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View Full Version : ENOUGH! Reviews that use JPEGs are worthless.



bradhusick
29th November 2009, 21:01
BEGIN RANT:
I have decided that I am sick and tired of seeing "reviews" of new cameras that rely upon and show us only JPEGs done in-camera (worst) or JPEGs that someone processed from RAW using some unknown technique in Lightroom or using defaults in other programs. Unless I know the reviewer personally and I know his/her knowledge of the RAW converter being used, I will assume that any image posted on the web in a so-called "review" is completely worthless and does not reflect the true performance of the camera/lenses. Even those reviews that compare two cameras side-by-side using the same unknown technique are worthless in that they do not show what each camera is truly capable of producing in the right hands. Processing two files, even of the same studio scene, identically from two different cameras in the hopes of showing some difference is lunacy.

Reviewers - do us all a favor: post RAW files (from those cameras that produce them) with the circumstances of the exposure and let us process the images ourselves or send them to people we know and trust to process in the right way with the right tools. Web posted JPEGs are all terrible and tell us nothing.

By all means tell us your opinions and impressions of the camera and its images, but don't try showing us you're right by only looking at and showing us JPEGs.

END RANT.

pellicle
30th November 2009, 01:27
is this not what is done on DPReview (at least)?

kevinparis
30th November 2009, 03:38
RANT ON

I am sick and tired of people whinging on how bad reviewers are, and somehow thinking that by accessing the RAW files that somehow the camera of their desires will be be magically transformed.

Do you really believe that there are massive differences between any of the cameras within a similar spec/price range.

Is sensor quality the absolute be all and end all of your decision to buy a camera... dont things like lens quality, handling, size durability also count

Why do you think you have the right to all information about every detail of a camera and its capabilities before you make a purchase decision.

You dont do this with anything else you buy. Your local car dealer wont let you commute for a week or take a long holiday drive before you buy a car.

Go to a restaurant and they give you a menu not a plate of samples

In the days of film you never got to see a negative or even a actual photographic print - just a half tone reproduction in a magazine if you were lucky.

Stop obsessing... buy a camera and take a picture... the photographer is a bigger influence on the photo than camera

RANT OFF

PeterA
30th November 2009, 03:53
Whilst I have some sympathy for your point of view Kevin - there is another point of view here. Using your own examples - in fact the more upmarket ( read expensive) the car - the more the dealer is likely to loan you one for a few hours, to half a day to a day, some weekends or even a week - all depending on their profit margin. In your restaurant example - one can read reviews, lesten to other people's opinions etc..

This is in fact what we are all witnessing with the birth of this very expensive camera system - a slow pre-release strategy building up expectations, whilst acknowledging its flaws -putting the picture out there in a ontrolled fashion, using 'authorities' to deliver a point of view- all good marketing really - since the system apparently matches the newest iteration of its 40 megapixel competitor(s)

All this is good sales pitching to the people who want to be convinced.

JPEGS are what everyone ( has) to use on the net anyway and the net these days is powerful mode of communication and therefore marketing opportunity. Film was precanned chemical consistency - digi backs - well you have to take responsibility for the whole value added chain - hence the pixel peeping side of the marketing prgramme - because of genuine interest.

- just my 2 cents

kevinparis
30th November 2009, 04:15
Peter

didn't realise Brads rant was aimed at the S2 reviews specifically.

Take your point about test drives but I do think the internet has spoiled us all into thinking that only empirical data counts. Emotions, economics and utility also have their place

K

PeterA
30th November 2009, 04:51
You know - I guess maybe he wasnt specifically talking about the S2 review...

and yes ( for me anyway) there are a lot of things more important about a camera - then lpeg discussions about the chips resolution etc..

the camera has to feel good in hand - or I wont use it much.

pete

Bob
30th November 2009, 04:59
I think that raws help me, but I think of them as necessary but not enough.
Although I have usually played with raws before buying a new system, the point of getting the camera in the hand is very important too.
The problem, and it is probably with me, is that I often do not agree with he reviewer's view of the non-technical points. The reason is that these almost always have a personal element connected with them.
My hands are different from any particular reviewers hands and to some degree my eyes are too.
So to each his own.
The best way is probably to get a test drive or rent one of the things before plunging off the cliff, especially if the price is high.
-bob

bradhusick
30th November 2009, 05:11
I am glad to have started this discussion. I had no particular camera in mind. All I am asking for is access to RAW files along with the review. I did include lenses in my rant. Is that too much to ask? I did say that I welcome the reviewer's opinions.

