Highly Recommended (Just)!!?

Started Aug 25, 2008 | Discussions thread
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GeorgeD200
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Highly Recommended (Just)!!?
Aug 25, 2008

After reading the latest DP Review test on the Olympus E-520, I have to take umbrage with DP Reviews rating system. The E-520 recieved a "Highly Recommended (Just)" Really? How can something 'just' make it into the highly recommended category when a "Recommended" category also exists? By the same token how can a camera even make it into the "Recommended" with a laundry list of cons, including:

Dynamic range limited compared to the rest of class - can lead to more easily clipped highlights

Comparatively soft image output in JPEG and RAW

Disappointing high ISO performance

Auto white balance and presets not brilliant (though there is a fine tune option)

LCD turns monochrome and noisy in low light

Unreliable flash exposure

Occasionally inconsistent operation

"The E520's results are clearly less sharp and detailed than the E510, even though the digital sharpening effects have been turned down on the older camera."

Does this sound like a camera that YOU would 'recommend highly' to a friend?

Average. That's what the rating on the E-520 should be. It can't even out-perform the camera that it's replacing, which should be a given in this day and age. DPReview hasn't given an "Average" rating to a camera since 2003. As a matter of fact, of the 307 items DPR has reviewed, over 80% have received a rating better than the "Average" rating. I think this challenges the very mathematical definition of 'average'.

"The term average may refer to the statistical mean, median or mode of a distribution, or sometimes any other measure of central tendency. Statisticians and responsible news sources are careful to use whichever of these specific terms is appropriate. In common usage, average refers to the arithmetic mean. It is, however, a common rhetorical trick to call the most favorable of mean, median and mode the "average" depending on the interpretation of a set of figures that the speaker or writer wants to promote." (from the Wiktionary).

Even within the broad strokes of a rhetorical interpretaion, I don't think DPR understands what 'average' means.

That said, I don't have a problem with their testing methods. DPR consistently turns out top-quality data and samples. Better that any other review site that I know of, but it hurts their credibility to rate some pretty average cameras as "Highly Recommended". And "Just"? well I think that falls into the realm of absurdity.

DPR, fix your rating system. Stop the rating inflation.

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