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07-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
Heie's Avatar

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In-Depth Review Assistance by PF Members


It wasn't until a few days before the K-30 review was completed that I realized the reviewer (who did an outstanding job, btw, and especially when you consider it was only a week from start to finish), was using a very limited (hehe pun) selection of lenses, and ones that I would argue are very subpar choices for C-AF (as one example). For instance, the DA* 60-250 would have been a much, much better choice here to really test the potential of the system since that seems to be a very popular (and capable) sporting/wildlife lens, which AF-C is geared towards, not the 77 LTD.

I for one was personally very disappointed to not see a single SDM lens included in the review, as this could have definitely garnered a sense that with the new PRIME M, maybe the SDM lenses focus faster/more decisively. Also, while the Limited's are great, the K-30 is billed as an "Outdoor DSLR," and by adding WR/DA* lenses to the review, that could have really been capitalized on. Additionally, the lack of a macro lens to really assess the functionality of Focus Peaking during macro situations (which, to me, is the single most influenced usage of this technology), was disappointing.

I would appreciate a "heads up" in advance of a review being started so that we as a PF community can be given the opportunity to pool resources together to ultimately develop the most comprehensive reviews of any photography website. I believe DPR does a slightly better job at this (comprehensiveness solely, not necessarily accuracy) for the sole purpose that they have 1) much, much more funding, and 2) dedicated reviewers where that is their sole purpose in life, not just forum users who enlist to do so.

With that said, despite my personal assessment of being a good, articulate writer, I don't feel confident completing an in-depth camera review at this moment because I simply am too inexperienced and photographically and technically immature to delve into the details as clearly executed in the K-30 review. But I have another way to assist...

How about loaning/donating lenses/camera bodies/flashes/whatever to the reviewer? As you can see from my signature, I have been very fortunate (being single rocks! lol) to acquire some of the most high quality and coveted lenses Pentax has to offer, not to mention most popular. I also still have my K-7, the flash, and Cactus V5's. In the future for such tests, I would happily donate to the reviewer (given that it is you or a trusted colleague), any of the lenses below or the aforementioned additional equipment (assuming I am not traveling/stranded in Asia training indigenous forces that requires a month+ minimum for the pony express in each direction), as well as paying for outgoing shipping, as long as shipping was covered in the return trip (consider the return shipping the "rental fee"), and there would be a 1-2 week turnaround on the completion of the review.

By doing this, I think it would have greatly benefited the K-30 review by some of the following:

  • Wildlife/Sporting Lenses - DA55-300 vs DA* 60-250 and/or 50-500 OS, as used for AF-C and tracking
  • HSM vs SDM on the new K-30 - if someone else provided the Sigma 70-200 HSM, does the HSM still operate THAT much faster, or does the SDM get some gains thanks to the new PRIME M? Or does the HSM get even faster?
  • SR vs Sigma's OS - if SR is something unique to Pentax, I think it really should be given more emphasis in testing, and having an in-lens example would provide a good test sample to compare against
  • Focus Peaking - as it applies to macro (DFA 100mm WR), as well as portraits (77LTD vs DA* 55), as well as long-distance wildlife (DA* 300 +/- TC's, Sigma 500)
  • Bounce Flash Under/Overexposure - there have been reports of the K-5 having bounce flash issues (I've never experienced them), so an external flash could also be used to test this and compare to the K-5's pTTL metering.
I am in no way criticizing the reviewer, as I think he did one hell of a job, especially when you consider the resources he had (time with the camera, as well as physical resources such as lenses, and not a team of reviewers as is common elsewhere).

I think that if we pooled our resources here at PF together, we could truly take advantage of how great a community there is here in order to ultimately provide the best products (i.e. reviews) as possible at the least expense.


07-17-2012, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #2
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B&H offers us loans of just about any equipment we want- but with most reviews, we have to limit the scope. The things you're listing, IMO, would be better suited for standalone reviews. We're going to be doing a K-30 cross-brand comparison where things such as weather-sealing, OS/SDM, kit lenses, etc. will be considered directly. With that said, your suggestions for individual reviews are always welcome (before they're done, of course)

Dedicated reviewers (we have 3 part-time reviewers right now, not including myself) would be very welcome, however, so if anyone is interested, please PM me.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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07-17-2012, 08:53 PM   #3
Heie's Avatar

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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
B&H offers us loans of just about any equipment we want-
Ah....was not aware of that

Thanks for the informative reply.


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