I agree with the contention that certain review sites are becoming more "tailored" to suit their specific readership sector, whether that's entry-level, amateur, advanced amateur, or semi-professional.
DCRP's reviews — of even the dSLRs — are an excellent balance of "need-to-know" technicalities, coupled with a broad summation of a camera's "usability" from the viewpoint of most amateur users. As an advanced amateur, I find DCRP's overall approach, the range of cameras reviewed, and the balance of high-tech and hands-on considerations pretty well perfect. I also relate well to Jeff's "informal" style of journalism; he doesn't patronise novices, nor starve the more technically-inclined, and I quite often feel as though he's talking directly to me — almost face-to-face.
Sites such as DPReview on the other hand have chosen (which is, of course, their prerogative) to conduct their reviews at a much deeper technical level, with lots of graphs and tables and timings etc aimed at the semi-professionals. They also favour dSLRs, and now only review three or four point 'n' shooters or bridges over a 12-month period — and only the Canon SX1 so far this year.
As I have very little interest these days in dSLRs, I seldom read their reviews any more, simply because I'm tired of wading through 30-pages of luminance and noise graphs, and dozens of comparison samples dissected to the nth degree.
On those criteria then, I'm more than happy with Jeff's current (and hopefully ongoing!) style and choice of review cameras.
I agree. Jeff's reviews are easy to follow, very comprehensive and, most importantly, consistent.
Back to the topic:
I would love to see a review of the Panasonic fx580/550. Why? Because it has a new engine, good manual controls (on paper) and (again, on paper) would seem to be the only possible rival to the Fuji f200EXR, with a faster lens and other options, but only if it can do well in low light. The beautiful LX3 can't do it. I see no other ultra compacts that offer WA relatively fast lenses, manual controls and decent telephotos that have any hope in low light. Touch screen features might be interesting, or might be annoying. But this camera looks more interesting than most others in its class.
No one does these reviews like Jeff, but I know he's only human (we'll ignore the rumours...). Thanks Jeff!
Just one thing I'd like to ask in relation to the upcoming, much-anticipated f200EXR review (since I mentioned consistency):
Is it possible to include the church interior shot at similar ISOs to the other reviews? ISO800 is fine, but I notice most of the other cameras' samples are ISO400, 500 or maybe 640. It is not so helpful to compare 800 to 400, even though I know you're testing the SN setting. Why not compare 400 and 800 between cameras, as these will be the most commonly used high ISOs in low light.
BTW, in all my net research, I have concluded that, in low light, for anything up to ISO400, HR is better than SN. For ISO800 up, SN is better than HR, but DR is way better for ISO800 than SN, and returns more detail. It is even better than DR at ISO400, for some reason. I haven't seen this referred to in any review, probably because DR is not meant to be for high sensitivities. Since no other camera has these features, it needs extra comparison data to make it useful.
Just a request if you have time, but it is very interesting.
I think all these camera companies really need to schedule their releases based on your review schedule - that is, if they really want to sell 'em... Do they really think we'll just go out and buy the next one off the rank without reading your reviews first?!?
Keenly looking forward to the EXR and 580 reviews. Thank you.
do you still have the F200EXR? If so, could you please complete the review? The most important part is still missing... I told the following in the F200EXR thread:
"if you ever do a F200EXR review, please have a look at how it behaves in 'normal' modes (Auto, P, M) with picture size set to 6MP. It has already been verified that then setting DR to more than 100% will automatically switch the camera to EXR DR mode. Some people have also suggested that choosing DR=100% and a high ISO setting, e.g. 3200, will automatically switch the camera to EXR SN mode. Since the special EXR SN mode which can be chosen manually is limited to ISO1600, this would be an important issue. Please include 6MP ISO3200 pictures in your review, if you are doing one - no-one else has done that so far."
So, please go ahead and have another go with the camera set to 6MP with DR100% and show us how the ISO3200 studio picture looks like then! Should be a really big difference to the 12MP ISO3200 picture. It is not nice that Fuji has hidden so well how the camera uses SN and DR modes even outside the EXR setting, but it should still be noted in the review.