Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
misolo
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i'm finding the ergonomics good
In reply to neil holmes, 7 months ago

neil holmes wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

I disagree - I find that they put quite a bit more weight on things like ergonomics, and less weight on stuff that most folks don't care that much about, like the sensor performance at extremely high ISOs.

I certainly believe that they bring much more of the average user's perspective to the evaluation than gearhead centric sights like DPReview do. They may not know everything about cameras, but they know much more about what the average person wants in a camera than sites like this one does.

So the GX7 has the best ergonomics?

Lord no!

I love mine but just about every time I use it for any length of time, I hit the wifi button in error....also often change the focus point accidently too.

I think it could do with a more rounded bottom right corner as well...a bit sharp on my little finger and it sometimes pinches my hand.

In fact, probably the WORST camera ergonomically for me....while I love the look and results and some of its features.

The ergonomics of the GX7 have been working very well for me. The wifi button did get reprogrammed on the first day I had it (to exposure/dof live preview). My only complaint regarding physical design is that I wish the EVF didn't stick out of the body so much, as it makes it more difficult to put it in coat pockets, backpack side pockets, etc. (and, of course, there are the usual Panasonic annoyances with an otherwise very good firmware, like the lack of auto-ISO in M mode, etc.)

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jhinkey
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

As a very happy owner of the GX7 I have no idea if it's the top mirrorless camera, but it certainly is very very good.  Fortunately for many of us there is a great selection of m43 cameras at the moment.

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jeffharris
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Re: BFG
In reply to SF Photo Gal, 7 months ago

SF Photo Gal wrote:

I have a GX7 and I love it, but reviews from Consumer Reports, CNET, and I'm afraid now even DP Review don't matter much to me. So many other blogger reviews that it's the totality of all those other sites that help me make up my mind.

The DPR review was a joke.

For me, the GX7 is what I've been waiting for since I first invested in m4/3.

Same here. When I bought into M4/3, I wanted a compact body like the GF1, but the clip-on EVF was low-res and stuck into the hotshoe killed the compact form and I just didn't like the PENs of the time, so I got a GH2. The GX7 checks most of the must-have boxes for me.

One ergonomic change I'd make to the body would be to extend the grip up toward the top plate, make it a bit beefier and push the shutter release forward and on top of it.

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W A Stewart
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Re: CR
In reply to jeffharris, 7 months ago

I found that the more you know a product space the less you trust Consumer Reports. I no longer subscribe or pay any attention to them.  Last I saw they were clueless about cameras, but also exercise equipment, which interested me. As a result I don't even read their car reviews any more. I suppose it's not really feasible for one small organization to test everything.

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gollywop
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to Glen Barrington, 7 months ago

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

Gee Glen, I'm not even sure about washing machines – unless you want a safe (but not necessarily best) bet for a discontinued model.

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agentul
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to Alan Lai, 7 months ago

Alan Lai wrote:

Came in to read rage posts. How disappointing!

come on, how about "CR didn't know a camera if it bit them in the ass"? considering that this forum is populated mostly by people older than 50, that's as much rage as you're going to get.

Back to topic: I can certainly agree that G5 excels in ergonomics. And CR is credible based on their past history.

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gregbartgis
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to Glen Barrington, 7 months ago

I'm in complete agreement. They rate cameras based on things like the bells and whistles features and PRICE, PRICE, PRICE. Never anything comparing durability, quality of build, handling - the things that really set the camera apart and make it worth the price you pay. I remember how they panned the Leicaflex SL2 in the seventies when it had just come out. I think they were just prejudiced against Leica because only "wealthy elites" could afford it. They wouldn't dare compare the camera to anything else simply based on quality and durability. It was an expensive (at the time) camera and lacked a lot of convenient features. Spare, elegant and having some of the best glass available at the time. If it costs over a certain percentage of the average household budget they seem to automatically dismiss it as overpriced.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to gregbartgis, 7 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

I'm in complete agreement. They rate cameras based on things like the bells and whistles features and PRICE, PRICE, PRICE. Never anything comparing durability, quality of build, handling - the things that really set the camera apart and make it worth the price you pay. I remember how they panned the Leicaflex SL2 in the seventies when it had just come out. I think they were just prejudiced against Leica because only "wealthy elites" could afford it. They wouldn't dare compare the camera to anything else simply based on quality and durability. It was an expensive (at the time) camera and lacked a lot of convenient features. Spare, elegant and having some of the best glass available at the time. If it costs over a certain percentage of the average household budget they seem to automatically dismiss it as overpriced.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

