Posts Tagged ‘DxOMark’

DxOMark report reveals just how far smartphone cameras have come in the last 5 years

08 Feb
DxOMark chart shows that overall scores for smartphone cameras have steadily improved over the last 5 years.

If you’re looking for the most drastic and impressive improvements in the world of imaging, the (sad?) fact is, you’ll want to look at smartphone manufacturers. And this is what DxOMark highlights in a fascinating retrospective titled “Disruptive technologies in mobile imaging” that looks back on 5 years of testing smartphone cameras.

Not that the Sonys and Nikons and Canons of the world haven’t made improvements—and who knows when the next generational leap in image sensor technology will take place—but as the saying goes: necessity is the mother of invention. Given the size limitations of our ever-thinner and lighter smartphones, its phone manufacturers who have had to be most creative when it comes to improving image quality.

That, in a nutshell, is what DxOMark breaks down in its retrospective, taking a close look at everything from how smartphones have improved their ability to eliminate noise without losing texture, to exposure improvements, autofocus, video stabilization, zoom, and the recent advancements in bokeh simulation.

Exposure is one of the areas that has seen drastic improvements. These images were captured at just 1 Lux, showing how the 808 PureView falls far short of the iPhone 5s, which in turn falls significantly short of the Galaxy S7 “thanks to better tuning and noise reduction.”

The area where smartphone cameras seem to have improved most is in their ability to toe the line between decreasing noise and maintaining texture. Without simply increasing the size of the image sensor, this is a difficult balance to strike if you’re using just image processing, so newer phones take care of this in three ways:

  1. Optical image stabilization to allow for longer hand-held exposures
  2. Temporal noise reduction (TNR) that combines image data from multiple frames
  3. Multiple camera modules (currently dual, maybe soon triple)

These techniques have helped manufacturers make huge leaps forward in the past 5 years:

This side-by-side comparison shows just how much better the iPhone X is at avoiding and cleaning up noise than the iPhone 5s. But even the iPhone6, which used the same camera module as the 5s, benefitted greatly from improved software.
But the iPhone X isn’t even the best at this trick. Here it is compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Google Pixel 2, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

DxOMark’s conclusion after sharing all of this data is unsurprising, and one of the reasons why we’re keeping such a close eye on the newest smartphone camera tech:

We can see that camera hardware and image processing have been evolving alongside each during the past 5 years, and at a much faster pace than in the “traditional” camera sector.

DSLRs and mirrorless system cameras are still clearly ahead in some areas, but in terms of image processing, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and the other players in the DSC market are behind what Apple, Samsung, Google, and Huawei can do. Thanks to their hardware advantages, the larger cameras don’t actually need the same level of pixel processing as smartphones to produce great images, but there is no denying that the performance gap between smartphones and DSLRs is narrowing.

That’s a good summary, but if you want to dive into all of the comparisons—between phones of the past and today, and between the best phones on the market right now—head over to DxOMark and read their full retrospective.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark report reveals just how far smartphone cameras have come in the last 5 years

Posted in Uncategorized


DxOMark splits from DxO Labs, is now an independent privately-owned company

11 Jan

In an email distributed late last month, DxOMark Image Labs announced that it has been spun-off from DxO Labs. DxOMark now exists as its own privately-owned independent company, which will continue to “pursue the development and commercialization of image quality solutions and services.”

DxO Labs, meanwhile, continues to develop its photo editing software, DxO PhotoLab, as well as the DxO One smartphone camera attachment. We’ll also keep a close eye on what DxO plans to do with the Nik Software Collection, which it recently acquired from Google and promises to update in early 2018.

The business change happened back in September, according to the email, which didn’t go into further detail about the matter. The full note reads:

We’ve had an important internal change as well: In September, DxOMark Image Labs was spun off from DxO Labs. DxOMark Image Labs is now a privately-owned, independent company. As such, we continue to pursue the development and commercialization of image quality solutions and services that support our customers in designing the best-quality camera systems for a range of markets, including smartphones, DSC/DSLRs, drones, action cams, surveillance, and automotive.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark splits from DxO Labs, is now an independent privately-owned company

Posted in Uncategorized


DxOMark: The full-frame Leica M10 is ‘on par’ with the best APS-C sensors

16 Dec

DxOMark has just finished a new sensor test, and for once it’s not a “highest rated camera in the world” announcement. Instead, the testing and consulting company put the new Leica M10 to the test to see how it compares to the rest of the luxury brand’s lineup. The results: they’re calling it “a classic reinvented.”

