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Old Oct 4, 2004, 10:58 AM   #1
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I am confused about the exposure range of digital and film. Isn't each additional bit of resolution equivalent to another f stop of range? I see a number of comments that film has greater resolution and should be used and scanned for ultimate range. It seems a 12 bit (36 bit color) A/D should be way greater than the 6 or 7 stops I thought you could get from film. Thanks for all the camera checks, the sample photos are a great help. I'm having good fun in retirement working with a Digital Rebel and little Olympus D40. Regards from Art
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Old Oct 4, 2004, 11:20 AM   #2
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While it is true that there are more bits given to certain stops than to others, I don't believe it is not true that you gain a stop by adding a new bit every time. That would mean that some stop would have only two values. I don't see that being very helpful.

There is a really good article about this right here:

This should answer all your questions. Really good cameras get 5 stops. Some get more (I've heard upwards of 9 on the Canon 1Ds from a good professional I know) most probably get a bit less.

Depending on what film you use, you won't get that much dynamic range either.

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Old Oct 4, 2004, 1:59 PM   #3
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Very useful article and easy to follow. Looks like we should store the exposure in a log manner to keep the resolution. The EOS 1DS makes really fine photographs, better than any I've ever made, so the present system is working well. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old Oct 4, 2004, 2:05 PM   #4
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Using current CCD and CMOS technology, the exposure range of digital cameras is closer to the range of slide film. The number of pixels doesn't equate to tonal range. Film has long been the king of exposure lattitude. Future technology may change that, but even the top end dSLR cameras cannont compete in this department currently.
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Old Oct 4, 2004, 2:22 PM   #5
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Well the Fuji S3 attempts to solve this dynamic range problem by using a 2nd set of photodiodes:
"# Improved Dynamic Range � A wider dynamic range opens up a whole new world in terms of picture quality, and the unique double photodiode design (6.17 million S-pixels and 6.17 million R-pixels) of the Super CCD SR II sensor will produce dynamic range approximately 400% greater than that of CCD working on a single-pixel design, capturing the finest detail in even the highest contrast scenes...

...Photographers that favor the look and feel of film can replicate the results of various chrome and negative films while shooting digitally with the FinePix S3 Pro.

... this is very critical when attempting to capture weddings when the brides and grooms tend to wear clothes at opposite ends of the spectrum and where the details are lost by the camera at their extremes
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