Grands changements et modernisation de notre laboratoire photo

Grands changements et modernisation de notre laboratoire photo

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Thanks to the laboratories, journalists from Digital perform tests that establish the strengths and weaknesses of a product. To achieve this, “labs” are essential. Precisely, the Photography section undergoes a new in-depth review.

The ready-to-use photographic test scene.

© 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 build our tests. For everything related to the image, the laboratory of the Photo section plays an important role, where products from the Telephony, Home and IT sections also pass regularly.

regular evolutions

With the years and evolving technologies, it is impossible to rest on our laurels, laboratories and other testing protocols must adapt and modernize. Exactly, the changes that the photographic laboratory has experienced over time. In 2016, we introduced our new test scene, while camera lens testing procedures changed dramatically in 2019, to name a few examples.

If the highlights of the staff seem to be placed asymmetrically, their precise adjustment allows a homogeneous illumination of the surface.

If the highlights of the staff seem to be placed asymmetrically, their precise adjustment allows a homogeneous illumination of the surface.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Worse yet, a minor disaster in 2021 forced us to make yet another change, this time directly on our stage. Completely broken, the bottle of oil that was near the center of the stage and that accompanied us for more than 15 years has been replaced by photographic portraits, useful for recognizing faces.

a new lab

With a change of location in June 2022, the laboratories benefit from new improvements. For the direct benefit of editorial teams, a higher ceiling height, a wider footprint and a slightly longer footprint make it more convenient. Moving 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!

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The bench has no use in test protocols.

The bench has no use in test protocols.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Of course, more space means more potential for evolution, because we always want to improve certain test processes or develop new ones. For example, the issue of light stabilization or blind — deformation during the movement of the device or the subject in the 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. The comfort of the equipment has been improved, as has the reliability of certain protocols. With the previous, smaller space, it was not uncommon to have to readjust the lights due to a slight inadvertent push…

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Goodbye wiring and other tripods, we will not miss you.

Goodbye wiring and other tripods, we will not miss you.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Precisely, we find these ideas among the important changes. Therefore, our old Led panels are recycled and replaced by Godox projectors. Way too capricious, the Philips Hue bulbs used for our low-light tests have also been shelved. More power, more precise adjustments, more homogeneous light distribution or greater reliability, we win in all aspects.

The photo rating will change!

Finally, significant changes to chamber test protocols are expected. If lens tests have already had the right to reform, camera tests, and more particularly those of hybrids, still need to undergo a major review to face an increasingly demanding market.

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The photographic test scene in action.

The photographic test scene in action.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

If we obviously keep what works very well and the changes made little by little, like the use of raw files, will obviously be renewed, the rating system will not be the same anymore. To do this, we are partially separating the operation of the current subnotes for a new distribution:

  • Handshake : includes the construction of the device, its ergonomics as well as a part related to autonomy.
  • Reactivity and focus : The video part is covered in its own right, while the new types of autofocus are better taken into account.
  • image quality – Each criteria has its role to play, the video part is no longer in a separate category.
  • picture mode Y video mode : We separated the 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 may have understood, taking into account the video part is more important than ever. Now it’s up to the manufacturers to offer us a photo, video or general purpose oriented camera. Finally, more than 300 checkpoints are now 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

Almost 15 different products go through the photo lab

Our new testing procedure is already applied internally, but has not yet been implemented for the reader. To finish several additional tests and adjustments, it will still be necessary to wait before seeing the changes in new photographic tests. Our comparisons will gradually be updated to establish a new, much more accurate ranking between devices.

If hybrid, reflex or compact cameras, lenses, action-cams, memory cards, printers and light bulbs, smartphones, surveillance cameras or other drones go through the photo lab, other products go through very different tests thanks to the laboratory in the Home section or to one in the Image and Sound sections. They too have benefited from a major transformation. Soon we will show them to you.

The photo lab almost from end to end with the usual lighting on.

The photo lab almost from end to end with the usual lighting on.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

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