Major changes and modernization of our photo lab

5

Thanks to the laboratories, reporters from Digital perform tests that establish the strengths and weaknesses of a product. To achieve this, “labs” are essential. In fact, the Photo section is undergoing a new depth overhaul.

The photo test scene is ready to use.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Every day, many products are tested by the editorial staff Digital. To achieve this, our laboratories are the essential elements that allow us to carry out our tests. For everything related to images, the laboratory of the Photo section plays a major role, where products from the Telephony, Home and IT sections also often pass through.

Regular evolutions

With years and technologies developing, it is impossible to rest on one’s laurels, lab and other test protocols must be adapted and modern. Exactly, changes, the photo lab experienced over time. In 2016, we introduced our new test scene, while camera lens testing procedures have changed significantly in 2019 – to name a few examples.

If the illuminations of the staff seem to be out of position without symmetry, their proper adjustment allows a homogeneous surface light.

If the illuminations of the staff seem to be out of position without symmetry, their proper adjustment allows a homogeneous surface light.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Worse, a small disaster in 2021 forces our hand for a new change, directly on our stage this time. Completely broken, the oil bottle that sits near the center of the stage and that has been with us for more than 15 years has been replaced by photographic images, useful for recognizing faces.

A new lab

With the change of premises in June 2022, the laboratories benefit from new developments. For the direct benefit of editorial teams, a higher ceiling height, a wider and slightly higher surface make for greater convenience. Being able to move around without stepping on it and being able to work long hours in a less cramped and better lit space changes a lot of things, take our word for it!

Advertising, your content continues below

The bank does not use test protocols.

The bank does not use test protocols.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Of course, more space means greater potential for evolution, because we always want to improve some test processes or create new ones. For example, the question of photo stabilization or rolling-shutter — deformation during the movement of the device or the subject of the photo or video — are among our targets.

The hardware is also changing.

On the other hand, based on our experience, we have created a more reasonable space with more efficient material management. The comfort of the team has increased, as well as the reliability of some protocols. With the former, smaller space, it is often necessary to readjust the lights due to a small involuntary run …

Advertising, your content continues below

Goodbye wiring and other tripods, we won't miss you.

Goodbye wiring and other tripods, we won’t miss you.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Appropriately, we found these insights among the key changes. Our old Led panels are therefore recycled and replaced by Godox projectors. Far from whimsical, the Philips Hue bulbs used for our low-light tests were also shelved. More power, more accurate settings, more homogeneous distribution of light or better reliability, we can have all the counts.

Photo rating will change!

Finally, significant changes are expected in camera testing protocols. If the lens tests have the right to their reform, the camera tests, and especially the hybrids, still need to go through a significant repair to face a more demanding market.

Advertising, your content continues below

The photo test scene is in motion.

The photo test scene is in motion.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

If it is clear that we keep what is very good and the changes made gradually – such as the use of raw files – will clearly change, the rating system will not be the same. To do this, we have part separated from the functionality of the current subsections for a new distribution:

  • dash : includes the construction of the device, its ergonomics as well as a part about autonomy.
  • Reactivity and focus : the video part is treated in its own right, while the new types of autofocus are better considered.
  • Image quality : Each scale has its role to play, the video part is no longer in a separate category.
  • Picture Mode and video mode : we have separated photo and video modes into two separate sub-notes. The best video boxes can compete with the rest of the market.

As you can understand, considering the video segment is more important than ever. It is now up to the manufacturers to offer us a photo-focused camera, video or general purpose. Finally, more than 300 control points are currently used for camera tests.

Smartphones are among the main products to be tested in the photo lab in addition to more traditional cameras.

Smartphones are among the main products to be tested in the photo lab in addition to more traditional cameras.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

About 15 different products go through the photo lab

Our new testing method has been implemented internally, but has not yet been deployed to the reader. To complete more tests and more changes, it is still necessary to wait before seeing the changes that come with the new photo tests. Our comparisons are then gradually updated to build a new, more accurate classification between devices.

If hybrid, reflex or compact cameras, lenses, action-cams, memory cards, printers and bulbs, smartphones, surveillance cameras or other drones go through the photo laboratory, other products go through different tests thanks to the laboratory of Home section or one of the Image and Sound sections. They also benefited from a major change. We will show it to you soon.

The photo lab is almost end to end with regular lighting.

The photo lab is almost end to end with regular lighting.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Advertising, your content continues below

Advertising, your content continues below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.