Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
danijel973
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 29, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:
I also read Ming's piece with some astonishment. The emotion is obtrusive throughout, the language is extreme. Irrational is a very moderate judgement of it.

I must admit I find this to be a very awkward statement. You see, emotional responses are by definition not rational, but that does not mean their basis is not rational. For instance, he could have tested the camera, seen that it behaved poorly in many respects, and then vented an emotional expression of his experience. This does in no way deny the validity or rationality of his experience. In fact, emotional response to equipment that is supposed to be an extension of one's creativity is much more important than quoting the spec sheet; this is the very reason why people read reviews by pro photographers instead of just pixel-peeping spec sheets and comparometer results on dpreview.

So when a reviewer's emotional experience fails to meet our own emotional expectations, it is quite pathetic to attempt to deny the reviewer's rationality in order to protect one's own emotions from pain (caused by attachments and projections).

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

MichaelKJ 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.

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?

I'd be interested to know as well. A blog which has attracted a lot of attention must have a lot going for it and should be a blog the blogger is proud of. But it's a blog nonetheless surely?

It's not guaranteed that anonymous forum members (these three words have also been ascribed some sort of negative connotation in this thread, for reasons also obscure to me) would necessarily have opinions/information/arguments that are less valid than successful professional photographers who are well known for their artistic achievements. One has to treat each statement on its merits alone, and not just follow the supposed authority from related activities. When Einstein publishes a paper, that paper must stand on its own merits and not Mr E's previous reputation.

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MPA1
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Re: Well said.
In reply to tt321, Mar 30, 2013

Why don't we just ask Rocky Rockwell to adjudicate and be done with this circular argument? 

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MPA1
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

Henceforth, he shall be known as Ming The Merciless......

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kernow
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

Ming was a frequent contributor to many of these forums and has taught me a lot on metering difficult lighting and shooting shots quickly. He is an excellent photographer and not above using more consumer model cameras if they do the job. I remember his shooting with the Lumix LX3 when it came out. He was wringing so much out of that camera he made the rest of us look very ordinary.
If Ming said it has these flaws then I would seriously look at these things and see if they are as he says before I made a purchase. I wouldn't blindly agree with what he says but I would take it as a very knowledgeable and talented photographer's personal view and use that as a guide to my own purchasing knowledge and what to look at.

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Rol Lei Nut
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

It seems as though some forum members are calling for stricter "blasphemy laws": anyone who criticizes (or fails to show enough enthusiasm) when writing about a particular camera should be severely punished and humiliated.

Bloody unbelievable!!!

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Hen3ry
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to danijel973, Mar 30, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:
I also read Ming's piece with some astonishment. The emotion is obtrusive throughout, the language is extreme. Irrational is a very moderate judgement of it.

I must admit I find this to be a very awkward statement. You see, emotional responses are by definition not rational, but that does not mean their basis is not rational. For instance, he could have tested the camera, seen that it behaved poorly in many respects, and then vented an emotional expression of his experience. This does in no way deny the validity or rationality of his experience. In fact, emotional response to equipment that is supposed to be an extension of one's creativity is much more important than quoting the spec sheet; this is the very reason why people read reviews by pro photographers instead of just pixel-peeping spec sheets and comparometer results on dpreview.

So when a reviewer's emotional experience fails to meet our own emotional expectations, it is quite pathetic to attempt to deny the reviewer's rationality in order to protect one's own emotions from pain (caused by attachments and projections).

Dani, that's fair comment to a point, except that the fact is that I don’t have a dog in this fight. I have no attachment to the GH3 -- wouldn’t buy it, in fact, as I have no interest in video and I certainly don’t want anything bigger than my E-PL3 or the G5 o E-PL5 I'm thinking of moving to.

I was looking at the language -- as a professional writer and teacher. The language Ming uses is extreme  -- terrible this and terrible that. Then: "The target market videographers are bound to be unhappy" -- he is clearly not a videographer or he would be giving his opinion or speaking of his experience on that, not talking about "the target market". Alternatively, he should cite a videographer to whom he passed the camera for comment.

