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The DSLR Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Real World Dynamic Range

Despite often receiving requests from the photographic press and other reviewers, camera manufacturers rarely release dynamic range figures, primarily because it’s very hard to create any really meaningful measuring test as there are so many factors that come into play.

One way to appreciate this is to make your own dynamic range test, as shown here. Typically, there are just-measurable, but visually insignificant differences at the shadow end of the scale.

When shooting, pay particular attention to the histogram display and to any available warning displays for clipped highlights. As long as the histogram fits comfortably within its left-to-right scale, you will have an average-to-low contrast image that can always be ...

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