Many products are tested daily by the editors Digital. To achieve this, our laboratories are the essential elements that allow us to build our tests. In everything to do with pictures, the laboratory plays a major role in the photo area, which products from the areas of telephony, home and IT regularly pass by.
As the years pass and technologies advance, it is impossible to rest on one’s laurels, laboratories and other testing protocols need to be adapted and modernized. Exactly, changes that the photo lab has undergone over time. In 2016 we launched our new test scene, while in 2019 camera lens testing procedures changed dramatically – to name just a few.
Worse, a minor disaster in 2021 forced us to make a new change, this time right on our stage. The completely broken oil bottle that stood in the middle of the stage and accompanied us for more than 15 years has been replaced with photo portraits, useful for recognizing faces.
A brand new lab
With a change of location in June 2022, the laboratories will benefit from new improvements. A higher ceiling height, a wider and slightly longer area ensure more comfort for the direct benefit of the editorial offices. When you can move without stepping on it and work long hours in a less cramped and better lit space, a lot of things change, take our word for it!
Of course, more space also means more potential for evolution, because we always want to improve certain test procedures or develop new ones. For example, the question of photo stabilization or rolling gate — Deformation during movement of the device or subject in photo or video — are among our goals.
The hardware is also changing.
On the other hand, based on our experience, we have created a more rational space with more efficient material management. Team comfort has been improved, as has the reliability of certain protocols. With the previous, smaller space conditions, it was not uncommon for the lights to have to be readjusted due to a slight involuntary jerk…
Exactly these insights we find under the important changes. Our old Led panels are therefore recycled and replaced with Godox projectors. The Philips Hue lamps used for our low-light tests were also shelved much too moodily. We gain more performance, more precise settings, more homogeneous light distribution or better reliability in every respect.
The photo rating is changing!
Finally, significant changes in camera test protocols are to be expected. While lens testing was already laying claim to its reform, camera testing, and particularly that of hybrids, has yet to undergo a major overhaul to cater to an increasingly demanding market.
Of course, if we keep what works very well and the changes made little by little – like the use of raw files – are obviously renewed, the rating system will not be the same anymore. To do this, we partially separate from how the current subnotes work for a new distribution:
- Started : covers the construction of the device, its ergonomics and a section on autonomy.
- Reactivity & Focus : The video part is treated independently, while the new types of autofocus are better taken into account.
- picture quality : Each criterion plays its role, the video part is no longer in a separate category.
- image mode and video mode : We separate photo and video modes into two very different sub-notes. The best video boxes will be able to compete with the rest of the market.
As you understood, considering the video part is more important than ever. It is now up to the manufacturers to offer us a camera-oriented photo, video or multi-purpose camera. Finally, more than 300 control points are now used for camera testing.
Almost 15 different products pass through the photo laboratory
Our new test procedure is already being used internally, but not yet used for the reader. To complete several tests and additional adjustments, you still have to wait for the changes to arrive on new photo tests. Our comparisons are then gradually updated to establish a new, much more accurate mapping between devices.
When hybrid, SLR or compact cameras, lenses, action cams, memory cards, printers and light bulbs, smartphones, surveillance cameras or other drones pass through the photo laboratory, other products are subjected to completely different tests thanks to the laboratory in the home sector or the one in the sections image & sound. They, too, have benefited from a major transformation. We’ll show them to you soon.