How reviewers shade the truth

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I checked out four magazine reviews.
    One for the Nikon D70s, one for the Olympus E-300, one for the Canon
    Rebel XT and one for the Canon 20D. They all used a kind
    of "sin of omission" or visible data manipulation to
    paint a better picture of camera than reader might otherwise
    obtain.
    In the case of the D70s, they gave the price for the camera body,
    the kit ($100 more) but the pictures they shot with it for the article
    were done with a much more expensive ED Nikkor zoom. They didn't
    mention this fact in the article but did show a picture of the camera
    lens combo they used.
    For the Olympus E-300, the article made no mention of the noise beyond
    ISO 200 issue. In fact, the article was so bad that no definitive
    conclusion about the camera could be determined and there was no way
    it could be compared against competing brands.
    For the Rebel XT, the magazine (Digital Photographer) use the old Time
    Magazine trick of massaging graphs to make it look like like somethign
    is better or worse than it is. They flatten a curve on a stock market
    graph so you get the impression of stability in a stock, etc. The
    noise graphs in question (at first glance) give the impression the XT
    has virtually the same noise levels as the 20D. But check out the
    scales on the left of the paired graphs.
    http://usera.imagecave.com/rander3127/Cameratests/digitalphotographer.jpg

    The last magazine article was on the Canon 20D. It went to great
    lengths including giving the camera a 95% rating when it came to image
    quality, however, it only mentioned the camera's "body price" and
    failed to mention what the cost of the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
    they used on the camera to do the review. In fact, they didn't mention
    the lens at all, they just showed it. Sure, the 20D is capable of
    superb quality shots, but not at the $1500 price point that nets you
    the body and a far inferior lens. In that case, the article's "95%"
    image quality rating would definitely have to be changed. If they
    were being clear the camera and tested lens price would have be noted
    as around $2400.00.

    None of these reviewers outright lied about anything. But they
    configure the reviews with the clear intention to "sell" you the
    product instead of providing a scrupulously honest examination of the
    camera in question.
    -Rich
     
    RichA, Jul 20, 2005
    #1
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  2. RichA

    Skip M Guest

    The 75-300 f4-5.6 IS USM might be considered a hindrance rather than a
    boon...Not Canon's best zoom lens, by any means. Now, if they used a 24-70
    f2.8L or even a 28-135 IS, that would be shading the results by a large
    margin.
     
    Skip M, Jul 20, 2005
    #2
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  3. RichA

    Jack Rosier Guest

    The larger the cost, the more careful the research should be up front.
    I spent all of my free time for about 3 weeks checking online reviews, user
    reviews and lurking on many forums before buying my current camera.
    I read literally hundreds of reviews, compared specs, checked out sample
    pictures and asked LOTS of questions.
    I started out wanting a 8MP DSLR. Then I found that the pros seemed to
    prefer the image quality of the 5MP cameras over the 8MP cameras.
    Then I read a lot of NG's where the main topic of conversation is how to
    clean or keep the sensor clean and how to get a decent quality lens for less
    than the price of a new car.
    My choice was a Panasonic FZ20. I've had it for a couple of months and LOVE
    it!
    Great quality images (when I do my part).
    Full manual controls when I need them, Program mode when I want it.
    Menus and controls are mostly intuitive and simple.
    Handheld shots at 432mm! Who would of thought?
    Cost about a third of what the DSLR would have for the same capability.
     
    Jack Rosier, Jul 20, 2005
    #3
  4. RichA

    frederick Guest

    It does not have the same capability as a DSLR.
    But if it's capabilities meet your needs, then it is probably better
    than a dslr for you.
    I'm not being obscure, but if you don't understand what the advantages
    of a dslr might be, then there is IMO very little point in getting one,
    as the advantages will probably be seen as frustrations or limitations.
     
    frederick, Jul 20, 2005
    #4
  5. RichA

    l e o Guest


    Agree, people who trump about their FZ20 can do most things a dSLR can
    and better are just snapshoters that don't know the virtue of the
    flexibility of a dSLR couple with the appropriate lens and the beauty of
    high ISO. I don't know if you can put a flash on your FZ20 for bounced
    flash but even if possible, I would think it'd look top heavy and funky.
     
    l e o, Jul 20, 2005
    #5
  6. RichA

    G.T. Guest

    We're happy for you. Now there's no longer a reason for you to be here
    except for envy, right?

    Greg
     
    G.T., Jul 20, 2005
    #6
  7. RichA

    Stacey Guest

    It actually has a GREATER capability than many dSLR's saddled with their
    cheap kit lens.
     
    Stacey, Jul 20, 2005
    #7
  8. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    You reckon that would be top heavy, I put an external flash on my Sony V1,
    now that is funky, mind you it takes pretty reasonable shots.
     
    Pete D, Jul 20, 2005
    #8
  9. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    Sure it does Chicken Little.
     
    Pete D, Jul 20, 2005
    #9
  10. RichA

    l e o Guest


    I have a V1 too. No, I don't think I'd spend the money on an external
    flash for that little thing.
     
    l e o, Jul 20, 2005
    #10
  11. RichA

    Stacey Guest


    Yea that's the main advantage of a dSLR, looking cool and stylish. God
    forbit your camera looks "funky". We all know it's what the camera LOOKS
    like that matters, mainly what brand name is displayed on the front of it.
     
    Stacey, Jul 20, 2005
    #11
  12. It's not necessarily a matter of "understanding advantages of a DSLR",
    it's making a decision as to what suits your own particular needs best.
    If I wanted a camera for astrophotography, or I didn't mind having to
    carry round a bulky set of accessory lenses etc., I would probably have
    moved from 35mm SLR to DSLR (and had to buy a new extreme wide-angle
    lens). However, I analysed what I actually needed to take the photographs
    I wanted, and bought point-and-shoot, and never regretted it!

