First of all, please keep in mind that each DxO optics module corresponds to measurements not simply for a lens, but for a camera-lens combination.
Even though we have procedures in place that have allowed us to accelerate the calibration process once we have measured one of the combination elements, each new lens must be measured on all of the different compatible and supported cameras, and each new camera must be measured with all of the different compatible and supported lenses.
Thus, calibrating the integrality of all the combinations is a gigantic task, especially if you consider that it takes thousands of shots to characterize and calibrate each new camera-lens combination.
Why so many shots? It’s essential to take into account all of the parameters that influence the final image quality. For instance, we measure four different aspects of image quality for all lenses for every focal length at all apertures and at all possible distances. Each shot is taken several times in order to eliminate handling errors.
Moreover, experience shows that numerous differences exist between the measurements and the ideal model. For example, the EXIF data necessary for correction is sometimes listed in an imprecise fashion (focal length, focal distance, etc.), and in different ways for different cameras.
Once DxO Labs has shots of the different targets and scenes, we are able to extract a model of the behavior and faults of the camera-lens combination being tested. This model is then analyzed in relation to the correction algorithms developed by DxO Labs researchers in order to produce a specific corrections module. Finally, our quality assurance process insures that the DxO optics module works as it should with “real” images. Only after this has been completed, will we make the optics module available to our customers.
Finally, DxO Labs is continually looking for new ways to increase its capacity to produce DxO optics modules so as to handle the growth in the number of digital cameras and lenses on the market. In 2011, we produced 2500 modules, or in other words, as many modules as we produced during the first seven years of DxO Optic Pro’s existence. We have produced more than a thousand modules during the first three months of 2012.