not so glowing review of the Epson 4800 printer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Hilton, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    Printers using the new Epson K3 inks have been getting mostly rave
    reviews but here's another point of view, from someone who traded in a
    4000 to upgrade to the 4800 ...

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/printers/4800-1st.shtml

    Here is a quote from his summary:
    "In the final analysis I have to say that the 4800 is a disappointment.
    Much was promised and only a modest improvement was delivered, and with
    it, some nasty flaws."
    Bill Hilton, Jul 2, 2005
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote:

    > Printers using the new Epson K3 inks have been getting mostly rave
    > reviews but here's another point of view, from someone who traded in a
    > 4000 to upgrade to the 4800 ...
    >
    > http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/printers/4800-1st.shtml
    >
    > Here is a quote from his summary:
    > "In the final analysis I have to say that the 4800 is a disappointment.
    > Much was promised and only a modest improvement was delivered, and with
    > it, some nasty flaws."


    Nice to see they are willing to present both sides of the printer, pro
    and con.

    --
    LF Website @ http://members.verizon.net/~gregoryblank

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
    Gregory Blank, Jul 2, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Bill Hilton

    C Wright Guest

    On 7/1/05 7:51 PM, in article
    , "Bill Hilton"
    <> wrote:

    > Printers using the new Epson K3 inks have been getting mostly rave
    > reviews but here's another point of view, from someone who traded in a
    > 4000 to upgrade to the 4800 ...
    >
    > http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/printers/4800-1st.shtml
    >
    > Here is a quote from his summary:
    > "In the final analysis I have to say that the 4800 is a disappointment.
    > Much was promised and only a modest improvement was delivered, and with
    > it, some nasty flaws."
    >

    It is good to read an honest review! I will say that his criticism of the
    Epson printer driver is a bit unfair as the drivers for other makes of
    printers, in my experience, act in the same way. He just misses having his
    RIP! I have actually seen a 4800 demo and can attest to the fact that it
    produces stunning prints.
    Chuck W
    C Wright, Jul 2, 2005
    #3
  4. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Printers using the new Epson K3 inks have been getting mostly rave
    > reviews but here's another point of view, from someone who traded in a
    > 4000 to upgrade to the 4800 ...
    >
    > http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/printers/4800-1st.shtml
    >
    > Here is a quote from his summary:
    > "In the final analysis I have to say that the 4800 is a disappointment.
    > Much was promised and only a modest improvement was delivered, and with
    > it, some nasty flaws."


    Thanks, Bill.
    I've now lost my upgrade itch, and will remain a happy 4000 user.
    :)
    BTW--I just printed a huge panorama I shot in Alaska on my 4000.
    What a stunner!
    Black&White printing does present a challenge, though, in terms of neutral
    tones.
    Mark², Jul 2, 2005
    #4
  5. In article <BEEB87CA.2E060%wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com>,
    C Wright <wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com> wrote:
    > >

    > It is good to read an honest review! I will say that his criticism of the
    > Epson printer driver is a bit unfair as the drivers for other makes of
    > printers, in my experience, act in the same way. He just misses having his
    > RIP! I have actually seen a 4800 demo and can attest to the fact that it
    > produces stunning prints.
    > Chuck W


    I agree with his complaint, I run on a Mac system as doe he,
    he did state the windows drivers are somewhat better, did he not?
    I've noted the same issues on my 1280 driver current to OSX, to have
    those kind of issues on a 3K printer is a certain downside for not
    buying the printer.

    --
    LF Website @ http://members.verizon.net/~gregoryblank

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President,
    or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
    is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
    to the American public."--Theodore Roosevelt, May 7, 1918
    Gregory Blank, Jul 2, 2005
    #5
  6. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >Mark Morgan wrote ...
    >
    >Thanks, Bill.
    >I've now lost my upgrade itch, and will remain a happy 4000
    >user. :)


    Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you, a jealous 4000 user ... after seeing
    the gamut print he did I don't think it's as big a deal to keep the
    4000 though. One thing I didn't understand, he says you still waste a
    lot of ink changing from matte to photo black but I thought I read that
    only the black got purged, so it was a $10 swap instead of a $75 swap?
    Maybe this is a PC vs Mac driver problem.

    >Black&White printing does present a challenge (with the 4000), though, in
    >terms of neutral tones.


    I thought you had a RIP that supposedly fixes these issues?

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 2, 2005
    #6
  7. Bill Hilton

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:

    >>Mark Morgan wrote ...
    >>
    >>Thanks, Bill.
    >>I've now lost my upgrade itch, and will remain a happy 4000
    >>user. :)

    >
    >
    > Yeah, I'm in the same boat as you, a jealous 4000 user ... after seeing
    > the gamut print he did I don't think it's as big a deal to keep the
    > 4000 though. One thing I didn't understand, he says you still waste a
    > lot of ink changing from matte to photo black but I thought I read that
    > only the black got purged, so it was a $10 swap instead of a $75 swap?
    > Maybe this is a PC vs Mac driver problem.
    >
    >
    >>Black&White printing does present a challenge (with the 4000), though, in
    >>terms of neutral tones.

    >
    >
    > I thought you had a RIP that supposedly fixes these issues?
    >
    > Bill


    Hi...

    Dunno if it supports the model in question, but...

    http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml

    Take care.

    Ken
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 2, 2005
    #7
  8. Bill Hilton

    C Wright Guest

    On 7/2/05 6:23 AM, in article
    , "Gregory Blank"
    <> wrote:

    > In article <BEEB87CA.2E060%wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com>,
    > C Wright <wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com> wrote:
    >>>

    >> It is good to read an honest review! I will say that his criticism of the
    >> Epson printer driver is a bit unfair as the drivers for other makes of
    >> printers, in my experience, act in the same way. He just misses having his
    >> RIP! I have actually seen a 4800 demo and can attest to the fact that it
    >> produces stunning prints.
    >> Chuck W

    >
    > I agree with his complaint, I run on a Mac system as doe he,
    > he did state the windows drivers are somewhat better, did he not?
    > I've noted the same issues on my 1280 driver current to OSX, to have
    > those kind of issues on a 3K printer is a certain downside for not
    > buying the printer.


    To clarify - I also run on a Mac system and I basically agree with his
    printer driver complaints. The reason that I thought that his criticism was
    a bit unfair is that he singled out the Epson driver for criticism. In my
    experience one must go through the same hassles with _all_ printer drivers,
    at least on the Mac. For example, for each new image printed I have to
    re-select 'no color management' in the printer driver even though everything
    that I print from PS is with 'no color management.' This is true for Canon
    printer drivers (and I believe HP drivers) as well as Epson.
    Chuck W.
    C Wright, Jul 2, 2005
    #8
  9. Bill Hilton

    Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:
    >
    > One thing I didn't understand, he says you still waste a
    > lot of ink changing from matte to photo black but I thought I read that
    > only the black got purged, so it was a $10 swap instead of a $75 swap?
    > Maybe this is a PC vs Mac driver problem.


    The issue has nothing to do with the driver, or whether one is using a
    Mac or Windows box.

    It's true that only the black ink gets purged - and that's what the
    "black ink conversion kit" is for that's included with the 4800.

    But as part of the conversion, the 4800 charges the 4 inks (including
    black), and wastes the other 3 colors in the process.

    Enjoy!

    -- Jim
    , Jul 2, 2005
    #9
  10. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Jim writes ...
    >
    >It's true that only the black ink gets purged ... But as part of the
    >conversion, the 4800 charges the 4 inks (including
    >black), and wastes the other 3 colors in the process.


    Ah, now I understand, for some reason the marketing brochure glossed
    over this tiny detail :) My 4000 is looking better and better since I
    switch between fine art and glossy papers often.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Jul 2, 2005
    #10
  11. Bill Hilton

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 16:10:06 GMT, C Wright wrote:

    > To clarify - I also run on a Mac system and I basically agree with his
    > printer driver complaints. The reason that I thought that his criticism was
    > a bit unfair is that he singled out the Epson driver for criticism. In my
    > experience one must go through the same hassles with _all_ printer drivers,
    > at least on the Mac. For example, for each new image printed I have to
    > re-select 'no color management' in the printer driver even though everything
    > that I print from PS is with 'no color management.' This is true for Canon
    > printer drivers (and I believe HP drivers) as well as Epson.
    > Chuck W.


    While he does have some valid complaints, I've noticed that his
    reviews have more unfair complaints than those written by any other
    reviewer I've yet seen. At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    printers than cameras, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.
    ASAAR, Jul 2, 2005
    #11
  12. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 16:10:06 GMT, C Wright wrote:
    >
    >> To clarify - I also run on a Mac system and I basically agree with his
    >> printer driver complaints. The reason that I thought that his criticism
    >> was
    >> a bit unfair is that he singled out the Epson driver for criticism. In
    >> my
    >> experience one must go through the same hassles with _all_ printer
    >> drivers,
    >> at least on the Mac. For example, for each new image printed I have to
    >> re-select 'no color management' in the printer driver even though
    >> everything
    >> that I print from PS is with 'no color management.' This is true for
    >> Canon
    >> printer drivers (and I believe HP drivers) as well as Epson.
    >> Chuck W.

    >
    > While he does have some valid complaints, I've noticed that his
    > reviews have more unfair complaints than those written by any other
    > reviewer I've yet seen. At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    > printers than cameras, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.


    Unfair?
    Please indicate what portion, and how it is unfair.
    I note that he qualifies his own statements with acknowledgement of areas he
    might be unfamiliar with.
    Mark², Jul 2, 2005
    #12
  13. Bill Hilton

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 15:32:15 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    number here)@cox..net> wrote:

    >> While he does have some valid complaints, I've noticed that his
    >> reviews have more unfair complaints than those written by any other
    >> reviewer I've yet seen. At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    >> printers than cameras, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.

    >
    > Unfair?
    > Please indicate what portion, and how it is unfair.
    > I note that he qualifies his own statements with acknowledgement of areas he
    > might be unfamiliar with.


    Look at his review of the Olympus C-8080. The unfairness should
    be overwhelmingly obvious. If you have any difficulty detecting it,
    I'll be happy to point several of the review's faults, but I have
    confidence that even his fans would be embarrassed by that
    particular review.
    ASAAR, Jul 3, 2005
    #13
  14. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 15:32:15 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    > number here)@cox..net> wrote:
    >
    >>> While he does have some valid complaints, I've noticed that his
    >>> reviews have more unfair complaints than those written by any other
    >>> reviewer I've yet seen. At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    >>> printers than cameras, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.

    >>
    >> Unfair?
    >> Please indicate what portion, and how it is unfair.
    >> I note that he qualifies his own statements with acknowledgement of areas
    >> he
    >> might be unfamiliar with.

    >
    > Look at his review of the Olympus C-8080. The unfairness should
    > be overwhelmingly obvious. If you have any difficulty detecting it,
    > I'll be happy to point several of the review's faults, but I have
    > confidence that even his fans would be embarrassed by that
    > particular review.


    Weren't we talking about the Epson 4800?

