Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera

Started Apr 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: Consumer Reports rates Panasonic GX7 top mirrorless camera

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?

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.

 MichaelKJ's gear list:MichaelKJ's gear list
Sony RX100 III Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +1 more
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