How does dpreview do their comparative ratings?

Started Aug 10, 2014 | Questions thread
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Kawika Nui Contributing Member • Posts: 596
How does dpreview do their comparative ratings?

I've been looking to buy a camera to supplement or replace my GH3. (I'm generally happy with the GH3, but nothing is perfect, and I have found the telephoto zoom lens selection to be limited.)

Most of my shooting is outdoor action, daytime, at fairly long distances (over 80 yards, up to several hundred yards). The MFT format is nice for this due to the crop factor. A 300mm lens can bring things a lot closer.

My equipment criteria are: good IQ, good telephoto zoom, good burst rate and depth, good 60p video; other priorities are reasonable size and weight, and convenience.

I have compared the Nikon D3300, GH3 and Olympus EM1 and EM10. This is where the confusion starts.

DxOMark rates the D3300 sensor much higher than the other cameras. The Nikon 28-300mm lens is also rated significantly higher than the tele-zooms of Olympus and Panasonic, which also have nowhere near the overall range of focal length.

dpreview rates the D3300 significantly lower than the other cameras. This in spite of having far better lens selection, better IQ, lighter than most of the others, higher resolution, and 60p video (which the Olympus cameras do not have). Other than fixed screen and a modest but adequate burst rate, I see no area in which the D3300 falls short, and it would seem that other factors (much larger sensor, higher resolution, etc.) would more than compensate.

Obviously I'm missing something here; I'm trying to make a buying choice and the more research I do, the murkier the results.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I'm not looking for advice on what to buy; I'm trying to understand how dpreview reaches the relative ratings. I notice, for example, that the FZ1000 is rated higher by dpreview than the D3300. I'm assuming that this is a rating relative to other cameras in its class; is this what is happening with the MFT ratings (higher than the D3300 because the D3300 is measured against other APS-C cameras and the MFTs are rated against each other)? If so, it makes the entire comparison system far less useful--now that many photographers are in fact using MFT as an alternative to APS-C.

Nikon D3300 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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