When I buy a new car the dealer allows me to keep the demo overnight or on the weekend. After all, how do you know what it is like at night? When I buy dinner it usually doesn't cost thousands of dollars. I don't buy film cameras any more.

Kevin, I own several cameras and take many photos. I like having the latest gadgets, but I like knowing about them before I pay for them. Many of my friends even rely on my research.

pellicle
30th November 2009, 05:19
Hi


I am glad to have started this discussion. I had no particular camera in mind. All I am asking for is access to RAW files along with the review.

so going back to my point, which quality reviews don't??

bradhusick
30th November 2009, 07:38
I am hard pressed to think of even one that offers RAW file downloads of test images. Please share...

pellicle
30th November 2009, 08:19
I am hard pressed to think of even one that offers RAW file downloads of test images. Please share...

ahhh ... you want the raw file yourself ... I misunderstood

so essentially you are saying that when dpreview publish rawfile data they are misrepresenting it?

my guess is that bandwidth is an issue, it is not free (for pushing out from the server) for corporate clients. Perhaps if you suggest a paid service dpreview may be interested in the idea.

as it is we pay nothing for the services they provide.

I think its good value for money

Amin
30th November 2009, 10:12
I am hard pressed to think of even one that offers RAW file downloads of test images. Please share...

I agree that RAW file downloads should be part of most reviews for a camera that offers RAW. Some web sites do this. For example, Imaging Resource and Photography Blog both offer RAW files.

When I test cameras at SeriousCompacts.com, I almost always offer the RAW files for download. Sometimes I offer only a subset of the RAW files, because my resources are limited. For example, in a recent ISO test of the G1/S90/GRD, I made only the ISO 800 RAW files available and feel that these give a good representation of the file quality, while I presented converted samples from all ISO values.

Sites like Luminous Landscape offer reviews from the standpoint of use and aren't meant to be technical reviews. In that case, it's more about knowing and trusting the reviewer than it is about the specific samples they present.

kevinparis
30th November 2009, 11:43
Maybe I am out of sync with a section of the people who populate the various forums but my criteria on buying a camera doesn't revolve around RAW level pixelpeeping.

The first digital camera I bought was an original Ixus. The criteria for that was 1) it was digital and 2) it was small... because I was travelling a lot and I had just started working for a computer company. It was a great camera.. and in fact my most interesting picture to this day on flickr was taken with that camera.

second digital camera was a Canon 10D which I inherited through my job... no real purchase decision involved ....fine camera that kept me happy for several years.

When i decided to update that after about 4 years ( a reasonable time with modern technology) I went for Oly 510... reasons for that choice were size, price, good lens reviews and the ability to use legacy lenses. Also kind of liked Olympuses approach to design and philosophy ... it seemed more Mac than PC

Added a E-P1 this year because I wanted to replace the G9 I had with something a little more flexible and with a bigger sensor. Assumed that image quality was going to be in same ball park if not better than the 510 and liked the idea of raiding partners leica lens chest. Its not perfect camera... the UI is seriously broken... as opposed to just broken with most digital cameras.

I actually think the Leica X1 might be on the right tracks in that area... even though its seriously broken in terms of price and lens choice.

Point of all this is that yes i read reviews.. but dont take them as gospel... rather use them to highlight issues that may be show stoppers for me.

I shoot RAW, but i don't print, and I don't sell my photos. Yes RAW gives you more latitude to correct your mistakes... but don't think with average subject in good conditions it actually gives you better than the in camera JPEG. It can give you different ... but better is purely subjective. Its the lens and the light that will make the bigger difference

Bottom line is I buy cameras to allow me to take pictures. I see the quality of the lens I put on the body as being more important than the sensor and I see the quality of the artistic image taking all precedence over the technical quality

I think there is too much male cow excrement spread around about the technicalities and not enough about the aesthetic and emotional qualities of photography

just my thoughts

peace out

Kevin

WestCoast
30th November 2009, 11:52
I think there is too much male cow excrement spread around about the technicalities and not enough about the aesthetic and emotional qualities of photography


Isnít that the truth... +1

bradhusick
30th November 2009, 12:01
Kevin,
I totally agree with your thoughts about not enough emphasis on the aesthetic.

Many of us do print, and that level of detail is important to us, so RAW processing is a big deal for us.

Peace.

kevinparis
30th November 2009, 12:07
understood brad...

you just kinda wound me up with your original post... it came over a bit arrogant to me...assuming that we all felt the same way... but i do realise it was a rant... I just thought i would stir the pot a bit.