    I'll look at that review you refer to...
    Mark², Jul 3, 2005
    #14
  15. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 15:32:15 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    > number here)@cox..net> wrote:
    >
    >>> While he does have some valid complaints, I've noticed that his
    >>> reviews have more unfair complaints than those written by any other
    >>> reviewer I've yet seen. At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    >>> printers than cameras, but his objectivity seems to be lacking.

    >>
    >> Unfair?
    >> Please indicate what portion, and how it is unfair.
    >> I note that he qualifies his own statements with acknowledgement of areas
    >> he
    >> might be unfamiliar with.

    >
    > Look at his review of the Olympus C-8080. The unfairness should
    > be overwhelmingly obvious. If you have any difficulty detecting it,
    > I'll be happy to point several of the review's faults, but I have
    > confidence that even his fans would be embarrassed by that
    > particular review.


    I read the review of the C-8080 after reading your post.
    What I found was a lot of positive comments...and a lot of negative
    comments.
    All negative comments included the reasons WHY he was of that
    opinion--especially regarding ergonomics.

    Personally, this is the very type of review I find MOST helpful!!
    If anything, reviewers tend to be FAR too positive--perhaps for fear of
    being cut off by companies in terms of getting their hands on pre-production
    units, etc.

    What I appreciate most about his site is that he explains his opinions
    completely...good, bad, or indifferent.

    What would you prefer?
    Mark², Jul 3, 2005
    #15
  16. Bill Hilton

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 21:48:58 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    number here)@cox..net> wrote:

    > Weren't we talking about the Epson 4800?


    Yes, but we also were talking about unfair reviews, and I did say
    (which you quoted) "At least he seems more knowledgeable about
    printers than cameras". If I had never seen any review of his but
    the one for the 4800, I'm sure I wouldn't have had any complaint,
    even though there are some things about his reviewing style that
    could be improved.
    ASAAR, Jul 3, 2005
    #16
  17. Bill Hilton

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 21:58:18 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    number here)@cox..net> wrote:

    > I read the review of the C-8080 after reading your post.
    > What I found was a lot of positive comments...and a lot of negative
    > comments.
    > All negative comments included the reasons WHY he was of that
    > opinion--especially regarding ergonomics.


    Yes, but that's where some of the problems crept in. He doesn't
    seem to realize that any design feature that is a problem for him
    may be a solution for someone else. The reviews are not as valuable
    as they could be, unless the reader shares Michael's biases and
    preferences. I'll show what I mean by selecting bits from MR's
    review and some from dpreview's.

    MR complained about the Mode dial being almost flush with the top
    surface of the camera, making it "almost impossible" to turn with
    gloves on. I can see this being an important consideration for
    working pro's in some regions of the world, but these small sensor
    digicams are NOT intended to replace their older film based SLRs or
    DSLR workhorses. I've used cameras that have more accessible Mode
    dials and would rather they had the C-8080's dial, since it makes it
    much less likely that an inadvertant touch of a finger will change
    the mode. As that wasn't a concern for MR, that kind of balance was
    left out of his review.

    He could have simply said that the buttons and controls may be too
    small for some people and left it there, going on to other likes and
    gripes. But instead he kept returning to this theme. He's really a
    big fan of repetition. Sony's Mode dial sits "high and proud", easy
    to turn "even if wearing ski gloves". Sony's power switch can
    easily be turned on and off while wearing gloves.

    More problems for glove-wearing skiers. The button that switches
    between the EVF and the LCD is too easy to accidentally depress if
    you're wearing gloves.

    The point should have been grasped by readers by now, but he
    continues the theme, as if each button needs its own paragraph to
    properly convey the problem. So we have to be told that the button
    that switches between the use of the CF and xD cards also is too
    easy to depress if gloves are worn. And with all of these faults,
    the C-8080 is constantly compared (almost always negatively) to the
    Sony F828.

    MR likes the way that extending the LCD display turns on the
    camera, but fears for its long term durability, as compared to the
    Sony's "hefty" body that "has the feel of a bank door vault". No
    tests were done here to determine ruggedness or reliability. He's
    basing everything on appearances or his internal crystall ball. I
    guess it doesn't matter that other reviewers have praised the C-8080
    for being one of the most rugged cameras around, having an
    especially thick magnesium body that may well outlast the larger,
    heavier Sony. But this review almost seems intended more to praise
    the Sony than to critically evaluate the Olympus C-8080. The bias
    seems blatant, and not what at all like what I've seen from any
    other reviewer.

    MR states that the C-8080 is too small for the number of buttons
    it has, that he invariably activates buttons unintentionally. What
    MR wants is a much larger camera. The C-8080 is not at all a small
    camera, and I imagine that most of its owners don't have the
    problems with it that MR has, and might feel that it is already is
    almost larger than they'd care for. But the problem with his review
    is that it is not a review that will be useful to MOST readers. It
    seems to be intended as a personal statement as to why he prefers
    the Sony F828. Some readers might have good reasons for agreeing
    with him. But he's carefully left out many of the reasons why the
    larger Sony would be a poorer choice for readers that don't share
    his biases and preferences.

    MR also is no fan of xD cards. They're too small. At least he
    didn't say that they were difficult to insert and remove while
    wearing gloves. He states that you're better off getting several CF
    cards and to "forget xD cards". This is actually an incredibly
    stupid statement. Even if CF cards are used primarily, there can be
    times when having a second, immediately usable card, no matter what
    type it is, can be of great use, such as if the CF card fills and
    you need to take another immediate shot, and don't have the 30 or 60
    seconds it might take to find another CF card, shut the camera down,
    swap CF cards, turn the camera back on, only to realize that it's
    too late - an opportunity was lost. It also makes it possible to
    provide a copy of an image to another person's CF card.

    Wait, he wasn't through with his overused theme. Opening the door
    to change cards is difficult if you're wearing gloves.

    Now MR gets to the point where he lists unusual features worth
    mentioning. But after listing them very briefly, usually with just
    a few words, he adds "I could go on, but I'm getting bored, and you
    likely are as well." I guess positive aspects just don't do it for
    him the way negative ones do, so they're not worthy of comment.

    Now starts the second part of the review, where he finally isn't
    evaluating a pre-production sample, and is about to deal with image
    quality. First, he discovered that he'd blundered by not realizing
    that the C-8080's default mode resets all of the camera's parameters
    when it is turned off, which caused him to mess up some of his test
    shots. He did acknowledge that this is mentioned in the manual, but
    it's really incredible that having had the use of the camera for
    what I imagine was at least several months, he still was almost
    totally unfamiliar with the camera. Does this inspire confidence in
    his ability to perform a fair, accurate set of reviews? He adds:

    > This means that all settings are always reset every time the camera
    > powers down. Of course this is explained somewhere in the manual,
    > but it seems to me to be the opposite of what most users would want
    > as a default mode.


    Yes, users would not want this to be the default mode AFTER they
    learn how to use the camera. But while it is unfamiliar to them,
    and they are learning how to deal with its complexities, it probably
    is best to reset the parameters each time the camera is powered off.
    Most users aren't pros, and it's very likely that a couple of poorly
    though out parameter changes while learning how to use the camera,
    might frustrate the users by making the camera virtually unusable.
    While Michael had the camera, he chose to NOT become familiar with
    its operation, and when the time came to test it alongside other
    cameras, chose to blame the tool rather than the fool.

    He then added:

    > And people wondered why I have been negative about this camera's
    > user interface design.


    So yes, he did acknowledge that there must have been a fair number
    of complaints and objections to his review.

    Now he refers to the camera's lack of expected features, such as
    audio recording and live histograms. He had no manual for the
    preproduction camera, but did have a manual for the second,
    production camera that he was sent. But he chose to only examine
    the "Basic" printed manual, and not the complete manual (a PDF file
    on the included CD). In an "update" to his review he added:

    > Update: I stand corrected. There is a real time histogram, and also
    > audio recording capability. I am told that the histogram information
    > is found on Page 119 of the PDF manual found on the CD (it does not
    > appear in the printed manual), and the audio recording information
    > is to be found on Page 100 of the PDF manual, but also not in the
    > printed manual. What can I say?


    What he could say is "I apologize for my failure to RTFM". He may
    know how to take fine pictures with his camera of choice. He may
    also know a considerable amount about making fine prints and using
    Epson printers. But when it comes to reviewing, he's a real dolt.
    After reading his C-8080 review, I'll have a hard time believing
    that any of his reviews are objective. They may provide very useful
    bits of information, but he seems to have agendas that must be taken
    into account.


    Now we come to a part of the review that's really bizarre. He
    states:

    > The Olympus C-8080 perfomed very well on the DxO Analyzer.
    > Results are found here. In virtually every measure the Olympus
    > C-8080 measures better than the Sony F828, though the Minolta
    > is the champ when it comes to resolving power.


    What??? In every review I have come across, the Minolta was
    criticized for having an old, inferior lens design. The C-8080's
    lens invariably received top honors, but the Minolta was found be
    every other reveiewer to be at the bottom of the field with respect
    to resolving power. Askey's dpreview concludes with this:

    > It's interesting that the cameras from Nikon and Canon both delivered
    > an average performance and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom comes
    > through strong with low noise, good white balance, good image processing
    > and a quality lens which exhibits virtually no problems. The Sony DSC-F828
    > and Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 performed the least well, although the
    > DSC-F828 delivered good results in most of the tests its strong purple fringing
    > issue can't be ignored. The DiMAGE A2's 7x zoom lens is showing its age
    > and really can't deliver consistently high resolution to this tiny eight
    > megapixel sensor.


    MR is at considerable odds with dpreview's results, and I have a
    lot more confidence in Phil Askey. On the next dpreview test page
    (studio image comparisons) we get:

    > The Canon Pro1, Nikon Coolpix 8700 and Olympus C-8080 WZ
    > all seem to produce the sharpest most detailed images closely followed
    > by the Sony DSC-F828. That said this comparison is a good example
    > of how close all of these cameras are in a real life, the decision becomes
    > easier if you already had one or two cameras in mind or are swayed by a
    > particular feature or image quality parameter.


    with the Minolta A2 again being a virtual no-show. On dpreviews
    resolution test chart page we see:

    > In joint first place come the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom and Canon
    > PowerShot Pro1 delivering a mighty impressive 1700 - 1750 LPH
    > (almost in both directions), visually the C-8080 may just have the edge
    > over the Pro1 (the Olympus has the best lens here). In second place the
    > Sony DSC-F828 which although measuring slightly lower resolution in
    > all practicality would be just as sharp and detailed as the Canon and
    > Olympus. In third place the Nikon Coolpix 8700, it's older lens clearly
    > not capable of delivering quite enough resolution back to the sensor to
    > achieve the best result here. In last place and as we had expected the
    > Konica Minolta A2 whose lens and image processing let it down, especially
    > for vertical resolution where the resolution chart picked up a lot of moire
    > artifacts and limited resolution


    This is the Minolta lens that Michael Reichmann praised so highly?
    For a finishing touch, dpreview's conclusion includes in the list of
    "pros", that the C-8080 has "Excellent battery life, best of group".

    MR stated:

    > Though I didn't run a full test, battery life appears to be significantly
    > lower than the Sony F828. With that camera I regularly get 200-250
    > exposures on a battery, depending on the ambient temperature, but
    > with the Olympus I saw about 100 frames before the battery was depleted.
    > This shortfall is likely due in part to the use of an electric rather than a
    > manual zoom.


