Are there limits to Dynamic Range?

1 week 6 days ago #714113 by Rawley Photos
This might be a strange question, but here we go...

I've been noticing camera manufactures flaunting dynamic range of their cameras, but this has me wondering.  Is there a limit in general on how much dynamic range is even available 'in theory'?  Meaning is a DR of 50 even available or is 17 the limited of physics here? 

I hope this makes sense.  Let me know.  


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1 week 6 days ago - 1 week 6 days ago #714131 by TCav
The human eye has a dynamic range (DR) of about 90 db, but not all at the same time. When a scene contains a single bright light in an otherwise dark environment, the DR is compressed, such that detail that is imperceptible would be visible if the bright light weren't present. At any given time, the effective DR of the human eye is only about 40 db to 50 db.

The same is true of digital cameras, which is where Dynamic Range Optimization (DRO) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques can come into play in order to record the DR of different portions of the same composition. But even then, the dynamic range is compressed by the output device (i.e.: photo paper (~20 db), television or computer monitor (~30 db), etc.). So a camera with a DR of 15 db with a DRO or HDR of 3 stops could create an image with a DR of ~25 db, exceeding the DR of a print, but still within the range of a monitor, and of JPEG files, btw.

So as the DR of digital cameras increases, the less useful DRO and HDR will become, as the results they produce would exceed the capability of the output media. And we're pretty close to that now.


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1 week 6 days ago #714170 by Paris Gal
Interesting, didn't know this.  Actually didn't know there was such a large gap between human eye and best cameras today.  

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1 week 6 days ago - 1 week 6 days ago #714187 by Nikon Shooter

Typically expressed in decibels (dB), sound dynamic range is the
ratio of the highest signal level a circuit, component, or system can
handle, in dB relative to 1 mW of power (dBm), to the lowest signal
level it can handle (in dBm).

Expressed in stops,  photo dynamic range refers to the range of
which a camera can successfully capture the lightest and darkest
areas of an image without losing detail. Exceeded, the highlights
will wash out to white and the darks will turn to black blobs. So
the higher, the wider the dynamic range, the better!

By some estimates, the human eye can distinguish up to 24+ stops
of dynamic range. Higher end DSLRs such as the Nikon D850, can
capture upto a theoretical max of 14.7 stops of dynamic range.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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1 week 6 days ago #714188 by Nikon Shooter
ADDENDUN

The DR limits are given by the performance qualities of captors
or sensor… some are better at recording data than others.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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