DPreview Canonized

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
852
297
So, I got banned for five days, for expressing my view on DPrev/Rishi´s reviews. I think it was a hard punishment for a message that wash´t too harsh, I think, but I admit that it wasn't a constructive statement, and I find that the one I made, does not belong in Canon Rumors. I owe Rishi an apology.

So I spent my banned period studying the debate in the treads where Rishi has participated the last week. I´ve noted that DPreview is thorough in their reviews, and they do emphasize weaknesses from all brands, not just Canon. That is a big reason why Rishi can defend DPr´s reviews seemingly well. Further, I find that it is partly the rhetorical angle that Preview use in their conclusions, along with their scoring system, and things they don´t emphasize, that is most upsetting to many Canon users. So asked myself, how would the A7RII conclusion look like if it were written by someone with a Canon bias, such as myself.

So this is the A7RII conclusion, rewritten. Points that I did´t care to rewrite are marked with strikethrough.

Conclusion - Pros
Impressive low light Raw performance, especially when images are downsized
Some photographers will appreciate the impressive dynamic range in Raw
Dramatically improved JPEGs, with sophisticated sharpening and well-controlled noise reduction
DRO and S-Log2 offer extensive dynamic range in JPEG
IBIS and electronic first curtain ensure ease of high resolution imaging
Continuous Eye-AF is very handy for portrait shooting
Autofocus with certain adapters work pretty well with third-party lenses
Provided you use very fast primes, low light continuous AF can compete with most DSLRs.
First full-frame mirrorless to come close to, in some particular situations, to challenge DSLR phase-detect systems
Industry leading AF frame coverage, but with poor manual controls to chose AF-points.
Offers silent shooting, though with some image noise cost
Extensive set of video support features including S-Log2, Zebras, and peaking
Sharp 4K footage especially from Super35 region of sensor
Face detection autofocus in video
Programmable Auto ISO implementation
One-touch AF point magnification in image review, making for quick focus check
Camera operation possible during USB charging - useful in emergencies

Conclusion - Cons
Unlike competing DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, no direct AF point control, which makes manual control over AF cumbersome
Lock-on AF still remains unpredictable and often unreliable
Camera focuses stopped down in AF-C, often crippling AF at small apertures or in low light
Eye-AF and Lock-on AF not available with 3rd party lenses, nor in video
Camera drops to 12-bit mode in continuous shooting, dropping dynamic range
Exposure parameters frozen while shutter is half-depressed (save for Dial EV Comp)
Viewfinder eye sensor is over-sensitive
Unlike Canon and Nikon, buttons and dials are either too small, recessed, or mushy
Inane interactions between menu items lead to poor experience and too many greyed out items
Buffer is sluggish to clear, making quick image review and focus check difficult
Video never shows low-light advantage of full frame sensor
No in-camera Raw conversion
No touchscreen
Very limited battery life, especially compared to DSLRs.

Overall Conclusion

Sony Alpha 7R II has impressive image quality, and have brought new and handy features, that we hope other manufacturers will implement. Our testing of the A7RII shows that it is very capable in quite a few situations, but it also has some serious shortcomings.

The A7RII has a few tricks up it´s sleeve. IBIS is a welcome addition in deed, and Eye-AF is very handy for portrait shooting. Further, continuous AF has improved. However, you can´t expect the uncompromised AF performance that you can from a DSLR. Unlike the A7RII, DSLRs work very well in (as good as) all shooting conditions, whether i´s still or moving objects, or the light is bad. Add to that, that the serious DSLR offerings has a direct AF-point controller, that makes it very easy for the photographer to choose were to focus. We find it very strange, that Sony has overlooked such a controller, when they at the same time offer the widest AF point covering seen in a full frame camera. (Arguably the dual pixel AF-system from Canon has wider covering when shooting in live view.)

In terms of handling and ergonomics, the A7RII still has a way to go, before it can compete with the much more refined offerings from Canon and Nikon. The A7RII´s bad menus, bad buttons and a general lack of response in many situations can have a very negative impact on the shooting experience. Canon on the other hand, often uses two, and sometimes three processors to handle both AF and captured images. Due to this, Canon cameras are always ready for whatever you want it to do. The A7RII will frustratingly often freeze up, sometimes at the wrong moment. This makes us wondering if the A7RII should have gone through more R&D and more testing, before release.