    Dpreview, on the other hand, did more thorough battery tests,
    using standard procedures that made for fair, uniform comparisons:

    > We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed
    > to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
    > Take 4 shots without flash
    > Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
    > Take 1 shot with flash
    > Wait 1 minute
    > Repeat


    With this procedure the C-8080 produced the *best* results.

    C-8080 5 hours, 52 minutes 595 images
    Sony F828 5 hours, 28 minutes 540 images
    Koninca Minolta A2 4 hours, 26 minutes 450 images
    Nikon CP8800 3 hours, 27 minutes 350 images
    Canon PS Pro1 2 hours, 36 minutes 265 images

    There may be a very good explanation for why MR got 2 to 2 1/2
    times better battery performance with the Sony than with the
    Olympus, but I highly doubt that the main factor was the Sony's use
    of a manual rather than an electric zoom. Much more needed to be
    said here, or else the only reasonable conclusion would be that MR's
    almost total unfamiliarity with the C-8080 caused him to take
    pictures far more slowly than with the Sony, and that, rather than
    the zoom or ambient temperature is what produced his poorer battery
    performance with the C-8080.


    Finally, compare MR's negative assessment:

    > If you've read this review from beginning till this point you'll likely
    > have been unable to escape the conclusion that Olympus needs to do
    > a bit more homework when it comes to designing features and functions.
    > Image quality completely aside, the C-8080 simply isn't competitive with
    > the Sony F828 in a large number of areas.
    >
    > Given the functional superiority of the Sony, and the fact that there will
    > be highly competitive cameras coming along soon from Nikon, Canon
    > and Minolta, it's hard to see how one can recommend the Olympus C-8080.


    with dpreview's positive one:

    > Overall conclusion
    >
    > My first impression of the C-8080 Wide Zoom was, "at last a prosumer
    > camera that feels as though it is worth its price tag". The C-8080 is built
    > to a higher standard than any of the other eight megapixel digital cameras
    > (save maybe the Sony DSC-F828), with a thick, high grade metal body
    > simple rubber coating and innovative yet unfussy control layout. This is a
    > camera which feels as well put together as a much more expensive digital
    > SLR, you just know it's going to last. Olympus also broke the mold with the
    > C-8080's design and although initially the camera controls may seem
    > complex it all falls into place and changing settings (almost any setting,
    > they're all there) become fast and logical.
    >
    > The C-8080's has two major assets which set it up as an excellent
    > 'photographic tool'. The first is the thing which dominates the camera's
    > shape, the large lens. Olympus didn't rush to go down the 7x or 8x zoom
    > route, instead they chose a 5x design but kept the lens diameter big and
    > used high quality glass. This has paid off, image quality is excellent,
    > resolution very high with almost no artifacts and no problems created by
    > the lens itself. Of the five eight megapixel digital cameras currently on the
    > market Sony, Canon and Olympus chose to design new lenses for the sensor,
    > in my opinion the Olympus is the best of all. (The only improvement I could
    > suggest would have been a mechanically linked zoom ring).
    >
    > The second asset is the camera's performance, being in the right place at
    > the right time to get that once in a lifetime shot is one thing, having the
    > camera switched on and ready is another. Thanks to an amazingly short
    > startup time and short auto focus and shutter release lag you're far more
    > likely to capture the moment with the C-8080 than some of the competition,
    > and we really shouldn't underestimate that.
    >
    > Take other elements into account, good noise reduction keeping higher
    > ISO's cleaner, a good range of image parameter adjustment, good flash
    > performance, the unique 'direct histogram' feature, superb battery life
    > and an excellent LCD monitor which works well even outdoors and there's
    > little doubt the C-8080 deserves our highest rating.



    If you feel that MR writes fair, unbiased, accurate reviews, so be
    it. To me it appears that he uses his reviews as soapboxes,
    allowing him to vent about his pet peeves. Along the way he can
    provide useful information, but his reviews in general shouldn't be
    swallowed whole without at least being aware that he's no Snow White
    ("Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest of them all?")


    > Personally, this is the very type of review I find MOST helpful!!
    > If anything, reviewers tend to be FAR too positive--perhaps for fear of
    > being cut off by companies in terms of getting their hands on pre-production
    > units, etc.


    I agree, he does provide useful information. Reviewers that say
    nothing that isn't positive are positively awful.


    > What I appreciate most about his site is that he explains his opinions
    > completely...good, bad, or indifferent.


    And that allows us to see his faults too . . . As I said before,
    his printer reviews seem to be much better than his camera reviews.
    It may seem that way to me because I'm much less familiar with
    printers than cameras, but I hope not.


    > What would you prefer?


    More facts, better accuracy and fewer personal opinions that may
    be irrelevant to most of his readers, or that may be applicable to
    only a small subset of them. And much less harping on all of the
    buttons that are either too difficult to press or too easy to press
    when wearing gloves.
    ASAAR, Jul 3, 2005
    #17
  18. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 21:58:18 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    > number here)@cox..net> wrote:
    >
    >> I read the review of the C-8080 after reading your post.
    >> What I found was a lot of positive comments...and a lot of negative
    >> comments.
    >> All negative comments included the reasons WHY he was of that
    >> opinion--especially regarding ergonomics.

    >
    > Yes, but that's where some of the problems crept in. He doesn't
    > seem to realize that any design feature that is a problem for him
    > may be a solution for someone else. The reviews are not as valuable
    > as they could be, unless the reader shares Michael's biases and
    > preferences. I'll show what I mean by selecting bits from MR's
    > review and some from dpreview's.
    >
    > MR complained about the Mode dial being almost flush with the top
    > surface of the camera, making it "almost impossible" to turn with
    > gloves on. I can see this being an important consideration for
    > working pro's in some regions of the world, but these small sensor
    > digicams are NOT intended to replace their older film based SLRs or
    > DSLR workhorses. I've used cameras that have more accessible Mode
    > dials and would rather they had the C-8080's dial, since it makes it
    > much less likely that an inadvertant touch of a finger will change
    > the mode. As that wasn't a concern for MR, that kind of balance was
    > left out of his review.


    Don't you think that someone not concerned with gloves can conclude this
    themselves?
    He clearly notes the glove scenario...meaning anyone not concerned with that
    can happily ignore it.

    > He could have simply said that the buttons and controls may be too
    > small for some people and left it there, going on to other likes and
    > gripes. But instead he kept returning to this theme. He's really a
    > big fan of repetition. Sony's Mode dial sits "high and proud", easy
    > to turn "even if wearing ski gloves". Sony's power switch can
    > easily be turned on and off while wearing gloves.


    It sounds to me like you dislike his style more than his content.

    > More problems for glove-wearing skiers. The button that switches
    > between the EVF and the LCD is too easy to accidentally depress if
    > you're wearing gloves.


    The logical conclusion is: Those NOT wearing gloves won't have a problem.
    Isn't that obvious?

    > The point should have been grasped by readers by now, but he
    > continues the theme, as if each button needs its own paragraph to
    > properly convey the problem. So we have to be told that the button
    > that switches between the use of the CF and xD cards also is too
    > easy to depress if gloves are worn. And with all of these faults,
    > the C-8080 is constantly compared (almost always negatively) to the
    > Sony F828.


    What's wrong with that? He's comparing it to a leading rival.

    > MR likes the way that extending the LCD display turns on the
    > camera, but fears for its long term durability, as compared to the
    > Sony's "hefty" body that "has the feel of a bank door vault". No
    > tests were done here to determine ruggedness or reliability.


    It is perfectly normal for reviews to include impressions. One needn't
    stretch a camera to the breaking point to make the observation that it
    appears flimsy. -Ever read car reviews where they comment that interior
    materials seem cheap? They say this all the time because it's an impression
    they get. I'm quite sure they don't test it's durability.

    >He's
    > basing everything on appearances or his internal crystall ball. I
    > guess it doesn't matter that other reviewers have praised the C-8080
    > for being one of the most rugged cameras around, having an
    > especially thick magnesium body that may well outlast the larger,
    > heavier Sony. But this review almost seems intended more to praise
    > the Sony than to critically evaluate the Olympus C-8080. The bias
    > seems blatant, and not what at all like what I've seen from any
    > other reviewer.


    It's a little surprising to me that you don't see the value in this. Would
    you prefer that he be as generic and predictable as "other reviews" or that
    he agree with them in the name of...well...agreement? The most useful
    reviews (to me) tend to be the ones that express the problems. There is
    ALWAYS a glut of super positive reviews that come a dime a dozen. This is
    THE main reason I return to MR...because I know he's willing to
    gripe...unlike most other reviewers.

    > MR states that the C-8080 is too small for the number of buttons
    > it has, that he invariably activates buttons unintentionally. What
    > MR wants is a much larger camera. The C-8080 is not at all a small
    > camera, and I imagine that most of its owners don't have the
    > problems with it that MR has, and might feel that it is already is
    > almost larger than they'd care for. But the problem with his review
    > is that it is not a review that will be useful to MOST readers. It
    > seems to be intended as a personal statement as to why he prefers
    > the Sony F828. Some readers might have good reasons for agreeing
    > with him. But he's carefully left out many of the reasons why the
    > larger Sony would be a poorer choice for readers that don't share
    > his biases and preferences.


    Why would he do that? He's reviewing the C-8080...good and bad. Nearly all
    reviews make comparisons with the competition. Look at dpreview.com or
    others. Some prefer their evaluations. I find BOTH sources
    valuable--dpreview for side-by-side image comparisons...and MR for personal
    experience and observations from the real world.

    > MR also is no fan of xD cards. They're too small. At least he
    > didn't say that they were difficult to insert and remove while
    > wearing gloves. He states that you're better off getting several CF
    > cards and to "forget xD cards". This is actually an incredibly
    > stupid statement.


    It's his opinion. There's nothing stupid about this...but you don't have to
    agree.
    xD cards ARE unnecessarily small. At this point in the game, they are
    limited in terms of capacity, and tend to be fiddly for a LOT of people. My
    dad passed up Canon's newer SD based camera in favor of their older CF
    version (A95) for this very reason. There are people out there who care
    about this stuff.

    >Even if CF cards are used primarily, there can be
    > times when having a second, immediately usable card, no matter what
    > type it is, can be of great use, such as if the CF card fills and
    > you need to take another immediate shot, and don't have the 30 or 60
    > seconds it might take to find another CF card, shut the camera down,
    > swap CF cards, turn the camera back on, only to realize that it's
    > too late - an opportunity was lost. It also makes it possible to
    > provide a copy of an image to another person's CF card.


    Sure! No problem with that.

    > Wait, he wasn't through with his overused theme. Opening the door
    > to change cards is difficult if you're wearing gloves.


    Much of the world wears gloves during a good portion of the year.
    Again...those who don't wear gloves will surely ignore this pet peeve glove
    question of yours.
    :)

    > Now MR gets to the point where he lists unusual features worth
    > mentioning. But after listing them very briefly, usually with just
    > a few words, he adds "I could go on, but I'm getting bored, and you
    > likely are as well." I guess positive aspects just don't do it for
    > him the way negative ones do, so they're not worthy of comment.


