Smartphone portrait photography and skin-tone rendering study: Results and trends

In the summer of 2023, DXOMARK conducted its most extensive study on smartphone portrait photography, with a focus on everyday life moments. This comprehensive analysis involved capturing 405 scenes featuring 83 regular consumers as models. The study incorporated a diverse user panel comprising these models, 30 professional photographers, and 10 DXOMARK image quality experts. The primary objective was to gauge user preferences in people’s pictures and uncover emerging trends in smartphone portrait photography, particularly in the context of diverse skin tones.
The study revealed:
1.Unmet User Expectations: Despite advancements in smartphone technology, today’s leading smartphones fall short of meeting user expectations for portrait rendering in pictures. This indicates a gap between technological capabilities and user satisfaction.
2.Significant Disparities Among Smartphones: The study identified substantial differences in portrait rendering among various smartphones, leading to varying levels of user satisfaction. This highlights the need for manufacturers to address these disparities and strive for consistent high-quality performance.
3.Inconsistency Across Skin Tones: An intriguing discovery was that the perceived quality of images did not remain consistent across all skin tones featured in the study. This prompts a crucial question about the inclusivity of smartphone camera technology and the need for improvements to ensure consistent performance across diverse skin tones.
4.Room for Improvement in All Lighting Conditions: While smartphones have made strides in photo rendering, there is still ample room for improvement, particularly in achieving satisfying photo rendering in every lighting condition. This indicates a potential area for innovation and enhancement in future smartphone camera technologies.
These findings present opportunities for collaboration and innovation within the industry landscape, with a focus on delivering enhanced smartphone photography experiences for users.
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