Sure there is emotion involved, but we are looking for a professional's response which will involve emotion but controlled emotion (that's what being pro is all about', not what we call in Australia (and perhaps where you are) a dummy spit.

That's simply not professional.

Cheers, geoff

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Kewee
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to Najinsky, Mar 30, 2013

Ming Thein's opinions have nothing to do with bias. If you look at his recommended gear list it includes Panasonic, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Leica, Nikon etc. His camera of choice for his professional work is Nikon. When he was searching for a backup he tried the OMD, liked it, and now owns two of them. He has a very good reputation as a product photographer, especially his close-up work photographing expensive watches. His reviews are backed up with stunning images, he simply doesn't like the GH3. I suspect the hoards of negative comments on this thread are coming from GH3 owners who aren't happy about the choice of camera being criticized.

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enrique santa
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Re: photographer Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

He is right. Why he must be politically correct?. The gh3 is not a cam for everyone.I think like ming is a big mistake from panasonic. Why his or my opinion must be other?. There are a lot of people out there that likes gh3 even great pros like it, so who is the problem?.
When somebody wants to everybody thinks like him. ....this have a name, and of course is not a kind name.
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danijel973
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to Hen3ry, Mar 30, 2013

Hen3ry wrote:
I was looking at the language -- as a professional writer and teacher. The language Ming uses is extreme  -- terrible this and terrible that.

Well, I see nothing beyond the pale there. I would describe some parts of my own camera as terrible, for instance the modal button interface or the live view lag. It is indeed terrible, annoying and interferes with taking pictures. However, I don't see how that disqualifies my assessment in any way. If pressed, I could replace the word "terrible" with a rather long description of the problem and its severity but presently I feel no need. I would give Ming the benefit of the doubt here and draw an analogy between his experience with GH3 and mine with E-PL1.

Then: "The target market videographers are bound to be unhappy" -- he is clearly not a videographer or he would be giving his opinion or speaking of his experience on that, not talking about "the target market".

This is true, he really doesn't seem to shoot video or know much about it so it would've been wise of him to have refrained from commenting that part.

Sure there is emotion involved, but we are looking for a professional's response which will involve emotion but controlled emotion (that's what being pro is all about', not what we call in Australia (and perhaps where you are) a dummy spit.

Well, he didn't really throw the camera into a concrete wall in a fit of uncontrolled rage, did he? He wrote a review in which he said that he didn't like the camera because its ergonomics and overall experience didn't sit well with him. Hardly a display of uncontrolled emotion, really.

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danijel973
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to Rol Lei Nut, Mar 30, 2013

The funniest thing is that people usually say how they wellcome criticism, how it is a useful part of the learning process and all that, but when criticism rubs them the wrong way here they go with pitchforks and torches.

That's why I seldom or never write photographic critiques. People say they want to hear criticism but what they really want is to hear how well they've done. I, however, am a rather brutal critic, both to my own and other people's work. If I don't like my own work, I simply throw it into trash. People like Simon Cowell because of his brutal honesty and really don't giving a bleep about other people's emotions when stating his opinion - at least they like it when he does that to other people. However, if this kind of criticism were pointed at them, they'd foam like warm beer.

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tt321
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Re: panasonic may have a hollow feel
In reply to danijel973, Mar 30, 2013

danijel973 wrote:

Durability can be just an impression, and a deceptive one at that. The most durable looking car I had was an Audi that looked and felt like a tank. However the suspension broke down every year and needed replacing, the 2.5 TDI engine was so fragile it was scary, and the gearbox broke down soon after I bought it. So basically it looked incredibly solid on the outside while being a flimsy PoS where it mattered.

Then again, i have a super-flimsy looking Canon kit zoom lens made in 1987., which still works perfectly.

These anecdotal examples mean virtually nothing.

You have not factored out the operator's influence in these cases so they are not comparable. You might be someone who babies their camera gear but abuses their cars, or the flimsy-feeling appearance of one item made you subconsciously take more care of it than the other, whose tough look and feel inspired carelessness.

