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Thread started 31 Oct 2014 (Friday) 23:42
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How real and reliable are DXOmark scores?

 
uday029
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Oct 31, 2014 23:42 |  #1

Hello all,

This might have been asked before multiple times but I haven't found a solid answer in any of the previous forums. I started my research and read a lot about different Canon models and almost decided to buy a Canon 70D. As a final step, I did a quick Canon 70D vs "competition" search on youtube to see how it compares to other cameras. Many of the videos were mainly comparing it to Nikon D7100. Both of them came neck to neck in terms of features but I still liked 70D for its amazing auto focus system, other bells and whistles such as swiveling screen, wifi etc etc. But many people started comparing the "sensor quality" --> "photo quality" and Nikon came out on top.

I mainly use my camera for taking landscapes (just an enthusiast) and travel pictures. Nikon D7100 seemed to be better than Canon for landscapes (according to reviewers). Many youtubers quoted DXOMark scores to back it up. I went on their website to do a comparison of sensors to find out that Nikon D7100 scored more than 70D in every category. Ofcourse, these scores do not take into consideration the features like the new auto focus system etc., but they looked only at sensor quality.

My question is how real are these scores? So purely from image quality perspective, Nikon D7100 is better than 70D? Here is the link comparing these two cameras:

http://www.dxomark.com …sus-Nikon-D7100___895_865 (external link)

Also, the ratings are higher for 3rd party lenses. For example Sigma 18-35 has higher ratings for D7100 compared to 70D (although the difference is very less).

Is it recommended to go by these values to make a final decision?

Thanks.




  
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timbop
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Nov 02, 2014 10:10 |  #2

IMO, no. Others swear by their ratings, but zoom lenses for example are rated at their best focal length, which is not very useful unless you only use the lens at that focal length. For cameras, these are "ideal" ratings and not necessarily what you will ever be able to perceive. What I mean by that is their machines can measure minute differences that the human eye might never be able to perceive. So, if the ratings are over a certain threshold, there is no practical difference between them.

FAR more important than slight differences in DX0 marks for the bodies are the lenses you put on them. If you put crappy kit lenses on one and high quality lenses on the other you WILL see a difference. For that reason, I generally suggest that people nt blow most of their budget on the body and have nothing left for lenses - they are invariably disappointed. I also highly recommend that people get an external flash as well, because that will improve your indoor shots much more than the body


Current: 5DM3, 6D, 8mm fish, 24-105/4IS, 35/2IS, 70-200/2.8IS, 85/1.8, 100-400/IS v1, lensbaby composer with edge 80, 580's and AB800's
Formerly: 80D, 7D, 300D, 5D, 5DM2, 20D, 50D, 1DM2, 17-55IS, 24-70/2.8, 28-135IS, 40/2.8, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 70-200/4IS, 70-300IS, 70-200/2.8, 100 macro, 400/5.6, tammy 17-50 and 28-75, sigma 50 macro & 100-300

  
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snake0ape
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Nov 02, 2014 10:31 |  #3

A single rating doesn't tell you anything about cameras, lens or sensors unless you understand how they derived that "single" rating. It is better if you look deep down into their test charts and graphs. I do look at the graphs inside the "measurement" sub-menu. I find the lens and camera charts extremely useful but their single number ratings of camera and lens totally nonsense for its usefulness. If you study the charts, you will be able to find the sweet spots of the lens, the best ISO for the camera, and to determine if you want to bring out your crop camera or FF for a particular shoot...etc...
Another equally important issue for camera and lens is performance. DXO doen't measure this so you will need to read other reviews as part of your evaluation. How good is a camera if it can't autofocus reliable in the environment you need it to perform? A good example is the 7Dii or 70D. DXO will not tell you how well this camera will perform compared to the highly rated Nikon 7100.


5Diii | 50D | 8-15L 4| 16-35L 2.8 II| 24-70L 2.8 II | 70-200L 2.8 IS II |Tamy 150-600 | Σ35Art 1.4 | 40 2.8 | Σ50Art 1.4 | 85L 1.2 II | 100 2.8 Macro | Helios 44-3 58mm f2.0 |Helios 40-1 85mm f1.5 | 1.4x & 2x teleconverters

  
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Thorsten
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Nov 02, 2014 10:52 |  #4

I ignore those numbers but I'm always amused when I see them paraded out as "evidence" that model x is better than model y.


Thorsten (external link)
Canon 5D3, 24 IS, 35L, 50/1.8 STM, 85/1.2Lii, 100L, 135L, 200/2.8L, 400/5.6L, 16-35/4L, 24-70/4L, 70-200/4L IS

  
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JeffreyG
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Nov 02, 2014 12:22 |  #5

DxO objectively measures certain performance parameters of camera sensors and their objective measurements are quite reliable. The problem is, what they are measuring may or may not be of interest to you for what you shoot.

First off, note that DxO does not have an effective way to normalize their ratings between sensors of different sizes, or of different pixel densities. So the less alike any two sensors you compare the less comparable the ratings will be.

