Dataform readers and methods provide operation with a sequence of overlapping exposure periods for successive lines of sensor elements of an array. Also, the exposure periods for successive lines of sensor elements, or successive subsets of lines, can be independently determined. In operation of a dataform reader illumination of a target area is turned on before exposure of the first line of sensor elements, each line of sensor elements is exposed by reflected illumination in an exposure period which overlaps with the exposure period of one or more other lines, and illumination is then turned off. Using a CMOS construction, for example, the level of image signals read from one line of sensor elements is referred to a look-up table to determine an appropriate exposure period for a subsequent line or lines of elements of an array. This process is repeated to achieve exposure periods adjusted for localized exposure conditions for each successive line or subset of lines of sensor elements.