The best dynamic-range cameras, updated for 2013

NOTE: this is a rough-draft and as such it is meant to be updated, please view these findings as preliminary and in progress. Thanks!

As photography enthusiasts are well aware,  there are a number of image-quality criteria that are important when choosing a camera:
+lens/optical quality
+color fidelity and color vibrance
+dynamic range

I will save the first two for later, but today I did want to briefly discuss dynamic-range and start compiling a list of the best d-range cameras:

Dynamic Range Definition

From a photographic sense, in layperson terms, one could describe dynamic range as a measurement of how well dark/shadows, bright/highlights are captured by a camera.

If you desire more technical definitions, here are some:

Dynamic range - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dynamic range – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range#PhotographyDynamic range, abbreviated DR or DNR,[1] is the ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity, such as in sound and light. It is measured as a…

Understanding Dynamic Range in Digital Photography

Understanding Dynamic Range in Digital Photographyhttp://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dynamic-range.htmDynamic range in photography describes the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities (white and black, respectively). In the real world, one never…

PS I highly recommend perusing the 2nd link above as it has some excellent information about dynamic-range in a variety of devices used in the photographic digital process (camera -> display device -> printer)

The Best D-Range Cameras:

DSLRs:

Fuji S5 Pro
Fuji S3 Pro
Nikon D7000
Pentax K-5
(supporting info to be added)

Relatively compact fixed-lens cameras:
Sony DSC-RX1

Sony DSC-RX1/B Cyber-shot Full-frame Digital Camera

Sony DSC-RX1/B Cyber-shot Full-frame Digital Camerahttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B0097CXFCCBright F2.0 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T lens with macro compability
World’s first fixed lens 35mm digital camera – it’s small
Full frame 24MP resolution with 14-bit RAW output
Accurate high speed auto focus (AF)

Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras:
Sony NEX-7

 

A Few Notes on Film vs. Digital for Dynamic Range

From my personal experience and reading on the topic: film cameras traditionally did very well with highlights, perhaps not quite as well in the shadows. Digital cameras initially did poorly in both categories, but today shadow detail retention can be quite good. Highlights are still more of an issue for digital IMHO.

More info:

Film vs. Digital

Film vs. Digitalhttp://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filmdig.htmFilm and digital capture are completely different media. They are used for similar purposes, but they themselves are completely unrelated to each other. I’d have an easier time…

Digital versus film photography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Digital versus film photography – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_versus_film_photography#Dynamic_rangeDigital versus film photography has been debated since the 20th century when digital cameras were invented. Both digital and film photography have advantages and drawbacks.[1][2]…

dynamic range in film vs digital

dynamic range in film vs digitalhttp://photocamel.com/forum/film-camera-forum/75193-dynamic-range-film-vs-digital.htmlI have read in several places online that film generally has better dynamic range that digital, so I recently compared pictures taken with my Nikon D50 and old Ricoh kr-10 super,…

P1010169-dynamic-range

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