Is the Dynamic range of Cameras more than that of Displays? If so, then does the same goes for HDR Cameras and HDR displays? Also, What is the general dynamic range of cameras and displays in terms of "contrast ratio".

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    \$\begingroup\$ You'll need to better define "contrast ratio" as it's a rather nebulous term that means different things when different manufacturers use it to talk about light emitting displays. Camera sensors do not have "contrast ratio". That's why we usually express DR for both cameras and monitors in terms of "stops". \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


Yes, the dynamic range of most sensors used in interchangeable digital lens cameras exceeds the dynamic range of most light emitting displays.

It isn't much different from the film era, when most negatives had a wider dynamic range than most photographic papers used to print photos. It's the entire reason Ansel Adams developed his Zone System - to fit the details from areas in the brighter and darker extremes that his negatives could record onto papers that were less capable.

Digital cameras do the same thing with their built-in JPEG engines. We do the same thing when we develop raw files after the fact. You can never really display all of the information recorded and contained in a raw file on a screen at once.

Most standard sRGB monitors are capable of displaying about 7-8 stops of dynamic range. Most reasonably current interchangeable lens cameras with sensors larger than about micro Four-Thirds are capable of around 12-14 stops of dynamic range.

So called "HDR" monitors currently on the consumer market can display up to around 10 stops of dynamic range. In the context of still cameras, any camera can be an "HDR" camera simply by taking multiple images at bracketed exposures and combining the results. So called "HDR" cameras are a video thing, and thus are off topic here. But basically they have sensors that are not much, if any, different than still image cameras. They use different, more computationally intense processing methods than what most still cameras do on a single exposed frame to flatten the distance between the brightest and darkest information collected by the sensor and then apply more advanced tone-mapping techniques to increase local contrast so that the result doesn't look flat.


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