    Clearly you don't like MR.
    :)
    Personally, I find these sort of comments rather amusing, and they
    contribute a piece of the reveiw puzzle, when...in combination with other
    reviews...make for a more well-rounded group of reviews. Nobody benefits
    from reviews that are clones of other reviews.

    > Now starts the second part of the review, where he finally isn't
    > evaluating a pre-production sample, and is about to deal with image
    > quality.


    I'll agree with you there.
    That seemed a rather goofy omission.

    >First, he discovered that he'd blundered by not realizing
    > that the C-8080's default mode resets all of the camera's parameters
    > when it is turned off, which caused him to mess up some of his test
    > shots.


    Which I must say...is a TERRIBLE feature of that camera.

    >He did acknowledge that this is mentioned in the manual, but
    > it's really incredible that having had the use of the camera for
    > what I imagine was at least several months, he still was almost
    > totally unfamiliar with the camera.


    He doesn't take several months to review a camera.
    He shoots with Canon DSLRs, and I can assure you that he doesn't spend
    months using ANY point-and-shoot for review purposes. NO review site does
    this.

    >Does this inspire confidence in
    > his ability to perform a fair, accurate set of reviews? He adds:
    >
    >> This means that all settings are always reset every time the camera
    >> powers down. Of course this is explained somewhere in the manual,
    >> but it seems to me to be the opposite of what most users would want
    >> as a default mode.

    >
    > Yes, users would not want this to be the default mode AFTER they
    > learn how to use the camera. But while it is unfamiliar to them,
    > and they are learning how to deal with its complexities, it probably
    > is best to reset the parameters each time the camera is powered off.


    Completely disagree.
    I would NEVER want a camera that starts back at zero every time you shut it
    off!!
    I can only imagine how irritating this would be during a day of similar
    shooting! Yipe.

    > Most users aren't pros, and it's very likely that a couple of poorly
    > though out parameter changes while learning how to use the camera,
    > might frustrate the users by making the camera virtually unusable.


    Again. Totally disagree.
    Most users would assume that a camera would continue operating as it did
    when you last set it down.
    Think about it. Cameras have worked this way for about a hundred years now.

    > While Michael had the camera, he chose to NOT become familiar with
    > its operation, and when the time came to test it alongside other
    > cameras, chose to blame the tool rather than the fool.


    Did you read where he noted that when he first had the camera...that it DID
    NOT COME WITH A MANUAL??
    :)
    Give him a break!

    > He then added:
    >
    >> And people wondered why I have been negative about this camera's
    >> user interface design.

    >
    > So yes, he did acknowledge that there must have been a fair number
    > of complaints and objections to his review.
    >
    > Now he refers to the camera's lack of expected features, such as
    > audio recording and live histograms. He had no manual for the
    > preproduction camera, but did have a manual for the second,
    > production camera that he was sent.


    My personal opinion is that if a seasoned shooter cannot determine proper
    use of a camera without reading through a lengthy manual... that the
    camera's interface must be poorly designed.

    >But he chose to only examine
    > the "Basic" printed manual, and not the complete manual (a PDF file
    > on the included CD). In an "update" to his review he added:
    >
    >> Update: I stand corrected. There is a real time histogram, and also
    >> audio recording capability. I am told that the histogram information
    >> is found on Page 119 of the PDF manual found on the CD (it does not
    >> appear in the printed manual),


    Why would he assume that a feature exists when it's not even mentioned in
    the printed manual????????
    That's got to be the worst printed "manual" of all time if it doesn't
    include this.
    Come on now... Surely you've got to admit this.

    >and the audio recording information
    >> is to be found on Page 100 of the PDF manual, but also not in the
    >> printed manual. What can I say?

    >
    > What he could say is "I apologize for my failure to RTFM".


    Oh come ON!!
    It was AMAZINGLY left out fo the printed manual!
    The person who wrote the manual should be fired.
    -A truly amazing oversight by the manufacturer.

    >He may
    > know how to take fine pictures with his camera of choice. He may
    > also know a considerable amount about making fine prints and using
    > Epson printers. But when it comes to reviewing, he's a real dolt.


    I disagree.
    This was a point-and-shoot camera inteded for less-than-expert folks.
    Give this fact, one SHOULD be able to assume that basic features that exist
    would be included in a printed manual.
    The fact that they weren't it simply astonishing.

    > After reading his C-8080 review, I'll have a hard time believing
    > that any of his reviews are objective. They may provide very useful
    > bits of information, but he seems to have agendas that must be taken
    > into account.


    He's opinionated and colorful.
    I'll take that over the bland...useless advertisements that constitute most
    review sources.

    > Now we come to a part of the review that's really bizarre. He
    > states:
    >
    >> The Olympus C-8080 perfomed very well on the DxO Analyzer.
    >> Results are found here. In virtually every measure the Olympus
    >> C-8080 measures better than the Sony F828, though the Minolta
    >> is the champ when it comes to resolving power.

    >
    > What??? In every review I have come across, the Minolta was
    > criticized for having an old, inferior lens design. The C-8080's
    > lens invariably received top honors, but the Minolta was found be
    > every other reveiewer to be at the bottom of the field with respect
    > to resolving power. Askey's dpreview concludes with this:
    >
    >> It's interesting that the cameras from Nikon and Canon both delivered
    >> an average performance and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom comes
    >> through strong with low noise, good white balance, good image processing
    >> and a quality lens which exhibits virtually no problems. The Sony
    >> DSC-F828
    >> and Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 performed the least well, although the
    >> DSC-F828 delivered good results in most of the tests its strong purple
    >> fringing
    >> issue can't be ignored. The DiMAGE A2's 7x zoom lens is showing its age
    >> and really can't deliver consistently high resolution to this tiny eight
    >> megapixel sensor.


    So there you have it.
    You've got persective from both sides, and you can now use your brain to
    determine a balanced view.

    > MR is at considerable odds with dpreview's results, and I have a
    > lot more confidence in Phil Askey. On the next dpreview test page
    > (studio image comparisons) we get:
    >
    >> The Canon Pro1, Nikon Coolpix 8700 and Olympus C-8080 WZ
    >> all seem to produce the sharpest most detailed images closely followed
    >> by the Sony DSC-F828.


    Keep in mind that dpreview RAVED about the Sigma DSLRs.
    What a joke.

    >That said this comparison is a good example
    >> of how close all of these cameras are in a real life, the decision
    >> becomes
    >> easier if you already had one or two cameras in mind or are swayed by a
    >> particular feature or image quality parameter.


    Which is precisely why MR's reviews can be quite useful.
    By voicing his annoyances, many people who have similar concerns are
    informed in ways that other review sites never even touch upon.

    > with the Minolta A2 again being a virtual no-show. On dpreviews
    > resolution test chart page we see:
    >
    >> In joint first place come the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom and Canon
    >> PowerShot Pro1 delivering a mighty impressive 1700 - 1750 LPH
    >> (almost in both directions), visually the C-8080 may just have the edge
    >> over the Pro1 (the Olympus has the best lens here). In second place the
    >> Sony DSC-F828 which although measuring slightly lower resolution in
    >> all practicality would be just as sharp and detailed as the Canon and
    >> Olympus. In third place the Nikon Coolpix 8700, it's older lens clearly
    >> not capable of delivering quite enough resolution back to the sensor to
    >> achieve the best result here. In last place and as we had expected the
    >> Konica Minolta A2 whose lens and image processing let it down, especially
    >> for vertical resolution where the resolution chart picked up a lot of
    >> moire
    >> artifacts and limited resolution

    >
    > This is the Minolta lens that Michael Reichmann praised so highly?
    > For a finishing touch, dpreview's conclusion includes in the list of
    > "pros", that the C-8080 has "Excellent battery life, best of group".
    >
    > MR stated:
    >
    >> Though I didn't run a full test, battery life appears to be significantly
    >> lower than the Sony F828. With that camera I regularly get 200-250
    >> exposures on a battery, depending on the ambient temperature, but
    >> with the Olympus I saw about 100 frames before the battery was depleted.
    >> This shortfall is likely due in part to the use of an electric rather
    >> than a
    >> manual zoom.

    >
    > Dpreview, on the other hand, did more thorough battery tests,
    > using standard procedures that made for fair, uniform comparisons:
    >
    >> We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is
    >> designed
    >> to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
    >> Take 4 shots without flash
    >> Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
    >> Take 1 shot with flash
    >> Wait 1 minute
    >> Repeat

    >
    > With this procedure the C-8080 produced the *best* results.


    Did you notice that dpreview doesn't do any focusing in their battery
    tests????????????????

    >
    > C-8080 5 hours, 52 minutes 595 images
    > Sony F828 5 hours, 28 minutes 540 images
    > Koninca Minolta A2 4 hours, 26 minutes 450 images
    > Nikon CP8800 3 hours, 27 minutes 350 images
    > Canon PS Pro1 2 hours, 36 minutes 265 images
    >
    > There may be a very good explanation for why MR got 2 to 2 1/2
    > times better battery performance with the Sony than with the
    > Olympus, but I highly doubt that the main factor was the Sony's use
    > of a manual rather than an electric zoom.


    Why not? Zooming motors consume relatively huge amounts of power!
    Surely you must recognise this.

    >Much more needed to be
    > said here, or else the only reasonable conclusion would be that MR's
    > almost total unfamiliarity with the C-8080 caused him to take
    > pictures far more slowly than with the Sony, and that, rather than
    > the zoom or ambient temperature is what produced his poorer battery
    > performance with the C-8080.
    >
    >
    > Finally, compare MR's negative assessment:
    >
    >> If you've read this review from beginning till this point you'll likely
    >> have been unable to escape the conclusion that Olympus needs to do
    >> a bit more homework when it comes to designing features and functions.
    >> Image quality completely aside, the C-8080 simply isn't competitive with
    >> the Sony F828 in a large number of areas.
    >>
    >> Given the functional superiority of the Sony, and the fact that there
    >> will
    >> be highly competitive cameras coming along soon from Nikon, Canon
    >> and Minolta, it's hard to see how one can recommend the Olympus C-8080.

    >
    > with dpreview's positive one:
    >
    >> Overall conclusion
    >>
    >> My first impression of the C-8080 Wide Zoom was, "at last a prosumer
    >> camera that feels as though it is worth its price tag".


    Ha ha.
    That reminds me, again, of dpreview's glowing initial review of the Sigma
    beast.

    >>The C-8080 is built
    >> to a higher standard than any of the other eight megapixel digital
    >> cameras
    >> (save maybe the Sony DSC-F828), with a thick, high grade metal body
    >> simple rubber coating and innovative yet unfussy control layout. This is
    >> a
    >> camera which feels as well put together as a much more expensive digital
    >> SLR, you just know it's going to last.


