New Studio Test Scene: A lost opportunity
I understand the need for a new test scene, and while certain problems have been addressed with a pull-back and flatter subject depth, the overall design is now more bland than ever.
Regarding similar complaints about the previous test target, Simon Joinson replied, "It's a test, not a work of art". Maybe so, but that's a poor attitude for a site that is otherwise thorough and meticulous with its methodology, and who serves an industry built on the artistic aspiration of enthusiasts and professionals alike. Why stoop so low on the artistic side of the equation?
Now that DPR has finally jettisoned the liquor bottles and the legacy of the past targets, this would be a perfect opportunity to have their technical staff collaborate with a good designer or stylist to make an attractive tableau that would have some inherent interest on its own, rewarding viewers with closer inspection of rich details of interesting textures and objects. Instead we see an overuse of photos and other graphics — portraits with poorly rendered skin tones and landscapes and printed matter of varying scales ( I don't see how zooming into them will be all that helpful), and overall, ultra-flat lighting which does nothing for the textures and detail of objects and does little to challenge a sensor's ability to handle highlights and shadows.
DPR delivers excellent technical analysis, why not raise the ante on the artistic side of things too? Especially for this frequently referenced studio scene. Confronted with a scene so bland in uninspiring deadens one's interest in looking any further. Why not give us a scene to savor; one that makes you care if a camera succeeds, or disappoints if it comes up short?