Highly Recommended (Just)??!!

Started Dec 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,631
It's tough for them to avoid hurting anyone

We know that DPreview do not have any direct commercial ties - this is based on their own statements.

However they also do advertise a lot on their site. And even though they are free to speak their mind - again, their own statements are that when people advertise with them they remain free to have any opinion on the brand and prodcts - the fact is that, to an advertiser, it certainly is a better deal to advertise on a site that says that their brand or product is good, rather than they are bad.

Anyway and whatever the exact explanation, it seems quite clear that the conclusions on reviews do NOT seem distributed according to a bell-shaped curve, as should be more or less the case. This is in contrast with (much) lesser sites (the metric I use here is trafic, but clearly dpreview also have a huge amount of quality material on their site), such as photozone dot de, cameralabs dot com, and so on, who often dare to be fairly blunt in their conclusions: some products they like, some they don't (ok, maybe cameralabs uses "on the other hand" a bit too much). And, dare to dislike products, period.

These other sites, at least some of them, also dare to compare the recommendation to that of other similar cameras, directly in the review. Sure you can also do this on DPreview, but only by going back and forth between reviews.

As for grades vs. recommendation:

I think this was first pointed out in the Sony A550 review: the grades were high across the board and the GPA was higher than some models rated "highly recommended". But the verbal comments were less favourable.

And in the end the recommendation was based on the verbal stuff, rather than the GPA.
Conclusion, maybe grades should be attributed in a more systematic manner.

Or at least, there should be consistency, at the minimum within the review (if a camera has average IQ then the grade should reflect this - the Sony A550 was said to have so-so IQ in JPEG though good in RAW a paradox since targeted at novice users, the grade for this was high, the verbal comment was less good, and this did it in)

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