Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
IrishhAndy
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 29, 2013

StevenN wrote:

Yesterday I happened to see a link to a blog by Ming Thien, who, from what I can see, is a well-respected photographer and reviewer of photo equipment. In one particular blog, he gives  thumbnail reviews of dozens of cameras, some complete with a photo of the camera.

To make a long story short, I was dismayed by his terse and largely negative review of Panasonic's GH3 which I reprint here in its entirety:

"Panasonic GH3 (Feb 2013, 6/10) – Great image quality – same sensor as the OM-D – and very fast AF; so-so, hollow-feeling build quality and a terrible UI and button layout. Terrible EVF due to poor quality optics; the add-on LVF2 for the GX and LX series cameras is much, much better, and neither matches the clarity of the OM-D. The target market of videographers are bound to be unhappy as rolling shutter artefacts are terrible. Personally, I just couldn’t get along with this camera – it felt more like a consumer appliance than a photographer’s tool."

Ming gives the GH3 a 6/10 rating, the same rating he gives the Canon SD780IS point 'n' shoot camera.

I wonder how much time he actually spent shooting with the GH3? And I can understand that after playing with Canon 1DsIII's and Nikon D4's all day that a GH3 in comparison can feel somewhat of a lightweight, but a "hollow-feeling build quality?"

I have owned cameras since I was 5 years old, and the GH3 is one of the most solidly-constructed cameras I've ever owned. And as for the much-argued-about EVF, the one on my GH3 is very sharp, bright and clear.

Not to take away from Ming's expertise, because he seems quite knowledgeable, but the GH3 sure feels like a "photographer's tool" to me.

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I agree with him.  It has no soul.

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A solution looking for a problem !

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Jorginho
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Re: The size thing is getting old
In reply to danijel973, Mar 29, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

I'm really not competent for video because it's not my thing; I tried making a few video clips but they tend to lok static, like a slide show of photographs, because I lack skill in moving the camera during recording. So seeing how I suck at video it's not a big surprise that video recording isn't really something that influences my decisions in the choice of cameras. Also, I never actually tried a Panasonic m43 camera so I'm speaking generally; I honestly don't know if I'd like them or hate them.

I understand that. The GH3 is a hybrid cam. Still I can imagine that especially with the 35-100 and 100-300 lens it is a very good and ligthweight, small combo (for that focal length) photo-only cam too.

I think the question was about Ming and his assertions. The answer seems to be: he is not the best person the comment on a truely hybrid cam because one half cannot be judged by him because he lacks skills. If you only want to shoot photo's perhaps there are better combo's. A better hybrid seems much more diffcult to find.

I would like to add another comment on Ming: why did he not read other specialized reviews to see if he was on target or completely off when it comes to video? Why risk writing things down as facts when you know yourself you are pretty much clueless here? I realy don't understand it. It is well known how good Gh3 is for video so when your "experience" seems ot be at odds with this, I would expect some more research on this.

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tgutgu
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Re: Ming is one of few camera reviewers who actually takes great pictures.
In reply to Alex Notpro, Mar 29, 2013

Alex Notpro wrote:

So maybe the GH3 really sucks? I have no idea, I have never tried one.

The view finder sucks, which is a deal breaker. The rest is ok, if you can live with the bulk.

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Thomas

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tgutgu
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: his blog is a hollow read.
In reply to s_grins, Mar 29, 2013

s_grins wrote:

I've stopped reading this blog as well as many other long time ago

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Looking for equilibrium...

Why? Just because you can't agree with him?

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Thomas

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MPA1
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 29, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

MPA1 wrote:

I have 2 Nikon D3s bodies and D2Xs as well as my GH3.


Mine's going on location with me for two months in SE Asia in June, so we shall see how it fares under daily use and constant travelling. I suppose the only thing I can say is that I KNOW the Nikons will be very very likely to make it to the end of the trip but I don't yet know about the GH3.

What you mean is, you hope and expect the Nikons will make it, but sorry, mate, you can’t be certain. In fact, over the years, a solid part of Nikon's appeal as a "professional tool" is the widespread repair and maintenance support for it around the world.

Nikons didn’t and don't always make it -- but you could get them serviced in a lot more places than most other cameras.

Cheers, geoff

'Very very likely' does not mean 'certain'...! I wouldn't even be certain a Leica S2 would make it. No electronic or mechanical device can be relied on never to break.

That's why I am taking 3 Nikon bodies! It increases the chances of at least one of them still working all the way through.