In terms of image quality, we must admit that the A7RII has impressed us. Dynamic range at low ISO is very impressive, although for most shooting, we rarely see the real world need for pushing shadows more than 3 stops. Only to the most DR demanding photographers, such as astrophotografers, we think high dynamic range could or should be a deciding factor, when deciding which camera to buy. In our opinion, a more important aspect of image quality is lens quality. Compared to the competition, Sony has a very immature selection of native lenses. Sure, they do offer the possibility to use third party lenses with an adapter, but we really don´t think that is a good solution. The poor ergonomics compared to DSLRs, makes using adapted lenses a bad option, because the lens-camera combo becomes very front heavy. Leica-lenses aren´t really a very good option either. For some reason, Sony uses a different filter stack than Leica, which makes many of the lenses perform bad in the corners, when adapted to the A7RII.

Of the few lenses Sony has released so far, one should be aware that unlike Canon, most of them has a a lot of copy to copy variation, so the chances that you get a bad copy, is quite big.

One should ale be aware that at least some of their lenses, the 24-70 f/4 and the 55 f/1.8 has proven to have frequent AF-failures. In this article from lens rentals, it says: "My paranoia increased when I saw that the linear electromagnetic focusing motors (LEMs) in the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 and FE 55mm f/1.8 lenses broke a lot."

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/04/a-look-at-electromagnetic-focusing/

The problem with these two lenses, seem to relate to a bad choice of construction, where they use glue to attach moving parts in the AF-system, as described in this article:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/04/tearing-down-the-sony-24-70-f4-za-oss-vario-tessar/

Sony has made other bad design choices in their lenses. In a tear down from Lensrentals.com, where they took apart Sony FE 35 f/1.4 ZA, they found heavy weather sealings everywhere, except in the lens mount, where it, arguably, matters the most. We wouldn't expect such an oversight even in a cheap chinese pirated copy of a lens.
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/12/sony-fe-35mm-f1-4-za-lens-teardown/


The final word
Sony has brought a lot of good things with the A7RII, and is a worthy competitor to every full frame camera on the market, when it comes to pure image quality and for certain types of shooting. For the photographer that don´t need a camera that can handle every situation, that don´t need the ability to have full manual control over AF, and that can do with the lenses that are offered, the A7RII could be the right camera. However, before making the sizable investment that the A7RII and lenses is, even those shooters should take into consideration whether or not the questionable quality of some of Sony´s offerings, reflects on a risk that they are willing to take.
 

3kramd5

EOS R6
Mar 2, 2012
3,084
405
DPR is biased, there is no question. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The term bias is wrongly stigmatized.

If you set for example center weighted average for your metering program, you're selecting bias.

I don't believe DPR's bias has anything to do with brand, but rather with those parameters they prioritize and, in terms of composite scoring, how they weight those parameters.

There is a potential problem of the staff choosing cameras due to a particular parameter or two which favors one brand (e.g. dynamic range of Sony sensors) leading to a lack of familiarity with other brands which in turn hinders actual usage (such as not knowing how to properly configure a given camera for closing action autofocus), but I suspect there is a pretty wide range of equipment among the staff.
 

d

EOS RP
Mar 8, 2015
417
1
Evidently some people derive too much of their self-esteem from the equipment they own, and other's opinions of that equipment. Those who find equipment reviews "upsetting" would probably do well to reevaluate some of the things they assign importance to in their lives, and how they spend their time.

d.
 
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Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
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3kramd5 said:
DPR is biased, there is no question. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

<snip>

I don't believe DPR's bias has anything to do with brand, but rather with those parameters they prioritize and, in terms of composite scoring, how they weight those parameters.

<snip>

There is a potential problem of the staff choosing cameras due to a particular parameter or two which favors one brand (e.g. dynamic range of Sony sensors) leading to a lack of familiarity with other brands which in turn hinders actual usage

Bias is inherent in all testing. Nonetheless, for any site that intends to engage in objective (i.e. quasi-scientific) testing of gear, it's essential to be clear about those biases at the outset, and to take explicit actions to minimize them. This goes for any product from any manufacturer.

