The First Digital Camera Benchmark Based On RAW Image Quality
“There are many valuable resources reviewing the image quality of digital cameras, but none of them consider the actual RAW signal straight from the camera sensor,” explains Nicolas Touchard, Vice President of Marketing, DxO Labs Image Quality Evaluation business. “Demanding photographers who shoot in RAW should only care about the genuine quality of the RAW image, yet until now they have had to rely on measures based on converted RAW images, obviously biased by the processing applied to them, whether embedded or performed offline with a software RAW converter. Furthermore, as RAW converters evolve and improve, the latent potential of RAW images can only be gauged by analyzing the RAW images themselves, projecting the potential quality achievable with the ultimate RAW converter. This is why we believe that our approach will dramatically change the way photographers evaluate digital cameras.”
dxomark.com provides in-depth measurements of all the relevant characteristics of a sensor: actual ISO sensitivity (which generally differs from the value reported by the camera), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), dynamic range, tonal range, color depth and sensitivity, metamerism, etc. dxomark.com already covers 50 popular cameras, including Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLRs) and high-end bridge cameras offering RAW image format. The site will be updated on a regular basis with new cameras.
dxomark.com RAW image quality database relies on DxO Analyzer, the world’s leading turn-key laboratory solution for image quality evaluation. Thanks to its accuracy, completeness, and reliability, DxO Analyzer has become the reference tool for numerous leading imaging industry players, photography magazines and websites.
DxOMark Sensor aggregates dxomark.com’s large and complex set of measures into a simple scale, allowing for easy comparison between camera performances. The DxOMark Sensor scale is designed to map to real world photographic scenarios such as portrait, landscape and action photography, ensuring that the scale is relevant to photographers.
DxOMark Sensor is naturally an open scale, as it will need to cope with performance improvements driven by the evolution of sensor technologies.
To help understand the ramifications of such a new tool, and to assist those who want to take advantage of the RAW image quality database, dxomark.com features a number of technical papers, collectively referred to as “Insights,” written by DxO Labs scientists. These technical articles aim in particular to give an original perspective on the technology challenges faced by the imaging industry.
Early Insights include a paper on how pixel count impacts noise, providing an unexpected yet well-supported contribution to this controversial topic, along with an analysis of the evolution of camera sensor performance over the past few years.
The Insights section will be updated on a regular basis with more technical papers.
Accessible for free to visitors, dxomark.com has in fact been designed to serve the imaging community, and more precisely the photo press. Photography journalists and experts can now complement their analyses and reviews with an evaluation of the intrinsic performance of cameras, regardless of optics or processing considerations.