Article | December 4, 2017

Understanding A Camera's Dynamic Range

Source: PCO-TECH Inc.

The “intra-scene dynamic” of a camera system is its ability to measure and distinguish different levels of light. Most camera manufacturers refer to the term as dynamic or dynamic range in their technical data sheets. In addition, the dynamic range in photography is equivalent to the contrast range. Since many camera manufacturers define dynamic range from a different point of view, a distinction should be made between the “dynamic range of an sCMOS, CMOS or CCD image sensor”, “dynamic range of an analog-to-digital-conversion”, “usable dynamic range,” and “maximum dynamic range or SNR”. This article defines the different points of view for the dynamic range of camera systems and discusses when each term should be used.