Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) charts are a very commonly used tool in the photo industry for measuring and describing how sharp a particular lens is. However, it’s a system that is largely enigmatic to those outside the realm of optic experts and camera gearheads.
For those of you who don’t want to learn how to read MTF charts, camera gear testing service DxOMark has announced a new metric that boils a lens’ sharpness down to a single easy-to-understand-and-compare number: the Perceptual Megapixel.
With each new generation of popular digital camera lines, consumers generally expect that feature upgrades also be accompanied by improvements to the image sensor. According to camera testing service DxOMark, that’s not the case with Canon’s entry level DSLR lineup.
A few weeks ago, we casually remarked that the best cameraphones today can probably snap better photos than top-of-the-line compact cameras from over a decade ago. Turns out that it’s true.
Nikon’s new entry level full frame DSLR, the Nikon D600, is supposed to be a lightweight camera with heavyweight image quality. DxOMark confirms it to be true. The camera equipment measurement company has announced its sensor quality results for the D600, and the score is sure to put a big smile on the faces of Nikonians around the world. Rated at an overall score of “94”, the camera received the third highest score ever, and falls in third place behind the D800 and D800E — cameras that cost roughly $1,000 more.
It’s been almost three months to the day since the well-respected camera equipment rating service DxOMark crowned the Nikon D800 as its new king, giving the camera’s 36.3MP sensor an incredible overall score of 95 — but now its reign is over. The Nikon D800 has been officially beaten out, and appropriately enough it has happened at the hands of its nearly identical twin brother, the Nikon D800E. Read more…
Stephen Shankland over at CNET has written an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how DxO Labs — one of the world’s premier camera testing services — evaluates equipment. DxO Labs is based near Paris, France and was the result of a 2003 spinoff from a company called Vision IQ, which specialized in swimming pool safety. Since then, the group has published over 185 in-depth camera reviews on its website DxOMark.
Camera rating business DxOMark has published its in-depth sensor review for the Canon 5D Mark III. For Canon fans, there’s both good and bad news: while the camera boasts the best sensor seen in a Canon DSLR so far — besting the sensor found in the 1Ds Mark III — its score of 81 is far below the Nikon D800’s 95. DxOMark does, however, point out that the two cameras focus on different strengths:
The duel between the Nikon D800 and the EOS 5D Mark III would most certainly take place except that the different sensors each one has adopted makes it difficult to do a head-to-head comparison. Both sensors offer different advantages —in principle, sensitivity for the Canon and definition for the Nikon. With its 36 megapixels, the Nikon D800 clearly has concentrated its efforts on fine detail reproduction.
For its part, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III chose to make a grand compromise: with its 22 megapixels, it offers both higher definition and in theory, higher sensitivity.
Canon 5D Mark III Review [DxOMark]
Turns out the 36.3 megapixel sensor inside the new Nikon D800 isn’t just a megapixel war marketing tactic: the sensor has been given the highest score ever awarded by camera equipment rating service DxOMark. Calling it a “complete success in every sensor-related respect”, the lab states that the D800’s sensor has become the new sensor of reference by which all other camera sensors will be measured. Furthermore, it boasts an “unmatched quality-to-price ratio” by being the cheapest (by far) among the 8 top cameras. The sensor is even comparable in quality to the best medium-format sensors out there, and even outperforms them at higher ISOs. Check out the full review for a more detailed analysis of the sensor and how the D800 stacks up against competition.
Nikon D800: The best sensor analyzed on DxOMark! [DxOMark]
DxOMark has just published its findings on the quality of Nikon’s new mirrorless camera sensor, and the verdict is that Nikon did a pretty good job milking quality out of the small 1-inch sensor:
With regard to its size, this ranking is a big surprise, as the Nikon J1 sensor manages to score close to or even better than larger sensors (including 4/3 sensors).
[...] On the other hand, its low-light ISO score is a bit low: 372, which reflects the impact of the sensor size. Indeed, this score is naturally dependent on the sensor size: the bigger the sensor, the more light it captures. So even though the quality of the pixels provided by Nikon is very close to that of its main competitor, its sensor size physically limits the image quality.
If low-light shooting is your thing. then you might want to look into cameras with larger sensors. However, for everyday photography the new Nikon line perform surprisingly well given how much smaller its sensor is compared to its competitors.
Interchangeable Lens cameras by Nikon (via Nikon Rumors)
Turns out Fujifilm’s new FinePix X100 isn’t just nice to look at — DxOMark just published results from testing the camera’s APS-C sensor, finding that it delivered better results in all aspects compared to the best Micro Four Thirds camera sensors (namely the Olympus PEN EP2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2) and rivals the quality of the best APS-C sensors found in DSLR and SLT cameras. Now if only the camera would start becoming available here in the US…
Fuji X100 sensor measured on DxOMark.com (via 43 Rumors)