By contrast, if you want to do a personal, hands-on review of a product, there's no such need because the subjectivity is clear.
 
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zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
2,129
318
It's not what they say but how they say it and it will change, partly because of engagement here but mostly because of Amazon.
 

3kramd5

EOS R6
Mar 2, 2012
3,084
405
Orangutan said:
3kramd5 said:
DPR is biased, there is no question. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

<snip>

I don't believe DPR's bias has anything to do with brand, but rather with those parameters they prioritize and, in terms of composite scoring, how they weight those parameters.

<snip>

There is a potential problem of the staff choosing cameras due to a particular parameter or two which favors one brand (e.g. dynamic range of Sony sensors) leading to a lack of familiarity with other brands which in turn hinders actual usage

Bias is inherent in all testing. Nonetheless, for any site that intends to engage in objective (i.e. quasi-scientific) testing of gear, it's essential to be clear about those biases at the outset, and to take explicit actions to minimize them. This goes for any product from any manufacturer.

By contrast, if you want to do a personal, hands-on review of a product, there's no such need because the subjectivity is clear.

I think DPR is pretty clear about its biases - just read the things they discuss in their reviews. As far as I know they don't spell out how they concoct their composite score, which I agree they should if they intend it to be taken seriously. But their measurements appear to be done consistently and methodically where possible. Things like autofocus testing can not, even within brands, be done on equal footing. Comparing a body with a significant level of AF customization, like a 1Dx, to one without, is not really possible unless you merely leave the camera in default configuration, which negates all the benefits of the customization and supposes that the defaults for each body match the situation equally.

So, take DPR for what it is worth. They have a bunch of really good imaging data collected in a controlled way, and they have subjective impressions from people who handle more cameras than most of us ever will.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,785
1,751
Par of the issue is our own bias. We filter everything thru our bias filter, and out pops those things it catches. that's why Nikon, Sony, and other brand users also complain loudly about DPR being biased against their brand.

I find that DPR is pretty careful about giving a fair review, but I do wish there were a review and test of live view tethering. I've been bit by Nikon. Sure, they have it, but its virtually unusable. What about Sony? The only review I found was harsh.
 

sebasan

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 12, 2016
96
22
sebasantos.1x.com
I had two messages deleted in the same topic. I don't say anything aggresive or disrespectful. Maybe he has some influence than others don't have. I don't remeber your messages so I can't tell if you were out of place.

I read dpreview, it seems a good website but I see their review from differents way. I know about photography and gear, but if somebody without knowledge read their reviews maybe they are influenced in an incorrect way, because if you sum up what they say, probably you won't choose Canon.
 

GMCPhotographics

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Aug 22, 2010
1,714
437
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Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
I think there is an arrogance in DPR, their moderation and their reviews. I think this is seen by them banning certain forum posts who dare to question their integrity and their opinions. It feels like a Marxist mentality. I suspect these DPR employees like to chase down and stamp out certain any views which are contrary to their own...that's arrogance. Even worse, they come here and do the same...which they have no authority or right to do. Self justification is arrogance. Asking what they have done wrong to offend many photographers who come here to get away from DPR...that's humility. The more I have dealing with DPR....the more I want to get away from it/them.
 

GMCPhotographics

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Aug 22, 2010
1,714
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www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
Oh and by the way...in terms of influence...DPR are very little. Canon steers very wide of that forum for good reasons too. Come to think of it...not one single review of their has ever influenced any of my buying choices. In fact I've never been influenced by any press hack...car, house...anything...so that leads me to wonder why they all exist? think their reviews are just eye candy until one buys their own copy and then doesn't go there any more. But the decision to buy was usually decided way before reading their reviews.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
852
297
Mt Spokane Photography said:
Par of the issue is our own bias. We filter everything thru our bias filter, and out pops those things it catches. that's why Nikon, Sony, and other brand users also complain loudly about DPR being biased against their brand.

