Consumert Reports voerage of PMA 2006: The Digital Camera Show

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Barry L. Wallis, Mar 4, 2006.

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  1. Barry L. Wallis

    Rich Guest

    Idiot organization. Contrating on the stupid underwater Olympus (how
    many of them are going to sell solely because they can be submerged?)
    and not on the E-330. Additionally, mentioning the Panasonic DMC-LI
    instead of the E-330 even though the 330 has more advanced features
    AND is already on the market.
    -Rich
     
    Rich, Mar 4, 2006
    #2
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  2. Barry L. Wallis

    Mark² Guest

    No it isn't.
    It is actually quite useful for a great many things...it's just that they
    aren't up to professional standards for photo gear and sensitive
    electronics. Keep in mind that it's called **Consumer** Reports...not
    Professional Photog Reports. This is a magazine for the general consumer.

    There is one thing that sets Consumer Reports apart from nearly all other
    magazines, and that is the fact that they are obligated to NOBODY. They
    accept no advertising...NONE. They buy their sample products, which is in
    stark contrast to most review sites and magazines, which usually are sent
    free sample units. CR buys they stuff personally, and without any
    indication to the seller/company that they are doing a review on the items.
    This is absolutely critical for maintaining credible reviews of not only the
    products, but also the buying experience from various companies.

    As long as you limit your view of CR articles to things like ergonomics,
    reliability, problem history, warranty, costs, features, etc., they can be a
    great resource for things like appliances, lawn mowers, etc. I personally
    think it's silly how so many "experts" like to dis CR simply because they
    aren't an expert in every field they review. As they clearly state in their
    title...they are for CONSUMERS. -Not professionals who require nit-picking,
    finely tuned, detailed, etc. reports of aspects that the majority of
    American consumers could care less about.

    Take it for what it is...recognising its limitations...and you'll benefit
    from it.

    -Mark
     
    Mark², Mar 5, 2006
    #3
  3. Barry L. Wallis

    Rich Guest

    Nit picking?! The E-330's articulated live LCD screen is hardly a
    minor feature only seen
    by experts, in fact, it is the most "ergonomically clever" thing to hit
    DSLRs yet and will
    definitely be used as a main selling point in stores.

    What you have to ask yourself is this; Even if you weren't an expert
    on something
    you wanted to buy, would you not notice certain things they don't?
     
    Rich, Mar 5, 2006
    #4
  4. Barry L. Wallis

    Mark² Guest

    Take a breath! :)
    --I wasn't referring to anything you said, or even that nit-picking is bad.
    By nit-picking, I simply meant the legitimate minutia that **you and I**
    would likely apply in our search for detailed answers about photography
    products.
    On some items, yes. This is why my use of CR is mainly limited to
    reliability stats, and some other commentary items I find helpful. I
    wouldn't recommend photo or computer experts use CR as their basis for
    purchases in those fields. Dishwashers? Refridgerators? Lawnmowers?

    Yes.
     
    Mark², Mar 5, 2006
    #5
  5. Mark2 wrote on Sun, 5 Mar 2006 01:33:47 -0800:

    M> Rich wrote:
    ??>> Nit picking?!

    M> Take a breath! :)
    M> --I wasn't referring to anything you said, or even that
    M> nit-picking is bad. By nit-picking, I simply meant the
    M> legitimate minutia that **you and I** would likely apply in
    M> our search for detailed answers about photography products.

    ??>> What you have to ask yourself is this; Even if you
    ??>> weren't an expert on something you wanted to buy, would
    ??>> you not notice certain things they don't?

    M> On some items, yes. This is why my use of CR is mainly
    M> limited to reliability stats, and some other commentary
    M> items I find helpful. I wouldn't recommend photo or
    M> computer experts use CR as their basis for purchases in
    M> those fields. Dishwashers? Refridgerators? Lawnmowers?

    It has been indicated before that CR is for *consumers* not
    industrial users. I would not expect to see longevity tests for
    commercial washing machines there either. I suppose there are
    trade publications for laundramat owners that would be more
    suitable just as a $5000 camera is not the choice of the usual
    consumer. It would be inappropriate for CR to review such a
    camera tho', if they tried one out for comparison, I *would* be
    interested in their comments.

    James Silverton.
     
    James Silverton, Mar 5, 2006
    #6
  6. Barry L. Wallis

    Mark² Guest

    Ya...for me, their greatest asset is their lack of advertising...which means
    that in spite of their faults/limitations, you can at least be assured they
    aren't kissing the backside of manufacturers for the sake of ad $$.
    I don't know of ANY other consumer magazine that can say this. Just look
    how terribly conflicted all the photo mamgazines are! :) They are usually
    a complete waste of print when it comes to reviews that extend farther than
    spec lists...
     
