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Old Aug 22, 2008, 1:16 PM   #21
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dlpin wrote:
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Then they will say, in the same a-350 review, that the a-350 gives you more bang for your buck, but then you read the a-350 review and they give it just a recommended rating.


I assume you meant to say "in the same 450 review". The actual quote from that rview is:

"on paper at least - cameras such as the Sony Alpha 350 that offer a lot more bang for your buck."

That's not quite the same thing as what you said above. It points out the danger of judging cameras just on spec sheets. The point to DPR's comment I would guess is that for those people that don't know any better and judge just on spec, Canon will have difficulty competing with the A350 because the 350's spec sheet looks better but the camera costs less. The next sentence:

"But compared to many of its competitors the EOS 450D just feels like a more 'sorted' camera" gives the reader an idea of why the person felt the 450 was a better camera. Subjective? Yep. Confusing? I dont think so.

Now to the 350 review and the 'RECOMMENDED' vs. the same "ON PAPER" comment from the Canon review. Again, the comment in the canon review says "ON PAPER" - there's a difference in how good a camera looks ON PAPER vs. hands-on. In the hands-on review they felt it wasn't quite up to the competition. In the hands-on test they had this to say about why it's rated "RECOMMENDED" vs. "HIGHLY RECOMMENDED":

"Unfortunately, it can't quite compete with the all-round performance the best modern DSLRs are capable of. Had the image quality been of the same standard as the leaders in its class, that would have been enough to award it our highest rating. As it stands, it's a camera we feel too equivocal about to award more than a 'Recommended.'"

Again, I don't think that's too confusing. I'll agree scores are kind of useless. But the comments are not. I have no idea if the reviewer's opinion is close to fact or not. Bbut I guess I'm not seeing the gross exageration you're talking about. And certainly not seeing much inconsistency at least in these examples here.

That's not to say I think their review is the end-all-be-all. It's not. But, especially for entry level DSLRs it's still fairly useful. For mid-level and pro DSLRs I look for actual hands-on opinions. The problem with entry level DSLRs is it's almost impossible to get hands-on reviews from a competent photographer who also happens to shoot with the competition.


EDIT:

In the end my advice to people is this: Find advice from people who shoot what you like to shoot and look at their photos. If they don't shoot what you want to shoot their opinion probably isn't relevant. If they do and you're happy with the quality ofshots they're getting then you know the equipment is capable. Ergonomics are personal and you should be handling the cameras yourself to determine that.

EDIT 2:

Also worth mentioning the Canon and Sony reviews were written by different people. So I wouldn't expect them to be completely consistent. Just because they're posted on the same sight, doesn't mean the same person wrote them. Look at college football previews - One person on ESPN may think Florida is better than Ohio State. Another person on ESPN may think the opposite. They're both on ESPN - should they both have the same opinion?

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Old Aug 22, 2008, 7:13 PM   #22
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OCD wrote:
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That's one way to do it...take the good reviews and ignore the bad (or not-so-good) ones. I never make camera buying decisions basedsolely on DPR but I don't just ignore them eitherfor I do think their reviews have value

Like Greg says, the testing proceedure of DPR is suspect at best, and it may simply be the case that Olympus are guilty of having the camera defaults set to 'idiot' rather than 'experienced'. But it is obviously a truly dreadful camera and can onlymanage a'Highly Recommended' from the DPR team, and that based on dubious testing techniques........so send it back :lol:



Steve
I think their testing procedure is OK and meets its purpose, which is to point out strengths anddefeciencies of a particular camera. Their conclusions, however, are very inconsistent with the ratings they give, specially when comparing different brands/models against each other. The other issue I have with their reviews is that theyhardly ever use the camera's kit lens(es), which is what most people willbuy. Sony does not even sellbody only.If manufaturers choose to produce low quality kit lenses, they should be penalized for that by having their camera receive poor reviews due to low grade glass. I don't think it's fair to the consumerwho goes outand buy acamera based on an excellent review it receives, whichwas performed using anexpensive 50mm prime lens to then find out that IQ is not nearly as good as expected because the kit lens sucks.

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Old Aug 22, 2008, 7:40 PM   #23
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JohnG wrote:
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In the end my advice to people is this: Find advice from people who shoot what you like to shoot and look at their photos. If they don't shoot what you want to shoot their opinion probably isn't relevant. If they do and you're happy with the quality ofshots they're getting then you know the equipment is capable. Ergonomics are personal and you should be handling the cameras yourself to determine that.
Even though looking at other people's photos may give you an idea of how capable a particular camera is, I have lots of reservations about it. The twothings one can not tell, are: 1) how many shots were taken to get THAT GOOD ONE posted; 2) How much PP was involved. Any camera is capable of producing good images. The question is, does the camera you are looking for produces 1 great image out of 5, 10 or 1000 shots? and then, how much time would you have to spend in front of the computer adjusting curves, sharpness, removing noise, etc, etc, etc. So, IMO, judging a camera from looking at pictures on the Internet can bedeceiving.
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Old Aug 22, 2008, 8:03 PM   #24
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Tullio wrote:
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IMO, judging a camera from looking at pictures on the Internet can bedeceiving.
That's why you should look at people's galleries not just a single photo in a post. Again, if you are going to take portrait shots what do pictures of paper clips tell you? But galleries from a few different sources can tell you a lot.
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