Without noise, or perhaps more specifically, without enough noise, then what is described in the above is impossible. If you sample the same signal over and over and end up with the same exact result every time (i.e. a noiseless camera measuring a noiseless signal with no noise introduced by anything), then no…you would indeed be stuck with the precision of the ADC.

If you have noise, however (and according to this article, producing a standard deviation over 0.05), then you can increase dynamic range (which, again, is about discrete steps of information…same as bits…same thing in the end from a conceptual standpoint, different names.) With a standard deviation over 0.5, you can effectively increase dynamic range as much as you want.

Anyway. My last post on the subject.