Lively debate has always been one of the strong points of this forum

cheers

K

bradhusick
30th November 2009, 12:24
Thanks, Kevin. I just see so many posts everywhere trying to analyze these "reviews" by looking at the web JPEGs. People are often completely convinced of their own opinions based on bad data.

My hope in starting this purposefully arrogant rant was to encourage reviewers to post at least a few RAW files with each write-up. I know bandwidth isn't free, but without the files we can't really get the info we're looking for.

I enjoy bouncing back and forth between photographer-artist and photographer-ubergeek. It keeps me out of the bars and pool halls.

Help me spread the word:
"Give us the RAWs!"

Ciao,
Brad

TRSmith
30th November 2009, 12:42
This is interesting since I've recently had an epiphany about my own entrenched habits. I came to realize that I have cultivated the habit of shooting, editing, and then quickly saving a jpeg for posting on forums, Flikr, etc. Consequently, I don't print very many images. It's as if the jpeg was the final form. Posting has become an end-goal.

A recent excursion to the studio of a master of the current photo print has turned me around. I now feel that exceptional prints should become my focus. It is in those prints that the fine distinctions between gear and technique are made obvious. Jpegs almost seem like the "great leveler", the best cameras come down to the standard, and the less-than-best look better than they really are.

I have been deceived more than once by what I perceive to be no-big-deal differences between various cameras. For instance, the recent spate of M9 images didn't look all that different from what I was getting from my M8. Not until I saw some prints made from the M9. The difference was pretty dramatic (to my eyes).

So my New Year's resolution is to shoot and process with prints as the desired end state of the photograph, not a jpeg for online review. I'm guessing some of you are already at that point or have migrated to it long before me. But everyone measures progress at their own pace. Mine just happens to be pretty slow.

kevinparis
30th November 2009, 13:36
tr

sounds like a fine resolution... maybe not one I am ready for yet... but I think to come to terms of why you take a photo is very important... it obviously makes a big impact on choices and priorities

cheers
K

pellicle
30th November 2009, 22:27
Brad

since this has gone on into a bit more depth I thought that I would put up a few thoughts.

Firstly I print from my images, secondly when I print I'm concerned about print quality at about 50cm on the log axis.

Fairly much everything I've had from the 10D onwards has performed adequately for my expectations (I also print from 4x5 and my expectations there are higher)

In doing some of my own pixel peeping I have made some correlations which match my screen and my situation ... they should translate to others but may not.

I recently tried to put some findings of this onto my blog here (http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2009/05/digital-vs-film-scans-screens-and.html), which of course being brief is a little rushed to read (cos who wants to read anymore ...) Essentially even at 100% view the subtle subtle differences are simply going to be rubbed out by the amount of point blur which occurs as part of the printing process (laser light bleed into the point around the paper, inkjet bleed and so forth...)


Further, I find that it really depends on what you want to explore in the RAW file ... for the most part I agree 100% with the findings published in the DPReview site, however there are some things I've discovered about the RAW data from my G1 (for instance) which was not ever reviewed. I find that when processing these files in photomatix to do tone mapping that the noise in the lower end compared to my 10D was quite startling. At first it was something which I felt was quite a show stopper for me.

My point here is that it is not only difficult to provide a test which will hilight the issues for everyone, but also it may be that YOU YOURSELF do not know exactly what you want out of your camera and your own testing may leave you still facing a learning curve well after you've got the camera.

I think this is a totally normal thing, and obsessing over reading reviews till the cows come home is never going to be as good as really owning and using the camera. So with that in mind I am quite impressed with the reviews we have right now.

As well I think that it also hardly matters, as you can easily buy, operate and then sell after 6 months, for only a few bucks of loss you learn heaps

KETCH ROSSI
2nd December 2009, 07:04
Agree with you mostly, and do wish reviewers, especially the sponsored ones, to not only say that they are sponsored, but then you would take their review as a grain of salt, as you should any ways, as most reviewers really don't know half of what they are talking about or copy pasting material from the net.

Further more, sponsored reviewers don't care about the responsibility to the public, as they have none, their only interest is to attract visitors for Pay for Click count and so on, the few out there that honestly put their time to inform of their honest findings, might not have the means or know how to post a RAW image, as their host or blog might not allow for an image size in the RAW format, or simply they believe to much in the NEVER post large files on the net, as people will not wait for them to download and open and they will move on.