Statistically, camera gear made in 1987 has a much much higher probability of still working today (for instance, mine still all work 100%) than cars made in that year (all cars I personally know made in that year have now been scrapped), and that's across all cameras and lenses on one side and cars on the other. So the mentioning of 1987 also means nothing.

In other words, this message of yours constitutes a useless user review for both the car and the lens. I understand you were not claiming this to be a review of either, but you are making points with them like a reviewer (e.g. MT) makes points with their observations. If you think it's fine to make points in this way maybe your requirements for personal reviews are a bit more relaxed than some of the other review readers who are contributing to this thread.

"User reviews" from people whose main interests are not writing reviews tend to have these problems. Users who are not professional reviewers usually do not spend enough effort to isolate issues and some positively avoid using numbers as much as possible or follow a fixed procedure, compared with professional review establishments. This frees the reviewer/blogger up so they could write pieces that are a lot more enjoyable to read (I've found MT's reviews much better reads than, for instance DPR reviews), but unless a reader has followed a reviewer for some time and obtained a good feel of their personal preferences etc. to establish a reasonable context, such a user review is virtually useless as a review. Expressions like "consumer appliance" in a camera review mean almost nothing, unless the reader has been following the reviewer and found a good sync with them in subjective matters.

I liked the GH3 review in question here a lot, because I generally like reading MT's reviews and think this one does not disappoint. But I also like the fact that a lot of people voiced their dislikes or disagreements which have helped establish a richer context for that review and therefore added values to it. Both MT and his naysayers have made positive contributions to my process of understanding this camera, should I consider buying one in the near future. I'd now risk saying that without the naysaying, MT's review would have been much less useful to me.

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Jorginho
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Re: Ming is one of few camera reviewers who actually takes great pictures.
In reply to danijel973, Mar 30, 2013

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.

In short: we need not go ad hominem. I find the Hemmingway and Einstein comparison overdoing it quite  a lot. Ming is not the Einstein of photography in my book, but I think he is very good at it. Whatever, that is completely irrelevant.

What is relevant is what he concludes and how he comes to these conclusions. He lacks skills to give a helpfull review for those who want a GH3 cam and use it to the full. He has a very personal view on ergonomics (which is okey) and he has made it clear he simply did not use the camera as much as he used others and blames the camera for it. He can blame it for his reluctance to use it, he cannot blame the cam for acting upon this feeling. That is his choice. In doing so he introduced his bias into his review.

In that sense, he comes close to a blogger and not to a reviewer I think. In this case. We should not generalise this to all his reviewing/blogging etc.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Ming is one of few camera reviewers who actually takes great pictures.
In reply to Jorginho, Mar 30, 2013

Jorginho 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.

In short: we need not go ad hominem. I find the Hemmingway and Einstein comparison overdoing it quite  a lot. Ming is not the Einstein of photography in my book, but I think he is very good at it. Whatever, that is completely irrelevant.

What is relevant is what he concludes and how he comes to these conclusions. He lacks skills to give a helpfull review for those who want a GH3 cam and use it to the full. He has a very personal view on ergonomics (which is okey) and he has made it clear he simply did not use the camera as much as he used others and blames the camera for it. He can blame it for his reluctance to use it, he cannot blame the cam for acting upon this feeling. That is his choice. In doing so he introduced his bias into his review.

In that sense, he comes close to a blogger and not to a reviewer I think. In this case. We should not generalise this to all his reviewing/blogging etc.

Imo, the blogger/reviewer distinction is meaningless.  A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the world wide web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Thus, blogs can contain very informative information as well as useless and inaccurate opinions. And, reviews can range from highly useful and credible evaluations to a highly flawed and worthless opinions.

It seems to me that you and many other people here are trying to redefine "blog." Philip Bloom and Andrew Reid are respected professional videographers who both have sites that most would consider blogs.  Reid and Bloom have both made favorable comments about GH3 on their blogs and Reid said that his review will be up on his site soon.

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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 Jorginho, Mar 30, 2013

Jorginho 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.

