« on: March 28, 2012, 03:44:32 PM »
The D800's photocells look to have very similar DR to the 5D3's, but the D800 has packed them more densely, and DR improves when reducing resolution, so the D800's advantage in MP will be felt in the noise performance of an uncropped but reduced resolution output. So if you are delivering 8MP JPEGs from RAW originals with the same per-pixel DR, the 36MP original will have better delivered performance than the 22MP one. At least that is how I understand the theory there.
I know it's an apples to oranges comparison, but does this mean that the D800's DR advantage is most obvious when its resolution is reduced to the same level as the 5DIII? I can see why you'd downsize the resolution if you're DxO to level the playing field with sensors of different resolutions, but I can't see doing this in real life. A massive part of the D800's appeal is its resolution and DR, so I can't see why you'd pay for a 36 megapixel sensor only to throw those pixels away.
I've tried to comprehend the DxOMark test standards the best I can, but apparently I'm not the smartest person out there. When I think about the practical advantages of greater DR, I envision that it would enable me to recover burned out highlights, or pull out more shadow detail, out of a high-contrast scene.
For instance, I have no idea how many stops of DR is captured in this image. What I'd like to know is if having 14.4 stops of DR instead of 11.9 would allow me to pull more shadow detail out of the wheels, body panels, and asphalt on the shadow side of the car. I'd like to think so, since the highlights on the hood/grille compared to the wheels/asphalt seems to have maxed out the DR of the 5DC's sensor.