I agree that a RAW image will much better serve its purpose and it should be attached as a separate download but never as part of the viewing page in it self, as that will turn the visitors away, no one likes to wait for the browser to trying and open the page.. for ever :D


What I must respectfully disagree with you is on the point that many do need reviews and make their purchases based on what they read about a certain product, before spending money on it, and yes final decision should be made after testing for oneself, but it is always good to be informed before the purchase is made.

Also unfortunately it is not true that you only loose few dollars selling your used camera gear after six months, as you loose much more then just few dollars, some times as it was in the case of my first 1D III I as others did, lost half its value cause of the AF in AL servo issue, and if I would have read reviews about the new camera, I would have found out about this issue and would have waited to make the purchase till the issue was fixed by Canon which tucked for ever to fix.

My hope now is that with the new Law on regulating bloggers and reviewers there will be more honesty, and at list we know the reviewers that are getting paid to review the gear in question, and will read in a different state of mind, but yes a blogger and a reviewer both should have the knowledge of how to post a RAW file and allow the visitors to be able to download it to better view the IQ of the reviewd camera and or lens.

kevinparis
2nd December 2009, 12:43
I continued to be amazed at how people think that somehow reviews today have been corrupted by nefarious enticements by manufacturers as opposed to the mythical past where they were all pure as the driven snow

All reviews have always had an agenda. None of them are 100% accurate. Reviewers are always influenced by how the manufacturer treats them or have been treated by them in the past or they have to hack out a certain number of words because the editor says so.

Reviews are like weather forecasts... they are only an informed opinion

I never buy on the strength of a review... Reviews help me decide on what to consider buying... but i buy what meets my needs.

stop treating reviewers as gods... truth is if you have 500/1000/5000 bucks to spend on a camera any camera in the same price bracket will take the same goddam picture quality wise.

you may all be trying to justify to yourself that buying camera X will be better than what you have.. but the difference you may see in your micro pixel peeping applies only to you ... and probably not to your customer/viewer.

reviewers owe you nothing.. they are just people making a living

sorry but some people here need to get out more

Peace

K

Streetshooter
2nd December 2009, 14:01
For me the most important thing in my decision to buy and USE a camera is...users....
When I was on the edge with the Pen, I read every word and looked at every image I could find...still I could not bite the bullet.Then, I read a post by Jono Slack. He stated that you could see the screen at about 140 degrees. I immediately bought the camera.

I think most shooters don't use raw that much. I am not one. I always do raw.
Point....if all the reviews are actually done in jpeg, then the comparison is actually valid.
I wouldn't need a raw file to buy/use a camera. As long as it does raw, that's step 1.

The reviewers do a camera with a certain bias.
Shooters don't. So, I'll go with a shooters review after a spell and actually, I don't care about his raw files...
I'll use the camera and make my own.

I appreciate and understand the discussion going on but remember. The most cameras being purchased are not by serious shooters or pros, it's by the opposite.

Raw files will alienate them and the reviewers are fully aware of that.
That's why we have this forum, because most shooters are photographers and we all feed each other info, images and opinions.
Works for me, hope it works for you....
shooter

pellicle
3rd December 2009, 05:00
Hi


For me the most important thing in my decision to buy and USE a camera is...users....
...
Then, I read a post by Jono Slack. He stated that you could see the screen at about 140 degrees. I immediately bought the camera.


interesting

for the sake of comparison I have been using digital since 2001 and upon buying my first Coolpix (a 950 also in 2001) after using an IXUS I was completely sold on a swivel screen. I know I can view the screen "to some extent" at all sorts of odd angles but for reasons of my own just can't come at not having a swivel screen.

When I first tried a E-P1 I was quite disappointed ... it was at a conference here in Helsinki 3 months or so ago and I had the same impression then ... at an oblique angle your view of the screen is much narrower ... the real kicker came for me at a shop last weekend. I picked it up and it felt heavy with nowhere to put your hands (I have small hands too). I can't even hold it the way I used to hold my Trip 35

same goes for the GF-1 ...

The reviews let me know what to expect from things (but then I've been researching cameras, buying and selling since 2001) but I really need to hold them to know

bradhusick
3rd December 2009, 06:16
I think it's a good idea to "try" a camera first-hand.

That becomes very difficult for newly released, hard to get cameras and ones that cost thousands of dollars.

I suggest a modification of my original proposal: reviewers, please post at least a few RAW files for all cameras over $2000 (or, put your preferred cost here). Point-and-shoot customers will then not be alienated, and others interested in RAW file performance will benefit.

