While searching for a good scanner especially for excellent photo results, you may have heard the terms Dmax, Dmin, or dynamic range.
Here in this article, we will discuss what is Dmax and Dmin and why they should be considered well before buying a scanner, especially for photographs.
What is Dynamic Range?
Your search for what is Dmax and Dmin must have certainly led you to a term called dynamic range.
You might have heard that a better dynamic range means better photographic results in a digital camera or a scanner.
Actually on the very basic level both a digital camera and a scanner work alike. Both are used to capture the illuminated image, mostly through CCD sensors and convert the details recorded as digital data.
The dynamic range of a camera or scanner is its ability to capture details in pure black and white.
Dynamic range is the difference between Dmax and Dmin.
For the ultimate dynamic range, only Drum scanners take the lead and can offer a dynamic range of 3.2 to 3.8. With this dynamic range, they can capture detail in both deep shadows and bright highlights.
They can also capture subtle differences in shading, but they are very expensive and only suit professionals who need high-end scanning results for digital prints.
Dmax or Dmin values can help us to determine the dynamic range of a scanner, but only bit depth and dynamic range are not enough.
For capturing more detail out of an image, we also need high-quality, low noise CCD sensors and electronics. These cannot be possible with the recent trend of inexpensive scanners.
So, despite the manufacturer’s claims, if you are buying an inexpensive device, don’t assume it will offer the dynamic range of an expensive scanner at this price.
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