    Mark², Mar 5, 2006
    #7
  7. Consumer Reports is the useless of sources when it come to any think
    like digital camera and they don't even do vacuum clearer well any
    more.


    **********************************************************

    "A combat photographer should be able to make you see the
    color of blood in black and white"


    David Douglas Duncan
    Speaking on why in Vietnam
    he worked only in black and white
    http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/online/ddd/
     
    John A. Stovall, Mar 5, 2006
    #8
  8. Barry L. Wallis

    Rich Guest

    IMO, if they reviewed irons like they just did cameras at the show, you
    would likely
    find yourself burning alot of shirts because they didn't think that
    "will burn cotton"
    was a significant enough characteristic about an iron to mention. :)
     
    Rich, Mar 5, 2006
    #9
  9. Barry L. Wallis

    miles Guest

    CR kisses others behinds. Read up on the lawsuits from Isuzu and Suzuki
    against CR. I prefer owner reports and reviews to any magazine.
     
    miles, Mar 5, 2006
    #10
  10. Barry L. Wallis

    ASAAR Guest

    Since you're up on those behinds and I'm not, could you list a
    few? As for the lawsuits, some companies get upset with
    publications independent enough to tell their readers about vehicles
    that have a dangerous tendency to roll over when making normal
    maneuvers on the road that most other cars have no problem with.

    How many owner reports and reviews have you read that covered
    hazards such as auto instability or the effectiveness of air bags,
    etc. Owner reports may not be influenced by ad revenue, but they're
    at best anecdotal evidence limited by extremely small sample sizes,
    limits that CR doesn't suffer from.
     
    ASAAR, Mar 5, 2006
    #11
  11. Barry L. Wallis

    miles Guest

    That could be true if you believe CR is strictly for the benifit of
    consumers with no other bias or funding. So anything CR says must be true?

    CR did some tests on both the Suzuki Samurai and the Isuzu trooper in
    the late 1980's and 90's. They showed the vehicles to roll much too
    easily. Were these tests factual and realistic?

    The tests done on these two vehicles were never performed on other
    vehicles by CR. Different tests were performed equally on other SUV's.
    Why did CR specially design tests just for these two vehicles rather
    than use comparison tests as done on others?

    The uncertainty of the tests done leads one to suspect their accuracy.
    Three drivers were used with widely varying results between them. This
    was noted by the federal regulators.

    The federal regulators refused to approve CR's test methods as done on
    the Suzuki and Isuzu because they were subjective to drivers abilities
    as well as lack of comparison abilities.

    I've owned both these vehicles. Drove them for many years without
    issue. The real problem that magazines do not test for is the idiot
    thats behind the wheel. Semi Rigs and Buses roll over FAR easier than
    any SUV and are not driven the same as a passenger car.

    It was suspected but I am not sure if proven that CR's tests were funded
    in part by accident trial lawyers. Either way I do not believe CR is
    totally unbiased in their tests and these two vehicle test methods being
    so different than others CR performed says it all.
     
    miles, Mar 5, 2006
    #12
  12. And some of CRs info is from actual consumers who answer their surveys.
    For example, that is how they determine brand reliability. It's based on
    people's actual experience with the product.

    Also, I believe that CR has fought the lawsuits brought against it and I
    don't think they have ever lost.
     
    Barry L. Wallis, Mar 5, 2006
    #13
  13. Barry L. Wallis

    Mark² Guest

    Didn't say that.
    What it does mean is that they are less "beholden" to marketers than any
    other magazine.
    About Izuzu... CR NEVER backed down for them! They insisted on their
    roll-over rating, and did not back away from it.
    Yes. I saw the videos of them.
    Because the roll-over danger had been a hanging question with those boxy,
    high-center-of-gravity vehicles. Similar tests have been done on many SUVs.
    For example: They removed their "recommended" rating from the Toyota Land
    Cruiser until Toyota added traction control which reduced the tendency to
    lose control of the vehicle. Land Cruisers got it in 2000, and CR
    recommended it once again.
    Ah. So this is a personal thing.
    I get it.
    Yes. Good thing there are no idiot drivers in the world, aye?
    :)
    Statistics, please?
    Oops! Stats won't back that up. Buses and semis aren't driven in a manner
    which often leads to roll-overs. Private vehicles are. These real-world
    use issues matter.
    No entity can be completely without bias. But the fact that all other
    magazines are funded by advertizing means they are even MORE likely to allow
    monetary issues guide their "findings." There is no disputing this.
     
    Mark², Mar 5, 2006
    #14
  14. Barry L. Wallis

    Mark² Guest

    That's right. I've filled out some of their surveys, and they are VERY
    extensive. They are also very objective in their design.
    It is my understanding that they have never lost, too.
     