The Nikons are tested and built pretty tough: they publish a rating for shutter actuations based, I presume, on MTBF tests.

Panasonic tout the GH3 as a pro tool but as far as I can see so far do not publish any rating for the shutter.

The ratings are no guarantee but they are at least a demonstration of intent!

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tt321
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Re: Well said.
In reply to Pixnat2, Mar 29, 2013

Pixnat2 wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

What I find annoying in the entire matter is that he is routinely referred to as "a blogger", which is a convenient way of getting around the fact that he is an excellent commercial photographer with some of the most technically perfect and beautiful results I've seen in the world of product photography. He's "a blogger" in the same way Einstein is "a mediocre violin player" or Hemingway is "an alcoholic from Florida". "A blogger" is someone who has no other distinction or qualification other than writing a blog, and to many people here a top photographer suddenly becomes "a blogger" when he criticises their camera.

Fully agree!

But he is a blogger when you talk about one of his blogs. He is a photographer when you are one of his (I'd imagine very satisfied) clients dealing with his photographic output. In different contexts the same person puts on different hats. If you went to one of Einstein's violin performances as a listener, his other more prominent roles in society should be regarded as irrelevant, unless you went to see a freak show and was not interested in the music, which I'm sure the performer would not be happy about.

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danijel973
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Re: Well said.
In reply to tt321, Mar 29, 2013

tt321 wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

What I find annoying in the entire matter is that he is routinely referred to as "a blogger", which is a convenient way of getting around the fact that he is an excellent commercial photographer with some of the most technically perfect and beautiful results I've seen in the world of product photography. He's "a blogger" in the same way Einstein is "a mediocre violin player" or Hemingway is "an alcoholic from Florida". "A blogger" is someone who has no other distinction or qualification other than writing a blog, and to many people here a top photographer suddenly becomes "a blogger" when he criticises their camera.

Fully agree!

But he is a blogger when you talk about one of his blogs. He is a photographer when you are one of his (I'd imagine very satisfied) clients dealing with his photographic output. In different contexts the same person puts on different hats. If you went to one of Einstein's violin performances as a listener, his other more prominent roles in society should be regarded as irrelevant, unless you went to see a freak show and was not interested in the music, which I'm sure the performer would not be happy about.

Yeah, but it's rather insulting to regard Einstein as a mediocre violin player when you don't like his stance on quantum theory, which is exactly what this here is - a top pro photographer reviews a camera negatively on his blog and he's suddenly "a blogger". No he's not, he's a top professional who just happens to share his expertise on a blog, and he could be fully justified in dismissing his critics as "anonymous forum members". And guess what, he'd be fully justified doing so.

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Gregm61
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Re: Well said.
In reply to danijel973, Mar 29, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

tt321 wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

What I find annoying in the entire matter is that he is routinely referred to as "a blogger", which is a convenient way of getting around the fact that he is an excellent commercial photographer with some of the most technically perfect and beautiful results I've seen in the world of product photography. He's "a blogger" in the same way Einstein is "a mediocre violin player" or Hemingway is "an alcoholic from Florida". "A blogger" is someone who has no other distinction or qualification other than writing a blog, and to many people here a top photographer suddenly becomes "a blogger" when he criticises their camera.

Fully agree!

But he is a blogger when you talk about one of his blogs. He is a photographer when you are one of his (I'd imagine very satisfied) clients dealing with his photographic output. In different contexts the same person puts on different hats. If you went to one of Einstein's violin performances as a listener, his other more prominent roles in society should be regarded as irrelevant, unless you went to see a freak show and was not interested in the music, which I'm sure the performer would not be happy about.

Yeah, but it's rather insulting to regard Einstein as a mediocre violin player when you don't like his stance on quantum theory, which is exactly what this here is - a top pro photographer reviews a camera negatively on his blog and he's suddenly "a blogger". No he's not, he's a top professional who just happens to share his expertise on a blog, and he could be fully justified in dismissing his critics as "anonymous forum members". And guess what, he'd be fully justified doing so.

Ming takes better photographs with cameras he hates than most do using the camera they love....

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danijel973
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Re: Well said.
In reply to Gregm61, Mar 29, 2013

Gregm61 wrote:
Ming takes better photographs with cameras he hates than most do using the camera they love....

