“The latest smartphone models come with camera technology and features that have slowly but surely brought our original test protocol to its limits. Technology has changed so rapidly in the last five years that we have had to change the protocol.” —Clement Viard, senior director of image quality evaluation at DxOMark.
Speaking to Digital Trends, Viard said that development of cameras in smartphone designs has been exponential, forcing the benchmark company to upgrade their scoring methodologies. Dual cameras providing depth metadata, HDR, 4K and even optical zoom through camera modules, means that evaluating from smartphone to smartphone is no longer on a level playing field.
“The new DxOMark Mobile test protocol enables consumers to make informed buying decisions by evaluating the true camera performance of the latest mobile devices and by challenging OEM marketing claims.”
In addition to zoom and bokeh as earmarks for the latest high-performance criteria, DXoMark will also test low light performance of a camera’s image sensor down to 1 Lux and those same scenes will now have motion introduced into the test in order to assess “real-world situations,” which includes adapting to changing light conditions.
Still image scores will be based on the following:
- Exposure and contrast, including dynamic range, exposure repeatability and contrast
- Colour, including saturation and hue, white balance, white balance repeatability and colour shading
- Texture and noise
- Autofocus, including AF speed and repeatability
- Artefacts, including softness in the frame, distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, ringing, flare, ghosting, aliasing, moiré patterns and more.
- Zoom at several subject distances
Video scores will be calculated based on the following:
- Texture and noise
The test will include the taking of more than 1,500 still images and two hours of video at full resolution. And the first smartphone to benefit from the expanded benchmark test is the new iPhone 8 Plus, which DxOMark has given its highest test scores ever. “The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the best performing mobile device camera we have ever tested,” states the DxOMark website. “Its overall DxOMark Mobile score of 94 sets a new record.”