camera review ratings system Overview

At the end of each camera review, there is a short x out of 10 rating system, assigning each camera an overall score. I've narrowed this down to 7 categories which I believe can reasonably summarize each camera's capabilities at a glance. Below, I've clarified what each category entails.


Image Quality

This is a value obtained by ascertaining the camera sensor's still image quality. This includes:

  • Maximum Resolving power (by high megapixel count, lack of an AA filter, etc)
  • High ISO sensitivity noise performance (banding, blotching, aggressive noise reduction issues, artifacts, color vs luminance noise, performance when down-sampling)
  • RAW image bit depth / color information recorded
  • Sensor size and its relation to physical issues such as diffraction, depth of field, or focal length crop

Scaled from: 1 ► Sony Mavica ► to ◄ Fujifilm GFX50S ◄ 10

Video quality

This category is based on the caliber of footage the camera is able to record. This is removed if the camera reviewed does not offer any video recording. This includes:

  • Maximum recording area size and frame rates (i.e. 4k Cine, 4k UHD, 1080, 720 and 24, 60, 120fps)
  • Sensor crop when recording at high resolutions or frame rates (some cameras only record their footage from smaller portions of the sensor- for example, Canon's 36x24mm 5D Mk IV only uses a 1.8x crop of the sensor when recording 4k footage, or Panasonic's G7/G85 uses a 2.2x crop)
  • Recording color quality and bit depth, both internally and to external recorders (most consumer cameras offer a maximum of 4:2:0 8-bit, but some record externally at 4:2:2 10-bit and I expect to see better in the future)
  • Footage's ease of use in post-processing tasks such as color grading or arrangement (some cameras only record certain codecs that may be more difficult to use, or lack color profiles similar to LOG or Rec.709)

Scaled from: 1 ► Casio QV-4000 320x240 ► to ◄ RED WEAPON 8K ◄ 10

Stills features

Features included that are primarily aimed at stills shooting. There is some crossover between this and the "video features" category, but I thought it was important to differentiate the two. Includes:

  • In-body or in-lens stabilization effectiveness (slow shutter speed usability mostly)
  • Manual focus ease or software assist tools
  • Software oriented features such as self timers, intervalometers, live view functionality, automatic ISO
  • Autofocus and metering system performance
  • Available modes (basically, does the camera have a fully manual mode?)

Scaled from: 1 ► Minolta RD-175 ► to ◄ Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II ◄ 10

Video features

Features that are used mainly for recording video footage. This is not present if the camera does not have any video recording ability. Includes:

  • In-body or in-lens stabilization effectiveness specific to moving video (jerkiness, snapping when panned)
  • Visible aids such as "zebra" highlight warnings or manual focus aids (PIP, zoom, peaking, etc), live histogram
  • On-screen microphone levels, live adjustment, automatic usability
  • Available ports - microphone input, headphone output, ability to utilize external recorders via HDMI etc
  • Additional features such as power/slow aperture adjustment
  • Autofocus speed and accuracy during video recording

Scaled from: 1 ► Konica KD-300 ► to ◄ Panasonic GH5 ◄ 10


This rating is characterized by the camera's ergonomics and physical ease of use. This includes:

  • Size, weight, and lens system size (relative to others in the same class)
  • Grip and control ergonomics, dual dials, customizable function buttons, touch screen functionality
  • Viewfinder and rear monitor size, resolution, accuracy, articulation, diopter adjustment
  • External flash hot shoe, IR or corded remote release, built-in flash usability
  • Battery/Memory compartment location and accessibility
  • Tripod mount, external battery/wifi grip compatibility, other accessories and brackets

Scaled from: 1 ► Kodak DCS 100 ► to ◄ Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II or Panasonic G85 ◄ 10


The camera's physical construction and longevity. Includes:

  • Weather/environmental sealing
  • Operation at temperature extremes
  • Body material quality, fit and finish
  • Shockproof/scratch/dent/impact damage resistance

Scaled from: 1 ► Sony SLT-58 with plastic lens mount ► to ◄ The Canon 7D Digital Rev Destroyed ◄ 10


Overall value of the product at its price at the time of writing. This includes:

  • New price from dealers, including any frequent rebates/coupons/specials
  • Used cost to buy - some high quality cameras depreciate very quickly and these are excellent for the thrifty shooter.

Scaled from: 1 ► Whatever over-hyped thing just came out ► to ◄ one generation old Canon Rebel ending in "i," Nikon D5k series, or Pentax K-5 I ◄ 10

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