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06-15-2008, 02:00 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
cputeq, you're right for a tester with average (read insufficient) qualification.

Let me give an example from the testing methodology of German computer magazine c't.
IT news, features and forums - heise online UK
and
c't - magazin fr computertechnik
They have an outstanding reputation, not met by any photo magazine, or any other computer magazine I am aware of, on a worldwide scale...

What do they do?

First, they live with the products long enough to know them.

Second, they reconfigure the products to bring them to their best value, even sometimes making the manufacturer give them an updated model following their input. This means, exchanging drivers, running updates, maybe exchanging too loud fans etc. They do what an actual buyer would have done.

Third, they judge the individual aspects. They do not give an overall score!


I don't see why a photo mag couldn't do this.

Yes, I'm aware of c't, I used to read them all the time

The problem with your analogy is that w're probably dealing with slightly different demographics between the examples.

Like Ziff-Davis publications (think: "PC World"), I don't think Popphoto is really catering to the hard core photography market. Most of their reviews are extremely cursory in nature - offering fairly superficial reviews of the cameras in question. They give an overall synopsis of the performance of the camera, and any significant problems or awesomeness they find.

Heck, they don't even quote resolutions for lenses, etc, but instead give each lens a "quality / print size" grid according to aperatures -- What the hell is a B+ photo? Where is this explained? I haven't found it, but I would imagine they're just rough things like "the photo looks okay".

They're targeting the newbish photography market (one would think) -- So their articles aren't going to delve into too many details. I read them mostly for their previews of upcoming hardware and photography tips, not really for their hardware reviews (though I do pay attention to them), and I'm certainly not ashamed to say so -- Many of their photo and Photoshop tips are awesome, while their reviews are a bit bland and cookie-cutter.



-------

Juxtapose this with c't, which goes into every minutea of every detail with regards to their articles. C't is catering towards the Tom's Hardware / Maximum PC crowd of computer geeks (like myself), not the mass-market group like Ziff-Davis would.

Popphoto probably doesn't have the time to get initmately familiar with everything they review, and even if they did, I would doubt one would see such an in-depth hardware review like one could find at DPcanikonreview.com


---------

I'll go out on a limb and bet that many of the writers at Popphoto are simply photography jourlalists (not photojournalists), just like nearly everyone at MaximumPC are computer journalists, with very many real computer nerds/experts (as once pointed out by their former editor).

They write about a given subject, but aren't neccesarily top experts in the fields, which is okay given their target audiences.

I believe if one makes that distinction between highly technical and mass-market, Popphoto can be seen for what it is, not what we think it should be. Given that, a review of a camera using factory defaults is the only fair method for the segment Popphoto caters to, and for the types of articles Popphoto writes.

06-15-2008, 03:04 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by morfic Quote
Makes me wanna see if i can subscribe to Color Foto from the US.
Here is a link: colorfoto.de - COLOR FOTO 7/2008 (issue COLOR FOTO 7/2008).

The article itself is not available for download, individual tests are.

The basic idea of their new extended method is equally simple and efficient: photograph a pattern which looks like noise and see how much of it survives

For anybody not able to access this test, I recommend the noise comparison page at dpreview:

Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Review: 17. Photographic tests (Noise):

This shows crops from this subject (a UK stamp):


Only the K20D shows the stamp's background pattern! The other two (Sony, Canon) entirely destroy the background pattern from ISO100 on!

Since I know this, I am sorry to say but I would now refuse to use a Canon EOS 450D or Sony DSLR-A350. I need to trust that my camera catches what my eyes see!


I am pretty sure that the new texture tests will become widespread and render all current DSLRs obsolete (with the exception of Pentax and Leica).

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2008 at 03:12 PM.
06-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
C't is catering towards the Tom's Hardware / Maximum PC crowd of computer geeks (like myself), not the mass-market group like Ziff-Davis would.
cputeq, you're right for a tester with average (read insufficient) qualification.

I.e., we do actually agree to each other


However, in Germany c't is the leading mass-market computer magazine (1 million copies printed monthly, published bi-weekly). If readers in other markets or countries prefer superficial tests ... I agree, it may be ok to buy a magazine for its other content. But then, its tests can simply be ignored.