Unlike the top-scoring Nikon D850 and Sony a7R III—both of which scored 100 and sit at the top of DxO’s full-frame sensor rankings—the M10 pulls in a meeker score of 86. However, that still makes it the second highest scoring Leica ever, just behind the Leica SL with an overall score of 88.

What’s intriguing is that, in terms of sensor performance, the Leica M10 actually scores “more on par” with the best APS-C chips DxO has tested, outperforming them significantly only in the low-light ISO category thanks to its physically larger sensor:

Image: DxOMark

DxO summed up these results well for us in an email:

Overall, better image quality can be found elsewhere for less money, but the Leica offers first-class engineering, and a digital camera with similar proportions to analog M cameras will be hugely appealing to Leica enthusiasts. Add to that compatibility with almost all Leica lenses ever made, as well as its simplicity of operation, and the M10 will be an attractive proposition to those who appreciate the quality of the Leica system.

No doubt a good chunk of our readers will bold-face and underline what DxO said above: “better image quality can be found elsewhere for less money.” But does the massive lens library, top-notch engineering, ‘simplicity of operation,’ and that pretty red dot help balance out the cost at all?

Head over to DxOMark to read the full review, and let us know what you think about these results in the comments.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark: The full-frame Leica M10 is ‘on par’ with the best APS-C sensors

Posted in Uncategorized


Sony a7R III ties Nikon D850: Best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested

28 Nov

DxOMark has just published their review of the Sony a7RIII’s sensor, and no surprises here: it ties the Nikon D850 as the best full-frame camera they’ve ever tested with a score of 100. This also makes it the best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested, besting the former king, the Sony a7R II, which scored a 98.

From the moment Sony debuted the a7R III, it became clear there was only one competitor for this mirrorless beast: The Nikon D850. And as DxO makes clear in their review headline, the D850 has now met “its mirrorless match.” In fact, it would be a stretch to call one of the cameras better overall than the other. Here’s how their scores break down:

As DxOMark makes clear in its conclusion, which camera you prefer (or should prefer) has to do with your own use case:

Comparing the A7R III sensor to the Nikon D850’s reveals the advantage that the Nikon camera’s lower minimum sensitivity (ISO) value brings. Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, or detail with the Nikon D850 set to ISO 32. However, if they require values above that, the Sony A7R III sensor produces marginally better images.

By now it should be obvious why the Sony a7RIII tied with the Nikon D850 for our best camera above $ 2,000: it’s next to impossible to pick one over the other unless you have a specific use case in mind. Check out DxOMark’s full review for a deeper dive on this particular camera sensor, and if you want even more you can read our full review as well.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on Sony a7R III ties Nikon D850: Best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested

Posted in Uncategorized


DxOMark republishes Pentax 645Z results and it’s as good as we always suspected

15 Nov

In a move likely to completely silence all whispers of chicanery, DxOMark has finally published its results for Ricoh’s Pentax 645Z. The camera just misses out on being hailed as the best stills camera sensor ever (as it would have been, when data was first published for the camera back in 2015), but it still scores a very impressive 101 points.

And, as we know, points mean… Er…

Several years after its release, the 645Z still holds its own in the company of some excellent cameras built around similar sensors.

The results themselves are very similar to those of the Hasselblad X1D 50c, which itself is based around a very similar Sony CMOS sensor (albeit for at least $ 3000 more). How much of the difference can be ascribed to better readout circuitry, how much to the Hasselblad’s use of 15-bit Raw files (I mean, that extra 0.1EV of DR has to live somewhere), and how much is simply within the tests’ margin of error it’s impossible to know.

Still, we can now be certain that, while not quite the best sensor in the world, is 99% as good as the best sensor DxO has tested.

In all seriousness, though, whatever the reason for the delay, it’s a seriously impressive performance from a very aggressively-priced camera. And, since we have first-hand knowledge of how difficult it is to get a 645Z for long enough to do extensive testing on, we think it’s great to see its performance recognized.

Click here to read DxOMark’s assessment

Press Release:

Pentax 645Z: A great choice for medium-format shooters

PARIS – November 14, 2017 – DxOMark has just published the results of its in-depth analysis of the Pentax 645Z medium-format camera. With an overall DxOMark sensor score of 101 points, the Pentax 645Z has the second-highest-scoring sensor we’ve ever tested, beaten only by the 51.4Mp Sony sensor in the Hasselblad X1D-50c. The 645Z achieves extremely good sub-scores, indicating that it can capture a huge range of colors and tones in a single file.

