What is dynamic range?

Cameras with high dynamic range are essential in capturing the intricate details in a specimen, both in the bright and dark areas. With low dynamic range cameras, the details in the bright and dark areas are often lost and everything brighter than a critical level is shown as white. This can result in a lack of realism in the final image. For example, when capturing whole mounts of insects, which often have both bright and dark parts, it is important to have a camera with high dynamic range to accurately reproduce the specimen.

While single lens reflex (SLR) cameras are often known for their high dynamic range, they can be expensive. Cheaper microscope cameras may also produce good results, but their limitations in capturing difficult specimens might make it necessary to invest in an SLR camera and an appropriate adapter. However, the cost of the camera and adapter should be weighed against the need for high quality images.