Here is one of the best articles I've ever read about digital photography, or photography of any sort, for that matter. A quote from the start:
To begin with, let's dispel the notion that a camera records what the eye can see. It does not and it cannot because a camera functions nothing like the eye. [...] Your brain infers information largely by generalizing from what it has encountered before. In doing this the eye and brain have to handle contrasts of light that exceed one million to one.
And author Charles Maurer goes on from there, explaining why, up to the advent of digital photography (or at least digital photo manipulation), painting was actually a better way of capturing the world than cameras were.