I find that DPR is pretty careful about giving a fair review, but I do wish there were a review and test of live view tethering. I've been bit by Nikon. Sure, they have it, but its virtually unusable. What about Sony? The only review I found was harsh.

I admit that I have my own bias. My point is that focusing on 1/3 stop of difference in ISO or DR, in my view, gets ridiculous, compared to other aspects. Lens selection, lens quality, ergonomics, handling, user interface and reliability are things that DPR generally don´t emphasize, but which is aspects I value much higher than small and rare to be experienced differences in ISO or DR.

DPR reviews as a whole are thorough and mostly accurate, but I think the way the results/conclusion are presented and their scoring system, are misleading for camera buyers looking for advise.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,252
1,941
Canada
Larsskv said:
Mt Spokane Photography said:
Par of the issue is our own bias. We filter everything thru our bias filter, and out pops those things it catches. that's why Nikon, Sony, and other brand users also complain loudly about DPR being biased against their brand.

I find that DPR is pretty careful about giving a fair review, but I do wish there were a review and test of live view tethering. I've been bit by Nikon. Sure, they have it, but its virtually unusable. What about Sony? The only review I found was harsh.

I admit that I have my own bias. My point is that focusing on 1/3 stop of difference in ISO or DR, in my view, gets ridiculous, compared to other aspects. Lens selection, lens quality, ergonomics, handling, user interface and reliability are things that DPR generally don´t emphasize, but which is aspects I value much higher than small and rare to be experienced differences in ISO or DR.

DPR reviews as a whole are thorough and mostly accurate, but I think the way the results/conclusion are presented and their scoring system, are misleading for camera buyers looking for advise.
I agree.
Numbers such as DR, stops, ISO, flash strength, number of AF points, shutter speed and the like can be easily quantized and compared. The feel of the camera, the user interface, how well the AF system works, and the other "soft data" becomes very subjective and very hard to put numbers on, so often reviewers don't even try. For example, my 60D has 9 AF points, my 7D2 has 65. Does that make it 7 times better because it has 7 times as many points? I know it is better.....but to put a number on that is ridiculous and arbitrary.

The numbers are only the start of the story. We are missing the best part if we do not move past them.....
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
sebasan said:
I had two messages deleted in the same topic. I don't say anything aggresive or disrespectful. Maybe he has some influence than others don't have...


I can believe it. (EDIT: I can believe that DPR would be strict with conflicting opinions on their own website, not that people managing other forums have any sway here.)
Rishi ignored my observations here twice, addressing other people's comments after mine and simply responding with a SNR number.
It seems he has admitted he doesn't know everything in the end, so maybe there is still hope.

I've seen this sort of behavior before, it's not terribly uncommon.
Over the last five years of debating the pros and cons of "4K" display resolution, most people who are opposed to the idea base their opinion on a specific measurement of human vision. Grid patterns blur out at a certain density and distance when viewed by people, I can confirm this with my own computer monitor using my own eyes, that's all fine and dandy, but if you look for detail that's not in a grid pattern then all of a sudden that specific measurement means next to nothing, and I can confirm that with my own computer using my own eyes.
At first I didn't know what was going on, but I kept exploring the subject and eventually found out about "vernier resolution" and read some in depth information about human vision and later it all made sense.
People saying "4K is useless beyond a certain distance on a certain size TV" are right, when dealing with very specific patterns, but in most circumstances they're actually wrong.

When people find something that they can prove is true, they latch on to that one bit of information and tend to use it as a broad defense from conflicts with their agenda. They revert to repeating the same information over and over because that person is thinking "I know this information is true, therefore I'm right".

It's also easy to understand how a bias in favor of Sony would form.
If my job were to write about camera gear I wouldn't be writing much about Canon either. Sony produces new, different and legitimately interesting things more often than anyone else, just the disproportionate amount of time spent thinking about Sony products would tend to sway someone toward favoring that brand.
Thus, Brian at TDP (who writes about nothing but Canon) spends the vast majority of his time talking about lenses, and covers each Canon body so thoroughly he probably knows more about Canon bodies in general than the average technical designer at Canon.
 

