Fascinating, thank you!
We can all agree that most photographers care about how their cameras look. But we can disagree reasonably on what is an attractive camera. Some of us see the Pen-F as a unimaginative attempt at a "retro" look, including illogically-placed controls, fake surfaces and handling compromises.
A comparative article with more than one point of view on the aesthetics of various cameras would be interesting. We already know from the flood of DPR adulation that the writer representing alternative aesthetics will have to be found outside the DPR office.
MPA1: Do people still shoot jpegs?
DPR, please start a forum for "Raw vs. JPG flaming" so we can contain that disease in one place.
Chris Noble: OK, some people like retro-looking cameras, with all their ergonomic compromises. But titling an article "Pride and joy" on a website that claims to offer factual reviews? Why not change your name to "Old-camera-lookalike afficionados"? Or better yet, focus more on timely, factual camera reviews and comparisons?
Of course we all want our cameras to be desirable and attractive. I'll keep my steel Swiss watch which I find very attractive and leave the gold-plated ones and the cameras without grips or useful thumb-rests ("retro") and wrapped in fake (what you call "faux") leather to others who find that attractive. Chacun à son goût! Thanks for the pleasant exchange and good shooting.
Interesting point Olymore, but I am quite certain that Olympus does not agree with you. They don't want to become Hasselblad. It's not just IQ, but also ergonomics, handling, the menu system, AF etc. I own and am quite fond of my Swiss mechanical watch (my only watch), but I also have my cell phone which tells me the accurate time when I really need it. I would not want to carry around a pretty camera (I don't find the PEN-F pretty, YRMV) and also a second camera when I need the performance of Olympus's competitors.
Good points Red.
That is the crux of the issue. In a side-to-side comparison with its direct competitors, the PEN-F would not do so well. But it's easy to find something to like about almost any camera, looked at in isolation. More high-quality and detailed comparisons, fewer gushing articles about individual cameras (especially with a "Buy now" button right below...) I think a lot of DPReview readers have asked for this.
Thanks for your gracious comment Carey. There are many innovative recent cameras that DPR has not reviewed, and you seem to shy away from dispassionate head-head comparisons. Reviews seem to be slipping more and more towards "here's yet another wonderful camera". Maybe I'm looking for more Consumer Reports and less Popular Photography. But I'm only criticizing because I am very fond of DPReview.
No Carey, my comment was pretty clearly about your puff piece.
OK, some people like retro-looking cameras, with all their ergonomic compromises. But titling an article "Pride and joy" on a website that claims to offer factual reviews? Why not change your name to "Old-camera-lookalike afficionados"? Or better yet, focus more on timely, factual camera reviews and comparisons?
Chris Noble: This article ignores the impact of lens mount on choosing a camera, and that typical readers of this publication don't choose one camera -- they often need a small walkaround camera as well as a bigger, more fully-featured one. Few of us are willing to buy a whole new set of lenses when we are looking for a new camera. I picked u43 years ago because of the support from both Panasonic, and Olympus for a wide range of bodies and from several independent lens manufacturers. Today I have a tiny pocket camera (GM5) and a workhorse camera (G7) that can take all my lenses.
I'm contributing the perspective of an amateur enthusiast who sometimes goes out for the express purpose of taking photographs with my main camera, and sometimes likes to throw a small camera in a pocket or bag before a social outing "just in case". The D600 is way too big for the second purpose, and the D4 is a big, heavy and very expensive camera targeted at pros. Keep on smiling!
This article ignores the impact of lens mount on choosing a camera, and that typical readers of this publication don't choose one camera -- they often need a small walkaround camera as well as a bigger, more fully-featured one. Few of us are willing to buy a whole new set of lenses when we are looking for a new camera. I picked u43 years ago because of the support from both Panasonic, and Olympus for a wide range of bodies and from several independent lens manufacturers. Today I have a tiny pocket camera (GM5) and a workhorse camera (G7) that can take all my lenses.
Franco8: What about the Panasonic GM 5 with the 12~32mm lens. Some say its not classed as a compact camera, but it is a lot smaller then the FZ1000 & X100. put a 15mm pancake lens on it and it will become a pocket camera.
The GM5 is much more compact, but it is not classified as a "Compact". Welcome to the world of leave-common-sense-at-home camera categories.
Today they "announce" and "introduce", and in Spring 2016 they "release". Presumably some day they "sell" and "deliver".
Yes, why cover the Pro 4 without even mentioning the Book, released at the same time?
I wonder what a Modern Boy would look like.
Talented photographers continue to publish new and original photos of the Eiffel tower. The reverse would be useful though -- a camera that tells you where the photogenic sites are in a foreign place.
The blurriness of the pendant is distracting. Shallow depth-of-field is sometimes beneficial but is over-used on DPR. However, the pose and crop are very good.
Chris Noble: Interesting article about a subject that deserves more scrutiny. Thank you! But I am afraid that your analysis is superficial and your conclusion faulty in this instance. There is more than one source of noise, and one of the purposes of analog gain (increasing ISO) is to reduce quantization noise from the A/D converter.
The place where you put the magnification box shows blooming and compression artifacts in the back-lit sign (although the lettering can be recovered up to ISO 3200 in Raw PP); but it is not a good demonstration of shadow noise, as the "dark" area is lit by the streetlight. Move the box to a shadow area (for example, the building top left that is almost in darkness), and you see very significant noise, decreasing steadily as ISO is increased up to 800, with minimal improvement beyond.
Sorry -- Raw histogram of the sign starts saturating at ISO 200. But looks well-behaved at ISO 100.
Good point Iliah. The exposure is the same for all the images so we're not seeing blooming; and the Raw histogram of the sign @ ISO 6400 looks very good. Still, what Rishi refers to as "massive highlight headroom" looks to me simply like 6 EV of Raw underexposure at base ISO, and lots of extra shadow noise up to ISO 800 (i.e. I don't see ISO-invariance).