Initial testing shows Canon’s new 32.5mp APS-C sensor improves dynamic range over predecessor


Feb 14, 2018
I suppose that one could design a non linear ADC, but most designs are ladder style. Going non linear would be a lot more complex and would (presumably) be slower and take more power to run.

Besides, sensors are linear, and the number of bits required to sample the results depends on the full well capacity of the sensor. To gain an extra bit, you need twice the well depth, and Sony (or Canon) don’t have that.
Maybe this explains it, if they use downscaled 8mp images for DR comparison. Basically that implies the sensor is still the same with linear 14-bit ADC.

Still I don't get how even downscaling can pump the DR above the theoretical limit of 14 stops.


Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
Well, it's a matter of personal preference I guess. I'm just not a fan of how mushy it makes images look. I'd rather keep the detail, even if it means accepting the noise.
Noise reduction can be achieved with very little loss of detail, and certainly without making images mushy, if done correctly, and software such as Noise Ninja and DxO PRIME are particularly good.
  • Like
Reactions: pj1974 and Quirkz


CR Pro
Oct 30, 2014
It's known that the last brightest stop of an image is represented by 1/2 of all brightness levels available. So if we compress say 2 stops into the same amount of levels, the quality won't be worse than it is in midtones.

But I don't know whether Sony really uses a non-linear ADC. I'm just trying to figure out how they managed to squeeze 15 stops of DR into 14-bit ADC.
Fair point - but that’s why we get such great highlight recovery at the moment. And as someone else pointed out, it only applies if the full well capacity is a number higher than what can be represented in 14 bits. And if your exposure can even fill it. Maybe they’ve improved the sensor quantum efficiency as well. Maybe it’s just marketing. We’ll find out soon, I’m sure!


Grab your camera, go out and shoot!
Feb 12, 2014
Frankfurt, Germany
Presumably, therefore, if you live up to the spirit of your quotes, all your images are soft?
Sorry for the late reply. Well, sometimes, if I prefer an interesting looking artistic approach (mostly with film and vintage cameras), I go for soft images. I also sometimes love accidents in film development. But be warned, like Henry Cartier Bresson I moved from painting (in fact, drawing in my case) to photography, and with an artist's eye, you see the world sometimes in a different way.

That said, I also love tack sharp images, if sharpness is an essential part of the composition, e.g when I go birding... ;)


Garfield is back...
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
Presumably, therefore, if you live up to the spirit of your quotes, all your images are soft?
Anybody that has seen an actual print exhibition of Steve McCurry's best work will attest to the fact that focus is far and away not the most important aspect of a compelling image in some photography disciplines, in others it is the be all and end all. When a picture editor has thousands of images off a species of bird to choose from the best focus is as important as the pose and light.