44 votes
Accepted

Why is it called dynamic range?

Because "dynamic range" does not refer to a range that is dynamic, but rather to a range of dynamics. For example: range of luminosities or reflectances in photography, or a range of ...
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  • 2,728
30 votes

Lighting up a subject during sunset without a flash?

That's a nice silhouette! You're running into the same problem that anyone runs into when photographing a very backlit subject: a lot of light is coming from the background and creating a drastic ...
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  • 20.3k
27 votes
Accepted

How does the GoPro achieve such high dynamic range?

Such a thing is seemingly impossible with a traditional camera. I disagree with the premise of your question. People take well-exposed photos that include the sun with DSLR's all the time. If you're ...
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21 votes
Accepted

How do the 11+ stops of dynamic range from a modern DSLR fit into the 10 stops of the zone system?

That description only represents the "base setting", or "N" exposure, of the Zone System. The idea that the Zone System revolves around 10 exposure steps is a vast oversimplification. There are, ...
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  • 226
20 votes
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What are the technical difficulties behind building a sensor with high dynamic range like the human eye?

There are already camera's with DR larger than the human eye, both instantly and overall. The human eye's dynamic range is not as large as most people tend to think it is. As I recall, it is ...
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  • 34.4k
19 votes

How to photograph a lightbulb?

In the immortal words of the late National Geographic photo editor Bob Gilka, "Kid, if you want to be a better photographer, you're going to have to stand in front of more interesting stuff." That ...
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  • 1,216
19 votes
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Why don't cameras record light data throughout the entire shutter?

It's been done in X-rays. The TimePix is a 256x256 detector. It has three operating modes: the usual "total energy in this pixel since we started integrating"; Time-over-Threshold (TOT): the ...
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18 votes

Why don't cameras record light data throughout the entire shutter?

You are missing some obvious problems with this idea. You want to "continously" capture the light data, but that's already being done. Apparently you mean to have a series of images available after ...
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18 votes
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What are physical causes of clipping?

What exactly limits modern digital camera sensors in capturing light intensity beyond certain point? In terms of the physical properties of the sensor itself: The number of photon strikes and the ...
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  • 168k
17 votes
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Sunny day in the shade - how to deal with white balance and exposure settings?

This is the situation when you use fill-flash. Contrary to common belief, flash is NOT to be used in darkness. In darkness flash lights up the foreground and leaves background pitch black. Flash is ...
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  • 2,040
16 votes
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How can I maintain brightness in a landscape without overexposing the sky?

How can I make my shots look like this one? I added an emphasis to the question you asked, which is pretty much the answer: You make an image like that. There's no way your camera will produce an ...
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  • 8,334
15 votes

How do the 11+ stops of dynamic range from a modern DSLR fit into the 10 stops of the zone system?

The particulars will be different due to the increased capacity of modern cameras and typical display devices (A good LCD monitor has a slightly wider dynamic range than the photo papers Adams used ...
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  • 168k
13 votes
Accepted

Why don't cameras show an "accurate" histogram?

Why don't cameras show a histogram based on the RAW data rather than on the JPG preview? My notion is this: Because it would not be useful, because raw images don't yet have white balance in them, ...
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  • 12.5k
12 votes

Do RAW files really allow more RAW dynamic range than shooting in JPG?

Yes, the evidence that this is a fact is that RAW images are used to make the JPEGs. It isn't possible for a JPEG to have a wider range than a RAW image because the RAW image is the actual sensor ...
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  • 34.4k
12 votes

Lighting up a subject during sunset without a flash?

Changing the exposure compensation or using manual exposure can brighten your subject, but it will also make the sky brighter. Too bright to see the effect of the sunset. You can't change the laws ...
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  • 11.4k
11 votes

If, brightness → dynamic range... white balance → what?

The phenomenon you describe is called color constancy, and it is enabled partially by the human vision system's chromatic adaptation and partially by something I will describe using the scientific ...
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  • 140k
11 votes

Why don't cameras record light data throughout the entire shutter?

You suggest "Or every time a photon hits a pixel on the sensor give it a timestamp" — this would be a huge amount of data. A quick search suggests that each pixel — or sensel — in a digital camera ...
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  • 140k
10 votes

What are the technical difficulties behind building a sensor with high dynamic range like the human eye?

Seeing is an active process A big issue is that looking with your eyes is very unlike capturing an image - an image needs to include all information that the looker might look at, but normal vision ...
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  • 200
10 votes
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What are the dynamic ranges of commonly available 35mm film?

Summary: not that good... much less than you expect. One of the best sources of technical articles on the topic are from Clarkvision.com in my opinion, he supports his statements with math and ...
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  • 1,120
10 votes

When is it better to use HDR rather than just pulling extremes from a RAW file?

It is appropriate in situations where you can't capture the dynamic range in one shot and in situations where lifting the shadows would reveal too much noise. Certain landscape shots and night time ...
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  • 5,105
10 votes

When is it better to use HDR rather than just pulling extremes from a RAW file?

The short answer is: When the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the dynamic range you can capture in one shot with raw. A somewhat longer answer is that is that there are complicating factors, for ...
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  • 2,288
10 votes
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Why are my sunsets not turning out well?

There is no problem with this photograph, there is a 'problem' with the scene. There is a lot of dust in the air. The dust in the air scatters light around, therefore you 'lose' light from the ...
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  • 1,472
9 votes
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How many stops are there between middle gray and white point?

IntroBased on your questions, I get the impression that you miss one important point, and that is the difference between: light perception in the real world, light perception in the world as humans ...
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  • 839
9 votes
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Is there a camera which can capture all shades from dark foreground to bright background?

The problem you are experiencing is the lack of dynamic range (the ability to represent different levels of brightness) in you photo. The first step to increase the dynamic range is to set the camera ...
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  • 8,138
9 votes

Why don't digital cameras have better dynamic ranges?

ISO usually is analog amplification, not digital. It is a multiplication factor applied to all sensor data equally. Imagine you shoot a photo at ISO 100. You get values from 1 to 150. Fine, lets up ...
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  • 6,770
9 votes
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Why is the earth not overexposed in this star photo from the ISS?

Assuming this is a single exposure, it must have been taken on the night side of the Earth, and the impression of daylight can be caused by the moon, like in those night time photos. Taking this ISS ...
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  • 4,845
8 votes
Accepted

Which print medium has the highest dynamic range?

It is really complicated because you need to compare brands and systems with the same reference image. This will be an answer just based on my little experience. Paper In general terms the paper must ...
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  • 20.7k
8 votes

Why are my sunsets not turning out well?

As others have pointed out, a large part of the difference between the two is the air quality at the time the image was captured. One was taken in what appears to be fairly clear, dry air. The other ...
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