Dynamic Range is extremely important for me and it should be taken into account before buying a new camera.
The ability to capture the maximum information in the highlights and shadows is how I would picture Dynamic Range (DR) in simple words. This is important because modern cameras with their sophisticated sensors are able to capture a huge amount of information, specially when you shoot in Raw. The Nikon D750 is for sure one of the best in this area and makes bracketing or HDR almost redundant.
To illustrate a bit better what good and bad DR actually is, it is always helpful to choose extremes. So I compared my Nikon D750 to an iPhone 6. Note, this is not about picture quality or sharpness. Of course not, this is just a reminder that you should look close at DR results in camera reviews. The Canon D6 for example (brilliant in low-light) which I tested a while ago was hopeless when it came to shadow and highlight recovery.
In this 100% crop it becomes pretty clear that the iPhone is struggling to capture any information in the extreme highlights. It is also challenging for the D750 but it performs much better.
Here everything falls apart on the iPhone sample. The little information in the shadows are ruptured while the Nikon remains unimpressed by this demanding light situation.
I also processed pictures of real competitors like the Canon 5D Mark III and 6D and was baffled about the noise and little detail in the shadows when pushing it.
It really makes a difference because the more DR you have, the more you can play in processing. There is no need to fill your hard drives with triple HDR exposures or more when using a good DR performer. The iPhone impressed me a lot. Although not the newest generation, this pitiful jpeg machine vs. the Raw power of a Nikon D750, which is a benchmark in DR, shows that cellphones are by far no toys anymore. But they can not replace a professional camera when it comes to ultimate quality, if you want to print large posters or in astro photography for example. Not yet…
Here is a shot that I’ve captured with an iPhone 4! And with more than 429000 views It is one of my most successful images ever on flickr
A little sneak preview about the upcoming topics:
- 18hrs Dolomites
- How I saved a destroyed Monster image
- Best JPEG compression
- Nikon vs Canon
- Lightroom & Photoshop
- The Power of Luminance Masks
– Luminance sharpening
– Luminance highlights
– Luminance colors
- Lets talk about taste
- HDR Obsolete – but if, do it right
- Astro Stacking
- Vixen Polarie
- Common Mistakes