    Why aren't you crying murder that they made these statements about build
    quality when they did no tests of this?
    -Remember how you berated MR for this when he made statements about
    robustness questions without tests...yet here you ignore the lack of
    tests...so long as dpreview's comments are positive. :) GOTCHA! :)

    >>Olympus also broke the mold with the
    >> C-8080's design and although initially the camera controls may seem
    >> complex it all falls into place and changing settings (almost any
    >> setting,
    >> they're all there) become fast and logical.
    >>
    >> The C-8080's has two major assets which set it up as an excellent
    >> 'photographic tool'. The first is the thing which dominates the camera's
    >> shape, the large lens. Olympus didn't rush to go down the 7x or 8x zoom
    >> route, instead they chose a 5x design but kept the lens diameter big and
    >> used high quality glass. This has paid off, image quality is excellent,
    >> resolution very high with almost no artifacts and no problems created by
    >> the lens itself. Of the five eight megapixel digital cameras currently on
    >> the
    >> market Sony, Canon and Olympus chose to design new lenses for the sensor,
    >> in my opinion the Olympus is the best of all. (The only improvement I
    >> could
    >> suggest would have been a mechanically linked zoom ring).
    >>
    >> The second asset is the camera's performance, being in the right place at
    >> the right time to get that once in a lifetime shot is one thing, having
    >> the
    >> camera switched on and ready is another. Thanks to an amazingly short
    >> startup time and short auto focus and shutter release lag you're far more
    >> likely to capture the moment with the C-8080 than some of the
    >> competition,
    >> and we really shouldn't underestimate that.
    >>
    >> Take other elements into account, good noise reduction keeping higher
    >> ISO's cleaner, a good range of image parameter adjustment, good flash
    >> performance, the unique 'direct histogram' feature, superb battery life
    >> and an excellent LCD monitor which works well even outdoors and there's
    >> little doubt the C-8080 deserves our highest rating.

    >
    >
    > If you feel that MR writes fair, unbiased, accurate reviews, so be
    > it. To me it appears that he uses his reviews as soapboxes,
    > allowing him to vent about his pet peeves.


    I'm sure that sometimes that is true. I think the difference between you
    and me is that I appreciate hearing people's personal experiences with
    equipment...INCLUDING those aspects which may be a little more particular to
    the individual. I feel this way because it is from THESE types of reviews
    that I can conclude 2 things: 1) Whether I care about the issues the
    reviewer cares about, and 2) Whether their circumstances are similar enough
    to mine to warrant similar concern. Unless a person is incapable of making
    these connections, then I see no reason why MR's review style wouldn't
    remain very useful indeed.

    >Along the way he can
    > provide useful information, but his reviews in general shouldn't be
    > swallowed whole without at least being aware that he's no Snow White
    > ("Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest of them all?")


    No argument there.

    >> Personally, this is the very type of review I find MOST helpful!!
    >> If anything, reviewers tend to be FAR too positive--perhaps for fear of
    >> being cut off by companies in terms of getting their hands on
    >> pre-production
    >> units, etc.

    >
    > I agree, he does provide useful information. Reviewers that say
    > nothing that isn't positive are positively awful.
    >
    >
    >> What I appreciate most about his site is that he explains his opinions
    >> completely...good, bad, or indifferent.

    >
    > And that allows us to see his faults too . . . As I said before,
    > his printer reviews seem to be much better than his camera reviews.
    > It may seem that way to me because I'm much less familiar with
    > printers than cameras, but I hope not.


    At least he doesn't hide the fact that he is stating his opinions. He's
    quite transparent in that regard, which is helpful.

    >> What would you prefer?

    >
    > More facts, better accuracy and fewer personal opinions that may
    > be irrelevant to most of his readers, or that may be applicable to
    > only a small subset of them.


    The key word in your above statement is "may."
    His personal opinion "MAY" also be incredibly applicable to others...as they
    have been to me quite a few times. Much of my decision to purchase my Epson
    4000 Pro printer was based on MR's quirky style...and I must say that I've
    been incredibly pleased with my decision. Thanks MR! :)

    >And much less harping on all of the
    > buttons that are either too difficult to press or too easy to press
    > when wearing gloves.


    I wear gloves when shooting wildlife.
    I really do believe a few other folk in the world wear gloves too.
    :)
    Mark², Jul 3, 2005
    #18
  19. Bill Hilton

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sun, 3 Jul 2005 03:47:35 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    number here)@cox..net> wrote:

    > > MR complained about the Mode dial being almost flush with the top
    > > surface of the camera, making it "almost impossible" to turn with
    > > gloves on. I can see this being an important consideration for
    > > working pro's in some regions of the world, but these small sensor
    > > digicams are NOT intended to replace their older film based SLRs or
    > > DSLR workhorses. I've used cameras that have more accessible Mode
    > > dials and would rather they had the C-8080's dial, since it makes it
    > > much less likely that an inadvertant touch of a finger will change
    > > the mode. As that wasn't a concern for MR, that kind of balance was
    > > left out of his review.

    >
    > Don't you think that someone not concerned with gloves can conclude
    > this themselves?
    > He clearly notes the glove scenario...meaning anyone not concerned with
    > that can happily ignore it.


    > > He could have simply said that the buttons and controls may be too
    > > small for some people and left it there, going on to other likes and
    > > gripes. But instead he kept returning to this theme. He's really a
    > > big fan of repetition. Sony's Mode dial sits "high and proud", easy
    > > to turn "even if wearing ski gloves". Sony's power switch can
    > > easily be turned on and off while wearing gloves.

    >
    > It sounds to me like you dislike his style more than his content.


    Both the style and a good deal of the content. As he doesn't like
    the fact that the camera is inconvenient to use while wearing
    gloves, it's fortunate that Olympus didn't have double the number of
    buttons, as that would have given MR the opportunity to continue
    pounding his overworked complaint many more times. That's just
    plain childish, and if moderated would NOT water down those aspects
    of his style that you find appealing. It's a technique used in
    advertising and political attack ads that is used less to inform
    readers and viewers and allow them to think for themselves and more
    to sway them by using repetition to help do the thinking for them.



    > > More problems for glove-wearing skiers. The button that switches
    > > between the EVF and the LCD is too easy to accidentally depress if
    > > you're wearing gloves.

    >
    > The logical conclusion is: Those NOT wearing gloves won't have a problem.
    > Isn't that obvious?


    Yes. Did you see me say anywhere that this point should not have
    been made? No, you didn't. If the camera had 100 buttons, the same
    point wouldn't need to be made 100 times. That's obvious to me. Is
    it not obvious to you?


    > > The point should have been grasped by readers by now, but he
    > > continues the theme, as if each button needs its own paragraph to
    > > properly convey the problem. So we have to be told that the button
    > > that switches between the use of the CF and xD cards also is too
    > > easy to depress if gloves are worn. And with all of these faults,
    > > the C-8080 is constantly compared (almost always negatively) to the
    > > Sony F828.

    >
    > What's wrong with that? He's comparing it to a leading rival.


    He didn't attempt to make fair comparisons. As you saw in the
    dpreview assessment, both cameras were praised for having tank-like
    ruggedness that should allow them both to survive far longer than
    flimsier cameras. MR, on the other hand, said that Sony's "hefty"
    body "has the feel of a bank door vault", and fears for the C-8080's
    long term durability. That's one of many misleading comparisons he
    made that puts the C-8080 in a poor light, when its ruggedness,
    matched by few cameras, should have been emphasized. It's clear
    that MR has strong biases, but when they influence his style to
    cross the line into deception, as is evident in this particular
    review, you have to be concerned that his other reviews might have
    the same taint.


    > > MR likes the way that extending the LCD display turns on the
    > > camera, but fears for its long term durability, as compared to the
    > > Sony's "hefty" body that "has the feel of a bank door vault". No
    > > tests were done here to determine ruggedness or reliability.

    >
    > It is perfectly normal for reviews to include impressions. One needn't
    > stretch a camera to the breaking point to make the observation that it
    > appears flimsy. -Ever read car reviews where they comment that interior
    > materials seem cheap? They say this all the time because it's an impression
    > they get. I'm quite sure they don't test it's durability.


    It's fine if the impressions were well founded. In this case his
    impression was flat-out wrong, and unlike other reviewers, usually
    doesn't provide the data to back up his conclusions.


    > >He's
    > > basing everything on appearances or his internal crystall ball. I
    > > guess it doesn't matter that other reviewers have praised the C-8080
    > > for being one of the most rugged cameras around, having an
    > > especially thick magnesium body that may well outlast the larger,
    > > heavier Sony. But this review almost seems intended more to praise
    > > the Sony than to critically evaluate the Olympus C-8080. The bias
    > > seems blatant, and not what at all like what I've seen from any
    > > other reviewer.

    >
    > It's a little surprising to me that you don't see the value in this. Would
    > you prefer that he be as generic and predictable as "other reviews" or that
    > he agree with them in the name of...well...agreement? The most useful
    > reviews (to me) tend to be the ones that express the problems. There is
    > ALWAYS a glut of super positive reviews that come a dime a dozen. This is
    > THE main reason I return to MR...because I know he's willing to
    > gripe...unlike most other reviewers.


    You evidently like a style that points out problems. But so do I.
    What I don't like are phony problems. If MR found problems that
    others were afraid to discuss, that would be welcome. If he comes
    to conclusions that differ greatly from everyone else, that would
    also be welcome it if turned out that he was right and the others
    were all wrong. But in this case (and others) he was totally wrong.
    Feel free to continue to enjoy reading his opinions, but you
    shouldn't discount the fact that they are often bogus, and from what
    I can see, perhaps intentionally so.


    >
    > > MR also is no fan of xD cards. They're too small. At least he
    > > didn't say that they were difficult to insert and remove while
    > > wearing gloves. He states that you're better off getting several CF
    > > cards and to "forget xD cards". This is actually an incredibly
    > > stupid statement.

    >
    > It's his opinion. There's nothing stupid about this...but you don't have to
    > agree.
    > xD cards ARE unnecessarily small. At this point in the game, they are
    > limited in terms of capacity, and tend to be fiddly for a LOT of people.


    Yes, it's his opinion, and it is indeed stupid. I explained why.
    In fact, I believe that MR also remarked about some difficulty
    removing the CF card, but noted no difficulty removing the xD card.

    Even for those who, like you, feel that they are unnecessarily
    small, it still makes more sense to keep an xD card in the slot even
    if you never plan to use it. One doesn't even have to be bought, as
    the camera includes a small xD card in the box. And the capacity
    limitation is not what it was last year. They're only slightly
    behind SD cards, as 1GB xD cards are available, and at reasonable
    prices too. And while 2GB SD cards are theoretically available, I
    haven't seen any on the shelves yet. As for fiddly, all of the
    devices I've every had that used CF cards made them harder to remove
    than SD or xD cards. Insertion has never been a problem with any of
    them.


    > My dad passed up Canon's newer SD based camera in favor of their
    > older CF version (A95) for this very reason. There are people out there
    > who care about this stuff.


    Would he have passed it up even if it had dual card slots,
    allowing the use of all of his older CF cards?



    > > Wait, he wasn't through with his overused theme. Opening the door
    > > to change cards is difficult if you're wearing gloves.

    >
    > Much of the world wears gloves during a good portion of the year.
    > Again...those who don't wear gloves will surely ignore this pet peeve glove
    > question of yours.
    > :)


    Neat inversion. But as I've noted before, I have no objections to
    MR mentioning that the camera's smaller controls could be difficult
    to use when wearing gloves. It should be mentioned if noticed, and
    he did indeed mention it. Then he mentioned it again. And again.
    And yet again. And even more times, but I don't want to go back and
    count all the instances. What do you want? A fair review or
    propaganda?


