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06-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #16
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im greedy

soo... if people buy pentax so all the lens can be mine! BUAHAHAH!!

I really wish there's more of those FA* lens at an affordable price.. I really would love to have a 80-200mmm =)

06-05-2007, 07:45 PM   #17
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I don't think much of C/R. Their reports have no value.

In 1970, I worked as a salesman in a Radio Shack store in Houston, TX.

We had a Stereo receiver that was our top of the line piece. C/R had it rated as a "Best Buy". In the same issue of C/R there was a Harmon-Kardon Stereo reciever which had been reviewed and was listed as "unacceptable". The Radio Shack reciever and the H/K reciever were the identical piece of equipment. Only the face plate was different. H/K sold the reciever to Radio Shack with the "Realistic" name on it. If you put the schmatics one over the other, they were identical.

I can't remember how many times I heard the District Manager say. "Be sure to tout that C/R report, it cost us a lot of money to get that rating."

YMMV, but C/R means nothing.

Ed
06-05-2007, 09:25 PM   #18
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I have a similar story about CR except it does deal with 35mm SLR's. In the mid - late 70's, Fujica came out with the ST 901 M42 Fujica mount camera. It was the first aperture preferred electro-mechanical horizontal focal plain shutter made by Fujica. It had an approximation of the shutter speed displayed in a small LED display in the viewfinder. So the shutter speed was infinitely variable and the display showed the closest traditional shutter speed from 20 seconds to 1/2000.

CR got ahold of the camera for a review and trashed the machine since their “measurebations” showed that the shutter speed in the display was 1/250 (displayed as 250 where anything over one second had a minus sign --- go figure) but the measurebated speed was 1/222. To add the incredulous – this sort of thing happened all the time – the display did not show the --- absolute --- shutter speed.

Now of course if the fools at CR would have read the manual, it would have been explained.

CR should spend time looking at washing machines – everything else is a joke – including cars, cameras and anything else that comes with a manual.

PDL – PS – I still have the camera and it works great – although the foam light seal has deteriorated (I found a replacement).
06-06-2007, 03:10 AM   #19
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Bias As A Result Of Seeking Profits

QuoteOriginally posted by PeterAM Quote
Consumer Reports doesn't take advertising.
Consumer Reports does indeed take advertising - their own. And that's exactly where the problem rests. To continue to sell their publications, to continue to make profits, they have to appeal to as many people as possible. Yet, to justify their very existence, they have to trash something.

Their answer is to simply heed the overall popularity ratings, avoiding too much criticism of products from popular brand names while trashing products from less popular brand names - the quality of the actual products plays a lessor role in all this.

With that in mind, it is not hard to see why a Sony product received a surprisingly high rating while a Pentax product received a lower rating. Sony is a huge company with many customers (all products) while Pentax is a smaller company with far fewer customers. As such, the most people are appeased, the most customers potentially gained, by praising a Sony product over a Pentax product. At the same time, fewer people are insulted, fewer customers potentially lost, by trashing a Pentax product instead of a Sony product.

For the unbiased claims of Consumer Reports to be entirely truthful, they would have to eliminate ALL influences, including profits derived from attracting as many customers as possible.

stewart

06-06-2007, 08:37 AM   #20
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I leafed through the issue at a news stand. Previous camera issues I've found very unsatisfactory - CR regurgitated the same old list of (obsolete) camera models with a handful of newly tested current models and billed it as a up to date comprehensive test.

I think in digital cameras, the market dominance of C and N effectively sets the image standards. Other brands will therefore score based on how closely they match what N and C are doing...

And let's face it, if you're looking at a DSLR as an image appliance, Pentax does suffer: white balance issues, sometime exposure issues, etc etc. Perhaps the Nikon does manage to focus a bit quicker and more reliably in many situations... Us Pentax enthusiasts are hair-shirt contrarians with nerdy dreams of underdog domination. So a Pentax isn't as 'good' as a Canon or Nikon in many ways. Personally, I feel the sting, but I also feel that 'good enough' is plenty. The tradeoff is in many other areas of usability and function.

What I found useful in past CR camera reviews was their tested battery life. That was pretty much it.
06-06-2007, 07:06 PM   #21
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I've been a subscriber to Consumer Union's Consumer Reports and I think some of the this discussion is slightly critical without understanding how CU rates products.

First, CU tends to focus on the average consumer. I would say that anyone on this forum would not be an average consumer because they take the time to participate in this forum and so they are probably rather serious about photography. Serious photographers look at other sources. Race car drivers wouldn't use CU to buy a race car!

Second, the spread between 1st and Last was a mere 6 points. True, Pentax was the Last, but that is the overall combined scores.

Third, one thing I notice with CU, since they are for the average user, is that they put a heavy weight on price. Pentax could have lost just because of the cost even if the camera overtook the competition on every level. But again, for the average person, cost is very significant.

Fourth, CU is very particular on how they test and do business so that they do not play favorites. I wish a lot of reviewers had the same ethics in reviews.

And last, who is more likely to be biased, the owner of a product or an independant lab?
06-06-2007, 07:15 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Consumer Reports does indeed take advertising - their own. And that's exactly where the problem rests. To continue to sell their publications, to continue to make profits, they have to appeal to as many people as possible. Yet, to justify their very existence, they have to trash something.
But CU is a Non-Profit organization.

