eSFR ISO: Analyze The New Standard ISO 12233:2014 E-SFR Chart

June 12, 2014 – 5:45 PM


In February 2014 a new version of the ISO 12233:2014 standard, “Photography — Electronic still picture imaging — Resolution and spatial frequency”, was released. This new standard defines three test charts. The new Imatest eSFR ISO module preforms a highly automated analysis of the new E-SFR chart. It is available now (on request) in Imatest Master 4.0-Beta and will be available in the Imatest 4.0 release. Read the rest of this entry »

Imatest for Mac OS X 3.10-Beta Now Available

January 8, 2014 – 11:57 AM

Click here to download Imatest Master for Mac OS XWe are happy to announce that Imatest Master 3.10-Beta is now available for Mac OS X

Click here to download

We are confident in the stability of the image quality testing algorithms in this version, but have kept the Beta tag on this release since there may be some minor issues that remain to be resolved before we remove the Beta tag.

Our Mac release can be activated with the same Imatest Master license for PC, you can deactivate your PC version and activate on your Mac to quickly switch between operating systems.

If you run into any problems, we would appreciate dropping a note to describing your issue.

Soon we will be expanding our Mac releases to support Imatest Studio, as well as Imatest Image Sensor Edition and Imatest IT.

Introducing the Operator Console: Open Source GUI for Imatest IT

November 21, 2013 – 5:51 PM

Here at Imatest we recognize that not every company has an in-house team of software engineers to create a user interface for Imatest IT to suit the needs of a production environment. To address this need, we have created the Operator Console, which we are releasing as an open-source Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 project written in C++ on github: Operator-Console .

The Operator Console is meant to provide a basic, yet extensible, user interface that provides some of the functionality needed for a production environment. This interface allows the user to perform Blemish or SFRplus tests while capturing from any of the devices supported by the Imatest 3.10 library ((Please note that for Omnivision support there is a special activation process; see Imatest Image Sensor with Omnivision OVTAPantherM for details)). Shown below is a picture of the main window where the camera being tested has passed the selection criteria. 



Pass/Fail results and display

The Operator Console interfaces with the output from Imatest IT to display to the user whether or not a device has passed and for what reasons it has failed. Show below is a screen capture of the Operator Console which has failed a camera that was misaligned with the chart. 


A camera that has failed to pass the selection criteria due to poor alignment of the camera with the test chart.

The Operator Console indicates the overall Pass/Fail status near the upper right corner of the window where, in the above screen capture, the Operator Console reports ‘FAILED’. Immediately below that display is the list of criteria that device has failed including, unsurprisingly, ‘Horizontal convergence angle’ and ‘Vertical convergence angle’. The values that the Imatest IT library returned are displayed in the next field below. Lastly, any console output from Imatest IT is displayed in the bottom field. For more information about pass/fail criteria implemented in Imatest IT, please see Imatest IT Pass/Fail operation.

An additional feature that is present for SFRplus tests only are the Quadrant-status overlays (QSOs), which are the green ‘O”s and red ‘X”s shown in the displayed image. The QSOs indicate whether an individual quadrant has passed (in the case of the green ‘O’) or failed (red ‘X’). Note that the QSOs do not track the locations of edges where the SFRplus tests are being performed. For more information about quadrants please see SFRplus special topics: quadrants and saturation.


Other features

  • A password-protected GUI for modifying the pass/fail criteria that are accessible via the ‘Set Pass/Fail’ button
  • A GUI for quickly changing the device from which to acquire accessible via the ‘Setup’ button
  • A secondary window to display the full JSON output accessible via the ‘Show JSON’ button
  • Image acquisition and image tests (e.g. SFRplus,Blemish) are run in their own thread with data transfer through buffers controlled by critical sections 

Download and documentation

The source code for this project is found here:

The documentation is at

Imatest October 2013 Newsletter

October 1, 2013 – 7:04 PM

Upcoming Events:

San Jose Presentation - Oct 23
San Jose Training - Oct 24 & 25
San Jose Training - Jan 29 & 30

Upcoming Trade Shows:

CES – Jan 7-10
Electronic Imaging – Feb 2-6

Travels in Asia

Our customers are located all over the world; in the past months we visited customers, performed presentations, trainings and consultations in Seoul, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Xiamen, Tokyo and Beijing. Contact us to set up a time for us to visit your company.