    Like Jack, I also have an image-stabilised Panasonic, the FZ5 in my case,
    and quite agree that it has capabilities which were never in my SLR kit
    (e.g. hand-held 432mm shots). I also have a Nikon 8400 for its wide-angle
    and swivel LCD capability, allowing me to put the camera where I couldn't
    put a 35mm SLR and still see the viewfinder.

    Different people have different needs, but just because someone chooses
    not to buy a DSLR doesn't mean they don't understand the advantages.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 20, 2005
    #12
  13. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    Thats okay, I have a boxfull from my SLR's and D-SLR.
     
    Pete D, Jul 20, 2005
    #13
  14. RichA

    Pete D Guest

    We all know it's what the camera LOOKS
    Exactly, just like you I guess. :)
     
    Pete D, Jul 20, 2005
    #14
  15. RichA

    l e o Guest

    I guess David knows the difference, but from what frederick wrote with
    wrong concepts, he's a newbie. I have no doubt that the Pananonic FZ20
    is a capable camera for majority of people but don't count on it in more
    demanding situations and definitely no need to mention it at all when
    the OP was not mentioning P&S.

    I heard you, David, many times already, but so far all you've told us is
    you stand in one place, doing zooming and framing and click the shutter.
    I am still learning in controlling lights, finding interesting angles,
    prespectives, creatively using shallow DoF. I sold the Canon 100mm macro
    lens. Someday, I'll get the 1x-5x macro and/or tilt and shift lenses and
    have some fun. I have learned that digital gradual filter technique and
    now need to proceed to shapening and technique to increase dynamic
    range. I know the sensor can capture the details, I wish there were
    software and/or Photoshop actions that can make getting extended dynamic
    range an easy task.
     
    l e o, Jul 20, 2005
    #15
  16. l e o wrote:
    []
    As I've said, different people have different needs. I'm not a
    professional photographer, and I do no studio photography, nor use
    external flashguns or strobes. I used to have perspective control lenses
    for my 35mm SLR, but today with digital processing I find no need. Whilst
    I do appreciate the technical aspects, capturing an event or a personality
    probably interests me more now than the "stock" shot. Actually having a
    point-and-shoot with you rather than leaving the DSLR at home!

    I do completely agree with you about dynamic range, and the limitations
    introduced with today's small-sensor cameras, but I don't want to go back
    to something as big as 35mm. Perhaps the 4/3 system will eventually suit
    me.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Jul 20, 2005
    #16
  17. RichA

    l e o Guest


    Nobody is arguing with you about the benefits (small and excellent
    quality in good lighting) of a P&S and in fact, many people can see and
    understand it without you repeating the same line of reasoning, esp. in
    a slr group.

    BTW, the 4/3 format doesn't demonstrate it to be any smaller. The
    Olympus E300 is roughly the same size as Pentax *ist DS and HEAVIER. The
    only good thing I see is 4:3 ratio and 2x opening that minimizes
    vignetting at the corners. However, I hate pictures in 4:3 ratio.
     
    l e o, Jul 21, 2005
    #17
  18. RichA

    Jack Rosier Guest

    Howabout that for stirring up a hornet's nest!
    You DSLR guys really should calm down and try to have some fun, like the
    rest of us.
    FWIW, I had a couple of top-end Nikon SLR's a couple of decades ago.
    They were absolutely the best thing short of medium format.
    When I quit using them to make money, they were too valuable to keep around
    for making casual snaphots, so they were passed on to a working professional
    photg.
    Point being, I have a pretty good idea of the distinction between an SLR and
    a "superzoom".
    That being said, I stand resolutely behind every word in my original post
    (donning asbestos suit).
    carry on....
     
    Jack Rosier, Jul 21, 2005
    #18
  19. RichA

    frederick Guest

    I couldn't be bothered writing a thesis.
    If you don't understand the fundamentals, then a dslr is probably a
    waste - unless you plan to learn. Good P&S cameras are fantastic. I am
    an ancient grey-haired newbie - a photographer for 40 years. I still
    have stuff to learn. I use a P&S and a dslr. I actually agree with the
    OP in that many reviews suck. People ask me what camera they should buy.
    It would be nice to be able to direct them to a no nonsense website
    that accurately summarises the advantages and drawbacks of the various
    types of digital cameras. Reviews are often close to a complete waste
    of time - as they focus on minor differences between models - facts that
    become obsolete within a short period of time. Seldom are issues like
    composition using DOF mentioned. In dslr reviews probably because the
    reviewer thinks it's a given that anyone considering a dslr would know
    about this - despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Have you ever
    seen a review of some great new P&S with a "fast" f2 lens with a german
    name actually bothering to mention not to get too excited - as f2 on a
    P&S is equivalent to about f16 on a dslr? For the intended market for
    these cameras, the buyers don't know the difference.
     
    frederick, Jul 21, 2005
    #19
  20. RichA

    l e o Guest


    When you say "I started out wanting a 8MP DSLR. Then I found that the
    pros seemed to prefer the image quality of the 5MP cameras over the 8MP
    cameras," without acknowledging the picture quality of an 8MP in a
    22.5mmx15mm sensor is vastly different from an 8MP in a 8.8mmx6.6mm
    sensor, you're showing that you don't know much about digital cameras
    and you might as well think RAW is the same as JPEG. If you're impressed
    by the FZ20 and think that's is all you ever need, you're in the wrong
    group and in fact you ARE in the wrong group.
     
    l e o, Jul 21, 2005
    #20
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