Too clever by half, and (perhaps the unkindest cut of all) a lopsided point of view.
Lots of yen but no yang. The examples are not well-rounded, lack focus, and would shed little light on the subject were they twice the size.
The text is plagued with semi-circular reasoning throughout. Something's missing here, I'm of two minds. Side-splitting nonetheless.
ericwestpheling: so they didn't fix any of the ergonomic issues, added no evf, and they abandoned the main draw of full-color sampling for each pixel...go team Sigma! You will make a great wikipedia footnote about bad product design.
Scottelly can share your enthusiasm and appreciation of promising improvements to the DPx series cameras, but will also point out that "yellow flowers" is not a good example of scene elements with a lot of blue in them.
E_Nielsen: As a DP2 Merrill owner, I am intrigued by the new Quattro technology and the promise that file sizes and processing times will be reduced. (Well done, Sigma!) However, I didn't see any mention of the feature I miss the most: image stabilization.
As much as I love the DP2 Merrill, I have been disappointed a number of times when I discovered that some very promising photos, which looked sharp in the LCD, were actually slightly shaken. In most cases, I realized that I should have used a tripod, but that was not always an option at the time. And doesn't carrying a tripod everywhere defeat the purpose of having a compact camera? I hope the Quattros will address this shortcoming.
Actually light, compact cameras (where for example the optical center of the lens is nicely physically close to the tripod mount, and there is not a lot of weight hanging out away from the tripod mount) make it PRACTICAL to take a light weight tripod with you everywhere.
photo_rb: Thanks for doing up this review, I have been very interested in this camera. But I wish you had done two separate reviews and included one for professionals who would never set the camera to record in JPEG mode. It is frustrating reading this review and seeing all the references to image quality issues.
Agreed that if you want a not-super-fast-in-every-way camera like this, and you also want more potential image quality than aps-c cameras, the odds of you not knowing how to handle raw files, and also being happy with COMPLETELY UNEDITED JPEGS are slim to none. Thus the folks who "need" such a camera have to simply ignore all the JPEG talk. But the folks wiho "need" or would at least notice this camera's relative image quality are also plenty smart and knowledgeable enough, to have no trouble ignoring the JPEG comments in this review. So do not agree that it is worth anyone's time and trouble to have 2 separate reviews for any one camera, and am glad that DPreview did not bother generating 2 different reviews.
SonyA7r: Great to see that majority of the A7 owners are in agreement that the DP review is off the rails. As far as I know and all the reviews I read, the JPEG engine of this camera is way way better than other Sony cameras!
Why bother spending/investing time reading a review if you're not going to trust the reviewer's judgement? A little like paying a doctor for advice, with a plan to only be happy with the doctor if they confirm something you already think. Better to spend ones time(money etc) elsewhere.
Congratulations on a pretty extensive piece of work, in a fairly mundane and thankless area.
One could argue pros and cons for any choice of what level of ball head to review, and of how many to include, but can see the point of choosing to compare just the top-of-the-line gear. Because those are the no-excuses products from each manufacturer. If these biggest ballheads are not smooth, or shift a bunch as you stop them down, or are hard to control, or are missing controls, the smaller ones from the same manufacturer are certainly not going to be any better.
Anyone can complain about what ball heads are missing. Would offer a slightly more creative suggestion, that you do a similarly exacting and well-written review of a bunch of different clamping and plate systems. For example some Arca-Swiss clamps of varying degrees of safety and convenience, some wonderfully small KPS and Velbon QB3 clamp/plates, some real quick and convenient Manfrotto clamps, etc.
How wonderful to illuminate that lower-vignetting lenses can effectively increase your dynamic range. Because you don't need to brighten (i.e. increase noise in) their corners.
Thus using over-designed-for-full-frame lenses on an APS-C camera, and/or simply taking-wider-then-cropping photos, can end up giving you the same or improved dynamic range--compared to tightly framing a full-frame 35mm shot with a high-vignetting lens.
By analogy, low-distortion lenses, and using lenses in a way that does not call for perspective correction, can effectively increase their resolution. Because you don't have stretch and smear their pixels in software.
RussellInCincinnati: Also what is the compelling need for Ricoh to innovate in this camera class at this moment? The GR is all of, what, 6 months old? Is there another camera with quite this low weight/size, and quite this lens quality that also has an APS-C or larger sensor?
Could see making fun of Ricoh's "lack of innovation" as evidenced by this cosmetic announcement, if the Ricoh GR was years old and way behind the times, say. Which would be true if you could buy an APS-C camera now with a noticeably sharper lens, or significantly less weight, or one that produces noticeably less noisy raw files. What would that much more modern camera be?
So all accurate descriptions of some of Ricoh's accomplishments, that do not happen to include descriptions of their Ricoh's mis-steps, are by definition mindless? Doubt you would talk this way to a person standing in front of you.
Also what is the compelling need for Ricoh to innovate in this camera class at this moment? The GR is all of, what, 6 months old? Is there another camera with quite this low weight/size, and quite this lens quality that also has an APS-C or larger sensor?