Keep Up With Us

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Imatest 3.10 Released

OIS Results

Image Stabilization Results

The latest version of Imatest has been optimized for speed and includes many improvements and new features. A new image stabilization module allows users to test the efficacy of a camera’s optical image stabilization (OIS). To see a rundown of all of the new additions to version 3.10, take a look at our blog detailing the release.

Renew now and get the 3.10 release.


New Engineers

In order to increase our rate of innovation, we’ve hired two new imaging science engineers: Ty Cumby, who recently received a PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado, and Jackson Roland, a recent Imaging and Photographic Technology graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They are working hard to add features you’ve suggested, plus upgrades that will expand Imatest’s capabilities.

Master & Image Sensor 3.10

Imatest Master & IS 3.10 have a new Multitest module that allows testers to analyze a variety of color and grayscale charts in batches, rather than running one at a time, thus increasing the speed with which testing can be completed. Multitest analyzes all charts supported by Multicharts and has most of the functionality of Colorcheck and Stepchart. Expert and simplified modes have been added to most settings windows.

We’re excited to announce that our Image Sensor edition now has support for OmniVision Sensors, commonly found in mobile devices. We also now support Epiphan video capture cards. Stay tuned for many more image acquisition device additions.

Industrial Testing 3.10

We’ve made speed improvements to the underlying Imatest algorithm that are most beneficial to manufacturing tests done with Imatest IT. SFRplus has more than doubled in speed, and Blemish Detect can run up to 50% faster.

Read the rest of this entry »

Imatest 3.10 Released

October 1, 2013 – 2:21 PM

The release of version 3.10 of Imatest brings a host of improvements to make image quality testing faster and more relevant to advances in cameras. Look for performance, stability, interface and measurement improvements across the board as well as some excellent new modules and features.

New Features:

  • An Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)  module has been added to measure OIS effectiveness using images of the SFRplus chart. This module compares three images: unshaken, shaken without OIS, and shaken with OIS. It can also be used to compare SFRplus images from different imaging systems.
  • The new Multitest module can analyze all of the color and grayscale charts supported by the interactive Multicharts module in a non-interactive mode that allows batch runs. (Multitest was called ColorTest in early 3.10 releases.)
  • Five existing Rescharts modules─ Random (which supports the new “Spilled Coins” texture chart), Log F-Contrast, Wedge, Star (Siemens), and Any Image Sharpness  ─ are now available as non-interactive modules that can be run in batches.
  • New hue and saturation displays have been added to the Multicharts color accuracy, tonal response and noise modules.
  • The new Random/Dead Leaves module provides stronger support for Dead Leaves-type texture charts, particularly for the new Imatest Spilled Coins chart, which is more uniform and has better scale-invariance resulting in more consistent measurements for different image sizes.

Software Improvements:

  • SFR and SFRplus slanted-edge MTF measurements run twice as fast as version 3.9.
  • The blemish detection feature runs up to 40% faster than version 3.9. Downsampling can be selected for images over 5 megapixels. This improves speed by another 30% and greatly reduces memory usage with only a tiny reduction in precision.
  • We’ve made our SFRplus distortion and field of view calculations more accurate and robust and a radial distortion plot has been added, allowing for more precise testing of fisheye lenses and the like.
  • Settings windows have been enhanced for most analysis modules with clearer, more consistent layout and colors for ease of use. Expert or simplified modes can be selected in SFR, SFRplus, Stepchart, and Colorcheck.
  • Auto reloads on the SFR/SFRplus Edge/MTF plot in the Imatest Image Sensor (IS) edition have been improved to make them faster and nearly unbreakable.
  • The added ability to control Imatest with files other than the default (imatest.ini) is valuable for testing control files for Imatest IT. Simply click Select INI File in the INI File Settings drop down or the Manage Settings window.

To upgrade to Imatest 3.10, please purchase a renewal online or contact

For a complete list of changes see our Change Log.


Recommended System Configuration

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 / 7   64bit 
Macintosh with virtual machine (native mac version coming soon)
RAM: 8GB.  (Note: 64 bit operating is necessary to access over 3GB of RAM)
Hard Drive: 500 megabytes
Screen Resolution: 1024x768

Imatest will run on windows XP 32 bit but due to the memory limitations you may not be able to test a high-megapixel camera

Imatest 3.9 Released

January 1, 2013 – 12:34 PM

Imatest 3.9 was released on December 14th 2012.   Please contact for purchase or renewal information.

