pwm2 wrote in post #17173216
The debate about more DR was almost zero when the 5D2 was new. Anyone pointing at the performance got a "are you stupid" message from just about everyone. Now, it seems to be the reverse. A huge amount of people demands more. But I don't think that a large percent of POTN members have suddenly changed their photography style in a way that actuall makes 14 stops of DR as important as the debates seems to indicate.
Well if Sony/Nikon didn't have a sensor that could get a bit more out of the bottom end, coupled with a big move in the megapixel war, remember that? We would not be having this argument, at least not on a Canon centric bulletin board. The odd thing is that because of my personal situation I have only very recently moved from a 12 bit sensor to a 14 bit one. I really did not think that it would make a huge amount of difference.
Actually it is taking me a lot longer to get ontop of how to work with my new 50D than it did with going from my 300D to the 20D, that change was pretty uneventful, sensor performance was actually very close, at least as far as working out the optimum exposure levels, mated with my RAW processing. I'm still not really confident with just where to put the exposure in my attempts to ETTR as far to the right as possible. I think this could also be in part thanks to using a cheap lens a lot of the time. Most of the time 12 stops of DR is plenty, actually 10 or 11 would probably be OK much of the time.
It has only been a couple of times where conditions have been particularly difficult, the scene has contained about 16 stops of DR, possibly more. If you take a very thin layer of cloud, back light it with the sun, so that it is still bright enough that shadows are cast on the ground, and try to shoot an aircraft against that. You are not getting good detail in the underside of the aircraft. this is especially true if you expose for the shadows. I am using a cheap lens (Sigma 28-300mm) and the flare and blooming effects that I see on the sensor make it completely unusable.
This is a subject with the same level of illumination falling on it, and where I do not mind too much that I clip the sky detail. Changing the camera orientation by 90 degrees results in a three stop change in the background brightness. That moves the shot from being just about perfectly ETTR to one where the sensor seems overwhelmed with light.
It is only when in this situation that I really want all of the extra DR on the sensor that I can get. When you can no longer slide the "exposure window" to where you really want it, because the rest of the sensor can't handle the light levels.