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11-30-2017, 12:59 PM   #1
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Reviewer Bias

How many are getting tired of reading reviews on various reputable sites where the reviewer reports half truths with regards to facts like Canon/Nikon having far more lenses to choose from?

It is refreshing to see the number of reviewers who are listing the K70 as one of the 'top cameras' in the entry level market... and noting the weather resistance as a big drawing point as you have to move into a higher end camera in competing lines.

But they then go on to talk about how the Nikon D5600 is a better choice due to Nikon having many times more lenses to choose from and one always has the option to move up into the D7500 for weather sealing.

But with regards to lenses, the D5600 (if you want autofocus, which most of those wanting an entry level camera want) can only use those lenses which have a built in autofocus drive motor so only newer lenses can be used. Not one of the reviews happened to mention that Nikon has removed the in camera autofocus motor from their entry level cameras.

Then when looking at WR lenses, very few of the lenses offered by Nikon are WR and none with reasonable prices.

I am not saying that Nikon doesn't make great cameras. I will be honest, if I could have afforded it I would likely have gone the D500 with high end Nikon Glass... but that is an entirely different price point.

Sorry to all those who don't like reading an occasional rant...

11-30-2017, 01:14 PM   #2
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A big issue is the deal the reviewer has with a camera seller..."click the link below and you will get"....then...."and i will get a few pennys"...so the old cliche"look after the pennys and the pounds look after themselves"comes into play.
11-30-2017, 01:30 PM   #3
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Bias is most often in the eye (and mind) of the beholder.
11-30-2017, 02:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
But they then go on to talk about how the Nikon D5600 is a better choice due to Nikon having many times more lenses to choose from and one always has the option to move up into the D7500 for weather sealing.
I wouldn't call that evidence of bias, in the sense of an unfair or unreasonable preference. The reviewer might well put a high value on the selection of currently-manufactured lenses (and accessories), and assume that this preference is generally shared. It is rather sloppy to go on sheer quantity of available lenses, but that does give a rough indication of what the various systems offer. But it is also sloppy to assume that this is a factor that should weigh heavily with entry-level buyers. What percentage of DSLR users own more than one lens?

11-30-2017, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
I wouldn't call that evidence of bias, in the sense of an unfair or unreasonable preference. The reviewer might well put a high value on the selection of currently-manufactured lenses (and accessories), and assume that this preference is generally shared. It is rather sloppy to go on sheer quantity of available lenses, but that does give a rough indication of what the various systems offer. But it is also sloppy to assume that this is a factor that should weigh heavily with entry-level buyers. What percentage of DSLR users own more than one lens?


Right. If one goes to B&H or Adorama and views the new retail selection of lenses in K mount, it is a far smaller count than can be seen for EF or F mounts.


Entry buyers generally buy an 18-55 type zoom, a 55-200 type zoom, and/or a 50 f/1.8 it seems. After that experimentation sets in.. but isn't it nice to know, if you're researching a system what the health of the system is like in terms of market support? It makes for a more thorough review..


I'd like to know, if as a budding photographer, that if I decide the kit lenses are no longer cutting it for me that there is a larger world out there of lenses that can be bought in a store with a warranty.


For the advanced user, they are likely to know what lenses the are looking for and check if the system has those available..
11-30-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
isn't it nice to know, if you're researching a system what the health of the system is like in terms of market support?
Yes, it's good information to have and to include in a review. But much depends how the information is presented. If, as the OP has paraphrased, a review states flat-out that Nikon is the better choice solely because of the lens selection, that may well sway some novice buyers and yet not serve them well, if it biases them against what most of them (who will never buy another lens) really need: a camera with good basic performance and usability.

All things being equal, it is better to buy into a system with more lenses and accessories available. All things are never equal, though.
11-30-2017, 03:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
But with regards to lenses, the D5600 (if you want autofocus, which most of those wanting an entry level camera want) can only use those lenses which have a built in autofocus drive motor so only newer lenses can be used.
You have to take into account how many of those buyers that are looking to buy some of those old screw driven lenses, they are more interested in more modern lenses all of which have AF in the lenses. Its the older specialized lens like the DC but I don't see a 5600 own picking one up

If you look at a lot of the AFD lenses they really are 15-20 year old designs that you would have to search for, most of the AFD lenses are well covered by more modern lens.

The number of lenses are not whats important but rather what there intended uses are for. Take the 24 mm, 28mm 85mm they have 2 to select from f/1.4 and the cheaper f/1.8
For 50mm they have several to select from 40 f/2.8,45 PC, 50 f/1.4, 50 f/1.8, 58 f/1.4 and the 60mm f/2.8 all fit very specific needs and character you are looking for in lenses.


For zooms they also have a selection that nicely covers a wide user base 16mm-500mm with many zooms that overlap FL ranges for very different intended uses and costs
I haven't even looked at 3rd party support, for the 5600 we have fast zoom lenses and a wide array of slower lenses.
11-30-2017, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Grosvenor Quote
regards to facts like Canon/Nikon having far more lenses to choose from?
The problem with that is most of the lenses canon/nikon do make are rubbish - there are third party alternatives that are optically superior in many cases.

