DXO Ratings Are Horseshit

DXO has released its review of the iPhone 8 Plus camera, and it got their “highest scores” ever. No one should give a shit. They assign precise numbers like 96 for “photos”, 89 for “video”, and 55 for “bokeh” — but these numbers just give a false illusion of scientific rigor, as though they’re like CPU or GPU benchmark scores. (And CPU/GPU benchmark scores have their own problems.)

They’re not. There are certain aspects of a camera that you can measure objectively, but the overall quality of a camera is utterly subjective. Go read John Paczkowski’s interview with Phil Schiller and Apple designer Johnnie Manzari that I linked to an hour ago — they talk about how Apple sees cameras as being about art, history, and people. Go read Austin Mann’s review of the iPhone 8 Plus camera (also linked to here at DF earlier today) — that’s how you review and measure the quality of a camera.

Particularly with their “overall” score, DXO is pretending to assign an objective scientific-looking measurement to something that is inherently subjective. It’s horseshit, but everyone in the media falls for it. I said it was horseshit last year when they named a Pixel their “highest rated ever”, and I say it’s bullshit now when they said that about an iPhone.

Friday, 22 September 2017