I really think that we get what we deserve. France got its Chasseur d'Images which seems to be a better photo mag than available in other countries as well.
06-15-2008, 05:07 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
cputeq, you're right for a tester with average (read insufficient) qualification.

I.e., we do actually agree to each other


However, in Germany c't is the leading mass-market computer magazine (1 million copies printed monthly, published bi-weekly). If readers in other markets or countries prefer superficial tests ... I agree, it may be ok to buy a magazine for its other content. But then, its tests can simply be ignored.

I really think that we get what we deserve. France got its Chasseur d'Images which seems to be a better photo mag than available in other countries as well.
Yes, I'm actually very jealous of both c't and Chasseur d'Images....there doesn't seem to be any U.S. magazines that approaches them in quality!

I guess to clarify = "mass U.S. market" when I talk of non-technical magazines

Sadly, the more technical the magazine in the U.S., the more it is a niche publication and not mass market. I still remember when boot was being published - what a great magazine but not very popular.

Unfortunately, Imagine Publishing bought the subscriber base of "Home PC" or something like that (totally newbie computer magazine) and then boot morphed into Maximum PC -- The technical articles have gone downhill and the newby-friendly tips have increased. It's why I eventually canceled my subscription after about the first 2 years of MaximumPC.

I'd love to have a U.S. equivalent of CHasseur, though.

06-15-2008, 05:53 PM   #20
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Lucky me. I have no problems finding and reading "Chasseur d'Images". I agree with the fact that american mags are targeting the mass market more than the real enthusiasts. As far as canadian mags are concerned,you won't find anything, as far as I know.
06-15-2008, 06:28 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by cupic Quote
You cant compare apples to pears

cheers
Yes you can. I like apples better.
06-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Here is a link: colorfoto.de - COLOR FOTO 7/2008 (issue COLOR FOTO 7/2008).

The article itself is not available for download, individual tests are.

The basic idea of their new extended method is equally simple and efficient: photograph a pattern which looks like noise and see how much of it survives

For anybody not able to access this test, I recommend the noise comparison page at dpreview:

Sony Alpha DSLR-A350 Review: 17. Photographic tests (Noise):

This shows crops from this subject (a UK stamp):


Only the K20D shows the stamp's background pattern! The other two (Sony, Canon) entirely destroy the background pattern from ISO100 on!

Since I know this, I am sorry to say but I would now refuse to use a Canon EOS 450D or Sony DSLR-A350. I need to trust that my camera catches what my eyes see!


I am pretty sure that the new texture tests will become widespread and render all current DSLRs obsolete (with the exception of Pentax and Leica).
Forget 450d, i am still frightened by your initial list of results, looking at the 40D i almost upgraded to as 30D owner.......
06-15-2008, 07:02 PM   #23
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QuoteQuote:
Pop Photo July issue

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the july issue, Pop Photo has a comparison test of high ISO cameras. In the test results, they rated the noise level of the K20D at ISO 3200 and 6400 as unacceptable. What ticks me off is the fact (stated in the article) that they left the NR off on the K20D while all the other contenders had high ISO N.R. on. It shows that Pop Photo has a strong dislike of Pentax cameras to use such tricks to discredit a model. They should use the same conditions for all the cameras they test for a particular issue. They implied that they left the camera in the state it comes in the box (default setting), but they turned the high ISO on on the Olympus E-3. If you look only at the results without reading the whole article, it could mislead a lot of readers. Why turn high ISO n.r. on for the Olympus and not do it for the K20D? POP PHOTO, YOU STINK
flyer


I think there is a misunderstanding here, by many K20 owners. While it is true the default setting for noise reduction on the K20 is off, it is not true that noise reduction is not applied to ISO 3200 & higher. The statement is only true for ISOs 1600 and down. Actually, for ISO 3200 and higher, STRONG noise reduction is automatically applied.

Here is why---this is an exerpt, taken verbatim, from the K20 manual:


"Noise reduction is set to [Strong] when shooting a sensitivity of ISO 3200 or higher. regardless of the [18. High-ISO Noise Reduction] setting (p.80) in the [C Custom Menu] menu."


See, for example, K20D Operating Manual, p.78



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Ernest





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06-15-2008, 07:16 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
I guess to clarify = "mass U.S. market" when I talk of non-technical magazines
Ok, but then PopPhoto isn't in the mass market either. I.e., I don't get your point.