Admin US West

EOS R
CR Pro
Nov 30, 2010
834
16
GMCPhotographics said:
I think there is an arrogance in DPR, their moderation and their reviews. I think this is seen by them banning certain forum posts who dare to question their integrity and their opinions. It feels like a Marxist mentality. I suspect these DPR employees like to chase down and stamp out certain any views which are contrary to their own...that's arrogance. Even worse, they come here and do the same...which they have no authority or right to do. Self justification is arrogance. Asking what they have done wrong to offend many photographers who come here to get away from DPR...that's humility. The more I have dealing with DPR....the more I want to get away from it/them.

I am the one who removes inappropriate posts and issues bans, not Rishi. He has never requested one either. Your comments are unwarranted, insulting other members is one of the reasons for a ban.

Like it or not, Rishi is a member, and has made some positive contributions in spite of the scorn heaped on him by those who have filtered out his positive comments.

Everyone here is able to contribute his own ideas, but we draw the line at insulting others, no matter if they insult our members or they insult individuals who run or contribute other web sites. (plenty of warnings about K.R. comments too).

Our policies are posted, we are lenient compared to some sites with our bans, we usually give a cooling off ban rather than a total one. We have software that lends itself to partial bans and issuing warnings which add negative points to a profile, lots of tools to deal with problematic posts. Some forum software only gives the owner a full ban option, so its not clear cut.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,942
2,516
Alberta, Canada
"When people find something that they can prove is true, they latch on to that one bit of information and tend to use it as a broad defense from conflicts with their agenda. They revert to repeating the same information over and over because that person is thinking "I know this information is true, therefore I'm right"."

I think this is a fair assessment of one aspect of human behaviour.

Jack
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
1,843
0
CR Backup Admin said:
I am the one who removes inappropriate posts and issues bans, not Rishi. He has never requested one either. Your comments are unwarranted, insulting other members is one of the reasons for a ban.

Thanks for clearing that up. I actually thought everyone in this thread was talking about events on other websites, but now I see that it could be taken either way.
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
Orangutan said:
3kramd5 said:
DPR is biased, there is no question. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

<snip>

I don't believe DPR's bias has anything to do with brand, but rather with those parameters they prioritize and, in terms of composite scoring, how they weight those parameters.

<snip>

Well said.

There is a potential problem of the staff choosing cameras due to a particular parameter or two which favors one brand (e.g. dynamic range of Sony sensors) leading to a lack of familiarity with other brands which in turn hinders actual usage

Bias is inherent in all testing. Nonetheless, for any site that intends to engage in objective (i.e. quasi-scientific) testing of gear, it's essential to be clear about those biases at the outset, and to take explicit actions to minimize them. This goes for any product from any manufacturer.

By contrast, if you want to do a personal, hands-on review of a product, there's no such need because the subjectivity is clear.
 

Woody

EOS R
Jul 20, 2010
1,162
92
This post cracks me up! ;D

Larsskv said:
Sony Alpha 7R II has impressive image quality, and have brought new and handy features, that we hope other manufacturers will implement. Our testing of the A7RII shows that it is very capable in quite a few situations, but it also has some serious shortcomings.

... Add to that, that the serious DSLR offerings has a direct AF-point controller, that makes it very easy for the photographer to choose were to focus. We find it very strange, that Sony has overlooked such a controller, when they at the same time offer the widest AF point covering seen in a full frame camera. (Arguably the dual pixel AF-system from Canon has wider covering when shooting in live view.)

... The A7RII´s bad menus, bad buttons and a general lack of response in many situations can have a very negative impact on the shooting experience.

... Dynamic range at low ISO is very impressive, although for most shooting, we rarely see the real world need for pushing shadows more than 3 stops.

... Of the few lenses Sony has released so far, one should be aware that unlike Canon, most of them has a a lot of copy to copy variation, so the chances that you get a bad copy, is quite big.

... However, before making the sizable investment that the A7RII and lenses is, even those shooters should take into consideration whether or not the questionable quality of some of Sony´s offerings, reflects on a risk that they are willing to take.

This is unbiased DPReview at work: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=29708.msg594927#msg594927