Streetshooter
3rd December 2009, 06:17
The 950, what a cool camera.
I had the one before it and a Kodak 220 or something.
Your right, holding is very important. The Pen decision for me came on Jono's posting.
I read many post about handling from users so that wad enuff for me.
When I got the camera it was a pleasant surprise that all I read was true and more.

The G1 decision came mostly from Vivek.
His post were more about use than the tech stuff.
The raw files never interest me, as ling as it does raw.
Shooter

Guy Mancuso
3rd December 2009, 06:19
I think it's a good idea to "try" a camera first-hand.

That becomes very difficult for newly released, hard to get cameras and ones that cost thousands of dollars.

I suggest a modification of my original proposal: reviewers, please post at least a few RAW files for all cameras over $2000 (or, put your preferred cost here). Point-and-shoot customers will then not be alienated, and others interested in RAW file performance will benefit.

I certainly hope 50k system qualifies here. :ROTFL::ROTFL::ROTFL:

It should come with training too

Streetshooter
3rd December 2009, 06:21
I think it's a good idea to "try" a camera first-hand.

That becomes very difficult for newly released, hard to get cameras and ones that cost thousands of dollars.

I suggest a modification of my original proposal: reviewers, please post at least a few RAW files for all cameras over $2000 (or, put your preferred cost here). Point-and-shoot customers will then not be alienated, and others interested in RAW file performance will benefit.

Now your cooking with gas my friend.
I wish I thought this way when I got my M8's but alas,
that's a different nightmare.....

fultonpics
3rd December 2009, 19:04
i sort of like the little table at the end of the review--you know the one that says:

Build Quality 1.5
Ergonomics 9.0
Image Quality 3.0
Performance 5.0
Value 10.0

I figure the pics are all the same ones and they probably recycle them between reviews since it is the same bridge, building and vegie stand (and sometimes ugly girl).

seriously, if you are paying more than $2K for a camera aren't you going to try one out first? or at least talk to pro friends that aren't "Canon Masters of the Light" or "Nikon Walk of Water" photographers. can't you get your rep to loan you one, or rent one--or worst of all, go to a workshop and try one?

you don't just stare at a raw file, read a web review from some guy that changes out camera's more often than his underwear then call up B&H's 800#? funny.

Roel
3rd December 2009, 19:22
...

you don't just stare at a raw file, read a web review from some guy that changes out camera's more often than his underwear then call up B&H's 800#? funny.

Spend some time on a certain camera review websites ... it is astonishing how people base (and/or defend) their purchases...

fultonpics
3rd December 2009, 19:36
agree Roel. i try hard to stay away from them--i'm not skilled at evaluating pics of peeling paint, old abandoned buildings or flowers. hey, if you want to read what some guy can 'now see' in that brick wall out back with the latest big dollar camera, nothing wrong. better if you can get his raw file and spend hours marveling at it yourself. but i see from your site, you take images that are actually sold to people who depend on your superior photographic skills, so guess the equipment is just a tool to get you there.

kit laughlin
2nd January 2010, 00:00
Interesting thread.

Personally, I don't need Raw files to make my own evaluation of a camera, although I shoot only Raw both for personal and professional work.

To illustrate the point I want to make, and others (particularly pellicle) have made, I will share recent experience with the current crop of compacts: I bought all of them, and on-sold all of them, except the one or two I actually like using. I bought the DP1 and DP2, the entire Panny range (except the GH1, because I have an excellent pro video camera already), the G11 and S90, the GX-100, and a number of others that I don't recall right now.

I sold them all except the G1 and the S90, and now will sell the G1 with the two kit lenses and a bunch of adapters. Nothing wrong with the G1; it has the best EVF I have used, and its files are good. But, as a carry-everywhere camera, the S90 (with the Franiec grip; essential add-on, IMHO) beats them all, and produces excellent files. Just underexpose 0.3–0.7 EV!

So, to Brad the OP: honestly, I do not feel that having access to Raw files from any of these compact would have influenced my decisions at all—I process a file on its own attributes. Ergonomics and user interface are far more important to me in respect of the buy or not-buy decision, and reviews are pretty limited in this regard. Using over time is the only way to really *know*, I feel. And if the subject matter is interesting, I can make a decent image from pretty much any Raw file. YMMV, of course.

I would like to know how access to a Raw file would tip you towards, or away from, any camera, and I would like to know if you have actually had that experience (and, if so, the camera and its competition).