It’s clear from our testing that the Pentax 645Z’s sensor is extremely capable, coming within a whisper of matching the performance of the Hasselblad X1D sensor. Its high dynamic range and color sensitivity make the 645Z ideally suited for capturing the types of scenes that are traditionally favored by medium-format photographers — landscapes, weddings, portraits, and other photographic genres that require capturing images with lots of detail, low noise, and smooth tonal gradations.

In addition, the Pentax 645Z controls noise well, making it suitable for use in relatively low light, and perhaps expanding the range of conditions in which medium-format cameras are traditionally used.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark republishes Pentax 645Z results and it’s as good as we always suspected

Posted in Uncategorized


DxOMark: DJI Zenmuse X7 outperforms GH5, on par with top-notch APS-C DSLRs

09 Nov

Remember when the DJI Zenmuse X7 drone camera was released, and we said DJI had become a camera company without anybody noticing? You might consider the latest scores out of DxOMark proof of that assertion. The sensor testing company just released its review of the X7, ranking it above the popular Panasonic GH5 and on part with top-scoring APS-C sensors like the Nikon D7500.

Sporting the largest sensor yet for a DJI camera module, the X7 boasts a Super 35/APS-C sized chip that DxO discovered will hold its own against the leaders in that category. In fact, going through the rankings, you’ll find that only two APS-C sensors have ever scored higher than 86. And when you compare it to one of the top-scoring APS-C cameras (the Nikon D7500) and the often-drone-mounted Panasonic GH5, you see that DJI is not playing around:

As DxOMark points out in their conclusion, this is an impressive showing for the drone maker:

Thanks to an increase in its size as much as to technological advancements, the DJI Zenmuse X7’s sensor takes a significant step up in performance from the Zenmuse X5S sensor. In fact, it delivers results that compete closely with those from a high-scoring APS-C format DSLR, despite being housed in a camera that’s mounted in a stabilized gimbal and specifically designed for aerial photography.

Be sure to head over to DxOMark to read their full DJI Zenmuse X7 review. And then check out our own opinion piece about DJI’s transformation from a drone maker, into a full fledged camera company.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark: DJI Zenmuse X7 outperforms GH5, on par with top-notch APS-C DSLRs

Posted in Uncategorized


iPhone X is the world’s best smartphone for photos, second best overall on DxOMark

08 Nov

The past few months have been a ratings-palooza for DxOMark Mobile, as flagship after flagship has come out raised the bar on smartphone sensor quality. From the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and its 100 photo score, to the iPhone 8 Plus’ week-long stint at the top of the charts, to the Google Pixel 2’s highest ever score of 98, we’ve had plenty to keep an eye on.

But there was one major flagship phone conspicuously absent from the rankings… until now that is. DxOMark has officially released its Apple iPhone X test results.

As always, you can dive into the detailed results and side-by-side comparisons on DxOMark, but the TL;DR version is this: the iPhone X is the best smartphone DxO has ever tested in the photo category (earning a score of 101) and the second best smartphone camera overall, tying the Huawei Mate 10 Pro with a score of 97. You can see the score and category breakdown below:

More impressive than the numbers is DxO’s conclusion, which stresses how well the iPhone X performs in real-world shooting situations:

For portraits, the improved telephoto lens delivers sharp results even indoors, and the bokeh simulation produces a natural and pleasing background blur. Outdoors, exposures are outstanding, with great dynamic range, impressive skies, good fine detail, and punchy color rendering. Add to all that the extra features on the front-facing camera, including a Portrait mode for blurred-background selfies, and the iPhone X delivers one hell of a smartphone camera.

To see the full test results for yourself, head over to the DxOMark website. And keep an eye on DPReview in the next few weeks because we’ll be getting our own iPhone X to test very soon!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on iPhone X is the world’s best smartphone for photos, second best overall on DxOMark

Posted in Uncategorized


The medium format Hasselblad X1D is the highest rated camera on DxOMark

26 Oct

After the Nikon D850 became the highest rated camera on DxOMark with a score of 100, the sensor testing and software company promised to start reviewing medium format cameras again very soon. Today, they fulfilled that promise and unseated the former-champion Nikon D850 all in one fell swoop.

The new DxOMark champion is the mirrorless medium-format Hasselblad X1D-50c, which came “crashing through the 100-point barrier” with an overall sensor score of 102.