Not a bad deal at all if you planned on buying the name-brand hood and adapter anyway. You pay all of about $15 dollars more for this kit with hood and adapter, and you get some trim that somebody might even like.
This is a brilliant idea if the lens is super. Awfully fun to see it compared (or just as well, comparably tested so that we can make up our comparison), as others mention, with the new Zeiss 55/1.8, the Otus Zeiss 50/1.4, the best Leica 50's, the venerable Canon 50/1.4 and the Nikon 50/1.4 G, the Zeiss 50/2 macro and the old Zeiss 50/1.4, Sigma 50/1.4, Sony or Minolta AF 50/1.4, even the new Fuji 56/1.2 APS lens etc.
Long lenses especially favor a single-element or single-group design. Because you save money on having a lot of big elements. Can imagine a reasonably-priced 200mm F/4 for APS-C for example, perhaps with push-pull focusing.
Downside of single-element designs include saying good-bye to internal focusing, oh well.
Great article, suggests many avenues of improvement of simple (not necessarily one single spherical element) lens. How about what could be done with a single ASPHERICAL element? Or with a single cemented group of two (possibly aspherical surface) elements?
Also makes one think about the many aspects of photography that could be IMPROVED by computational enhancement of super-simple lenses, instead of just "focusing" on the limitations...
For example, let's think of how simple and predictable (i.e. so easily correctable) geometric distortion would be as the output of a single-element or better yet single-group lens.
Consider how low-flare/glare-resistant super simple lenses can be, and/or how inexpensive it is to shield or baffle such lenses.
When you've only got one or two lens elements in a single group, heck you can afford to use super expensive glass all of a sudden.
And how is easy it would be to mass-produce a "perfectly" CENTERED lens, a challenge with all consumer lenses.
According to this sample photo, this is a pretty serious 245 gram camera.
papparazzi: Canon will CRUSH them. Just wait and see. ;)
Let's see your photos that support your fact-free criticisms, one taken with a Canon sensor and the other with a Sony sensor of the same size, from similarly priced and similar-generation cameras and similar workflow, that show the Canon with terrible shadow noise compared to the Sony at reasonable image size. Otherwise, spare us your concern troll bloviation.
Lots of information, with humanistic context as to its significance. A lucid, carefully and well-written article, thanks.
Photomonkey: Objects for sure. Just look at the endless chatter about the cameras and lenses, endless photos of brick walls and cats etc. They are tools only to a few. The rest are consumerists that the manufacturers have painted large red bulls eyes on.
Fairly jerky thing to say in part, because brick wall photos tend to be tools for easy technical communication of qualities of lenses. Rather than a sign that people's artistic expressions are so pathetic that they can only think to use their cameras to take pictures of brick walls.
xtoph: i have not given anyone permission to 'download original' files of my photographs. dpr's inclusion of a dedicated button for this is bizarre, and suggests that i somehow do give such permission.
i am aware that people can copy my photos, but there's a difference between that being technically possible and it being actively encouraged and tacitly approved.
please change this. and shame on dpr, after facebook's photographer unfriendly changes (including a 'download original' button we have no control over) and the backlash against them, you would think that a photographer-centered site would have handled this differently.
Have never thought of DPreview forums as a place to attempt to advertise my photographs while also preserving their sale-ability. More importantly nor does DPreview intend for the general forums to be places where you get free advertising of thumbnails of photographs you want to sell.
Thus shame on you for complaining, that DPreview forums interfere with your plan to have DPreview generate free thumbnails and publicity of your for-sale photos.
Put more simply, if you aren't planning to sell any of your DPreview-forum-posted photos, i.e. if you aren't planning to misuse the forums to get free commercial advertising, what the heck do you care whether or not people download "the original resolution" photos you've posted.
Nice if there were a bit of high-resolution target right at the edge of one of the long borders, in the middle. Happily there seems to be an engraving in the middle of one of the short borders, that serves that purpose.
Seeing as how ordinary questions are, resolution/performance at center, at center of long border edge, and at center of short border edge. And for compulsive types, extreme corners.
Kinematic Digit: Great upgrade! I installed it before a model shoot yesterday and the focus was snappy and fast with the Fujinon 35mm in mixed lighting.
I agree about the lack of minimum shutter control. The X100 has this and it really makes a difference if you're not paying attention to the warning on the screen (or have it turned off).
I would love to have focus peaking as well (I have it now on my 5DmkIII and love it). But I also found a different technique to help with focusing.
Turn on RAW+JPG, change film simulation to BWg, Custom WB, 2500K, WB Shift to top right corner of R9 B9, Sharpness to +2, Highlight Tone -2, Shadow Tone -2. This will create a high contrast over sharpened image that should make it much easier to focus manually with. Throw out the JPG image after downloading.
It also helps in AF mode as you'll see the image peak for a brief second to lock onto focus.
Given how it looks like FujiFilm is committed to incremental updates, I'm sure more will be coming down the pipe.
Thanks for this interesting suggestion, that am going to explore using with a Nex camera. Perhaps can suppress some of or even turn off focus peaking if your idea can be applied and works well.