Does exposure affect sensor dynamic range?

Started Oct 18, 2012 | Questions thread
DSPographer Senior Member • Posts: 2,464
Re: Thanks DM & Stephen

For purposes of useful dynamic range for photography, it has been suggested that instead of engineering dynamic range based on the absolute noise floor, it is more appropriate to set the minimum level based on a desired minimum SNR. This is what Bill Claff does in his charts. So, he chose an SNR of 20 for the specific portion of an image that corresponds to the circle of confusion on the sensor for a given reference print viewing condition, to define his "photographic dynamic range" floor point. Note that for two sensors with the same engineering dynamic range, the one that has the greater SNR at saturation (that is the one that captures more photons within a circle of cunfusion region) will have the greater "photographic dynamic range". Here is a link to Bill's chart of PDR vs ISO for the D800, just click on other cameras in the legend to include their plots:

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