Cheers, KL

aprillove20
4th April 2010, 00:32
It sounds like a good resolution.

sinwen
4th April 2010, 01:23
You want RAW files ?
OK take the latest DPreview test, the Canon 550, you have 6 RAW files to download, it is here, scroll down to the bottom of the page :

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/page13.asp

Then let me know if it is worth buying:thumbup:

bradhusick
4th April 2010, 07:38
The Rebel cameras are all capable shooters. There's little difference in the last few iterations, so you could save some money by buying the prior model or even the one before that.

RichA
11th April 2010, 19:03
BEGIN RANT:
I have decided that I am sick and tired of seeing "reviews" of new cameras that rely upon and show us only JPEGs done in-camera (worst) or JPEGs that someone processed from RAW using some unknown technique in Lightroom or using defaults in other programs.
END RANT.

They rank right up there with people loudly proclaiming, "My camera is great at 3200 ISO!" Then they proceed to post 800x600 images....

blade101
15th April 2010, 15:27
I have a Cannon Digital Camera and i bought it from Ebay....:)

rwsphotography
5th May 2010, 09:03
Wow! I think I'll grab one of my cameras and go out and shoot some photographs....

idl
23rd May 2010, 23:46
Has it occurred to you all that digital photography is still in its infancy? Whether the camera is named this or that, they are very much the same. It is all about light, aperture and shutters, as in the heydays of film. Nothing's changed. That's how a camera works. Digitally, yes pixels "count", yes dust removing counts, and lenses do count a lot, but why do we need all this prosessing afterwards? Why can't a photograph be absolutely great, straight out of the camera onto paper when printing? Why do some cameras have adjustment layers of sharpening in camera, if it's of no good use? Bought a D3000 for my wife and she loves it. She wants the photographs to appear on paper as she see them in the viewfinder, ( which is always a help ), and to put them straight into an old fashioned album and after having adjusted the sharpness in camera, she is now able to do just that. If anyone wants to be an artist and play with the camera, so be it, and manipulation afterwards in photoshop is of course accepted. But again, the bottom line is; " the photograph should be, straight out of the camera, as you took it, or shouldn't it?

2x2
13th June 2010, 12:18
A RAW file is only as good as the photographer who took it.
Yes, there are different sensors and different this and that but basically, it still comes down to the skills of a photographer. Just like in film days.
All that pixel peeping is a waste of time.

jaapv
15th June 2010, 14:02
Has it occurred to you all that digital photography is still in its infancy? Whether the camera is named this or that, they are very much the same. It is all about light, aperture and shutters, as in the heydays of film. Nothing's changed. That's how a camera works. Digitally, yes pixels "count", yes dust removing counts, and lenses do count a lot, but why do we need all this prosessing afterwards? Why can't a photograph be absolutely great, straight out of the camera onto paper when printing? Why do some cameras have adjustment layers of sharpening in camera, if it's of no good use? Bought a D3000 for my wife and she loves it. She wants the photographs to appear on paper as she see them in the viewfinder, ( which is always a help ), and to put them straight into an old fashioned album and after having adjusted the sharpness in camera, she is now able to do just that. If anyone wants to be an artist and play with the camera, so be it, and manipulation afterwards in photoshop is of course accepted. But again, the bottom line is; " the photograph should be, straight out of the camera, as you took it, or shouldn't it?
I guess your walls had framed negatives hanging on them in the film age?:shocked:
Postprocessing aka darkroom work has always been a part of photography (OK, except slides, but that is another story...)

RomanJohnston
23rd June 2010, 08:58
Not sure if ANY review can be considerd conclusive...even if a RAW file is provided. There are so many variables in how a shot is taken.

1. Shooters knowledge of general photography
2. SHooters knowledge of adjusting the camera to get the maximum out of the camera.
3. Shooters shot quality control.
4. Hardware used in conjunction with the test. (Lenses, etc)

I could go on ad nausiem.

Then after you factor in those variables to the RAW file you recieve. Then you have to apply your normal work flow to the file....not knowing if it is up to YOUR standards and shooting techniques.

Testing a camera is really your only way of truly knowing if it is for you.

OR

You can take the tests with a grain of salt...not complain about the review...and just add what you can glean from it to your basic knowledge of the hardware being reviewed.

Bottom line. Your shooting techniques, your lenses, your post processing = reasonable purchasing information.

Rent a camera....make your buying decision after you have tested it yourself.