Exactly. Which is why he needs to be taken seriously even if we disagree with him on something. He must have a valid reason for his dislike, even if this reason is specific to his way of working with a camera or something. As photographers, even aspiring ones, we need to have respect for other people's competence and expertise, because without it we'll hardly get anywhere with our own photography. This is basic intellectual honesty that must not be abandoned out of silliness such as emotions hurt over his dislike of a gadget.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Your use of "biased" is perfecty correct, Aleo...
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 29, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

…whether the popular definition is applied -- andthat applies to postings on a photo blog -- or the behavioral science definition is implied.

Is Ming's bias unconscious? Frankly, if he can produce such hyperbole and is unconscious of the problems with it, then he has a problem himself. I think he intended to be "controversial" by putting on an appearance of bias against the GH3. His language is too extreme for it to be otherwise in my view as a behavioral science graduate and professional writer, marketer, and advertiser, and teacher of "writing for a purpose".

I would counsel you to ignore Michael's apparent carping about the use of the term "bias".

He appears to lack an understanding of when to apply the specialized narrow definition of a term borrowed from the general lexicon by a science, i.e. you applied the narrow definition when speaking or writing within the constraints of that science about matters subject to scientific scrutiny.

What many people lack is an understanding of how what they consider objective opinions are actually biased.  As a behavioral science graduate and marketer, I assume you are aware that Kahneman & Tversky's findings on cognitive biases and heuristics have practical implications.

You are not speaking or writing within the field of behavioral science so the general language definition of "bias" applies. Your use of it was perfectly correct.

Are you sure? Aleo said that he didn't think Ming's bias was intentional, but you indicate otherwise. Are the two of you using the same notion of bias?

According to the definition in Wikipedia, Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry Is that the general language definition that you claim applies here?

Micheal's introduction of the behavioral science definition was wrong.

How so?

Cheers, geoff

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pinnacle
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Losing credibility...?
In reply to Marathonianbull, Mar 29, 2013

Marathonianbull wrote:

Ming Thein is not only a very gifted photographer with rare depth, but also a superlative writer.

"Consumer appliance"... There could be so many meanings to this, like having too many automated elements, feeling too plasticky, working 'flawlessly' as any "consumer appliance" generally does out of the box, not offering enough manual controls, weighing too little in spite of being bulky (lacking optical heaviness), etc. You could ask him and he'll surely answer; I myself was wondering with a certain grim what he meant by that, a month ago!

On the other hand, do not overly care if this remark somewhat sounds pejorative or unrelated to your personal experience. That's HIS BLOG, HIS OPINION (as good as SteveHuff's or KenRockwell's praising litanies, of course followed by commercial links). Ming Thein should therefore say whatever he feels like if that in fact reflects what he really thinks given that his readers are expecting precisely such personal views.

I generally respect Ming Thien's opinions. I don't own a GH3 but, he simply got this one wrong. I'm not sure if he got up on the wrong side of his bed or had just had a fight with a good friend and needed to vent about something...anything.

Ken Rockwell can offer useful information at times but his web site is built around keeping traffic to his sponsor links flowing so he can generate income from "click throughs."

Steve Huff lives in lala land thinking (and bragging to all who will read his content) that he is God's gift to the Leica world. He brags about personally generating more Leica business than any other person or thing on the planet. He recently posted a bizarre nonsensical rant (Titled "What is wrong with passion and enthusiasm? Nothing!") whining about people reading a blog he wrote and the way people complained about his content. I used to receive subscription emails when Huff's blog posted a new story but, as I read the blog content in the email I knew he had totally gone off the deep end. I sent him an email via his contact link on his site letting him know my opinion of his recent rant. He sent me an incredibly uncivil email back. I decided to re-read my own email to him and the content of his rant on his via the original link and the link no longer worked and he had deleted the nonsensical rant from his site altogether without an explanation. (I still have the content of the rant as part of the email his blog sent to me even though he deleted the post.)

The quality, validity, and usefulness of content posted by "personal" web sites on the "net" varies widely.

I do still think that Ming Thien will likely produce generally useful material. As I stated earlier, he just got lost somehow in his evaluation of the Panasonic GH3.

Dan

My opinion.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Well said.
In reply to tt321, Mar 29, 2013

tt321 wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

What I find annoying in the entire matter is that he is routinely referred to as "a blogger", which is a convenient way of getting around the fact that he is an excellent commercial photographer with some of the most technically perfect and beautiful results I've seen in the world of product photography. He's "a blogger" in the same way Einstein is "a mediocre violin player" or Hemingway is "an alcoholic from Florida". "A blogger" is someone who has no other distinction or qualification other than writing a blog, and to many people here a top photographer suddenly becomes "a blogger" when he criticises their camera.

