Format

When we review digital cameras, we adhere to a specific format to make sure that we cover all the important aspects of each camera. The format is as follows:

The Introduction: In this section, we introduce the camera and explain any background information that may be helpful to understand the rest of the article. This may include its competitors, previous models, new features, etc. We also will give the article a direction by posing a question. The rest of the article is then, in a sense, an attempt to answer that question.

The Specifications: Here, we will list all the major specifications of the camera in a table. It is designed to be a reference that quickly and easily lists the features of the camera that we are reviewing. Also included in this section is a list of the contents that come in the product's box.

The Design: In this section, we will take a look at the overall feel of the camera. We will discuss the construction of the body, the different features of the camera, the lens, the menu navigation system, and any other important design-related items.

The Battery: The battery section will contain the results of our battery test as well as a description of the battery source and our impression of its performance. A detailed description of our battery test is on the next page of this guide.

The Timing Tests: In this section, we put the camera through our three time tests and report the results. The three tests are: shutter lag, startup time, and disk write time. These tests are described in detail on the next page.

Image Quality Tests: Our image quality section is designed to test and analyze the camera in a studio setting. We test the camera's ability to resolve fine lines accurately using our ISO 12233 IEEE-approved resolution chart and to reproduce colors using our GretagMacBeth ColorChecker. We also include samples of our own studio test image taken at differing ISO settings to provide an evaluation of the camera's noise-handling ability. A simple flash test is done to see how well the camera's flash can depict skin tones accurately.

General Image Quality: Our samples page consists of everyday-type pictures (usually outdoors), providing our readers with full-resolution files to download and examine. We also crop out portions of the images to analyze for quality issues.

Conclusion: The conclusion is the section that ties everything together. We highlight the good and the bad of the camera and provide our impression of its performance. We end the article by answering the question that we posed in the Introduction.

Glossary Testing Procedures
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  • GOSHARKS - Thursday, July 8, 2004 - link

    ianmills - heavily biased? i have yet to see any sort of bias on the largest and most popular digican review sites (dpreview, dcresource, imaging resource, steves digicams, megapixel.net, etc) Reply
  • ianmills - Wednesday, July 7, 2004 - link

    Most sites that review digital cameras are HEAVILY BIASED. Let's hope Anandtech can be more objective than the other sites in their reviews.

    I just skimmed the article quickly (so you may have already included this), but I WOULD LIKE TO SEE a test of how long you need to wait between each picture that is taken. I have a a Canon A300 and it takes almost 10s between each picture when the flash is used ><
    Unfortunately none of the camera review sites mentioned this flaw (but otherwise the camera is good ^^)
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, July 5, 2004 - link

    I've got to agree with those who wonder what AT can add to the already well catered for online digial-photography sector. Sites like imaging-resource.com and others mentioned in earlier comments have many in-depth reviews every month so that they cover pretty much every digital camera available. They specialise in nothing but digital photography and everyone involved with the site is an expert in it, who knows about every product available together with its strengths and weaknesses and together can give an informed opinion.

    AT is a site which covers computers and the people who do the reviews here are all experts on computers in much the same way. Thats what makes this site one of the top PC hardware sites on the net.

    Although digital photography using computer equipment may make it seem like the two are similar and can be covered together, doing so is a bit like a site which specialises in cars deciding to look at a few caravans as well. Yes you need a car to pull a caravan, but the two are used for quite different purposes and need to be considered entirely seperately, except for a mention of what power of car is needed to tow a particular caravan.

    Unless AT is prepared to create what will need to be at least as equally large a site as the existing AT covering nothing but cameras, something like anandtech-cameras.com for instance, the camera reviews will be of very little value. I'm sorry to sound pessimistic about this new part of AT, but its just far too large a field to hope to cover without more than doubling in size. Theres a real danger of being seen as a jack of all trades...
    Reply
  • shuttleboi - Monday, July 5, 2004 - link

    I doubt a gadget website like Anandtech has anything of value to add over the content found in DPReview.com and others, but just in case the author(s) are working in earnest: One test that needs to be added is a luminance test to show a digicam's noise sensitivity to higher ISO. Such a test will reveal how digital SLRs like the Canon 300d/10d and Nikon d70/d100 stand out from point-and-shoot cameras and even mid-range cameras like the Sony 828. The light sensors in digital SLRs are much larger than those found in smaller digicams, thereby allowing users to dial up higher ISO without nearly as much noise. For example, by going from ISO 100 to 800, you've gained 3 stops of overexposure, so you can reduce your shutter speed by 3 stops, which is invaluable when you're in low-light situations. Digital SLRs have little noise at ISO 800, whereas cameras with smaller sensors (even the Sony 828 or Canon PowerShot Pro1) produce fairly noisy images even at ISO 200. Even at ISO 1600, my Canon 300d produces acceptable results not much worse than the grainy slide film in my old film SLR. Reply
  • jliechty - Monday, July 5, 2004 - link

    Hmm, it looks like the new system is chopping off extra paragraphs in commments. There should be a second paragraph to this comment.
    Reply
  • jliechty - Monday, July 5, 2004 - link

    #1 - I don't know for sure, but it will be interesting to see what they come up with.
    Reply
  • LX - Monday, July 5, 2004 - link

    Between full-time digicam review sites like dpreview.com, imaging-resource.com, dcresource.com, megapixel.net and steves-digicams.com what can you add to the mix? Reply

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