Actually, for the vast majority of the Consumer Reports readership, a Leicaflex SL2 was a poor purchase relative to the utility they would get out of it.  And it was certainly nowhere near the value for the money that an Olympus OM-1 or Minolta SRT-102 was for them.  Which was why those two cameras were justifiably ranked as better, more utilitarian purchases at the time.   To CU's credit, they dismissed the "elegance" as not being an objective criteria, and valued the useful convenience features which the Leicaflex lacked and the Olympus and Minolta had.

They also de-valued the bulk and weight of the Nikon F2 and Canon F1 for most users in that same issue.  The fact is, they were rating cameras for average folks who wanted to take snapshots, not professional photographers, who have an entirely different set of needs, and pretty clearly, both the Leicaflex SL 2 and the Nikon F2 and Canon F1 were not the right tools for that task.  To Consumer Reports' credit, they recognized that and were not swayed by brand reputation.

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LMNCT
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

I remember the Leica CL being rated lower than a Kodak (model escapes me) because the Leica was more expensive and the Kodak could record and image.  I laughed when  I read it then...and although I am very fond of my GX7, I have no idea of how it stacks up for someone else.  We all want different things from the tools that we use and therefore it is impossible for anyone to make a judgement for us.

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Fri13
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

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I disagree - I find that they put quite a bit more weight on things like ergonomics, and less weight on stuff that most folks don't care that much about, like the sensor performance at extremely high ISOs.

CR doesn't know so much about good ergonomics. That is the problem that they go to direction what is expected by knowledge of average consumer, not as person who knows what to expect.

When it comes to ergonomics between GX7 and E-M1, the Panasonic lose totally. The change can look only to be how pocketable the camera is, but the change is huge in photography manner and speed.

I don't mind what camera they have picked as best. As I made my decision based my needs and what I had available to me.

Thats why I don't so much give worth to these tests other than inform what is out there, as the final decision must come from me and only from my experience.

It is exactly the situation where people run buy stuff what Consumer Reports rates as best, instead testing and valuating products itself. Like if you are out there to get a good camera or lens, rent or borrow or even buy one and test it. Be a careful with the products to maintain their quality so you can return it in perfect condition as you got it in 14-30 days if you didn't like it, or re-sell it with little lower price (Like I did with A7, pay 1599€ for body and then re-sell it two months later for 1499€ without a scratch on it).

It is easy and cheap to actually test gear buying them and then re-selling them with little smaller price. Or do upgrades quickly after new model is presented. That way having a best gear for yourself is very cheap year after year and not at all so expensive as for many when they do upgrades after few years.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to Jim Salvas, 7 months ago

Jim Salvas wrote:

This is good for the GX7, Panasonic and it's supporters.

However, I've come to realize that CR does a much better job of helping people avoid the worst products than it does of picking the best. That's because something which is truly bad is bad for everyone, but what's best depends on individual preference.

For the GX7 and the EM1, for instance, if you value video, there is a clear choice for the GX7. If you value an outstanding viewfinder, the EM1 is your easy choice. and if you value these things, does it matter that one camera or another leads by one rating point?

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Jim Salvas

I take the same approach to CR that you do, but wouldn't think of using this approach for CR's camera ratings.  While it has a longstanding reputation as reputable company that doesn't take advertising, IMO, it has expanded into products where its knowledge is quite limited.

In looking at CR's ratings, the top DSLR is the Canon T5i, which is rated above the D7100, 70D, 7D and K3 (among others).

Among mirrorless cameras, the GX7 is tied for the top rating with the NX30.

As far using CR to avoid the worst products is concerned, the CR ratings suggest that one should avoid the E-PL5, which is rated below the Pentax Q and only one point above the Nikon J1.

Testing methodology is not explained and lumping together entry level and enthusiast cameras also limits the value of the ratings.

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jeffharris
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to gollywop, 7 months ago

gollywop wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

Gee Glen, I'm not even sure about washing machines – unless you want a safe (but not necessarily best) bet for a discontinued model.

