Dynamic Range -- what it is, what it's good for, and how much you 'need'

Started Oct 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
boggis the cat Veteran Member • Posts: 6,329
Clown meets reality -- doesn't much care for it

Great Bustard wrote:

boggis the cat wrote:

Seems that there's a lot of confusion (at least with some) about what DR (dynamic range) is and what it's good for. This purpose of this thread is to get this cleared up.

I'd like to begin with a rather stark example of what 13.7 stops of DR (D7000) offers over 11.2 stops of DR (5D2):


But wait, Joe, isn't it all about "total light"?

No, it isn't "all about total light", but total light, like DR, is an important consideration.


How is it that an APS-C system can out-perform a 135 system? The 135 system has more total light.

If you understood what DR was, then you'd not be confused on this point.

Note the title of the post with the example:

"D7000 vs 5Dmk2 real shadow noise (DR) test, Mikael Risedal"

Now, who keeps claiming that "more total light means less noise"? Why, it's you, isn't it Joe?

Would you like me to explain to you how it works out? Specifically, why neither sensor size nor pixel size figures into the calculation of DR?

But the shadow noise does figure into real DR, doesn't it, Joe?

Why doesn't the 5D II -- with all of that extra "total light" that you rave about -- crush the D7000 with its tiny, inferior, sensor?

Oh, this must be an example of reality kicking theory square in the wedding tackle. Thanks for clearing that up.

More like a vivid example of you not understanding what DR is, how it's measured, and what it's useful for.

I'm not the one fixated by "total light uber alles" -- aka "the all-conquering 135 system".

(Any larger format simply doesn't exist, in Joe's world. But then DxO's "magic numbers" would have you believe those systems are rubbish, anyway. Stupid professional photographers, buying inferior medium format systems... ;))

So, there you have it. What DR is and what it is useful for.

Well, it's just as well you posted this, as I'm sure that nobody on the OSTF had any idea what DR was.

Not the least of whom is yourself.

Well, obviously not. It's all about DxO mark "DR" numbers, apparently.


The shoes fit you rather well. So, how about it -- do you want me to explain DR to you -- what it is, how it's measured, and what it's good for -- or would you rather just parade your ignorance in public?

Just explain why your "total light uber alles" nonsense that you keep trying to ram down our throats fails to give a sufficient noise advantage to the 5D II. Without upending your "theory" by acknowledging that all things are never equal , of course.

Come on, give us your best floppy-shoe clown dance.

Then consider that the relative size difference between FourThirds and APS-C is considerably less than that between APS-C and 135.

Let us know when you've figured out the whole "theory meets reality" concept.

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