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  #1  
Old February 3rd, 2009, 01:51 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default DXO Expands coverage to MF Digital Cameras!

Good news! You don't need to feel wasteful having purchased your MF camera and lenses for $45,000 and discovered Frank Doorhoff's marvelous pictures of Corine with a ~$400 year old G9 digicam that just goes to f8 and has slow focus and worse in dim light!

So how can one get a handle on where the richness of the MF digital realm resides? Besides the natural praise from devotees who already spent their money, how objective can we approach evaluation of these professional systems? We must always try to protect ourselves from hype. So here comes a useful tool, perhaps, the DXO mark data base.

Latest dxomark.com updates include RAW sensor rankings for the first set of medium-format cameras

DxO Labs adds measurements on Hasselblad H3DII, Leaf Aptus 75s, Mamiya ZD, and Phase One P45+ to its RAW-based Image Quality Database; photographers can now use DxOMark Sensor metrics to easily compare medium-format and DSLR sensor performance
Paris, France - February 3, 2009 - DxO Labs announces today the addition of RAW-based image quality data and DxOMark Sensor rankings on its popular www.dxomark.com website for an initial set of high-end professional medium-format cameras: the Hasselblad H3DII-39, the Leaf Aptus 75s, the Mamiya ZD, and the Phase One P45+.
Photo enthusiasts, professional photographers, and the media now have a valuable tool with which to compare the RAW sensor performance of these medium-format cameras with high-end, high-resolution DSLRs. How is it possible to make valid comparisons between cameras with widely disparate sensor sizes? It's possible by reviewing the cameras' rankings for each of the three separate metrics that make up the DxOMark Sensor scale (Color Depth, Dynamic Range, and Low-Light ISO).
For example, if medium-format cameras do not receive top marks on the overall DxOMark Sensor scale because of their inherent Low-Light ISO limitations, DxO Labs has found these models' Color Depth and Dynamic Range performance to be very striking when compared to high-end DSLRs. Also, despite the clear challenge from DSLRs across all DxOMark sensor metrics, medium-format cameras still lead the way for large-print photography because of their very high resolution performance capability.
Although dxomark.com data is only one of many criteria to consider when choosing a camera, a digital camera's RAW sensor performance lies at the heart and soul of its capacity to produce professional-quality images and prints.
"Adding our measurements on this first set of medium-format cameras to our database demonstrates our commitment to our goal of building the most comprehensive database of RAW image information available," said Nicolas Touchard, Vice President of Marketing, DxO Labs Image Quality Evaluation. "We want to give professionals and expert amateur photographers the highest level of RAW image data possible through our dxomark.com website."


Question: So what do you think? Is the DXO mark helpful to you?

Asher
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  #2  
Old February 4th, 2009, 08:31 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Hi Asher,

I am sure you must have read it already but there is a related new article by Michael Reichmann which is very interesting. I recommend it strongly.

PS: This article is the part two of a series, the first part is about quality vs value.


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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Hi Asher,

I am sure you must have read it already but there is a related new article by Michael Reichmann which is very interesting. I recommend it strongly.
Agreed, its a good read and says something important about the numbers we are supposed to take as word of god (or dog if you prefer).

This kind of reminds me of color management. Looking at two solid colors and wanting to adjust say a display so they match (calibration) or decide how different they are, you need to measure them with an instrument. The human visional system is too easily fooled here. Looking at millions of said pixels in context to form an image, then deciding if that image is too warm or cool, sharp or blurry, an instrument and numbers can't help us. We need to see all the "numbers" in context. Numbers are useful. And sometimes they are not.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:47 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Rodney View Post
...This kind of reminds me of color management. Looking at two solid colors and wanting to adjust say a display so they match (calibration) or decide how different they are, you need to measure them with an instrument. The human visional system is too easily fooled here. Looking at millions of said pixels in context to form an image, then deciding if that image is too warm or cool, sharp or blurry, an instrument and numbers can't help us. We need to see all the "numbers" in context. Numbers are useful. And sometimes they are not.
Exactly. Maybe we should say: one cannot see the picture for the pixels.

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  #5  
Old February 4th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default DXO Mark is still valid and the Emperor is not naked, just the wind is blowing!

[QUOTE=Cem_Usakligil;69045]Hi Asher,

I am sure you must have read it already but there is a related new article by Michael Reichmann which is very interesting. I recommend it strongly.

PS: This article is the part two of a series, the first part is about quality vs value./QUOTE]
Cem,

It's hilarious and ironic to see a paid advertisement for DXO right in the center of Michael's article illuminating the triviality of DXO mark in it's present form and usage.

He's probably correct that various forum-mongers are using DXO as some simple indicator of prestigious quality ranking. However, that's right now. DXO mark has only just been introduced. I think it will be updated and evolve and we'll look within a category, like "point and shoot" or "full frame 21-24MP DSLRS" to avoid the issues he refers to.

As it is, look at the figures for Fuji DSLR's and see the valuable dynamic range to be exploited. If one is going to use this resource sensibly it's fine. Michael talks about comparing baked and unbaked pies as far as taking into account noise reduction in the camera. Well, thanks! This point will be taken by DXO and they will no doubt work to cover this shortcoming.

Consider that we need as much objective analysis as possible to not only spend our money wisely but also to use our cameras within optimal ranges of settings. Take the modest G10, for example. Looking at the data for dynamic range and noise, one can see that this camera should be used whenever possible at ISO 85 or thereabouts. Such a simple check and a lot of one's images are improved.

So while I admire Michael again for pointing out important drawbacks to DXO, the Emperor is not walking naked. DXO is a fine product and like any other new technology has to be used intelligently. Michael's points of concern being taken into account, DXO is even more valuable, to me at least as we can avoid areas where it is likely utterly confusing.

So my vote is still for DXO!

Asher
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