    > > Now MR gets to the point where he lists unusual features worth
    > > mentioning. But after listing them very briefly, usually with just
    > > a few words, he adds "I could go on, but I'm getting bored, and you
    > > likely are as well." I guess positive aspects just don't do it for
    > > him the way negative ones do, so they're not worthy of comment.

    >
    > Clearly you don't like MR.
    > :)


    I think little of his camera reviews. In real life he might be
    quite pleasant, devoid of the hints of zealotry glimpsed in the
    review.


    > Personally, I find these sort of comments rather amusing, and they
    > contribute a piece of the reveiw puzzle, when...in combination with other
    > reviews...make for a more well-rounded group of reviews. Nobody benefits
    > from reviews that are clones of other reviews.


    The various review web sites don't review in lock step. And I
    have previously voiced a minor complaint or two about some of them.
    If MR has something new to say, all well and good, unless, as is the
    case here, he's at the least being misleading, and at the worst,
    being intentionally deceptive.


    > >He did acknowledge that this is mentioned in the manual, but
    > > it's really incredible that having had the use of the camera for
    > > what I imagine was at least several months, he still was almost
    > > totally unfamiliar with the camera.

    >
    > He doesn't take several months to review a camera.
    > He shoots with Canon DSLRs, and I can assure you that he doesn't spend
    > months using ANY point-and-shoot for review purposes. NO review site
    > does this.


    Nobody should expect him to stop using his Canon DSLRs, but anyone
    taking the time to put up a review on what purports to be an
    authoritative web site has the obligation to be at least moderately
    familiar with the cameras they're reviewing. If MR couldn't find
    the small amount of time necessary to do this, he should have found
    someone else to review the camera(s). Steve's Digicams, dpreview
    and others are much more thorough, and don't miss the things that MR
    did. And if they did, I'd assume they'd admit to their lapse
    instead of hiding behind weak excuses as MR did.

    > > Yes, users would not want this to be the default mode AFTER they
    > > learn how to use the camera. But while it is unfamiliar to them,
    > > and they are learning how to deal with its complexities, it probably
    > > is best to reset the parameters each time the camera is powered off.

    >
    > Completely disagree.
    > I would NEVER want a camera that starts back at zero every time you
    > shut it off!!
    > I can only imagine how irritating this would be during a day of similar
    > shooting! Yipe.


    I assume that even if you didn't read the manual, by the time you
    actually had to *use* the camera, for whatever its intended purpose,
    you would have disabled the auto-reset and gone on from there. MR
    only exposed his near total unfamiliarity with the camera at the
    time he started his tests. This does little to inspire confidence
    in him or his methods.


    > > Most users aren't pros, and it's very likely that a couple of poorly
    > > though out parameter changes while learning how to use the camera,
    > > might frustrate the users by making the camera virtually unusable.

    >
    > Again. Totally disagree.
    > Most users would assume that a camera would continue operating as it did
    > when you last set it down.
    > Think about it. Cameras have worked this way for about a
    > hundred years now.


    And then I have to totally disagree. It has only been a few
    years, not a hundred, since the introduction of digital cameras that
    have so many modes and features as to bewilder most new owners. Many
    of them will try out different options that they see in the
    cameras's menu. Options whose effects aren't always thoroughly
    covered in the manual. After doing this for a while, some settings
    will invariably be changed from the default, and cause problems for
    neophytes. Such as "Why won't the camera's flash operate anymore?",
    and "Why are my pictures all so much darker than the ones I took
    last week?". You may not care for the default "auto-reset" mode,
    but it probably spares the camera companies much time on their
    support lines. Many people can't program their VCRs. Some can't
    even set their VCR's clocks. Cameras are far more complex beasties,
    and I see no good reason why "auto-reset" shouldn't be the initial
    default mode for consumer grade cameras not intended to be used
    primarily by working pros. Maybe a compromise of sorts would be
    useful. Until disabled the first time, or for the first 5 days of
    use (whichever comes first), the camera might flash an "AUTO-RESET
    ENABLED" warning message in the display for a few seconds. Even
    Michael Reichmann would have benefited from that. :)


    > > Now he refers to the camera's lack of expected features, such as
    > > audio recording and live histograms. He had no manual for the
    > > preproduction camera, but did have a manual for the second,
    > > production camera that he was sent.

    >
    > My personal opinion is that if a seasoned shooter cannot determine proper
    > use of a camera without reading through a lengthy manual... that the
    > camera's interface must be poorly designed.


    Live histograms could easily have been found within a minute or
    two by any seasoned shooter without having to resort to a manual.
    Again, he had the camera in his grubby paws for months, manual or no
    manual, and could easily have found it if he was looking for it.
    Quickly. Even if he wasn't looking for anything in particular, it's
    hard to see how he could have missed the histogram setting simply by
    taking a few minutes to browse the menu's options. There aren't
    that many, really, and there's no convoluted nesting of options as
    you might sometimes see in computer programs. MR was lax, and did
    not do a thorough review even though he gave that impression.


    > >> Update: I stand corrected. There is a real time histogram, and also
    > >> audio recording capability. I am told that the histogram information
    > >> is found on Page 119 of the PDF manual found on the CD (it does not
    > >> appear in the printed manual),

    >
    > Why would he assume that a feature exists when it's not even mentioned in
    > the printed manual????????
    > That's got to be the worst printed "manual" of all time if it doesn't
    > include this.
    > Come on now... Surely you've got to admit this.


    Maybe because the printed manual is clearly identified as only
    containing "Basic" information? The single sheet "Quickstart
    Guides", printed in several languages, and in LARGE type clearly
    mentions that the reference manual is a PDF file on the CD, and the
    small printed manual only contains basic information. MR has got to
    be the most incompetent reviewer of all time. Surely you've got to
    admit this. :)


    > >and the audio recording information
    > >> is to be found on Page 100 of the PDF manual, but also not in the
    > >> printed manual. What can I say?

    > >
    > > What he could say is "I apologize for my failure to RTFM".

    >
    > Oh come ON!!
    > It was AMAZINGLY left out fo the printed manual!
    > The person who wrote the manual should be fired.
    > -A truly amazing oversight by the manufacturer.


    It was left out of the small BASIC manual, where it clearly
    doesn't belong. Your repeated use of "the printed manual" implies
    that it was the full manual, and should have contained all possible
    information. Get over this. In most cases it's not done this way
    any more. Computer programs used to come with manuals several
    inches thick. Now they're almost always provided on PDF files.
    Unlike older film cameras, most digital cameras are assumed to be
    owned and used by people that also own computers. So PDF or other
    electronic manuals are to be expected now and into the foreseeable
    future. Simpler cameras might be able to squeeze most of the
    necessary information into a small manual, but the more complex
    cameras really do need to use PDF files, or the manuals will be
    prohibitively large and add unnecessary cost.


    > >He may
    > > know how to take fine pictures with his camera of choice. He may
    > > also know a considerable amount about making fine prints and using
    > > Epson printers. But when it comes to reviewing, he's a real dolt.

    >
    > I disagree.
    > This was a point-and-shoot camera inteded for less-than-expert folks.
    > Give this fact, one SHOULD be able to assume that basic features that exist
    > would be included in a printed manual.
    > The fact that they weren't it simply astonishing.


    What's astonishing is that you think that live histograms are a
    basic feature that would be important to "less-than-expert folks".
    I'd suggest that even in this ng, there are a good number of folk
    that don't use, and aren't very familiar with histograms.

    It seems to me that you're going out of your way to defend MR in a
    manner similar the way he was overly enthusiastic about Sony's F828.
    You don't have any ties to MR or to the L-L website that hasn't yet
    been disclosed, do you? :)

    [I have no reason to suspect that you do, other than your unusually
    dedicated defense of MR's reviews.]


    > He's opinionated and colorful.
    > I'll take that over the bland...useless advertisements that constitute most
    > review sources.


    Saddam Hussein was opinionated and colorful. George Bush is
    opinionated and colorful. On these grounds alone, I'll let you go
    for the gusto and I'll seek out the blander stuff. I disagree
    completely if you're implying that the few ads scattered about the
    review pages of dpreview, Steve's, dcresource and others weakens or
    invalidates their reviews. On the other hand, there are many
    so-called review websites that function as little more than
    distribution points for manufacturer's brochures and announcements.
    I don't waste my time with them and I doubt that you do either.


    > > Now we come to a part of the review that's really bizarre. He
    > > states:
    > >
    > >> The Olympus C-8080 perfomed very well on the DxO Analyzer.
    > >> Results are found here. In virtually every measure the Olympus
    > >> C-8080 measures better than the Sony F828, though the Minolta
    > >> is the champ when it comes to resolving power.

    > >
    > > What??? In every review I have come across, the Minolta was
    > > criticized for having an old, inferior lens design. The C-8080's
    > > lens invariably received top honors, but the Minolta was found be
    > > every other reveiewer to be at the bottom of the field with respect
    > > to resolving power. Askey's dpreview concludes with this:
    > >
    > >> It's interesting that the cameras from Nikon and Canon both delivered
    > >> an average performance and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom comes
    > >> through strong with low noise, good white balance, good image processing
    > >> and a quality lens which exhibits virtually no problems. The Sony
    > >> DSC-F828
    > >> and Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 performed the least well, although the
    > >> DSC-F828 delivered good results in most of the tests its strong purple
    > >> fringing
    > >> issue can't be ignored. The DiMAGE A2's 7x zoom lens is showing its age
    > >> and really can't deliver consistently high resolution to this tiny eight
    > >> megapixel sensor.

    >
    > So there you have it.
    > You've got persective from both sides, and you can now use your brain to
    > determine a balanced view.


    I did, and it was trivially easy to see which reviews were
    worthwhile and which was so in error as to appear not to be the
    result of a mistake or poor testing, but of intentional deception.
    And yet you continue to value MR's reviews? That's bizarre.


    > > This is the Minolta lens that Michael Reichmann praised so highly?
    > > For a finishing touch, dpreview's conclusion includes in the list of
    > > "pros", that the C-8080 has "Excellent battery life, best of group".
    > >
    > > MR stated:
    > >
    > >> Though I didn't run a full test, battery life appears to be significantly
    > >> lower than the Sony F828. With that camera I regularly get 200-250
    > >> exposures on a battery, depending on the ambient temperature, but
    > >> with the Olympus I saw about 100 frames before the battery was depleted.
    > >> This shortfall is likely due in part to the use of an electric rather
    > >> than a
    > >> manual zoom.

    > >
    > > Dpreview, on the other hand, did more thorough battery tests,
    > > using standard procedures that made for fair, uniform comparisons:
    > >
    > >> We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is
    > >> designed
    > >> to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
    > >> Take 4 shots without flash
    > >> Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
    > >> Take 1 shot with flash
    > >> Wait 1 minute
    > >> Repeat

    > >
    > > With this procedure the C-8080 produced the *best* results.

    >
    > Did you notice that dpreview doesn't do any focusing in their battery
    > tests????????????????