LOL...or you can RANT....but not sure how much that is going to help you....actually all it might do is make for a lousy day.....(and lost time you might have used taking pictures...lol) Thats kind of a dbl negitive if you ask me. ;)

Roman

bradhusick
23rd June 2010, 09:09
Wow. I didn't think this thread would have legs so long!

Roman and 2x2 are right, but for many less expensive cameras there's no opportunity to rent and it's great to see RAW files that I can compare from several of them without having to buy and return them. This saves a great deal of time and trouble when looking for compact cameras especially. Most of them are a noisy, smeared mess in anything but optimal conditions, but they're getting better.

ray*j*gun
9th March 2013, 04:10
I am new to this forum in that I don't post often but i do lurk and I want to insert an opinion that is somewhat on point. I don't expect that everyone will agree with my choice but it illustrates my point. I use Leica film gear and have lots of LTM and M glass. For years I read about what a bad idea it was to consider an M8 or M8u or M8.2. Then I got to use my friends M8u with some of my lenses shot in RAW and holly crap... blew me away. I now own an M8u and its wonderful in performance (esp in B&W) and great to handle. Anyway great forum and thanks for posting all this great info.

Raymond

bradhusick
9th March 2013, 08:15
Welcome Raymond. Glad you're here.
-Brad

williamkazak
9th March 2013, 17:43
Interesting posts here on this subject. I am up now against the wall having to upgrade my XP-OS in order to use the new Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom 4 and the latest Photoshop. Since I shoot Nikon NEF, raw files, I would be at a disadvantage not to upgrade these programs. This upgrade game just goes on and on but my Nikon D300 bodies with LR2 and Photoshop CS3 are still working just fine for what I do. The newest cameras are "repairing certain lens defects" in the camera itself. What about programs like DXO? Your raw converter matters and they are all different. How does DXO optics correct your lens when the new camera has already done so in the raw file? I am wanting to go back to B&W film so bad now. Digital rot is here too. An $1,800 camera is worth $500 in the current used market. I have been shooting NEF for years and I prefer it to shooting JPG but, like other posters have mentioned, your final product is what matters and JPG is a standard. Reviews are helpful to me but I still have to have the camera in my hands because other things matter than just the picture. Things like flash sync, having a PC socket and ISO range and quality.

ray*j*gun
10th March 2013, 08:26
Thanks Brad...... I'm sure I'll be posting more here since it seems the way of my world to be shooting more Digi.

bradhusick
10th March 2013, 09:59
William, in my opinion the only thing that matters is if you're happy with the shooting experience and the output you're getting, whether that's print or on-screen. The tools are just there to give you choices, or in some cases headaches. In the past few years I have gone through at least 10 different cameras, but the greatest joy has been showing friends the photo books I have printed from Lightroom using Blurb to print the books. Nobody cares what camera or computer I used - they just love talking about the photos.

Have fun.
-Brad

D&A
18th March 2013, 14:37
Interesting posts here on this subject. I am up now against the wall having to upgrade my XP-OS in order to use the new Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom 4 and the latest Photoshop. Since I shoot Nikon NEF, raw files, I would be at a disadvantage not to upgrade these programs. This upgrade game just goes on and on but my Nikon D300 bodies with LR2 and Photoshop CS3 are still working just fine for what I do. The newest cameras are "repairing certain lens defects" in the camera itself. What about programs like DXO? Your raw converter matters and they are all different. How does DXO optics correct your lens when the new camera has already done so in the raw file? I am wanting to go back to B&W film so bad now. Digital rot is here too. An $1,800 camera is worth $500 in the current used market. I have been shooting NEF for years and I prefer it to shooting JPG but, like other posters have mentioned, your final product is what matters and JPG is a standard. Reviews are helpful to me but I still have to have the camera in my hands because other things matter than just the picture. Things like flash sync, having a PC socket and ISO range and quality.

William,

Although Adobe no longer supports Windows Xp with Lightroom 4, they do support the latest Photoshop CS6 (with the latest RAW converters for Bridge) to work perfectly with Windows XP...both X32 and X64. I've used the latest CS6/Bridge and latest RAW converters for the latest RAW files for the Nikon D600, D800, D4. Of course with a limit on how much memory a windows XP machine can utilize (less than 4 GB), Photoshop/bridge will run extremely slow, especially if you're working with a folder with a substantial # of Raw files.

Dave (D&A)

seakayaker
8th May 2013, 07:17
As far as RAW files go, I have been able to take out a Demo from a dealer to shoot some photographs prior to purchase.

