ambiguous.

If you want to believe DX0 that's cool.

It's the best source I've been able to locate.

You should try the raws yourself sometime.

I don't have access to the camera and I'm not sure there are suitable raw files available for download.

It's much better. Now, keep in mind, the date the
S5 sensor came out and the date the D90 sensor came out. You notice I
mentioned using the same technology. I also mean same era or so.


I will agree with you that the JPEG tone curve is a factor, but
discarding what the sensor does when it is part of the equation also
in the end, I don't think is accurate. I mentioned the Fuji SR sensor
as the most obvious- or one of the most obvious examples of that. So
I am not disagreeing with you in the tone curve part, but I would say
it's a part of the whole, not the full explanation.

Maybe the Fuji is a bit extreme (let's not continue that argument), but normally, the DR between two same-class cameras doesn't differ all that much in stops, and the actual ISO speed (which relates to the proneness of clipping at a certain light and exposure) often varies more. That's why the relation between highlight behaviour and sensor DR is an unreliable one.

WEll again, it depends how you do the test. If you are developing a
raw file and you are aiming to see how much you can capture from the
middle gray, then it can be worth talking about it.

If I give you a random raw file, you can't say what is middle grey
(relative to some exposure meter) in that file! Think about that for
a while.

If you give me a random file I would have to mark what where is the
middle grey. Marking it will give me more highlight range and less
shadow range, or more shadow range and less highlight range. And If I
understand correctly this is what you are trying to say.

Yes. It's not like the pixels with raw level, say, 413, somehow have a tag saying "we are middle grey!". You've just got a range of numbers from the highest to the lowest.

And you know, I got that already. But the total DR and how much you can get
with the shadows and the highlight will be "capped" by the sensor,


and a sensor that say has much more sensitivity to light

Sensitivity to light is unrelated to dynamic range. Put an ND filter on the lens, sensitivity to light goes down but DR is the same.

than another, will run lower in the highlights in the end,

What do you mean by "run lower"? If it's more sensitive, it will clip sooner, not later.

no matter how
you dance around the middle grey, if you want to keep the
photographic exposure the same and correct relative to a standard
calibrated sensor.

Yes, but why on earth should we care about a standard calibrated sensor? It's got nothing to do with the camera's DR capabilities. If the camera deviates from some standard you just have to alter the exposure settings accordingly.

Not just the highlights, I agree with that. I never disagreed with
that. In fact, I was one of the very first that pointed out the total
DR of the E-3 seemed higher than the D300's if we were going to use
dpreview's own results. You can look it up if you want to double

Then we were two making the same point back then. Nice.

Just my two oere
Erik from Sweden

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