D90 review - max DR @ ISO400
In "ISO Sensitivity and Dynamic Range" table maximum usable range is 8.6EV at ISO 400. Why native ISO 200 delivers less DR?
there are curves that make the Jpeg from a RAW file, which happens inside the camera. There is nothing wrong with D90, but it has dreadful curves in camera. Similar to the D700. As seen later in the review the RAW file has at least 1 or 1+1/2 stop Highlight headroom. With shooting RAW or applying a custom curve in the camera the DR of the D700 went up by 1 stop. The same can be done in D90. Also in the D80 the DR with Custom curves improved by 1/3 shadow and 1+1/4 stop highlight. So that has nothing to do with the camera.
It can be fixed by custom curves.
It can be fixed by firmware, but Nikon cannot be bothered.
It can be fixed with RAW and Highlight protection set to at least 40.
In "ISO Sensitivity and Dynamic Range" table maximum usable range is
8.6EV at ISO 400. Why native ISO 200 delivers less DR?
These measurement softs are sometirmes fooled by how camera deals with lowlight noise and think there's more DR than is there. But ISO 400 and ISO 200 (base iso) are pretty close and difference should be minimal. This is jpeg, so camera underexposes a bit and compensates HL, which could, in principle, increase DR a bit (but with some more noise in shadows).