    Mark², Mar 5, 2006
    #15
  15. Barry L. Wallis

    miles Guest

    JD Power is entirely consumer driven unlike CR. Whats more is that 100%
    of CR's data is collected from subscribers and not the general public.
    CR uses mostly their own personal opinions on vehicles in their reviews.
    CR is very inconsistant. They often review 2 or 3 identicle vehicles
    except for name badging differences and rate one good and another poor.

    In a 2005 comparison of the Acura TSX and Volvo S40 I remember them
    reporting one as getting good gas mileage and the other as poor. Yet in
    their same write up they note the mpg as being the same. In essence,
    their reports are based on the bias of the review writer and hardly
    credible.
     
    miles, Mar 5, 2006
    #16
  16. Barry L. Wallis

    miles Guest

    You do not find it odd that the same tests were not done on any other
    SUV's?
    No, its from personal experience. I know how these vehicles handle.
    You on the other hand take CR's word at face value with nothing to
    compare it against, including CR's tests of other vehicles since the
    tests were vastly different.
    The lack of advertising does not equate to unbaised. Thats a very wrong
    assumption. You think 100% of their funding is from subscribers?
     
    miles, Mar 5, 2006
    #17
  17. Barry L. Wallis

    miles Guest

    Less than 6% of US automobile owners send in complete surveys to CR.
    That is a miniscule number to draw accurate statistical results from
    considering 100% of the respondants are subscribers. Whats more is
    there are likely differences in those that do respond vs. those that do
    not. Not very representative of the general public.
     
    miles, Mar 5, 2006
    #18
  18. Barry L. Wallis

    Bill Funk Guest

    And a problem with this technique is that the general public really
    doesn't know much about autos. (Anyone who can stand on the sidewalk
    at an intersection can see this.)
    Autos are complicated, and dangerous. When most respondants comment on
    the fit and finish, and don't even notice excessive body roll, the
    survey results are pretty meaningless. When air conditioning gets high
    marks, but brake response is unknown, how to rate?
    Surveys are nice, but audience participation (when the audience is
    obviously ignorant about what's going on) is comical rather than
    informative.
     
    Bill Funk, Mar 5, 2006
    #19
  19. Barry L. Wallis

    ASAAR Guest

    I didn't make any claim that anything CR says must be true.
    Having to resort to such a silly statement is a good indication that
    you can't back up your previous claim that "CR kisses others
    behinds". At the end of your reply you say that it was "suspected"
    that "CR's tests were funded in part by accident trial lawyers" but
    not only did you not identify any of the trial lawyers or
    organizations, you didn't even indicate who is suspicious. You need
    to do better than that. If CR used your standards they wouldn't
    even have to have documented the rollover tests that they did
    perform. They could have simply said "It's suspected that these
    Suzuki and Isuzu vehicles are dangerously susceptible to rollover,
    and to protect the confidentiality of our sources they must remain
    anonymous". If you have any real evidence of bias or improper
    funding please provide some evidence, otherwise your conspiracy
    theory remains unconvincing.

    Probably because it was fairly obvious to any competent observer
    that these two vehicles could be dangerous in certain driving
    conditions. Without making measurements or doing any tests it's not
    hard to spot potential problems accruing to a high center of gravity
    coupled with a narrow wheelbase. The tests were unusual because
    normal cars shouldn't normally need such tests.

    So what? Is this intended to demonstrate that Samurais and
    Troopers were as safe to drive as other vehicles? I hope not,
    because it doesn't. It takes far more than mere evidence to
    convince federal regulators that they need to take action to prevent
    potential or unnecessary deaths. Consider how rapidly they've moved
    against the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries.

    Aha. Not a disinterested observer are we, eh?

    They don't have to. The idiots that sit behind the wheel are
    likely to also be the idiots that don't read CR, either because they
    think CR is biased and funded by trial lawyers, or because they're
    idiots. :)

    And please note that if a car was intentionally designed to be
    dangerous, most of their drivers would also drive them for many
    years without issue. The real problem is irrational bias that
    prevents reasonable concerns from being accepted.

    And they're driven by professionals who are also subject to
    specialized testing and licensing, and who would never drive them as
    if they were cars. SUVs are often driven as if they were cars. Put
    a good driver who is aware of the Samurai's limitations behind the
    wheel and the odds of having a rollover in normal driving conditions
    is low. But until CR had their say, most people probably were
    unaware of how dangerous Samurais and Troopers could be. And in the
    relatively small number of situations where one might have to take
    sudden, drastic evasive maneuvers, these two vehicles could prove
    quite deadly even to expert drivers. And then they wouldn't be in a
    position to refute the claims that you're still able to make.
     
    ASAAR, Mar 5, 2006
    #20
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