Washing machines? That's easy. Buy European. ASKO, Miele or Bosch.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

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I disagree - I find that they put quite a bit more weight on things like ergonomics, and less weight on stuff that most folks don't care that much about, like the sensor performance at extremely high ISOs.

Could you back this up? I have both print and online subscriptions and am unable to decipher CR's weighing system.

I certainly believe that they bring much more of the average user's perspective to the evaluation than gearhead centric sights like DPReview do. They may not know everything about cameras, but they know much more about what the average person wants in a camera than sites like this one does.

What, specifically, makes you think they know much more about what the average person wants in a camera than DPR?  Personally, I think they make it more difficult for the average person to choose when they lump entry level cameras in with much higher priced enthusiast cameras.

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to MichaelKJ, 7 months ago

MichaelKJ wrote:

Jim Salvas wrote:

This is good for the GX7, Panasonic and it's supporters.

However, I've come to realize that CR does a much better job of helping people avoid the worst products than it does of picking the best. That's because something which is truly bad is bad for everyone, but what's best depends on individual preference.

For the GX7 and the EM1, for instance, if you value video, there is a clear choice for the GX7. If you value an outstanding viewfinder, the EM1 is your easy choice. and if you value these things, does it matter that one camera or another leads by one rating point?

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Jim Salvas

I take the same approach to CR that you do, but wouldn't think of using this approach for CR's camera ratings. While it has a longstanding reputation as reputable company that doesn't take advertising, IMO, it has expanded into products where its knowledge is quite limited.

In looking at CR's ratings, the top DSLR is the Canon T5i, which is rated above the D7100, 70D, 7D and K3 (among others).

Among mirrorless cameras, the GX7 is tied for the top rating with the NX30.

As far using CR to avoid the worst products is concerned, the CR ratings suggest that one should avoid the E-PL5, which is rated below the Pentax Q and only one point above the Nikon J1.

Testing methodology is not explained and lumping together entry level and enthusiast cameras also limits the value of the ratings.

Actually, I own and use the E-PL5, and am pleased with it - and if you actually read what they have to say, their critique of the camera is entirely valid.   They downgraded it for having poor video, and for having a poor LCD screen, and poor flash performance.  They ranked the image quality right at the same level as the top rated cameras.  It just so happens those ARE significant weaknesses of the camera for many people - just not for me - I don't use the flash, and I don't shoot video, and I ALWAYS use the accessory VF-2 viewfinder.   Within those constraints, the camera is otherwise outstanding.   But for the average user, those weaknesses are REAL weaknesses, and the camera was downgraded for it.   But if someone were to intelligently read the specifics of what they said about each camera - you can figure out if the particular shortcoming that it was downgraded for is relevant to you and how you plan on using it.

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to MichaelKJ, 7 months ago

MichaelKJ wrote:

dougjgreen1 wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm glad you're happy about this, but CR wouldn't know a good camera if it bit them in the butt. GX7 just MIGHT be the best mirrorless on the market, but I doubt they have any idea why or how it got that way. Trust their judgement on washing machines, but don't rely on their judgement on cameras.

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I disagree - I find that they put quite a bit more weight on things like ergonomics, and less weight on stuff that most folks don't care that much about, like the sensor performance at extremely high ISOs.

Could you back this up? I have both print and online subscriptions and am unable to decipher CR's weighing system.

I certainly believe that they bring much more of the average user's perspective to the evaluation than gearhead centric sights like DPReview do. They may not know everything about cameras, but they know much more about what the average person wants in a camera than sites like this one does.

What, specifically, makes you think they know much more about what the average person wants in a camera than DPR? Personally, I think they make it more difficult for the average person to choose when they lump entry level cameras in with much higher priced enthusiast cameras.

I have followed Consumer Reports ratings of cameras for 40 years now.   I have found that the cameras they like are generally speaking, ALWAYS the cameras that are easiest to use and get good results out of.  They don't give points to the sort of features that specialized users and pros care most about - like the ability to fire off bracketed bursts, the ability to change viewfinders, and motor drives and the like.   They have always been ahead of the curve in valuing lightweight, small and straightforward operation over bulk, complexity, and high-end features.   If you know this, and understand this, you can very usefully process what their ratings say related to how YOU will use the product.   For example, see my comments about their rating of the E-PL5 in my most recent prior post in this thread.

