Out with the old, in with the new (studio shot)

The publication of today's Panasonic Lumix GF1 review sees the first use of our new, improved fixed studio shot, one of the cornerstones of a review format that, though always developing, has remained essentially unchanged for over a decade.

The new studio setup (only the third major change since 2000) has been designed to address several issues; the increasing resolving power of modern digital SLRs (requiring finer details across the frame), the need to consistently compare the effect of each camera's noise reduction system on low contrast detail and the desire to improve consistency of framing (which will allow to to introduce new review features in the future).

The new studio setup may look like the aftermath of a party in toy town, but it has been carefully (and painstakingly) constructed to provide the maximum information in a single shot (something increasingly important for our compact camera group tests, for example). The scene is now full of texture, fine detail and tough subjects such as fur and feathers.

Key features:

  • Absolutely consistent framing and perfect alignment from shot to shot
  • Integrated focus targets and scales to ensure total consistency of focus
  • Wide range of high and low contrast fine detail
  • Challenging textures (such as fur and feathers)
  • A wider range of colors (including a full Kodak Q60 chart)
  • Everything of importance is now in the same plane of focus, reducing depth of field issues
  • Shadow areas for assessment of noise and noise reduction
  • Several elements from the last studio setup (used since 2005) have been retained at exactly the same scale, allowing as much backward compatibility as possible (you can still compare elements of the scene to older cameras).

We will be building a library of shots of the new studio scene using previously reviewed SLRs (and re-shooting any compacts as needed), so keep an eye out in future reviews.

Dpreview.com studio shot evolution

2000 2001
2002 2003
2005 2009

Simon Joinson