Camera Testing Explained by CineD & Gerald Undone and Fujifilm X-H2S

CineD & Gerald Undone sat down to talk about lab testing and how they compare cameras. Below is a summary of the entire one-hour video:

Testing Methodology

  • Decided to explain it because people get very upset when their computer doesn’t get the score they expect, and why do different reviewers have different results when it comes to measurements like the dynamic range?
  • Testing was started to see if manufacturers’ claims are accurate and to satisfy readers asking questions.
  • Gerald uses DSC labs methodology because CineD and others do, but when he started, there wasn’t a lot of overlap.
  • Gerald used to get about half a stop better dynamic range in his tests due to different settings, but then they talked, and now the variability is about 1/10th of a stop difference.
  • There are processes in post that improve the performance of your camera so you really shouldn’t get too upset by raw numbers.
  • Many cameras use the same sensors, so results are pretty similar until you tweak it
  • Dynamic range is a range that tells what is the difference between the max and min luminance Acceptable noise at the limits varies quite a bit
  • They care more about if the manufacturers are telling the truth than who has the best numbers
  • The dynamic range is when you expose for the scene how many stops are there it is not how much you can push/pull the image or how much it might add.
  • There are many tests out there, but most are very flawed and can’t be compared
  • CineD does dynamic range/latitude/rolling shutter because they are the only consistent tests you can do on every camera.
  • Every generation of camera adds more trickery
  • It’s hard to review smartphones because they do so much processing that you cannot stop.
  • Semi-professional cameras are becoming more smartphone-like
  • Companies have threatened CineD about their results
  • Japanese camera makers are engineering-driven and the marketing department follows their lead
  • The Japanese accept results better than others
  • No one has canceled their advertising over bad results
  • If you own a camera and you are happy with it, don’t watch the review because it might upset you because reviews are for people looking to buy.
  • It shouldn’t matter what a reviewer has to say if you own a camera.
  • If Gerald had to rank features, dynamic range would be a big one for him, and CineD agrees with that statement.
  • Everyone feels differently about how a camera feels in hand and how the menus function.
  • Gerald feels latitude testing can be inaccurate and that as long as one stop can be recovered, it is fine.
  • It would be cool to design a scene with a broad dynamic range and then compare the camera’s ability to recover the scene with good skin tones.
  • CineD sees latitude testing as being a torture test
  • Sony’s are super popular today, but the camera does a lot of processing, so when you start pushing and pulling it around it is hard to tell what is causing issues in an image
  • If you hit exposure close to 1 stop, any camera will give you a great image today

Fujifilm X-H2S

  • Noise can have a quality about whether you like an image or not and noise reduction.
  • Gerald feels that the Fujifilm X-H2S has very pleasing noise production, and in resolve, the noise gets cleaned up pretty much perfectly.
  • Fine organic noise is pleasing and easy to clean up
  • If an image is too blocky, you can not save it
  • Gerald jokes that they were bought and sold by Fujifilm
  • The camera has great dynamic range
  • The Fujifilm X-H2S is a great B camera
  • Fujifilm X-H2S has great rolling shutter. Dynamic range is great, and it did great overall for CineD’s lab testing
  • The Fujifilm X-H2S is the best APS-C camera, but Gerald doesn’t like the user interface
  • If testing were all that mattered, Gerald would be shooting an X-H2S
  • CineD is launching a new database of their lab testing soon

Fujifilm X-H2S:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF18-120mm f/4.0 LM PZ WR:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama
Fujinon XF150-600mm f/5.6-8 R WR:
B&H Photo / Amazon / Moment / Adorama

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