Fully agree!

But he is a blogger when you talk about one of his blogs. He is a photographer when you are one of his (I'd imagine very satisfied) clients dealing with his photographic output. In different contexts the same person puts on different hats. If you went to one of Einstein's violin performances as a listener, his other more prominent roles in society should be regarded as irrelevant, unless you went to see a freak show and was not interested in the music, which I'm sure the performer would not be happy about.

I wasn't aware that blogging had the negative connotations that some people here ascribe to it. The Wikipedia definition isn't pejorative:

A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

I fail to understand why writing on the web by those with demonstrated expertise on the topic they are writing about is not considered blogging.  If it isn't blogging, then what is it?

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richarddd
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Re: Your use of "biased" is perfecty correct, Aleo...
In reply to danijel973, Mar 29, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

Well, it is highly questionable if you can call a negative reaction to things that simply don't sit well with you "bias" simply because the negative reaction concerns your favorite camera. I have negative reactions to things that rub me the wrong way all the time, often about the things I own and use, not only to other people's stuff. It hardly makes me biased, or, if it does, the term should be freed from its negative conotations.

I am almost always accused of either bias or worse things when I criticise something someone is emotionally attached to. What I fail to understand is how that person, being emotionally attached to a thing, isn't biased, and I, who have no emotional stake in it other than simply not liking the thing, am.

So my experience is that biased people are the first to accuse others of bias when their emotional connections to stuff are irritated.

But that's how a large number of posters in this thread are defining 'bias' - bias means not liking something they like a lot.  Saying "he's biased" makes them feel better than saying "I disagree."

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danijel973
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Re: Your use of "biased" is perfecty correct, Aleo...
In reply to richarddd, Mar 29, 2013

Exactly.

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danijel973
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Re: Losing credibility...?
In reply to pinnacle, Mar 29, 2013

I think there is a much simpler explanation. He just didn't like the camera, that's why he wrote a negative critique.

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Hen3ry
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Re: Your use of "biased" is perfecty correct, Aleo...
In reply to MichaelKJ, Mar 29, 2013

MichaelKJ wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

…whether the popular definition is applied -- andthat applies to postings on a photo blog -- or the behavioral science definition is implied.

Is Ming's bias unconscious? Frankly, if he can produce such hyperbole and is unconscious of the problems with it, then he has a problem himself. I think he intended to be "controversial" by putting on an appearance of bias against the GH3. His language is too extreme for it to be otherwise in my view as a behavioral science graduate and professional writer, marketer, and advertiser, and teacher of "writing for a purpose".

I would counsel you to ignore Michael's apparent carping about the use of the term "bias".

He appears to lack an understanding of when to apply the specialized narrow definition of a term borrowed from the general lexicon by a science, i.e. you applied the narrow definition when speaking or writing within the constraints of that science about matters subject to scientific scrutiny.

What many people lack is an understanding of how what they consider objective opinions are actually biased.  As a behavioral science graduate and marketer, I assume you are aware that Kahneman & Tversky's findings on cognitive biases and heuristics have practical implications.

Goodness, gracious me. I hope so, otherwise their studies were a total waste of time and money.

You are not speaking or writing within the field of behavioral science so the general language definition of "bias" applies. Your use of it was perfectly correct.

Are you sure? Aleo said that he didn't think Ming's bias was intentional, but you indicate otherwise. Are the two of you using the same notion of bias?

According to the definition in Wikipedia, Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry Is that the general language definition that you claim applies here?

Micheal's introduction of the behavioral science definition was wrong.

How so?

Because Aleo's usage was correct according to the general definition -- as I clearly said above. You want to apply definitions developed in behavioral science, go play in the behavioral science yard.

"Bias can come in many forms" -- is that good enough for you? Seems you aren’t even reading what you post.

"Are the two of you using the same notion of bias." Pop psychology rampant! You either didn’t read what I wrote, didn’t read what you wrote, or if you did, you don’t understand the implications of either or both.

Cheers, geoff

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Coby
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Re: Losing credibility...?
In reply to danijel973, Mar 29, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

I think there is a much simpler explanation. He just didn't like the camera, that's why he wrote a negative critique.

Fair enough if he didn't like it for stills, and had confined his comments only to that aspect.   But he wades in on the video also ("The target market of videographers are bound to be unhappy as rolling shutter artefacts are terrible...") when he barely used that aspect of the camera, and admitted to knowing little about it.

