One of my favorite technical exercises with film photography was reading the film's (or paper's) gamma and replotting how certain exposure and developing systems could adjust it.
Similar control is available to digital imagers. In your camera's tech specs is the dynamic range of the sensor at different ISOs. Raw and JPEG. You may have to go onto a tech support web site (fan based or manufacturer) to get some of the info. As many variables exist in digital as in film. Just different ways to express them.
An understanding of what your camera equipment is doing is essential to being after craft the specifics of your photographic vision. Thankfully, today's processes make it pretty easy to accomplish this.
Here are some nice resources: