This week’s poll focused on the smartphone camera and the most prominent independent ranking system: the DxOMark rating, and ranking leaderboard.
We wanted to know how much the ranking given by DxOMark affects the success of a phone by judging how much you care about the number. DxOMark introduced their Mobile rating system back in 2012, with a big update in September 2017 playing catch-up as things like low-light shots, telephoto zoom, depth effect, and bokeh became features on smartphones.
DxOMark has managed to rise up as a theoretically great way to determine if a new device with a new camera is really all that. Just like all benchmarks that hit the mainstream, if a new smartphone has a camera that gives it a high ranking, you’ll be sure to hear about it.
The final DxOMark rating number is based on photo and video performance
Now, nothing in life is perfect. DxOMark’s headline score shouldn’t be considered a hard truth, as we’ve previously written about in detail. AA’s Rob Triggs points out one of the big problems is that the final rankings weigh both photo- and video-taking capabilities. If you only take photos and don’t care much about video, you need to dig to find the true score for the camera only.
We’ve also discussed the issue where a manufacturer can stump up and buy the DxO Analyzer solution (for a fee estimated to be around license $20,000 per year) to get an idea of what DxO are testing. That alone is a great way to improve a camera overall, but if those ever-crafty manufacturers attempt to tweak a device for launch to receive a higher score when DxOMark tests the final product, that’s a problem.
So, with the rating increasingly competitive and increasingly debated – and news of other scandals like Huawei being delisted from 3DMark, how do you filter it all? Here’s how more than 38,000 of you responded to our question:
Do you care about DxOMark rankings?
The numbers are pretty interesting here. Where we had room to ask either yes, no, or somewhat, yes wasn’t even close to winning. But if you count “Somewhat” as positive, the majority of you said either somewhat, or yes. That was the case on the website (63 percent), YouTube (58 percent) and on Twitter (55 percent), each time a clear majority if you combine the two, over the no vote.
Where we only had a yes or a no option – which was on Facebook – no was the clear majority winner. A huge winner – only 29 percent said yes!
So what’s going on? It’s hard to say exactly but we’re speculating that it’s a soft yes or no: “yes, but,” or a “no, but,” kind of response.
- Yes, but not enough that it decides which phone I buy…
- No, but I don’t ignore it either….
Do the comments back that up? Let’s have a look at some of the more interesting ones.
Here’s what you said:
- Somewhat: I look at them but I don’t judge my purchases on them.
- Somewhat: I like to hear about the best cameras but it doesn’t affect which phone I buy
- Somewhat: I mean why not? My only gripe is they need to do more testing with moving subjects/phones. Other than that I like that they go in depth.
- Yes: For a photographer it matters. DxO tells you how high the ceiling is, it’s up to you whether you can make the best use out of it.
- No: I don’t consider their results meaningful at all. I don’t care about fake bokeh or fake sharpness or other processing adding to the score.
- No: Not one bit. I’d much rather see samples from a bunch of users to get a better picture (no pun intended) of what the camera quality is like.
And here’s some interesting possible nuggets of truth – or not – you decide!
- I have a feeling that if the Pixel had the highest DxOMark rating, then the number of people who answered yes would be through the roof…
- As long as they correlate with my preconceived bias to the brand I prefer, I do. Otherwise, I will bash them …said every fanboi ever.
Oof! Interesting arguments all around – what do you make of the results, the comments, the fans? I will take this chance to highlight that we here at Android Authority have been stepping up with dedicated camera reviews – take a look at the Note 9 camera review released this week by our professional photographer Edgar Cervantes, with a couple of the smartest people we know working to show objective results as well.
Until next week, stay hungry for the truth, people!