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DXOmark sensor Ratings..Should I take them with a pinch of salt ?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Bhupinder2002, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I recently bumped into dxomark sensor ratings. I just noticed olympus P3 has sensor rating of 51 , EPL2 has a rating of 54 and recent nikon 1 J1 has a rating of 56 . Now that raises a basic question ? How fair and reliable these ratings are? How many of us are guided by such ratings while buying a camera?
    DxOMark - Compare cameras side by side
  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think ergonomics, handling menu systems and other intangibles are more important than some slight differences in sensor measurements.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    From what I have been able to gather, the DXO "scores" are based on somewhat subjective interpretations on the sensor data. Also, they only look at the sensor, which is only part of the overall system that drives IQ.

    I can't find the thread now, of course, but Amin had an excellent analysis of the DXO results for the new Nikon.

    Also, another interesting recent thread on IQ here:

  4. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dxomark sensor ratings

    Thank you so much. I will try to dig out that thread.
  5. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Thank you so much. I will try to dig out that thread.
  6. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    The DXOmark scores are good for engineers to compare sensor performance in different cameras and it gives you a "ballpark" measurement for comparison ... it's the "ballpark" to keep in mind.

    If one camera scores a 51 and another scores 58 and another scores 59 their sensors deliver roughly the same image quality in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio, color accuracy, etc.. If one camera scores an 89 and another camera scores 50 then that is something you might want to pay attention to when considering sensor performance.
  7. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    So we should conclude that Nikon 1J1 has same or better IQ than Olympus EP3 or Panasonic GH2?
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No not at all, lol. :rofl:

    This is nothing new to me... I've been seeing Dx0Mark give much lower rankings to cameras which are taking much higher quality images than other cameras which Dx0Mark ranks a lot lower for a long, long time now. This great discrepancy and irrelevancy of what Dx0Mark measures to the production quality of an image has always been there... but it's just never been so apparent now as with the comparison of the Nikon 1 and Micro Four-Thirds.
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  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    If you find the thread on the Nikon DXO results, specifically, it will show that NR impacted their results. And, again, this is just the sensor... does not take into account lens, IBIS, interface, handling, etc. etc.
  10. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    I usually take them with a margarita...with a pinch of salt.

    Seriously, I consider them informative but not definitive. A 10% difference between the scores of two cameras does not mean that one is 10% better, but rather there are certain conditions (i.e., low light/high ISO) where that 10% difference starts to show. All the other times the performance of the cameras will be much closer than the scores indicate.
  11. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Exactly ..thats my point .I had olympus EPL1 earlier and it gave me excellent results and my only gripe was when camera almost said no to focusing at nigt time. It used to struggle a lot and finally fail to focus in low light.Apart from that I was pretty much happier with that. I used to see thee rankings earlier but had not visited this site for a while. It was only yesterday when a friend pointed out that olympus P3 ( a camera close to my heart lol) received only a score of 51 which is even further lower than my EPL2 . I think both share the same sensor and essentially it should be the same . I agree that my sony SLT 33 doesn't give me desirable results when compared to Olympus epl2.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't have my own E-P3 to compare with, but I've poured over images taken with both E-PL2 and E-P3 and I have to say that they are actually very similar but there is a very slight edge to the E-P3. The E-PL2 holds its own, but the E-P3 would not be a downgrade in any way, no matter what Dx0Mark says. ;) 
  13. Allan Ostling

    Allan Ostling Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    DxOMark cannot even spell "lens"

    Go to the DxOMark tab marked lenses. The first bold heading reads:

    Latest camera lense reviews

    I emailed them to let them know they were embarrassing themselves, but nothing has changed.
  14. DxOMark uses a scientific method to rate cameras against each other. It can measure various aspects that make up what we call "image quality" and deliver a score based on that. What it can't do is measure the "look" a particular camera may give. It can't explain why I might prefer the look of a lower-ranked camera over a higher-ranked camera. It can't guarantee a higher-ranked camera will be the best camera to use all of the time for all applications.

    My personal opinion is that DxOMark should be used to compare sensor performance, NOT image quality.
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think the "overall" sensor ratings are useless. If you go beyond the overall scores and look at the curves which DxO provides, there is some useful information there. Also have a look at this thread: https://www.mu-43.com/f66/nikon-j1-gets-dxomarked-compared-micro-4-3-cameras-16873/
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I don't know if this is a recent phenomenon or not, but DxO's overall scores are a load of crap. I'm not sure how they get them, but they seem almost arbitrary and disregard a lot of important elements like resolution/sharpness. The tests themselves can be useful, but their approach to ranking sensors isn't worth the bytes it's saved on.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is the big thing. The E-5, E-PL2, E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1 for instance can capture a lot of lens resolution and fine detail (which all equates to sharpness) at all ISO levels which the majority of competitors can't. I would think that would be one of the primary elements of high image quality from a camera system, no? :confused:  Yet the internet is so keen on downing these cameras for having lower "Dx0Mark scores" without even knowing what the heck that means to them.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    I equate the DxO ratings to the "Tale of the Tape" in boxing. For me, just numbers.

    One competitor has the advantage in weight and reach, the other, height and age, etc. Meaningful? Yes!

    The younger, taller fighter always wins.


    See how ridiculous that sounded?

    Just because a sensor's specifications rated higher does not necessarily mean the camera it is installed in will capture better images.
  19. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Good boxing analogy. :thumbup: I was going to use horse racing (which is big here in HK) as an analogy. Everyine would be a winner and Jockey Club would be broke if the actual result is based on measurements... :rofl:
  20. +1

    I like a high resolving sensor. I like a sharp image; something that has a bit of "bite" to it. More often than not it suits the style of image I am trying to achieve. And yet, when I see cameras I know I like compared against the DxOMark kings that are so widely lauded, all I see is this slightly cleaner, slightly mushier output. That's why I do take a lot of the usual image quality conjecture with a grain of salt, and know that everytime an opinion is offerred on the matter it is just that: an opinion, specific to that person's tastes. Even DxOMark's scores are essentially just an opinion based on the parameters that their equipment is programmed to measure.

    BTW...this post was just an opinion.
    • Like Like x 2
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