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:
+color fidelity and color vibrance
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:
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:
Fuji S5 Pro
Fuji S3 Pro
(supporting info to be added)
Relatively compact fixed-lens cameras:
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:
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.