DxO Sensor Measurement and what it means to you and me...

Started Mar 11, 2010 | Discussions thread
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DirkShort New Member • Posts: 19
DxO Sensor Measurement and what it means to you and me...

Luminous Landscape make the following statement regarding DxOMark Sensor measurement:

"DxOMark will fill a very important role for equipment purchasers – if interpreted and used intelligently. Of course it will also provide wonderful fuel for the flamers and self-appointed pundits on web forums who will create a storm of on-going rancorous debate based on these results. (As for me, I'm heading for the hurricane shelter)". And boy o boy, has it released a hurricane.

If you don't know by now, DxO Labs have created a scientific benchmark for measuring a digital camera's sensor capability. In a nutshell, they measure 3 important sensor characteristics in a lab controlled environment: Colour Depth, Dynamic Range, and Low-light ISO. Results for these 3 characteristics are aggregated and each camera is given a score / ranking on the DxOMark. Read more on DxO Labs web site: http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/DxOMark-Sensor/Camera-rankings .

Yes, we've heard all the arguments that the lens is more important etc. but that is silly reasoning. At the end of the day light travels through a lens, is focused onto a sensor, and the sensors' ability to capture colour depth and dynamic range in varying light conditions determines what is passed on to the cameras processing and is eventually written to memory. That my dear friends (if I'm not mistaken), means that most of the stuff happening between a lens and the camera's CPU happens on the sensor.

2 Days ago, the Pentax K-x results were posted on DxO Labs' site, and it scored a ranking of 19th. Many respectable Editorial reviews rated the K-x fairly prior to this, remarking on it's exceptional low-light capabilities and good image quality. What is astounding, is that this $600 DSLR camera outperforms hardware in the mid and pro categories costing 5 x its price. Results of the Nikon D90 and D5000 are ranked 17 and 18 respectively - all 3 models have the same Sony sensor. Watch this space: Sony are also about to release the most powerful low-light ISO performing mini sensor ever seen into the small digital camera (point-and-shoot etc) market.

Back to DxO. We can shout, kick, jump up and down - but nothing will change the fact that one cant argue with science. Already, a significant number of Editorial review sites are collaborating and supporting DxO results. And what about Canon? Well results are a mixed bag I am afraid. Go and see for yourself.

Nikon cameras seem to fly the flag right now (carrying Sony's very good sensors), with Pentax' little K-x upstart right in the mix of things...

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