Second, note that they give a 'score' in three categories (I can't remember the names) but the scores relate to signal to noise ratio, dynamic range, and color fidelity.

Finally, DxO averages these scores into a final score for the sensor. But there is the problem. I don't care a whole bunch about DR and I care not at all about their color measure, so their final result is pretty close to useless for me.

There is even more detail to this if you are really interested, but I don't know how much of a digression you want here. But take this as an example. Canon and Nikon (Sony) sensors have about the same DR at high ISO levels. So if you shoot action in low light as I do, the sensors have about the same DR. But at low ISO, the Sony sensor has a much broader DR than the Canon sensor. So a landscape photographer would regard the Sony sensor as a lot better for DR and would see that reflected in the DxO rating. A sports shooter would find no real difference and would wonder why the ratings were not the same.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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DC ­ Fan
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Nov 02, 2014 13:03 |  #6

uday029 wrote in post #17244973 (external link)
Hello all,

This might have been asked before multiple times but I haven't found a solid answer in any of the previous forums. I started my research and read a lot about different Canon models and almost decided to buy a Canon 70D. As a final step, I did a quick Canon 70D vs "competition" search on youtube to see how it compares to other cameras. Many of the videos were mainly comparing it to Nikon D7100. Both of them came neck to neck in terms of features but I still liked 70D for its amazing auto focus system, other bells and whistles such as swiveling screen, wifi etc etc. But many people started comparing the "sensor quality" --> "photo quality" and Nikon came out on top.

I mainly use my camera for taking landscapes (just an enthusiast) and travel pictures. Nikon D7100 seemed to be better than Canon for landscapes (according to reviewers). Many youtubers quoted DXOMark scores to back it up. I went on their website to do a comparison of sensors to find out that Nikon D7100 scored more than 70D in every category. Ofcourse, these scores do not take into consideration the features like the new auto focus system etc., but they looked only at sensor quality.

My question is how real are these scores? So purely from image quality perspective, Nikon D7100 is better than 70D? Here is the link comparing these two cameras:

http://www.dxomark.com …sus-Nikon-D7100___895_865 (external link)

Also, the ratings are higher for 3rd party lenses. For example Sigma 18-35 has higher ratings for D7100 compared to 70D (although the difference is very less).

Is it recommended to go by these values to make a final decision?

Thanks.

"Real and relevant" might be a better question.

The emphasis some place on DXOmark resembles the personal computer world of twenty years ago, when manufacturers competed for the best scores on PC Magazine's benchmark tests. At a time when personal computer performance was expected to improve from year to year as much of the industry advanced from the i386 through the i486, those benchmark scores were vitally important.

Eventually, some computer manufacturers were found to have set up their machines solely for big benchmark test scores. Later, as dramatic computer improvement became incremental and computer magazines retreated from the newsstands, the importance of benchmark tests also faded.

With the annual improvement of DSLR performance also fading from major changes to the addition of features, there's also a serious question of whether or not DXOmark numbers are useful to anyone who is interested in pictures more than statistics.

The days, barely 15 years ago, when Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape caused a major controversy when he declared that images from Canon's first homegrown DSLR, the D30, were as good as images from 35mm film, (external link) have faded.

There are hints that even apparently large differences in DXOmark scores are functionally invisible, and a photographer's skill and technique make a larger difference than the test scores.

There's evidence of that in the selection of Reuters' best photographs of last year, where an entry-level Canon T3 was used to create one of those images, and both Nikon and Canon cameras seem to be equally distributed in being employed to make images that depended more on initiative and courage than on equipment.




  
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sega62
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Nov 02, 2014 13:20 |  #7

uday029 wrote in post #17244973 (external link)
Hello all,

This might have been asked before multiple times but I haven't found a solid answer in any of the previous forums. I started my research and read a lot about different Canon models and almost decided to buy a Canon 70D. As a final step, I did a quick Canon 70D vs "competition" search on youtube to see how it compares to other cameras. Many of the videos were mainly comparing it to Nikon D7100. Both of them came neck to neck in terms of features but I still liked 70D for its amazing auto focus system, other bells and whistles such as swiveling screen, wifi etc etc. But many people started comparing the "sensor quality" --> "photo quality" and Nikon came out on top.

I mainly use my camera for taking landscapes (just an enthusiast) and travel pictures. Nikon D7100 seemed to be better than Canon for landscapes (according to reviewers). Many youtubers quoted DXOMark scores to back it up. I went on their website to do a comparison of sensors to find out that Nikon D7100 scored more than 70D in every category. Ofcourse, these scores do not take into consideration the features like the new auto focus system etc., but they looked only at sensor quality.

My question is how real are these scores? So purely from image quality perspective, Nikon D7100 is better than 70D? Here is the link comparing these two cameras:

http://www.dxomark.com …sus-Nikon-D7100___895_865 (external link)

Also, the ratings are higher for 3rd party lenses. For example Sigma 18-35 has higher ratings for D7100 compared to 70D (although the difference is very less).