    Do you think the cameras were never focused, or that it wasn't
    mentioned? In any case, since MR supposed that differences in
    focusing methods might have been responsible for the difference
    between the two cameras, he should have tested that hypothesis. It
    wouldn't take much effort to do so, and then he could state with
    certainty what he only insinuated. I highly doubt that focusing
    consumes that much power. It would have to use more than 1/2 of all
    the power used by the camera. My opinion is that the only way he
    could have gotten such wildly different results is if he setup the
    Olympus to auto-focus, and a constantly focusing camera will indeed
    use lots of battery power. But if that was done, a definitive test
    would have disclosed that, forcing another test with auto-focus
    being disabled. But then that would have left MR with one less
    complaint to penalize the C-8080 with.


    > > C-8080 5 hours, 52 minutes 595 images
    > > Sony F828 5 hours, 28 minutes 540 images
    > > Koninca Minolta A2 4 hours, 26 minutes 450 images
    > > Nikon CP8800 3 hours, 27 minutes 350 images
    > > Canon PS Pro1 2 hours, 36 minutes 265 images
    > >
    > > There may be a very good explanation for why MR got 2 to 2 1/2
    > > times better battery performance with the Sony than with the
    > > Olympus, but I highly doubt that the main factor was the Sony's use
    > > of a manual rather than an electric zoom.

    >
    > Why not? Zooming motors consume relatively huge amounts of power!
    > Surely you must recognise this.


    And then the reviewer has the responsibility to state how often
    and in what manner the lenses are zoomed. CIPA tests, which are
    becoming more and more common do this, and it makes it more
    difficult for less than totally honest reviewers to fudge the
    results, getting what they want to show.


    > >> My first impression of the C-8080 Wide Zoom was, "at last a prosumer
    > >> camera that feels as though it is worth its price tag".

    >
    > Ha ha.
    > That reminds me, again, of dpreview's glowing initial review of the Sigma
    > beast.


    You find much fault with dpreview, but I don't see that it amounts
    to even a fraction of 1% of their conclusions. MR's "bogosity rate"
    seems to be much more than an order of magnitude higher. Do you
    object to *any* of his conclusions?


    > >>The C-8080 is built
    > >> to a higher standard than any of the other eight megapixel digital
    > >> cameras
    > >> (save maybe the Sony DSC-F828), with a thick, high grade metal body
    > >> simple rubber coating and innovative yet unfussy control layout. This is
    > >> a
    > >> camera which feels as well put together as a much more expensive digital
    > >> SLR, you just know it's going to last.

    >
    > Why aren't you crying murder that they made these statements about build
    > quality when they did no tests of this?
    > -Remember how you berated MR for this when he made statements about
    > robustness questions without tests...yet here you ignore the lack of
    > tests...so long as dpreview's comments are positive. :) GOTCHA! :)


    Because the reviews all have track records that indicate that they
    don't repeatedly engage in the kind of deception easily noticed in
    MR's review. You only have to walk into a camera store and pick up
    various cameras to determine for yourself how robust the camera
    feels. Tests of this sort can be difficult to perform (that's one
    of the things Consumer Report does better than most, but I'm not
    aware that they test cameras this way). I wouldn't really have
    objected if MR simply said that the Sony appears to be unusually
    rugged. But to say that he "fears for its long term durability"
    when everyone else that has examined the C-8080 thinks that it is
    one of the most rugged cameras available requires a bit more than a
    hunch.


    > > If you feel that MR writes fair, unbiased, accurate reviews, so be
    > > it. To me it appears that he uses his reviews as soapboxes,
    > > allowing him to vent about his pet peeves.

    >
    > I'm sure that sometimes that is true. I think the difference between you
    > and me is that I appreciate hearing people's personal experiences with
    > equipment...INCLUDING those aspects which may be a little more
    > particular to the individual. I feel this way because it is from THESE types
    > of reviews that I can conclude 2 things: 1) Whether I care about the issues
    > the reviewer cares about, and 2) Whether their circumstances are similar
    > enough to mine to warrant similar concern. Unless a person is incapable of
    > making these connections, then I see no reason why MR's review style
    > wouldn't remain very useful indeed.


    It wouldn't be useful if he was deceptive. If you wanted a rugged
    camera that stands a good chance of surviving lots of use and hard
    knocks, you'd likely rule out the C-8080, when it might well be more
    indestructible than the heavier, bulkier Sony.

    You might also rule out the C-8080 after seeing that MR claims it
    only gets 1 hour of life from its battery. Clearly, he is using the
    cameras differently than other reviewers, if not most people. But
    he doesn't include that information. He requires too much faith.
    I'd rather know why other reviewers get more than 5 times the
    battery life that he gets. They state how their tests were
    performed and provide real data. MR provides anecdotal evidence
    that may or may not be duplicable. But it's also possible that the
    only way he got those results was to use the cameras in a studio
    setting only appropriate for the way pros might use DSLRs, and not
    at all typical for the uses that most people would use P&S cameras.
    But he provided NO details on how his tests were performed in this
    review. And as I've shown, though evidently not to your
    satisfaction, the many flaws evident in his review does not earn him
    the benefit of the doubt about any of his statements. If ever there
    was a poster boy for "He who has an axe to grind" it would be MR.


    > His personal opinion "MAY" also be incredibly applicable to others...as they
    > have been to me quite a few times. Much of my decision to purchase my Epson
    > 4000 Pro printer was based on MR's quirky style...and I must say that I've
    > been incredibly pleased with my decision. Thanks MR! :)


    As I've already said, his printer review, while not perfect, was a
    model of objectivity in comparison to his camera review.


    > >And much less harping on all of the
    > > buttons that are either too difficult to press or too easy to press
    > > when wearing gloves.

    >
    > I wear gloves when shooting wildlife.
    > I really do believe a few other folk in the world wear gloves too.
    > :)


    You. Michael Jackson. And a few other assorted wildlife. :)

    BTW, haven't you ever seen non-traditional gloves that have the
    fingertip areas removed? Consider them if new models of your
    cameras ever switch to the use of tiny buttons.
    ASAAR, Jul 3, 2005
    #19
  20. Bill Hilton

    Mark² Guest

    "ASAAR" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sun, 3 Jul 2005 03:47:35 -0700, "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even
    > number here)@cox..net> wrote:
    > Maybe because the printed manual is clearly identified as only
    > containing "Basic" information? The single sheet "Quickstart
    > Guides", printed in several languages, and in LARGE type clearly
    > mentions that the reference manual is a PDF file on the CD, and the
    > small printed manual only contains basic information. MR has got to
    > be the most incompetent reviewer of all time. Surely you've got to
    > admit this. :)


    So this camera doesn't come with a manual...save for the CD version?
    That's quite unusual. Those newbies you refer to are sure to wish they had
    a manual.
    WHen people are noe to this stuff, I would think they might prefer to be
    able to take a small (but complete) manual with them on the road/trip/etc.

    >> >and the audio recording information
    >> >> is to be found on Page 100 of the PDF manual, but also not in the
    >> >> printed manual. What can I say?
    >> >
    >> > What he could say is "I apologize for my failure to RTFM".

    >>
    >> Oh come ON!!
    >> It was AMAZINGLY left out fo the printed manual!
    >> The person who wrote the manual should be fired.
    >> -A truly amazing oversight by the manufacturer.

    >
    > It was left out of the small BASIC manual, where it clearly
    > doesn't belong. Your repeated use of "the printed manual" implies
    > that it was the full manual, and should have contained all possible
    > information. Get over this. In most cases it's not done this way
    > any more.


    Yes it is. In the case of Canon and Sony, their cameras come with a small
    "book" which is the manual. I can assur you that it contains ALL important
    info. I know this because I recently helped two family members with thei
    cameras, and they referred to the very complete manuals that came with their
    camera. The PDF thing is a cost-saving measure, and for many people who
    don't have a knack for gadgetry, this can be a problem.

    >Computer programs used to come with manuals several
    > inches thick. Now they're almost always provided on PDF files.
    > Unlike older film cameras, most digital cameras are assumed to be
    > owned and used by people that also own computers. So PDF or other
    > electronic manuals are to be expected now and into the foreseeable
    > future.


    By Olympus.
    Not by Canon or Sony.

    >Simpler cameras might be able to squeeze most of the
    > necessary information into a small manual, but the more complex
    > cameras really do need to use PDF files, or the manuals will be
    > prohibitively large and add unnecessary cost.


    See above.

    >> >He may
    >> > know how to take fine pictures with his camera of choice. He may
    >> > also know a considerable amount about making fine prints and using
    >> > Epson printers. But when it comes to reviewing, he's a real dolt.

    >>
    >> I disagree.
    >> This was a point-and-shoot camera inteded for less-than-expert folks.
    >> Give this fact, one SHOULD be able to assume that basic features that
    >> exist
    >> would be included in a printed manual.
    >> The fact that they weren't it simply astonishing.

    >
    > What's astonishing is that you think that live histograms are a
    > basic feature that would be important to "less-than-expert folks".
    > I'd suggest that even in this ng, there are a good number of folk
    > that don't use, and aren't very familiar with histograms.
    >
    > It seems to me that you're going out of your way to defend MR in a
    > manner similar the way he was overly enthusiastic about Sony's F828.
    > You don't have any ties to MR or to the L-L website that hasn't yet
    > been disclosed, do you? :)


    Ya, he's my uncle.

    > [I have no reason to suspect that you do, other than your unusually
    > dedicated defense of MR's reviews.]


    You seem to have an axe to grind here. Are you a C-8080 owner who feels his
    camera is being run down?

    >> He's opinionated and colorful.
    >> I'll take that over the bland...useless advertisements that constitute
    >> most
    >> review sources.

    >
    > Saddam Hussein was opinionated and colorful.


    Oh brother.
    You just made the dreaded jump to "Nazi and Saddam" that people often resort
    to when making rash, ridiculous comparisons.

    >George Bush is
    > opinionated and colorful. On these grounds alone, I'll let you go
    > for the gusto and I'll seek out the blander stuff. I disagree
    > completely if you're implying that the few ads scattered about the
    > review pages of dpreview, Steve's, dcresource and others weakens or
    > invalidates their reviews.


    I find dpreview very helpful. Steve never wrote a nagative review in his
    life (or so it seems). Steve is basically a cheerleader, and not helpful
    for anything other than specifications, in my opinion.

    >On the other hand, there are many
    > so-called review websites that function as little more than
    > distribution points for manufacturer's brochures and announcements.
    > I don't waste my time with them and I doubt that you do either.
    >
    >
    >> > Now we come to a part of the review that's really bizarre. He
    >> > states:
    >> >
    >> >> The Olympus C-8080 perfomed very well on the DxO Analyzer.
    >> >> Results are found here. In virtually every measure the Olympus
    >> >> C-8080 measures better than the Sony F828, though the Minolta
    >> >> is the champ when it comes to resolving power.
    >> >
    >> > What??? In every review I have come across, the Minolta was
    >> > criticized for having an old, inferior lens design. The C-8080's
    >> > lens invariably received top honors, but the Minolta was found be
    >> > every other reveiewer to be at the bottom of the field with respect
    >> > to resolving power. Askey's dpreview concludes with this:
    >> >
    >> >> It's interesting that the cameras from Nikon and Canon both delivered
    >> >> an average performance and the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom comes
    >> >> through strong with low noise, good white balance, good image
    >> >> processing
    >> >> and a quality lens which exhibits virtually no problems. The Sony
    >> >> DSC-F828
    >> >> and Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 performed the least well, although the
    >> >> DSC-F828 delivered good results in most of the tests its strong purple
    >> >> fringing
    >> >> issue can't be ignored. The DiMAGE A2's 7x zoom lens is showing its
    >> >> age
    >> >> and really can't deliver consistently high resolution to this tiny
    >> >> eight
    >> >> megapixel sensor.

