Originally Posted by Lee Stewart
Hi Mr D
What parameters determine the dynamic range?
What the original camera captures. With film negative its about 10 stops of dynamic range depending on scene lighting conditions. With digital on paper its the same or more but in reality digital systems capture more detail towards black than film manages and less detail towards white. This usually means that the actual latitude that film captures is a bit more useful than the range captured by digital cameras so film generally stilll has better dynamiuc range for producing imagery that is pleasing for a human visual system. Alexa gets closer than most if you ask me and I just shot with F65 so will be interested in how that goes; I detest RED.
How sensitive the scanner is and how well densitometered the film is ( its pretty much transparent in terms of dynamic range with a modern film scaner ( modern meaning the last 20 years).
The container for the resulting image film : 10bitlog dpx files are usually "transparent " enough for most capture mediums currently in use ; although there is a school of though that says the only reason we get away with 10bit is down to the film grain mitigating against the mach threshold (banding). The more bits you have tyhe more dynamic range you can encode without introducing banding.
For example. You take an image with 10 stops and encode it at 10bit log or 16bit linear chances are you will not have any obvious banding.
Take the same image and encode it with fewer bits and although you have the same dynamic rane you have don't have enough precision to encode it without banding ; so to mitigate against banding you have to throw out some of the dynamic range. Video gets compromised on almost a shot by shot basis ; the dynamic range depicted varies a huge amount , with film or DCP the depicted dynamic range is much more consistent.
Some shots on video have to have crushed blacks or clipped whites or even both. The fluctuation lends video one if its tell tale looks . Visually it seems to lack solidity anf consistency compared with film or larger dynamic range formats.
Video is mostly midtones with a little bit of blacks and whites detail.
Dynamic range is a question of how much you can crowbar in to a container of a given precision without inducing visible banding.
Noise filtering can help but its a fudge at the end of the day.