Is it recommended to go by these values to make a final decision?

Thanks.


Dont pay any attention to Dxo, even dpreview that goes hands in hands,
If i were you, check some pictures of the model you like on flickr, or forums.
Some of these guys are way better than these so called expert.
Good luck




  
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ksbal
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Nov 02, 2014 13:34 |  #8

If I want more Dynamic Range, I bracket. There are those that the sensor is the end all, be all. For me it is not. All good advice given above. Go with what works best for you.


Godox/Flashpoint r2 system, plus some canon stuff.

  
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mclaren777
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Nov 02, 2014 14:02 |  #9

I find DxO and DPReview to be incredibly helpful when I'm making gear decisions.


A simple comparison of sensor technology: Nikon vs. Canon (external link)
A technical comparison of sensor technology: Exposure Latitude (external link)

  
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snake0ape
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Nov 02, 2014 14:26 |  #10

mclaren777 wrote in post #17247991 (external link)
I find DxO and DPReview to be incredibly helpful when I'm making gear decisions.

For Dxo, it's only useful if you know what information to look for. But dxo single number ratings are very misleading and a big dis-service to the average consumer.


5Diii | 50D | 8-15L 4| 16-35L 2.8 II| 24-70L 2.8 II | 70-200L 2.8 IS II |Tamy 150-600 | Σ35Art 1.4 | 40 2.8 | Σ50Art 1.4 | 85L 1.2 II | 100 2.8 Macro | Helios 44-3 58mm f2.0 |Helios 40-1 85mm f1.5 | 1.4x & 2x teleconverters

  
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iowajim
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Nov 02, 2014 14:33 |  #11

mclaren777 wrote in post #17247991 (external link)
I find DxO and DPReview to be incredibly helpful when I'm making gear decisions.

+1

I find the 'perceived megapixels' rating particularly important as a measure of the lens' ability. I am not concerned with the t-stop evaluation. IIRC, focus speed and IS are not accounted for at all.

But it isn't the only thing I look at. YouTube reviews from established bloggers provides some insight as well. SLRGear.com is another good site.

One thing I don't look at is example photos. Not the 'test photos', but the examples. Most any lens can kick out a great image under particular circumstances. I'm looking for a lens with the attributes to consistently kick out great images.


Jim, in Iowa
80D / T2i / Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 / Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 / Canon 24-105 f4 / Tamron SP VC 70-200mm f2.8 / Sigma 150-600mm C

  
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CanonVsNikon
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Nov 02, 2014 14:57 |  #12
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Well you are on a Canon site, of course DXO marks mean nothing :)




  
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Charlie
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Nov 02, 2014 15:00 as a reply to  @ iowajim's post |  #13

Dxo is good stuff. DR variances may not matter much to some folks, especially working with high ISO's, however Tstop values can become very important for high iso shooters. It's all how YOU want to take the information. Take their final scores with a grain of salt, it's their opinion that they weigh certain items. They have comprehensive data, which exceeds any other tester.

In terms of data, DXO is a top tier source. I would rank them at the very top for information regarding lens and sensor characteristics.


Sony A7siii/A7iii/ZV-1 - FE 24/1.4 - SY 24/2.8 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Tamron 17-28/2.8 - 28-75/2.8 - 28-200 RXD
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Nov 02, 2014 17:44 |  #14

There are those who peer at specs and hope the best makes their photographs better, and there are photographers who work hard at their craft. DXO is quoted and relied upon most by the former, and used as a casual reference by the latter.




  
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timbop
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Nov 02, 2014 18:01 |  #15

Charlie wrote in post #17248085 (external link)
Dxo is good stuff. DR variances may not matter much to some folks, especially working with high ISO's, however Tstop values can become very important for high iso shooters. It's all how YOU want to take the information. Take their final scores with a grain of salt, it's their opinion that they weigh certain items. They have comprehensive data, which exceeds any other tester.

In terms of data, DXO is a top tier source. I would rank them at the very top for information regarding lens and sensor characteristics.

DXO has a formula that calculates metrics that the guys at DXO find incredibly important - because they have a way to objectively measure it. Just because there is an objective way to measure something doesn't mean that measurement has value. DR is a perfect example; the range represents a maximal value at native sensor level - as soon as you start playing with contrast or curves then you change the actual tonal range in the image.

Relying on the DXO score is like deciding on a car based on horsepower at the red line, wheelbase and number of gears in the transmission.


Current: 5DM3, 6D, 8mm fish, 24-105/4IS, 35/2IS, 70-200/2.8IS, 85/1.8, 100-400/IS v1, lensbaby composer with edge 80, 580's and AB800's
Formerly: 80D, 7D, 300D, 5D, 5DM2, 20D, 50D, 1DM2, 17-55IS, 24-70/2.8, 28-135IS, 40/2.8, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 70-200/4IS, 70-300IS, 70-200/2.8, 100 macro, 400/5.6, tammy 17-50 and 28-75, sigma 50 macro & 100-300

  
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How real and reliable are DXOmark scores?
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