I continue to be amazed with the high ISO on the D600

Started Feb 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Yan Duval Regular Member • Posts: 181
Re: High ISO doesn't reduce dynamic range, low light does.

Duncan C wrote:

If you can get your shot with a lower ISO and proper exposure, it's better (So you are better off shooting a well exposed image at ISO 100 and 1/125 of a second than shooting at ISO 3200 and 1/2000, assuming that you don't need 1/2000 for other reasons.)

It is not accurate to say that dynamic range goes down as you increase the ISO and shoot the same scene with all other settings being the same.

You are confusing the dynamic range of a scene with the dynamic range of the sensor.

In your example above, the image at ISO 3200 will have a smaller dynamic range.  You agree that the shadows will be more noisy at this ISO setting.  By definition, the camera dynamic range is simply the highest level recordable, divided by lowest level recordable before the SNR=1 (when the signal = noise).  Because both images have the same highest possible values of 255 (in 8 bits), the ISO 3200 will have a smaller dynamic range.

Now, we can capture a better image with a better dynamic range if we make sure that the highlights are exposed to the right, using most efficiently the dynamic range of the sensor.

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