I don't follow your logic: how does trashing something justify one's existence?
06-06-2007, 07:30 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LV Dan Quote
I've been a subscriber to Consumer Union's Consumer Reports and I think some of the this discussion is slightly critical without understanding how CU rates products.
From what I read, it is exactly how CU rates products that is at issue!

Without going into too much detail (because CR is thankfully less relevant than they could be) I am arguing that they target a perceived 'average' market, which seems to coincide with your 'average'. But to me, they target people who are very poor or very cheap. I believe the true average person cares much more about value than price, which is a concept completely lost on CR.

06-06-2007, 07:57 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
From what I read, it is exactly how CU rates products that is at issue!

Without going into too much detail (because CR is thankfully less relevant than they could be) I am arguing that they target a perceived 'average' market, which seems to coincide with your 'average'. But to me, they target people who are very poor or very cheap. I believe the true average person cares much more about value than price, which is a concept completely lost on CR.
My term for average is the user not intending to use it professionaly, but for one's own personal use around the home or on vacation, etc. I believe most readers are looking for value. Otherwise they would just go to the store and buy what is cheap. Someone who finds out what is good for their price range, which is what information CU provides, is value driven.

Professionals look to other sources when the product is to be used professionally. I am in the video business and I would never consider a video camera or TV set that CU rates in Consumer Reports for our TV studio. That is not their intent.

But when I am looking for a TV set for my living room, I am not going to buy an expensive video monitor but rather a consumer TV set.

Notice that CU mainly rates the Point and Shoot cameras. That is probably where they should focus on rather than going into the SLR realm. But for the unserious amatuer that needs a simple SLR by design, that is who is going to look at Consumer Reports for a DSLR review.

I, for one, appreciate their reviews because I could never test products to the full spectrum that they do. If I need a washer or blender or other household item, they provide more information than I could ever find out on my own (unless I was rich and could buy 20 of them and test them myself).

So just because they didn't rate the cameras in the same terms that a serious amatuer or professional would doesn't make them poor performers.

I'm not saying I agree blindly with all their reviews, I just think that they really are trying to provide the best information in as much of an honestly and ethically way possible.
06-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by LV Dan Quote
My term for average is the user not intending to use it professionaly, but for one's own personal use around the home or on vacation, etc. I believe most readers are looking for value. Otherwise they would just go to the store and buy what is cheap. Someone who finds out what is good for their price range, which is what information CU provides, is value driven.

...

I'm not saying I agree blindly with all their reviews, I just think that they really are trying to provide the best information in as much of an honestly and ethically way possible.
I think we almost totally agree. They do a smash-up job of testing 37 different toothpastes, or perhaps a washing machine at the most sophisticated. Honestly, DSLR reviews are sometimes outside the realm of Phil Askey, so CR is completely lost.

Our one point of contention is to the 'value' point - do you think they would ever rate a $9,000 Rolex over a $50 Timex? They both keep time. But does that mean that the Rolex is 180x overpriced?
06-06-2007, 08:21 PM   #26
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this is getting ridiculous

Once again:

QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
what I have learned reading this forum is:

a review critical of anything about new pentax cameras is biased, incomplete, unfair, apples to oranges, and should be called out as such.

a review of new pentax cameras that recommend and praise them, use superlatives, 5 out of 5, is balanced, fair, and should be referred to.
Consumer Reports is as close as it gets to fair testing to determine reasonable best deal for the consumer where he/she is faced with multiple similar offerings.

As previously noted, actual performance quality is one measuring point of many, including ease of use, instruction manual, build quality, purchasing experience and retail price for all items in all categories that they test and report on.
06-07-2007, 05:30 AM   #27
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did anyone really read the scoring?

best to worst covers a range of less than 10%,

also the reviewers did not even understand that the K10D has shake reduction.

I wouldn't worry about this, I doubt they really tested anything just read a couple of reviews.
06-07-2007, 06:24 AM   #28
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For what it's worth, I look at the CU reports as just another tool when considering a new purchase. Anyone who places their entire purchase decision on one report from one organization is not a well informed consumer. When I was looking to purchase a DSLR I read everything I could and settled on the Pentax K10d. Not all literature was positive but I used all information good and bad to make my decision. Hopefully, other consumers will also be looking for as much info as possible.
06-07-2007, 05:23 PM   #29
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I used to be a subscriber to Consumer Reports 20+ years ago (they have been around since the 30s). I should pick up a few issues and see if they have changed. I found them fair and impartial plus a great source on how to evaluate things. I'm surprised to read they did not explain the camera test, they used to describe in detail how they tested items.

That said, I agree with the "average person" thread. When they tested a product I knew something about, I found they missed the finer details.

Recently C.R. retracted an automobile review for only the second time in their long history. I was stunned to hear they had outsourced the review. Perhaps they are not the company I remember.
06-07-2007, 06:25 PM   #30
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CR looks at things much differently than subscribers here would. The K10D is much more an enthusiasts camera as opposed to one to be used by the typical consumer. You can tell that they are not looking at things from the enthusiast's perspective ....they rated the D80 above the D200. Go figure!!
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