Here is a complete list of changes:

Imatest main window: Explore image file folder and Explore recent save folder have been added to the File dropdown. INI File Settings have been given their own dropdown to minimize clutter. Explore INI file folder has been added. The INI file Editor (useful for fixing errors and for setting up INI files for the Functional Interface and IT) has been greatly enhanced. 

Most modules: Dialog boxes for selecting new regions and repeating regions for same-size images have been greatly improved, with clearer instructions and options for lightening and (where appropriate) zooming the image. The last image file name is saved and displayed in the File select dialog box (a time-saver for repeated runs). Region settings for several image sizes are now saved for most modules (except for SFR and SFRplus). JSON output has been added (in addition to XML and CSV).

Raw file support has been greatly strengthened (dialog boxes are somewhat changed).

Multicharts supports the following charts: general mxn gridSMPTE/Hale color barsImage Engineering TE226DSClabs DreamCatcher 48, and Image Science Associates ColorGauge.Multicharts noise analysis has been extended to include several types of chroma noise as well as image sensor noise (from raw files). The Color correction matrix has improved linearization options (based on measured tonal response), and a file for weighting patches (for the matrix optimization) can be entered. The 3D Color difference display now includes split colors, making it very convenient to correlate ΔC and ΔE measurements with perceived color differences.

Multicharts and Stepchart support the Imatest 36-patch Dynamic Range chart, which is available in the Imatest Store.

Blemish Detect detects light (and both dark and light) blemishes in addition to the standard dark blemishes. It can perform nearly all functions of Uniformity. Third order exponential filtering (exp(-x3)) can be selected. Contiguous blemishes are counted (not just total blemish pixels) and can be displayed in the Blemish count plot. Additional display options show blemish regions more clearly. 

SFRplus can run without the top and bottom distortion bars (select Auto- no bars in the Rows box).The Field of View calculation has been improved (particularly for distorted images). Rejection of interfering patterns outside the chart has been greatly improved. Additional region selection options include the Skype specification (3 regions) and custom regions specified by an Edge ID file

SFR and SFRplus: Several rise distances in addition to 10-90% (e.g., 20-80%) can be calculated. The Image or Image & Geometry display has a crop to ROI feature the displays an enlarged region with edge and MTF plots below, providing an excellent visual correlation between appearance and measurements.

Log F-Contrast: The MTF/contrast 2D contour plot is more strongly smoothed for improved readability and accuracy.

Uniformity (formerly Light Falloff): Extra smoothing option greatly improves contour plots. Hot and dead pixel thresholds can be specified by percentage above or below neighboring pixels (in addition to absolute levels). An Optical Center calculation has been added.

Test Charts: The 12-patch ISO-14524 OECF chart, revised low-contrast (4:1) ISO-12233 edge chart, SVG checkerboard, and 36-patch Dynamic Range chart (for reference; not printing) have been added.

New web pages: Skype video specification support | Validating the Imatest slanted-edge calculation

IT/DLL (Industrial Testing – non-GUI version) can now receive images (raw or processed) directly from the calling program and pass detailed results back to the calling program via easy-to-parseJSON objects. Pass/Fail criteria can be entered (most useful for production testing, but available in GUI versions). Detailed IT Online documentation, including INI file references, is available.

Changes released in other versions are available on our Changelog

December 2012 Newsletter

December 14, 2012 – 10:18 AM

Imatest 3.9 Released

New features include:

  • Support for high-speed manufacturing testing in the Imatest IT version
  • Flat screen display testing via an improved Blemish Detect module
  • Dynamic range testing with our new high precision transmissive 36 patch chart
  • More robust SFRplus automated region detection, and improved Field of View and geometrical measurements

Find out more about Imatest 3.9, see a detailed list of enhancements, and contact us to renew your license.

Imatest Industrial Testing (IT) version

In the past year we have deployed Imatest IT on assembly lines in the mobile imaging industry supply chain, including camera module manufacturers and device assembly factories. Many performance, functionality and documentation enhancements have been added to ensure accurate high-speed assembly line testing. Contact us to learn more, or request a free trial license.

Test flat screen displays with Blemish Detect

Manufacturers can now use Blemish Detect to test displays in the lab and on assembly lines. Blemish Detect can test for stuck on/off pixels, luminance uniformity, and color uniformity. Testing can be done on any type of flat screen display – including smart phones, tablets, computer monitors, and large-screen TVs. Contact us to learn more.