11-30-2017, 03:55 PM   #9
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Withholding information and not being objective, thatís how some media outlets curry favors and gain influence and benefit. DXOmark has often been suspected as an offender. Look at MSNBC, they seldom (maybe never?) put Bernie Sanders in the headlines even if he was in the news elsewhere.

Itís not just about media outlets either, court judges often override intent of legislators by not referring to all laws that pertain to a case, instead choose at whim the laws to apply. Luckily we are dealing with just injustice in the media and not the court here.

Maybe itís just human nature not to be thorough and objective.
11-30-2017, 05:08 PM   #10
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Indeed some lenses are available new only from Canon and Nikon (400mm f2.8, 200mm f2, 800mm f5.6, etc), and you *could* potentially attach them to an entry level apsc camera.
11-30-2017, 07:42 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I have to agree there is some reviewer bias when it comes to, well just about anything really. Before the K10d came out, I was shooting film on Canon, Nikon and Voigtlander. With the 10 and 12 megapixel sensors, I figured it was time to look seriously at digital. I wasn't a novice looking for an entry level camera with one lens, I had my list of what I expected from a camera.
With the K10d, I saw the awards and great reviews, but I still wanted a system that would be compatible with a film camera. Although I was told my Nikon lenses would mount, when I pulled my old 24mm out of my pocket I was also told the camera would not meter.
Through all my studying on cameras, I found one reviewer that wrote two lines about the K-mount and backward compatibility and the green button metering. At the time I was raising three children on my own, so cost was also a consideration. I ordered the K10d and a P30, which came with two old lenses. (Please don't ask what I have in the cabinet now)

My point is, I could read about every little nuance, bell and whistle Canon and Nikon had to offer. But even with the awards the K10d received, every review was a summary, barely touching on what the camera actually offered. One sentence about weather sealing, a couple of lines about how Pentax was able to squeeze so much from the 10 megapixel sensor and etc. I've realized that Pentax is the little company that keeps finding a way to put their name on a camera all these years.

As far as number of lenses still in production... I'd be willing to bet over the next few years we see Canon, and especially Nikon start to discontinue a few lenses which overlap and don't sell especially well. Nikon is already looking at ways to control costs to remain a big player. We shall see what is ahead.
11-30-2017, 08:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The problem with that is most of the lenses canon/nikon do make are rubbish - there are third party alternatives that are optically superior in many cases.
Seriously? Canon and Nikon's lenses are actually pretty good. And at least in the telephoto >= 300mm category, excellent quality and superior to third party equivalents. Of course, there are a few examples where the third-party equivalent is optically sharper like perhaps the Sigma 35mm art f/1.4, but even then Canon/Nikon equivalents are far from rubbish.

And there are absolutely more lenses for Canon/Nikon mount than Pentax. That includes OEM as well as third-party lenses like Tamron and Sigma.

So while the basics are covered by Pentax (and really do love my Pentax lenses), if you want more specialized lenses it actually might be better to go with Canon or Nikon. But that's just choosing the right tool for the right job. If you really want a modern 500mm f/4 or 400mm f/2.8 with a DSLR then Canon and Nikon are the only choices
11-30-2017, 10:05 PM   #13
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Well, it is very obvious when you read reviews from DP Review, which is owned by Amazon now. It all comes down from Amazon sales so it understandable to see why their bias comes from. Before Amazon, DPR was great back in the days of Phil Askey. He reviewed everyone and was pretty fair.
12-01-2017, 12:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
Seriously? Canon and Nikon's lenses are actually pretty good. And at least in the telephoto >= 300mm category
Most of Canons and Nikkor consumer class lenses 15~50mm have some pretty spectacular optical flaws*, only a handful in EF/F mount are decent**. Telephoto lenses are very easy to design, even superachromat lenses over 600mm is pretty easy - making a fast diffraction limited superachromatic 24mm lens? To this date still hasn't been done among the big three, let alone attempted.

Canon and Nikon do have more lenses than Pentax, but there is little point in making a purchasing decision based on that because 90% of their lenses are consumer crap.


* and even the relatively new Nikkor G and Canon L lenses have some optical issues. The Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L are both lenses that leave a lot to be desired regarding optical performance - the Pentax SMCP-K 50mm f/1.2 from the 1970's has less CA!
**and even then there are caveats when it comes to obtaining optimal results from them.

Last edited by Digitalis; 12-01-2017 at 12:29 AM.
12-01-2017, 06:37 AM   #15
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Ya, in CaNikon camp there are very few optically excellent brand lenses under $800-1000 (depending where you live). Sigma ART offerings fills that segment nicely. Pentax situation is two edged sword - APS-C has lots of modern options, FF not so much. Penron lenses are still the most recent offering and 50/1.4 coming soonish. And there is Leitax side of things. While Leitax does what it is supposed to do, it leaves too much to be desired thanks to brain dead live view functionality in Pentax cameras.
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