Camera Measurement Standards

The camera image quality measurement standards developed by ISO/TC 42/WG 18 over the past three decades are now being applied to a wide range of imaging applications, including the cameras used in smartphones, autonomous vehicles and machines, machine vision, the "Internet of Things", and medical imaging. This page provides a summary of these thirteen WG 18 standards, along with links to purchase the standards from the ANSI website.

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In addition to these published ISO standards, WG 18 is currently developing four new standards, including ISO 8527 to measure the performance of depth cameras (e.g., 3D detection systems), ISO/TS 20490 to measure the auto-focus performance of digital cameras, ISO 20954-2 to measure the performance of non-optical image stabilization systems in digital cameras, and ISO 18844-2, to measure angle-dependent image flare. Furthermore, WG 18 is currently revising two of its most widely known standards, ISO 12233:2017 (Resolution measurements) and ISO 15739:2017 (Noise measurements) to better meet the needs of the wide range of imaging applications to which digital cameras are being applied.

Index to Published Standards


1. Resolution Measurements

ISO 12233:2017 - Photography — Electronic still picture imaging — Resolution and spatial frequency responses specifies methods for measuring the resolution and the spatial frequency response (SFR) of digital cameras. Qualitatively, resolution is the ability of a camera to optically capture finely spaced detail and is usually reported as a single value. Spatial frequency response (SFR) is a multi-valued metric that measures contrast loss as a function of spatial frequency. Two different SFR measurement methods are defined. E-SFR measures the response to a slanted edge and S-SFR measures the response to a sine-wave modulated target in polar form.

ISO 12233 is currently being revised, to improve the measurement results for camera applications with significant geometric distortion or noise.

Purchase ISO 12233 in the ANSI store. To obtain measurement tools related to ISO 12233, see IS&T Digital Camera Resolution Tools.

2. Noise Measurements

ISO 15739:2017 - Photography — Electronic still-picture imaging — Noise measurements specifies methods for measuring and reporting the noise versus signal level and the dynamic range of digital cameras. It includes methods for measuring the fixed pattern noise, temporal noise, and the visual noise, which is designed to correlate well with the visual appearance of noise in images.

ISO 15739 is currently being revised, to improve the visual noise model.

Purchase ISO 15739 in the ANSI store. To obtain measurement tools related to ISO 15739, see IS&T Noise Measurement Tools.

3. Sensitivity Measurements

ISO 12232:2019 - Photography — Digital still cameras — Determination of exposure index, ISO speed ratings, standard output sensitivity, and recommended exposure index specifies methods for assigning and reporting these metrics, which can be used to determine the proper camera exposure settings or to compare or record the sensitivity of a digital camera.

Purchase ISO 12232 in the ANSI store.

4. OECF (tone reproduction) Measurements

ISO 14524:2009 - Photography — Electronic still-picture cameras — Methods for measuring opto-electronic conversion functions (OECFs) specifies methods for measuring the functional relationship between the focal plane exposures (or scene luminances) and the output code values of a digital camera.

Purchase ISO 14524 in the ANSI store.

5. Shading Measurements

ISO 17957: 2015 - Photography — Digital cameras — Shading measurements defines methods for measuring the systematic intensity variation across an image, known as luminance shading, as well as the color variations within the image. Luminance shading in a camera is caused by factors such as illumination non-uniformity, lens shading, pixel geometry effects, and electronic non-uniformity.

Purchase ISO 17957 in ANSI the store.

6. Geometric Distortion Measurements 

ISO 17850:2015 - Photography — Digital cameras — Geometric distortion (GD) measurements specifies a protocol to measure departures from the ideal image geometry. Geometric distortion is mainly caused by the variation of magnification in the image field of the camera lens, and can cause straight lines to appear to be curved.

Purchase ISO 17850 in the ANSI store. To obtain measurement tools related to ISO 17850, see IS&T Geometric Distortion and Chromatic Displacement Tool.

7. Chromatic Displacement Measurements

ISO 19084:2015 - Photography — Digital cameras — Lateral chromatic displacement measurement specifies test patterns, methods, and measurement conditions for measuring the color fringe boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image. Chromatic displacement is primarily caused by optical factors, including lateral chromatic aberration where the size of an image changes as a function of the wavelength of light and longitudinal chromatic aberration where the back focus changes with wavelength.

Purchase ISO 19084 in the ANSI store. To obtain measurement tools related to ISO 19084, see IS&T Geometric Distortion and Chromatic Displacement Tool.

8. Image Flare Measurements

ISO 18844:2017 - Photography — Digital cameras — Image flare measurement specifies test patterns, methods, and measurement conditions for measuring the unwanted stray light that can reduce the image contrast. The measurement includes the effects of the camera lens, image sensor, and camera body.

Purchase ISO 18844 in the ANSI store.

9. Shooting Time Lag Measurements

ISO 15781:2019 - Photography — Digital still cameras — Measuring shooting time lag, shutter release time lag, shooting rate, and start-up time specifies two methods for determining these timing values. The first method uses control signals inside the digital camera, and is typically used by the camera manufacturer. The second method does not require access to the inside of the digital still camera, and is typically used by photographers or reviewers.

Purchase ISO 15781 in the ANSI store.

10. Low Light Measurements

ISO 19093:2018 - Photography — Digital cameras — Measuring low light performance specifies a test chart, measurement conditions, and a table format for reporting the low light capabilities of a camera. The table includes the light level, exposure time, noise level, texture value, and chroma decrease.

Purchase ISO 19093 in the ANSI store.

11. Image Stabilization Measurements

ISO 20954-1:2019 - Digital cameras — Measurement method for image stabilization performance — Part 1: Optical systems defines a method for measuring the performance of optical image stabilization systems which compensate for blur caused by yaw and pitch. It uses two waveforms that simulate typical shaking profiles when a camera is hand held.

Purchase ISO 20954-1 in the ANSI store.

12. Color Characterization Test Procedures

ISO 17321-1:2012 - Graphic technology and photography — Colour characterisation of digital still cameras (DSCs) — Part 1: Stimuli, metrology and test procedures specifies color test charts and test methods for characterizing the capability of digital cameras to capture a range of colors.

Purchase ISO 17321-1 in the ANSI store.

13. Camera Testing Guidelines

ISO/TR 19247:2016 - Photography — Guidelines for reliable testing of digital still cameras describes best practices for performing tests of digital cameras, including test criteria, conditions, protocols and documentation, as well as the training of personnel for reliable testing.

Purchase ISO/TR 19247 in the ANSI store.