High-precision Dynamic Range Test Target

This chart offers a wider dynamic range and low noise. Compared to the previous chart, this chart is easier to frame, easier to select regions, and will give more consistent exposures. It is also affected very little by light falloff of the lens.

Training Course Schedule

  • San Jose CA  January 30 – 31
  • Shenzhen China – February 19 – 20
  • Boulder CO   March 7 – 8
  • San Jose CA  April 29 – 30
  • Boulder CO  June 10 – 11

Register now for training.

Consulting Schedule

We will be touring China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan from February 10th to 28th. Please contact us to schedule on-site consulting and training.

Introducing Jeff Herman

Imatest is growing with the help of Jeff Herman, who we’ve brought aboard to lead business operations. Jeff can be reached at and he welcomes any comments or feedback you have on Imatest.

Happy holidays from everyone at Imatest. We wish you sharp resolution in the new year.  

December 2011 Newsletter

December 13, 2011 – 2:35 AM

Imatest Training Course 2012 Schedule

Announcing our training schedule for the first half of 2012:

Boulder CO (Imatest HQ) 

Mar 22nd & 23nd

San Jose CA - Apr 25th & 26th

Apr 25th & 26th

Boulder CO (Imatest HQ) 

Jun 4th & 5th

Click here to reserve your spot

Imatest Supports I3A Camera Phone Image Quality Standards

Imatest now has strong support for I3A (International Imaging Industry Association) CPIQ (Camera Phone Image Quality) standards, including Lateral Chromatic Aberration and Distortion (in the new Dot Pattern module), Color Uniformity, and Acutance. Read more about Imatest’s I3A CPIQ Support.

The Dot Pattern module analyzes images of a dot pattern target (a Cartesian grid of circular dots) and estimates the optical distortion, SMIA-TV distortion, and the lateral chromatic aberration using the I3A CPIQ phase 2 standard methodology.

New noise measurements in Multicharts Module

The Multicharts module, which supports a large variety of color and grayscale charts, now includes several types of noise measurement, including chroma noise (with weights from the upcoming revised ISO 15739 standard) and raw sensor noise. The sensor noise measurement allows you to measure the full sensor dynamic range from a step chart with a limited tonal range because image sensor output fits the predicted equation very well.  Click here to read more.

Support for raw files has been greatly strengthened (more modules, better interface). These new features and more will be available soon in Imatest 3.9 coming early 2012. Write us at if you’d like to join the Imatest beta program, which gives you access to these new features sooner.

New Test Charts Available For Purchase

We are now shipping all test charts domestically and internationally.

Dot Pattern Test Chart

::::::::Printed on matte paper, the dot pattern test chart is available in 24″ to 44″ heights with vertical dot counts of either 15 (CPIQ minimum) or 25 dots.

Buy the dot pattern chart from the Imatest Store

SFRplus Test Chart With Revised ISO Standard 4:1 Contrast Ratio

In order to minimize the affects of nonlinear signal processing, the upcoming revision of the ISO-12223 standard will be reducing its chart contrast ratio from >40:1 to 4:1. To maintain full ISO compliance, Imatest is offering SFRplus charts with a contrast of 4:1 contrast and a small focus-aid pattern in the middle of the squares (shown on the right; modified from the ISO focus pattern to avoid false edge detection).

SFRplus chart with color, 4:1 contrast, focus aids


Square showing focus aid




Purchase 4:1 contrast ratio SFRplus charts from the Imatest Store

Log-F Contrast Test Chart

The Log-F Contrast chart contains a sinusoidal pattern that varies in spatial frequency on the horizontal axis (log frequency increases with x) and contrast on the vertical axis (proportional to (y/h)2 for image height h). It measures the MTF (contrast) for a wide range of spatial frequencies and contrasts, making it particularly valuable for measuring the loss of fine, low-contrast detail to software noise reduction, which can result in a “plastic” appearance in areas where fine texture has been removed. This type of nonlinear (or nonuniform) signal processing  is especially common in cameras with tiny pixels (< 2 microns), such as Smartphones and other camera equipped small devices. 

