You cameras dynamic range

28 Sep

Dynamic range (DR) is the range between the darkest grey to the lightest grey before it gets black respectively white.

A scene can have a dynamic range from the darkest to the lightest area and the sensor has a specific DR.

The problem begins when the DR of the scene is greater than the DR of the sensor. When that occurs you have to decide if you want to clip the highlights or the shadows.

DR is measured in f-stops.

When measuring the DR of my Canon 7d earlier I came to about 12 f-stops and when cross-checking it with DxO they say 11,7 which was nice to know. 🙂

Down here are some scenes with varying dynamic ranges I found around or inside our house.

First is a picture from our car park. Highlights are in the back of the grey car around the windows and the shadows are under the green car. DR is about 3-4 f-stops. 1/500 sec to 1/40 sec at aperture 5,6

Second Is out wood burning stove, highlights of course are the flames and the stone around it are the shadows. DR is 5 f-stops, 2,5 sec for the shadows and 1/13 for the highlights. A special problem was that the flames were not white and it was difficult what was clipped in which channel when taking the pictures.

Third a view from our living room. Highlights in the sky and shadows in the tree and the stones in the paddock. DR is 4,5 f-stops, 1/320 for the sky and 1/15 for the shadows.

Fourth a stilleben of a toy car in order to get a low contrast picture which you get when leaving out the reflections. When looking at the badges you get a very high DR of 8-9 f-stops but when looking at the rest of the car you get about 2 f-stops or less.

Fifth is a view of our porch that has a chair in front of it in order to get more contrast. DR is 5 f-stops between the door and the chair.

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