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Dynamic range is a measure of the range of tones the sensor can capture. Cameras with low dynamic range will often show 'blown' highlights or blocked-in shadows. This test is carried out in controlled conditions using DxO hardware and analysis tools.
Dynamic range is measured in exposure values (EV). The higher the number the wider the range of brightness levels the camera can capture. This falls off with increasing ISO settings because the camera is having to amplify a weaker signal. Raw files capture a higher dynamic range because the image data is unprocessed.
Nikon 1 J5 dynamic range
JPEG analysis: The dynamic range of all four cameras is quite close, with the Nikon 1 J5 just edging ahead of the rest right up to ISO 800. At ISO 6400 and 12800, though, it's clearly worse than the others.
Raw analysis: When the raw files are compared the Nikon 1 J5 does well again, but this time it's overshadowed by the Panasonic GM5 and its larger sensor. The Sony RX100 III's low figures are unexpected.
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Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.