Our camera lab tests are a mainstay of CineD and one of the things many of you keep coming back: standardized testing for dynamic range, latitude and rolling shutter results of camera sensors. Youtuber Gerald Undone has also made a name for himself testing cameras, so we invited him for a (long!) discussion to talk about the why & how of camera testing.
Many years ago, we have started testing dynamic range in cameras in a standardized way using a XYLA 21-step chart, IMATEST software, and a standardized studio setup to guarantee consistent and dependable results. We have established the same for latitude tests and rolling shutter tests, and have been publishing these results in the Lab Test section for many years. (In case you want to know how the tests are performed exactly, I can recommend this article from 2018).
Why standardised camera sensor tests matter
Cameras have become significantly better particularly over the past few years, and the claims by manufacturers have become more bombastic at the same time: There’s hardly a manufacturer who claims that their new camera has less than 15 stops of dynamic range. And because readers have just as many doubts about those claims as we do, our lab tests have become one of the most important features of the site, because they finally make the comparisons between the cameras possible, by normalising the results of the tests.
Detailed camera tech reviews by CineD & Gerald Undone
We are of course not alone in the testing of those cameras, though there are really not many out there taking this seriously – but one of them is Gerald Undone, very successful and popular reviewer of cameras, known for his super-detailed technical reviews. As Gerald mentions in the talk above, he has been an avid reader of our lab tests when he wanted to start doing his own dynamic range tests, taking our methodology as a basis. Our lab test expert Gunther Machu happily shared his knowledge and experience with Gerald (as there are many mistakes to be made using the IMATEST application, a very complex piece of software).
Lab Test Talk: Why and how we all do it.
We reached out to Gerald to talk about the “Why’s and How’s” of camera testing in this lengthy discussion you can watch above. It’s insightful for camera nerds and definitely worth watching until the end (where we show our new CineD Databases feature, comprised of a Camera Database, a Lens Database and a Lens Coverage Tool. This tool will allow you to list and compare technical features of cameras and lenses, including our lab test results – a long requested feature of the site (and it will still launch in August).
Let us know what you think about the Lab Tests in general, and the talk with Gerald Undone in particular, in the comments below!