The Economist article on mirrorless cameras

Started Jun 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
Jerry Fusselman
Jerry Fusselman Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Answer 4

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

It is not a "single arbitrary number." It is DxOmark's attempt to summarize, as best they can, overall quality of the sensor.

Since you referenced low-light performance, I hoped that you knew where the specific "Sports (low light ISO)" number comes from, not the overall score. And the significance of the difference (less than 1/4 stop in this case). Would the values be relatively different if you used 32dB instead?

I don't understand the question.  What does 32db refer to?

Can you do better for a single-number summary?

No, but I also don't think it's worth the effort.

Oh, I think it is worth it.  Good summary information can lead to more-informed buying.  I would not have even thought about buying the Sony Alpha a6000 had I not noticed that it was beating my Canon 5D M3 by a considerable margin for use in landscape photography.  And I'm delighted that I did; the first time I saw the a6000's ISO-100 tripod-mounted shots with a high-contrast landscape in Lightroom I almost fell out of my chair.

If you truly believe that no index number is possible, then sweeping statements about relatively quality must generally be false due to the infinite number of dimensions of possible comparison.

It was exactly such a sweeping statement that prompted me to respond. Looking at anything to the right of ISO 1600 in the graphs, does your sweeping statement apply?

Sure it does.  I don't use ISOs higher than 1600.  Please recall that my main point was to reply to some guy who claimed that Sony mirrorless was currently at least three years behind Canon for low-light sensor performance.

One virtue of an index number over tons of numbers is that you are less likely to be accused or guilty of cherry picking.

It means someone else did the dirty work of cherry picking - unless you can explain why 30dB is better than 32dB or 28dB.

Oh, I can't agree with that at all.  Using a careful and thoughtful index number, consistently applied, is the exact opposite of cherry picking.

Thanks for this discussion.  It has already been illuminating, and many of us can learn from your thoughtful and courteous style.

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Jerry Fusselman

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