Welcome to the Studio Test Scene
We've worked hard over the last few months to develop a new test scene and a protocol for shooting it and processing the results. The underlying idea is to give a clearer idea of how a camera will perform in the real world - not just an idealized setting.
To achieve this, we've developed a scene that includes a variety of samples of fine detail, low-contrast textures and colored tones that should help you assess what a camera's output will look like. The new scene is shot in both good light and low light modes (explained below), which are designed to be visually distinct. As before, all images in the test scene are downloadable and shooting information (including the lens used) is available by clicking the [i] button under each sample.
In addition to a new lighting mode we have also included the option to 'normalize' the scene to a standard print size and social media size.
|On the top right of the new scene widget you can select from 'Daylight' and 'Low-light' modes as well as normalize the images to standard print and social media sizes.|
The scene is shot so that the brightness of the scene is consistent, between JPEGs (since we believe most people aim for a particular brightness when shooting). Any difference in shutter speeds used is displayed in the settings information. Note that at the very highest ISOs, it is sometimes necessary to reduce the light level to prevent over-exposure.
What’s the deal with this low-light mode?
In addition to replacing our studio test scene we've also added a few new features that give a more complete view of what a camera is capable of in different lighting situations. Of course we still present our daylight scene that uses daylight-balance lighting (CRI 95) to represent a lighting condition that you might encounter outside on a typical day. In addition, we've also added a new ‘low light’ mode that replicates a lighting situation you are likely to encounter in a home or dimly lit bar. This ‘stress test’ is designed to push the camera to its limits and show off noise that would otherwise be masked by the abundant light in our ‘daylight’ scene.
|The light source used in this low-light mode is a single standard household tungsten bulb placed just to the right of the scene providing 3EV of light at the center.|
The extreme angle of the light source to the scene creates a distinct fall off of brightness that creates 2 separate areas of light, a highlight area and a shadowed area. As you may have noticed the scene is roughly diagonally symmetrical, providing similar objects in different light levels in a single image.
How are the low-light images shot?
In our comparison widget we present the low-light setting in JPEG as well as Raw where available. In JPEG mode, the images are presented straight from the camera. Unlike the daylight scene, the low-light scene is shot in AWB (Auto White Balance) and any option to preserve scene 'warmth' is left at its default setting, to give a realistic impression of the camera's output in the real world.
The Raw files are adjusted with a standardized processing method to reveal characteristics which would otherwise be hidden. The brightness of the Raw file is matched to that of the JPEG but here white balance is neutralized and noise reduction is minimized, to show blue-channel noise or banding. For the same reason, the black level is increased to 100 and the white level increased to 20, to brighten detail in the shadow regions while retaining a similar amount of tonal detail in the highlights. As with the daylight scene, sharpening is minimized and a standard amount applied in Photoshop.
What was wrong with the old scene?
The existing test scene, which dates back to October 2009 (and has only allowed user-selectable comparisons since June 2010), has served us well but has presented an increasing number of problems in recent years - most of which stem from it being too small.
|The old test scene dates back to 2009 and has only been directly comparable since mid 2010. This scene had evolved bit-by-bit since 2000.|
The small size of the scene meant that some cameras, particularly those with fixed normal and wide-angle lenses, needed to be shot very close to the scene (often requiring a mini tripod to be set up inside the box it's housed in). Additionally, some modern compacts with large sensors and complex lenses looked terrible when shot at these close-quarters - meaning the scene didn't reflect their real-world behavior.
The three-dimensional nature of the old scene also meant that the scene had to be shot at very small (diffraction-limited) apertures to ensure all the key targets were acceptably sharp, yet still didn't have any corner detail within depth-of-field. These drawbacks, plus the need to revise the lighting of the scene, prompted us to move to a new scene around 7 times larger than the existing one.
|Big Steaming Pile by WhistlerOne|
from Product Shoot: Coffee
|AU4_6418_BB-35 by DaveInHouston|
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'