The "demographics" are as follows:

- Popular Photography Magazine, USA, Circulation 400,000
- c't, Germany, Circulation (bi-weekly) 382,420

So, taking the different sizes of countries into account, c't is 3x more mass market than PopPhoto. Why I don't get your point. Agreed, computer mags are bigger than photo mags. But c't is as big as it gets for any computer mag in Germany.
06-15-2008, 07:55 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Ok, but then PopPhoto isn't in the mass market either. I.e., I don't get your point.

The "demographics" are as follows:

- Popular Photography Magazine, USA, Circulation 400,000
- c't, Germany, Circulation (bi-weekly) 382,420

So, taking the different sizes of countries into account, c't is 3x more mass market than PopPhoto. Why I don't get your point. Agreed, computer mags are bigger than photo mags. But c't is as big as it gets for any computer mag in Germany.

Demographics doesn't deal with the total number of people, but the makeup of those people. Do not confuse "demographics" with "distribution", as they are completely different animals.

Again this is me guessing, but I would imagine there are many many "newbie" people that read PopPhoto. It is a simple magazine that explains many things, while also including some advanced tips. It doesn't go into extreme detail on camera reviews because many of their readers wouldn't use the information or wouldn't understand it (again, I'm guessing at demographic makeup).

Compare this with c't, which is rather technical. Even if they have similar distribution, their demographics are probably completely different -- I would fathom that a large number of c't readers are in fact very technical users, so they would demand a much higher, more thorough level of material than something from "Home-Friendly Computing".


So, whereas something like C't would in fact be "mass-market", as the distribution is that of Popphoto, remember I ammended my definition of "mass-market" to mean "U.S. mass market"

U.S. Mass Market = dumbed down literature. This isn't the case with c't -- it happens to be "mass market" while also being very technical.

As far as I know, there is no U.S. publication in either photography or computers that is actually mass-market and highly technical. The two seem to be oxymorons in my country!

----------------

So, to summarize:

U.S. Mass market Popphoto magazine deals with a large readership base of non-technical people, therefore their "standard" reviews should suit them fine, as highly technical reviews would not fit the profile of the magazine. Popphoto gives reviews of printers (consumer and pro), gadgets, PnS cameras, etc. etc. They are not a highly technical magazine.

It would be like MaximumPC or C't giving in-depth reviews of the latest E-machines computers -- The article would be out of place (unless to make fun of the machine).
06-16-2008, 06:19 AM   #26
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Pop. Photo is such an awful ad-laden magazine that obviously is in the pocket of CanNikon that who cares what they think about other brands? I don't take them seriously at all. IMO, there aren't any good American photography magazines for the novice/beginner/amateur demographic. (Plenty of mags for the high-end pro's that just have nice pics and interviews and nothing else). The rest is just ads, ads, ads, and more ads, with small "unbiased articles" about how freakin awesome the Digital Rebel is and how to dodge/burn in photoshop. Lame!

Now.. UK's Digital Camera mag is where it's at!! Worth every penny!
06-16-2008, 07:18 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
So, what's the big deal?
The BIG DEAL is that the Olypus E-3 comes off with N.R. off as the default setting and they turned it on. They can't even respect their own protocol, which makes them as biased as you. That is the point.
The BIG DEAL Rice is that if you change the settings of one camera to improve it's performance you should do the same to the others. Selectively enhancing or not enhancing any particular camera's performance invalidates the result. Even your measurbator's mind should be able to understand that.

PP should have turned NR OFF on every camera (or left it off) to show native noise and then turned it on on every camera to evaluate the camera's ability to manage the noise at high ISO levels.

However they are not seeking a fair test... they are seeking a way to insure that their heavy advertisers come out on top...
06-16-2008, 02:46 PM   #28
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I just got my copy and read the whole article. They did make it very clear that the Pentax does not come with NR on by default, as well with a quoted explanation from Pentax as to why (basically, give all the control to the photog). I don't like that they did turn it on for the E-3, however the point made above about the ISO 3200+ using NR regardless may make that moot. All of that aside, it's just one more example of their laziness, as all they did was take the results from the earlier reviews of the mentioned models and reprinted them, as they did the K10D-K20D AF performance numbers.

For all of those not all that happy about this article, hey, at least the cover photo was shot with a Pentax! At least find a little joy in that.
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