I am not an earlier adaptor of equipment and I am quite happy to let others be the test pilots with the early releases of hardware and firmware.

Restaurant reviews, car reviews, camera reviews, . . . . . I think we all have been disappointed by reading a great review and then not enjoying the same satisfaction as the writer. Then again sometimes they are spot on.

Godfrey
8th May 2013, 09:44
Gollleee! People review cameras on the internet? Who'da thunk? ]'-)

G

JSRockit
19th June 2013, 12:56
BEGIN RANT:
I have decided that I am sick and tired of seeing "reviews" of new cameras that rely upon and show us only JPEGs done in-camera (worst) or JPEGs that someone processed from RAW using some unknown technique in Lightroom or using defaults in other programs. Unless I know the reviewer personally and I know his/her knowledge of the RAW converter being used, I will assume that any image posted on the web in a so-called "review" is completely worthless and does not reflect the true performance of the camera/lenses. Even those reviews that compare two cameras side-by-side using the same unknown technique are worthless in that they do not show what each camera is truly capable of producing in the right hands. Processing two files, even of the same studio scene, identically from two different cameras in the hopes of showing some difference is lunacy.

Reviewers - do us all a favor: post RAW files (from those cameras that produce them) with the circumstances of the exposure and let us process the images ourselves or send them to people we know and trust to process in the right way with the right tools. Web posted JPEGs are all terrible and tell us nothing.

By all means tell us your opinions and impressions of the camera and its images, but don't try showing us you're right by only looking at and showing us JPEGs.

END RANT.

You could always rent the camera and do your own research while ignoring the reviews you despise so much.

Godfrey
19th June 2013, 13:00
You could always rent the camera and do your own research while ignoring the reviews you despise so much.

That is indeed what I do ...

G

Leigh
19th June 2013, 17:47
Any image displayed on a PC monitor will be at 72 dpi.
There's no way to change that except to use a non-standard display system.

Linking to an image file on a different website makes absolutely no difference.

It has nothing to do with the image file type, or the original image parameters.
If you display the image in its entirety on the screen, it's 72 dots * the monitor width wide, compressed as needed.

If you want to see an image at its actual resolution, you must display it at the nominal size.
For example, if you display an image that's 7200 pixels wide on a PC monitor, it will be 100 inches wide.

- Leigh

bradhusick
19th June 2013, 17:51
You could always rent the camera and do your own research while ignoring the reviews you despise so much.

I often do rent them, but many are not available to rent.

Godfrey
19th June 2013, 17:53
Any image displayed on a PC monitor will be at 72 dpi.
...

Hmm ... not quite, Leigh. Display technology today has screen densities available from 60ish to 335ish pixels-per-inch.

That said, I don't really know what your comment has to do with the poor quality of most on-line reviews.

G

Godfrey
19th June 2013, 17:54
I often do rent them, but many are not available to rent.

When I'm unsure, I buy from a vendor who offers a 7 to 14 day no-questions-asked return policy. The local brick'n'mortar does 7 days, which makes it easier than working with mail order vendors.

G

Leigh
19th June 2013, 18:00
That said, I don't really know what your comment has to do with the poor quality of most on-line reviews.
The OP is complaining about the fact that JPEGs are used to present images in reviews, when in actuality
that has absolutely nothing* to do with the quality when viewed on a user's screen.

- Leigh

*Note: Compression will affect quality. I __assume__ that any reviewer would use uncompressed JPEGs.

Leigh
19th June 2013, 18:04
When I'm unsure, I buy from a vendor who offers a 7 to 14 day no-questions-asked return policy.
That's unethical.

It's a store, not a rental company.

- Leigh

Godfrey
19th June 2013, 18:54
That's unethical.
It's a store, not a rental company.

I disagree. It's completely ethical to utilize a service that a vendor offers. If they offer a "customer satisfaction return" policy, I buy something in good faith that I will keep it—I don't buy just to rent it, that would be unethical. But if I don't find it satisfactory, I return it according to the stipulations in th return policy. That is perfectly ethical.

Several vendors have even suggested to me that I use their return policy to determine whether a product fits my needs and desires. They market the return policy as an advantage because that way I can have hands on experience with a product and make my decision from a more informed basis. There's nothing unethical about it. (In fact, the store I bought the M9 from was one of those that suggested I use it or a week or two and return it if it wasn't the right camera for me.)

G

gianlara
6th July 2013, 16:48
I hope someone will post something new. I am new in photography and Im still gathering datas about photography but reading reviews that commonly posted by others is a waste of time reading it.