“The X1D-50c excels in all three of our measurement categories, achieving either the top-ranked or a podium position result in each,” explains DxOMark. In fact, the camera received the highest Low-Light ISO score DxO has ever doled out, and it ties for 1st place with the Nikon D850 in the Color Depth category.

You can read the full review and dive into the results on the DxOMark website, but here’s a snippet from the Conclusion for you TL;DR types:

Image quality on the Hasselblad X1D-50c is outstanding, crashing through the 100-point barrier to become the highest-scoring commercially-available sensor we’ve tested. At 102 points overall, it also achieves either the best, or very close to the best results for both color depth and dynamic range. Combine that with its 50Mp resolution and mirrorless design, all packaged at a more realistic price tag, the X1D-50c starts to look like a tantalizing prospect.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on The medium format Hasselblad X1D is the highest rated camera on DxOMark

Posted in Uncategorized


This is why the Pentax 645Z DxOMark score of 101 was never published

12 Oct

If you dive into the comments on the recent news of the Nikon D850’s chart-topping DxOMark score of 100, you’ll notice a trend: people claiming that the Pentax 645Z actually scored 101 way back in 2015… before that score was unceremoniously scrubbed from the DxOMark website. So what’s going on here? Conspiracy? Foul play? Piles of money being passed around under corporate board room desks?

Not quite. The truth, as is so often the case, is a little less salacious.

A full review of the Pentax 645Z was never published, and that score of 101 only appeared online as part of a top cameras chart that showed up in DxOMark’s review of the Sony RX1R II sensor. The chart (below) showed Pentax on top with a score of 101, followed by the Sony A7R II with a score of 98. People asked about the score in the comments and were told a full review was “delayed” but “on its way,” yet that review never arrived. Later, the score was quietly removed and the chart was replaced.

Speaking to DxOMark earlier today, photography blog PetaPixel finally learned why DxOMark decided to pull that score: not for some nefarious reason, but because they never actually finished the review. Before they could publish, the company decided to pause medium format sensor reviews altogether.

“We made a pause on medium format a few years ago just because of our production bandwidth,” a DxOMark spokesperson told PetaPixel, explaining that they simply couldn’t keep up with the other tests they needed to do. “We will now soon republish this type of camera, and Pentax 645Z should be published soon […] in a matter of days.”

That last part is very exciting news. As medium format—and especially mirrorless medium format—becomes more affordable, people will be very curious indeed to see how these larger sensors stack up against the amazing full-frame sensors we’ve seen lately in cameras like the Nikon D850 and Sony a7R II.

We’ve had our own request for comment about this same issue out to DxOMark for a couple of days now, and will update this post with a full statement as soon as we hear back. But in the meantime, it sounds like the Nikon D850 might not retain its chart-topping score for long… at least not if it has to go head-to-head against medium format sensors.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on This is why the Pentax 645Z DxOMark score of 101 was never published

Posted in Uncategorized


DxOMark: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ties iPhone 8 Plus as best ever smartphone camera

07 Oct

News that Apple’s new iPhone 8 Plus had suddenly taken the top spot on DxOMark’s smartphone camera rankings was met with the expected range of praise and critique—everything from “of course, iPhone’s are awesome cameras” to “how much did Apple pay DxOMark for this result!?” But it turns out the iPhone 8 Plus’ ranking as the best smartphone camera DxOMark had ever tested didn’t last very long.

As of today, the iPhone 8 Plus has been tied by the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which significantly bested its Photo score and only tied the iPhone 8 Plus overall because Apple’s smartphone does so much better in the video category.

The full breakdown of the results can be found on DxOMark, but this comparison between the two phones’ scores speaks volumes:

The Photo categories where the Note 8 really outperformed the iPhone include Autofocus (94 vs 74) and Zoom, where the Note 8 got a score of 66 to the iPhone’s 51. DxOMark’s conclusion is appropriately praiseworthy:

When all the tests are verified, the scores calculated, and the perceptual analyses discussed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 comes out as an outstanding choice for the smartphone photography enthusiast, matching the top overall score of 94 points of the iPhone 8 Plus. Dual-cam setups offering a second telephoto zoom for portraits are a real step forward for high-end smartphone photography, and the implementation on the Note 8 is exceptional, making it the best smartphone for zoom shots we’ve tested.

Read DxO’s full thoughts and see all of their sample and test photos at this link. And if you’re an Android user in need of some serious photography power from you smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8 should definitely make it to the top of your list.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

Comments Off on DxOMark: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 ties iPhone 8 Plus as best ever smartphone camera

Posted in Uncategorized