Purchase Log-f Contrast charts from the Imatest Store

ISO-14524 and  simplified ISO-15739 Test Charts

 Imatest’s ink jet printed ISO-15739 Test Chart is a 15-patch grayscale step chart with 12 of the patches in a somewhat elliptical arrangement on the periphery and three in an inside row. Densities range from 0.10 to 2.00.  The relatively large patches are especially good for measuring noise. All Stepchart measurements are supported. The ISO-14524 Test Chart is available in both inkjet as well as reflective photographic material. It features 12 gray levels on a durable material. Densities range from 0.10 to 2.30.


Buy these and other ISO test charts from the Imatest Store

Sykpe Hardware Certification Test Charts

These 5×7 10:1 & 2:1 contrast ratio test charts have been recommended for depth of field and acuity testing.  

Get this bundle of SFRplus charts from the Imatest Store.

Image Quality Test Lab Setup

Imatest now offers turn-key image quality test lab setup and training.  The test lab setup service is designed to get your image quality test lab up and running quickly.  A trained Imatest consultant will spend 3 days with your team, demonstrating how to setup a test lab, capture test chart images, analyze the images using Imatest software, and interpret results.

For details about what this package includes, see the Imatest Store.   Since one size of test lab does not fit everyone, Imatest will work with you to cater to your needs based on your imaging system and application.  Contact for more information.

Imatest 8MP Smartphone Image Quality Industry Reports

Imatest has now “Imatested” the most popular 8MP Smartphones and the reports are jam packed with technical, objective image quality metric data to give insight into which smartphone has the best image quality.  Reports can be used to support engineering R&D as well as strategic marketing, and enable direct comparison of objective and subjective results across products and serve as great competitive analysis benchmark.   

Products Tested Include: HTC Inspire™, HTC MyTouch™ Slide, iPhone™ 4S, LG G2X™,Motorola Droid Bionic™, Motorola Droid X2™, Motorola Photon™, Samsung Droid Charge™,Samsung Infuse™

Image Quality Metrics Included:   Sharpness, SMIA TV Distortion, Field of View, Lateral Chromatic Aberration, Non-Linear Signal Processing Response, Shading (Luminance and Color), Dynamic Range, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Subjective Assessment with Imatest custom natural scene and Color/White Balance Accuracy.

Contact for more information or check our store for purchase and download of the report.

Imatest Product Testing and Benchmarking

Imatest now has a state of the art testing facility to help you with your camera testing needs to validate image quality with unbiased 3rd-party testing and benchmarking.

ImatestedProduct testing objectively measures how well an imaging system performs across a variety of standard quality metrics, and can be used to compare products and imaging components.  Imatest now offers independent assessment of digital imaging systems, using industry standard analysis and metrics, to deliver comprehensive product assessment and comparison reports.

If your organization is looking for testing and benchmarking support, please visit our website or contact to learn more.  Get your products “Imatested” today!

New Imatest Store Launched

We are offering you an improved shopping experience at Order through our online store to avoid the hassles of quotes and purchase orders.  You can even ship using your own UPS, FedEx, or DHL account number to get a better rate on shipping of test charts.

Attention Imatest Resellers

Imatest has established a new improved discount structure to you for sales to your professional clients and academic institutions. Please contact Michael Minard for details and a current price list. Michael’s email address is:

Skype Recommends Imatest For Video Quality Testing

November 16, 2011 – 4:39 PM

The Skype Hardware Certification Specifications version 5.0 recommends imatest for sharpness testing.

You can find us mentioned on pagees 23, 85, 86

For Acuity testing, Skype recommends our SFRplus test chart, 24X40″, 5X7, semi-gloss, black&white, 2-tone

For >1.5m depth of field testing, Skype recommends our SFRplus test chart, 40X60″, 5X7, semi-gloss, black&white, 2-tone

The skype certification test charts are available for purchase in the Imatest Store.

Imatest 3.8 Released

May 14, 2011 – 12:41 PM

Imatest 3.8 was released on May 14th 2011.   Please contact for purchase or renewal information.

Here is a complete list of changes:

I3A CPIQ (Camera Phone Image Quality) enhancements: The Dot Pattern module has been added for analyzing distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (LCA). The Dot pattern and ISO-15739 charts have been added to Test Charts. The CPIQ Acutance measurement (similar to SQF) has been added to SFR and SFRplus. The CPIQ color uniformity metric (ΔCmax) has been added to Light Falloff and Uniformity Interactive.

Noise analysis has been added to Multicharts. Support for extremely distorted SFRplus charts has been improved.

Changes released in other versions are available on our Changelog

Page updated: 2013-06-3