Given that video is fundamental to the niche this hybrid camera fills, his review is a disservice.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Your use of "biased" is perfecty correct, Aleo...
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 29, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

…whether the popular definition is applied -- andthat applies to postings on a photo blog -- or the behavioral science definition is implied.

Is Ming's bias unconscious? Frankly, if he can produce such hyperbole and is unconscious of the problems with it, then he has a problem himself. I think he intended to be "controversial" by putting on an appearance of bias against the GH3. His language is too extreme for it to be otherwise in my view as a behavioral science graduate and professional writer, marketer, and advertiser, and teacher of "writing for a purpose".

I would counsel you to ignore Michael's apparent carping about the use of the term "bias".

He appears to lack an understanding of when to apply the specialized narrow definition of a term borrowed from the general lexicon by a science, i.e. you applied the narrow definition when speaking or writing within the constraints of that science about matters subject to scientific scrutiny.

What many people lack is an understanding of how what they consider objective opinions are actually biased.  As a behavioral science graduate and marketer, I assume you are aware that Kahneman & Tversky's findings on cognitive biases and heuristics have practical implications.

Goodness, gracious me. I hope so, otherwise their studies were a total waste of time and money.

You are not speaking or writing within the field of behavioral science so the general language definition of "bias" applies. Your use of it was perfectly correct.

Are you sure? Aleo said that he didn't think Ming's bias was intentional, but you indicate otherwise. Are the two of you using the same notion of bias?

According to the definition in Wikipedia, Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry Is that the general language definition that you claim applies here?

Micheal's introduction of the behavioral science definition was wrong.

How so?

Because Aleo's usage was correct according to the general definition -- as I clearly said above. You want to apply definitions developed in behavioral science, go play in the behavioral science yard.

"Bias can come in many forms" -- is that good enough for you? Seems you aren’t even reading what you post.

That was the exactly my point. The fact that bias can come in many forms makes it open to different interpretations by different people.  Several people have said Ming's opinion is biased.  While you can argue that everyone's usage was correct according to the general definition, that doesn't mean they were making the same point.  In fact, you indicated you feel that Ming intended to put on the appearance of bias while Aleo indicated he feels differently.

"Are the two of you using the same notion of bias." Pop psychology rampant!

Nothing "pop" about it, unless you think misunderstandings due to semantic differences are unimportant. Your argument appears to be that it doesn't matter if two people mean different things when they use the term bias as long as each person's concept of bias falls somewhere within the general definition.

You either didn’t read what I wrote, didn’t read what you wrote, or if you did, you don’t understand the implications of either or both.

I'm well aware of what both of us wrote. What implications do you think I don't understand?

Cheers, geoff

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Najinsky
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 29, 2013

I didn't read all 70+ replies, just a handful and got a bit annoyed at a few so stopped. So if this has already been covered, apologies for the duplication.

The summary you quoted is just that, a summary. There is a slightly more detailed review that explains his thinking that led to the summary here:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/03/17/panasonic-lumix-gh3/

Ming is a professional photographer, it's how he makes his living. He has embraced the internet and mobile communication as an integral part of his career progression. You can send him your photos via email, pay him some money and he will explain to you where he thinks you are making the most obvious mistakes and how to go about improving. As an educator, he has helped many professionals get started and has a steady stream of glowing references.

Now, back on this forum, people are calling him a whore because he uses the internet to promote and support his business. And they advise readers to steer clearing of reading what he has to say about photography and his equipment.

Your choice of course, but I know whose words I'd rather be spending my time reading, and it's not geartographers with a keyboard addiction.

-Najinsky

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danijel973
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Re: Losing credibility...?
In reply to Coby, Mar 29, 2013

Coby wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

I think there is a much simpler explanation. He just didn't like the camera, that's why he wrote a negative critique.

Fair enough if he didn't like it for stills, and had confined his comments only to that aspect.   But he wades in on the video also ("The target market of videographers are bound to be unhappy as rolling shutter artefacts are terrible...") when he barely used that aspect of the camera, and admitted to knowing little about it.

It's difficult for me to have any kind of opinion about this because I don't know the circumstances, but I can quote his comment under the article:

"Based on the number of comments on this issue, I’m starting to think the loan body might have been early firmware – it was from a friend who in turn had it on loan from Panasonic…I stand corrected if this is not the case. It’s also possible I just had a strange combination of settings that wasn’t happy…"

This might explain part of his experience.

 danijel973's gear list:danijel973's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Olympus PEN E-PL1 Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +12 more
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