In short: we need not go ad hominem. I find the Hemmingway and Einstein comparison overdoing it quite  a lot. Ming is not the Einstein of photography in my book, but I think he is very good at it. Whatever, that is completely irrelevant.

What is relevant is what he concludes and how he comes to these conclusions. He lacks skills

Why does he lack the skills? I can't see that.

to give a helpfull review for those who want a GH3 cam and use it to the full. He has a very personal view on ergonomics (which is okey) and he has made it clear he simply did not use the camera as much as he used others and blames the camera for it.

If the camera as a view finder as the GH3 has, I would also stop using it extensively. Obviously, the camera has so many showstoppers for Mr. Thein that he could not see any reason to make even deeper analysis of it. A very reasonable approach. By the way, his review is at least as detailed as many other reviews (usually with uncritical positive results).

The problem is that the review did not yield the results, the GH3 buyer expects.

He can blame it for his reluctance to use it, he cannot blame the cam for acting upon this feeling.

Sure he can.

That is his choice. In doing so he introduced his bias into his review.

In that sense, he comes close to a blogger and not to a reviewer I think. In this case. We should not generalise this to all his reviewing/blogging etc.

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Thomas

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danijel973
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Re: Ming is one of few camera reviewers who actually takes great pictures.
In reply to tgutgu, Mar 30, 2013

tgutgu wrote:

The problem is that the review did not yield the results, the GH3 buyer expects.

Bingo. And had the review been uncritically positive I am sure I'd see no complaints about it here.

People should stop being so sensitive. A while ago my camera of choice, E-1, was buried by reviewers back and forth, often with very dubious arguments. I couldn't care less, because I got the camera with a great lens for a very good price and it served me great.

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Anders W
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Re: Ming is one of few camera reviewers who actually takes great pictures.
In reply to tgutgu, Mar 30, 2013

tgutgu wrote:

Jorginho 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.

In short: we need not go ad hominem. I find the Hemmingway and Einstein comparison overdoing it quite  a lot. Ming is not the Einstein of photography in my book, but I think he is very good at it. Whatever, that is completely irrelevant.

What is relevant is what he concludes and how he comes to these conclusions. He lacks skills

Why does he lack the skills? I can't see that.

I think Thein is a very good photographer. But I am not very impressed by his technical knowledge. Some examples from a prior review here (see the list of examples in the middle of the post):

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50712540

to give a helpfull review for those who want a GH3 cam and use it to the full. He has a very personal view on ergonomics (which is okey) and he has made it clear he simply did not use the camera as much as he used others and blames the camera for it.

If the camera as a view finder as the GH3 has, I would also stop using it extensively. Obviously, the camera has so many showstoppers for Mr. Thein that he could not see any reason to make even deeper analysis of it. A very reasonable approach. By the way, his review is at least as detailed as many other reviews (usually with uncritical positive results).

The problem is that the review did not yield the results, the GH3 buyer expects.

He can blame it for his reluctance to use it, he cannot blame the cam for acting upon this feeling.

Sure he can.

That is his choice. In doing so he introduced his bias into his review.

In that sense, he comes close to a blogger and not to a reviewer I think. In this case. We should not generalise this to all his reviewing/blogging etc.

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Thomas

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Len_Gee
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

Do you really  care about his comments  as long as the camera works for you?

Does the camera meet your needs?

That's what really matters, isn't it?

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sea_dragon
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Re: Blogger Ming Thein: GH3 a "consumer appliance"
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

His comments about the EVF were spot on.

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RichRMA
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Viewfinder optics, a rarely mentioned feature
In reply to StevenN, Mar 30, 2013

It's interesting he mentions the optics of the EVF.  In the SLR days, viewfinder optics were often glass with real anti-reflection coatings.  Today, it's cheap, uncoated plastic lenses in most cases which are not the greatest idea for imaging a real-life scene or an EVF.  The viewfinder optics in the old Olympus DSLRs (E-410, E-510, etc) were poor, with low brightness and clarity.  Better built cameras (E-3, E-5, semi-pro Nikon and Canons) tend to do better in this regard because they aren't as cost-restrained.

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