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dougjgreen1
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to LMNCT, 7 months ago

LMNCT wrote:

I remember the Leica CL being rated lower than a Kodak (model escapes me) because the Leica was more expensive and the Kodak could record and image. I laughed when I read it then...and although I am very fond of my GX7, I have no idea of how it stacks up for someone else. We all want different things from the tools that we use and therefore it is impossible for anyone to make a judgement for us.

It wasn't.  The Leica CL was rated lower than the Konica Auto S-2, the Minolta HiMatic 7s, and the Olympus 35 SP.   Nowadays, all of those cameras are regarded as classics.

They downgraded the CL because it was expensive, and not any better than the above.  I've owned the Konica and the Olympus, and they ARE better for 95% of all photographers than the CL is.  The ONLY reason to buy the CL is to use it with uber-expensive interchangeable Leica lenses.

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KTClown
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

I don't pay much attention to their rating, better resources on the net from those who do only cameras and related equipment with real world use.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

dougjgreen1 wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

Jim Salvas wrote:

This is good for the GX7, Panasonic and it's supporters.

However, I've come to realize that CR does a much better job of helping people avoid the worst products than it does of picking the best. That's because something which is truly bad is bad for everyone, but what's best depends on individual preference.

For the GX7 and the EM1, for instance, if you value video, there is a clear choice for the GX7. If you value an outstanding viewfinder, the EM1 is your easy choice. and if you value these things, does it matter that one camera or another leads by one rating point?

-- hide signature --

Jim Salvas

I take the same approach to CR that you do, but wouldn't think of using this approach for CR's camera ratings. While it has a longstanding reputation as reputable company that doesn't take advertising, IMO, it has expanded into products where its knowledge is quite limited.

In looking at CR's ratings, the top DSLR is the Canon T5i, which is rated above the D7100, 70D, 7D and K3 (among others).

Among mirrorless cameras, the GX7 is tied for the top rating with the NX30.

As far using CR to avoid the worst products is concerned, the CR ratings suggest that one should avoid the E-PL5, which is rated below the Pentax Q and only one point above the Nikon J1.

Testing methodology is not explained and lumping together entry level and enthusiast cameras also limits the value of the ratings.

Actually, I own and use the E-PL5, and am pleased with it - and if you actually read what they have to say, their critique of the camera is entirely valid. They downgraded it for having poor video, and for having a poor LCD screen, and poor flash performance. They ranked the image quality right at the same level as the top rated cameras. It just so happens those ARE significant weaknesses of the camera for many people - just not for me - I don't use the flash, and I don't shoot video, and I ALWAYS use the accessory VF-2 viewfinder. Within those constraints, the camera is otherwise outstanding. But for the average user, those weaknesses are REAL weaknesses, and the camera was downgraded for it. But if someone were to intelligently read the specifics of what they said about each camera - you can figure out if the particular shortcoming that it was downgraded for is relevant to you and how you plan on using it.

Your response about the need to "intelligently read the specifics" calls into question why you made such a big deal about the GX7 having CR's highest rating (actually, you failed to note that it tied for first with the NX30).  Do you really think CR's point system makes sense? No explanation is provided for how the ratings are determined, and the category scores provide only a rough indication. For example, despite being rating lower on both flash and LCD quality (and equal in the other categories), the E-M1 score is only one point below that of the GX7.

I think most would agree that the average CR reader is likely to automatically rule out cameras with lower scores, including the E-PL5.

Btw, CR rated the GH3's video quality "very good" while giving the D7100 and RX10 "excellent" ratings.

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jkrumm
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to dougjgreen1, 7 months ago

You make some good points, but I think CR should review enthusiast type cameras for likely buyers, and in this case that means hobbyists, not unknowing consumers looking for a safe purchase.

I've subscribed to CR for many years, but increasingly I compare them to other reviewers and user reviews before purchases, including for things like washing machines and dishwashers and vacuums.

It's good to treat them a little like DXO.... look at the measurements if there are any, and take the final score with a grain of salt.

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robonrome
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Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera
In reply to pede59, 7 months ago

pede59 wrote:

s_grins wrote:

This is a huge deal for Panasonic.

Probably true. But i cannot imagine that a lot of photo enthusiasts look for CR for camera reviews.

but photo enthusiasts aren't where the money is… its all the general consumers who want a new camera because they think it will take better photos for them for a trip, new baby etc, that will take notice (superficially to what's number 1)

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