    >>
    >> So there you have it.
    >> You've got persective from both sides, and you can now use your brain to
    >> determine a balanced view.

    >
    > I did, and it was trivially easy to see which reviews were
    > worthwhile and which was so in error as to appear not to be the
    > result of a mistake or poor testing, but of intentional deception.
    > And yet you continue to value MR's reviews? That's bizarre.


    I don't know that this C-8080 review is indicative of MR as a whole.
    I do see some of your beef, and I've acknowledged that there were some
    oddities. You seem to be using this review as your basis for ignoring
    anything else MR does. I would definitely not go along with that. He is an
    avid user of this stuff--especially professional-level gear, which I find
    extremely useful. Perhaps part of what we have here is an example of
    reactions by a person who expects professional level performance...yet who
    is reviewing a point-and-shoot aimed at the novice.

    >> > This is the Minolta lens that Michael Reichmann praised so highly?
    >> > For a finishing touch, dpreview's conclusion includes in the list of
    >> > "pros", that the C-8080 has "Excellent battery life, best of group".
    >> >
    >> > MR stated:
    >> >
    >> >> Though I didn't run a full test, battery life appears to be
    >> >> significantly
    >> >> lower than the Sony F828. With that camera I regularly get 200-250
    >> >> exposures on a battery, depending on the ambient temperature, but
    >> >> with the Olympus I saw about 100 frames before the battery was
    >> >> depleted.
    >> >> This shortfall is likely due in part to the use of an electric rather
    >> >> than a
    >> >> manual zoom.
    >> >
    >> > Dpreview, on the other hand, did more thorough battery tests,
    >> > using standard procedures that made for fair, uniform comparisons:
    >> >
    >> >> We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is
    >> >> designed
    >> >> to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
    >> >> Take 4 shots without flash
    >> >> Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
    >> >> Take 1 shot with flash
    >> >> Wait 1 minute
    >> >> Repeat
    >> >
    >> > With this procedure the C-8080 produced the *best* results.

    >>
    >> Did you notice that dpreview doesn't do any focusing in their battery
    >> tests????????????????

    >
    > Do you think the cameras were never focused, or that it wasn't
    > mentioned? In any case, since MR supposed that differences in
    > focusing methods might have been responsible for the difference
    > between the two cameras, he should have tested that hypothesis.


    He clearly mentioned it as a suspicion...not a fact. That's called a
    qualifier, and it gives the reader a cue.

    >It
    > wouldn't take much effort to do so, and then he could state with
    > certainty what he only insinuated. I highly doubt that focusing
    > consumes that much power.


    Any time little bitty batteries have to physically move parts via motors,
    it's a big consumer of energy.

    >It would have to use more than 1/2 of all
    > the power used by the camera. My opinion is that the only way he
    > could have gotten such wildly different results is if he setup the
    > Olympus to auto-focus, and a constantly focusing camera will indeed
    > use lots of battery power. But if that was done, a definitive test
    > would have disclosed that, forcing another test with auto-focus
    > being disabled. But then that would have left MR with one less
    > complaint to penalize the C-8080 with.


    Some reviewers focus on tedious tests involving things like battery capacity
    test, and other robotic exercises.
    MR tends to give descriptions of his USE of the equipment. There really is
    a need for this. It goes along well with other styles. Lets face it.
    Nobody really SHOOTS in the manner that dpreview uses to test battery
    capacity. I agree that dpreview's battery test rutine is more objective and
    "clinical." I just think there's a place for real-world commentary.

    >> > C-8080 5 hours, 52 minutes 595 images
    >> > Sony F828 5 hours, 28 minutes 540 images
    >> > Koninca Minolta A2 4 hours, 26 minutes 450 images
    >> > Nikon CP8800 3 hours, 27 minutes 350 images
    >> > Canon PS Pro1 2 hours, 36 minutes 265 images
    >> >
    >> > There may be a very good explanation for why MR got 2 to 2 1/2
    >> > times better battery performance with the Sony than with the
    >> > Olympus, but I highly doubt that the main factor was the Sony's use
    >> > of a manual rather than an electric zoom.

    >>
    >> Why not? Zooming motors consume relatively huge amounts of power!
    >> Surely you must recognise this.

    >
    > And then the reviewer has the responsibility to state how often
    > and in what manner the lenses are zoomed. CIPA tests, which are
    > becoming more and more common do this, and it makes it more
    > difficult for less than totally honest reviewers to fudge the
    > results, getting what they want to show.


    Again, the problem is that you're looking for laboratory test-type data from
    a reviewer who is in the business of "commentary" based on his actual USE of
    equipment. This is tke key difference. I liken it to automobile reviews:
    Some reviews simply list all the results of various speed/acceleration
    tests, etc. and then compare them side by side.
    BUT...some auto reviews actually describe what it was like for the reviewer
    to actually live with and use daily of an automobile. These two types of
    "reviews" take very different forms, and they INFORM in a very different
    way. While I am definitely interested in the cold, hard laboratory (or
    track) tests...I am very keenly interested in impressions of those who have
    lived with, and used the stuff day-to-day. This is where MR comes in.
    You're right in that he doesn't do the kind of clinical testing some sites
    do (which you clearly prefer). But he does serve a purpose that those site
    usually don't...that of impressions of real life use.

    >> >> My first impression of the C-8080 Wide Zoom was, "at last a prosumer
    >> >> camera that feels as though it is worth its price tag".

    >>
    >> Ha ha.
    >> That reminds me, again, of dpreview's glowing initial review of the Sigma
    >> beast.

    >
    > You find much fault with dpreview, but I don't see that it amounts
    > to even a fraction of 1% of their conclusions. MR's "bogosity rate"
    > seems to be much more than an order of magnitude higher. Do you
    > object to *any* of his conclusions?


    To the contrary...I refer to dpreview constantly, and find it very useful.
    All I'm saying above is that dpreview has pulled some real boners, and are
    certainly far from flawless (as is also the case with MR).

    >> >>The C-8080 is built
    >> >> to a higher standard than any of the other eight megapixel digital
    >> >> cameras
    >> >> (save maybe the Sony DSC-F828), with a thick, high grade metal body
    >> >> simple rubber coating and innovative yet unfussy control layout. This
    >> >> is
    >> >> a
    >> >> camera which feels as well put together as a much more expensive
    >> >> digital
    >> >> SLR, you just know it's going to last.

    >>
    >> Why aren't you crying murder that they made these statements about build
    >> quality when they did no tests of this?
    >> -Remember how you berated MR for this when he made statements about
    >> robustness questions without tests...yet here you ignore the lack of
    >> tests...so long as dpreview's comments are positive. :) GOTCHA! :)

    >
    > Because the reviews all have track records that indicate that they
    > don't repeatedly engage in the kind of deception easily noticed in
    > MR's review.


    I really think your making an unfair leap to say that MR is deliberately
    deceiving.

    >You only have to walk into a camera store and pick up
    > various cameras to determine for yourself how robust the camera
    > feels. Tests of this sort can be difficult to perform (that's one
    > of the things Consumer Report does better than most, but I'm not
    > aware that they test cameras this way).


    Then why did you cry foul that MR didn't TEST before voicing conern over
    ruggedness?
    You keep talking out of both sides on this.

    >I wouldn't really have
    > objected if MR simply said that the Sony appears to be unusually
    > rugged. But to say that he "fears for its long term durability"
    > when everyone else that has examined the C-8080 thinks that it is
    > one of the most rugged cameras available requires a bit more than a
    > hunch.


    Oh good grief!
    He stated he "fears for it." He didn't state it as a fact.

    >> > If you feel that MR writes fair, unbiased, accurate reviews, so be
    >> > it. To me it appears that he uses his reviews as soapboxes,
    >> > allowing him to vent about his pet peeves.

    >>
    >> I'm sure that sometimes that is true. I think the difference between you
    >> and me is that I appreciate hearing people's personal experiences with
    >> equipment...INCLUDING those aspects which may be a little more
    >> particular to the individual. I feel this way because it is from THESE
    >> types
    >> of reviews that I can conclude 2 things: 1) Whether I care about the
    >> issues
    >> the reviewer cares about, and 2) Whether their circumstances are similar
    >> enough to mine to warrant similar concern. Unless a person is incapable
    >> of
    >> making these connections, then I see no reason why MR's review style
    >> wouldn't remain very useful indeed.

    >
    > It wouldn't be useful if he was deceptive. If you wanted a rugged
    > camera that stands a good chance of surviving lots of use and hard
    > knocks, you'd likely rule out the C-8080, when it might well be more
    > indestructible than the heavier, bulkier Sony.


    Those interested in teh 8080 will then have other reviews to balance this
    one against.

    > You might also rule out the C-8080 after seeing that MR claims it
    > only gets 1 hour of life from its battery. Clearly, he is using the
    > cameras differently than other reviewers, if not most people. But
    > he doesn't include that information.


    You feel he should be compelled to compare his reviews to the reviews of
    other groups?
    No group or site does this.

    >He requires too much faith.
    > I'd rather know why other reviewers get more than 5 times the
    > battery life that he gets. They state how their tests were
    > performed and provide real data. MR provides anecdotal evidence
    > that may or may not be duplicable. But it's also possible that the
    > only way he got those results was to use the cameras in a studio
    > setting only appropriate for the way pros might use DSLRs, and not
    > at all typical for the uses that most people would use P&S cameras.
    > But he provided NO details on how his tests were performed in this
    > review. And as I've shown, though evidently not to your
    > satisfaction, the many flaws evident in his review does not earn him
    > the benefit of the doubt about any of his statements. If ever there
    > was a poster boy for "He who has an axe to grind" it would be MR.
    >
    >
    >> His personal opinion "MAY" also be incredibly applicable to others...as
    >> they
    >> have been to me quite a few times. Much of my decision to purchase my
    >> Epson
    >> 4000 Pro printer was based on MR's quirky style...and I must say that
    >> I've
    >> been incredibly pleased with my decision. Thanks MR! :)

    >
    > As I've already said, his printer review, while not perfect, was a
    > model of objectivity in comparison to his camera review.
    >
    >
    >> >And much less harping on all of the
    >> > buttons that are either too difficult to press or too easy to press
    >> > when wearing gloves.

    >>
    >> I wear gloves when shooting wildlife.
    >> I really do believe a few other folk in the world wear gloves too.
    >> :)

    >
    > You. Michael Jackson. And a few other assorted wildlife. :)
    >
    > BTW, haven't you ever seen non-traditional gloves that have the
    > fingertip areas removed? Consider them if new models of your
    > cameras ever switch to the use of tiny buttons.


    Yes I have.
    In Northern Alaska, you would soon lose the tips of your fingers if you used
    them.
    (No joke)
    Mark², Jul 3, 2005
    #20
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