Gold Award for A7R3 from DPReview!

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Tony Jay Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: 90%

Bruce Oudekerk wrote:

The bad news is that I had, have and will have a problem with DPReview’s overall numeric camera assessment. Admittedly they have a right to their opinion but this score could adversely affect the decision making process of someone not intimately familiar with their process. For one thing, that ‘grade’ obfuscates distinguishing one model camera from another as time passes. The a7RIII is a significant step up from the a7RII in all but image quality yet they both have a score of 90%. I understand the time factor but does everyone? That ‘grade’ also obfuscates the distinguishing characteristics within one model by weighing features that mean nothing to some potential buyers. Video is an obvious example because it has its own category but there are potentially ‘trendy’ feature sets that might or might not weigh hidden in other categories. As an example, the feature de jour might be some combination of GPS, dual card slots, apps or intervalometers.

The good news is that I believe they always do a great job everywhere else in the review.

While I have a fat paragraph on the rant and a skinny one on the good news… the fact that DPreview did, does and will do a stellar job on their reviews is the only thing of real substance. Kudos on another substantive camera assessment.


I think any review system has its limitations. The obvious problem is that the less one knows, well, the less one is able to interpret the data. Conversely, the more one knows the easier it is to interpret.

I agree that the A7R III is a significant step-up on its predecessor in almost every way apart from its sensor. In terms of old slide film cameras, the slide film hasn't changed but there is a completely different camera encapsulating that slide film!

Several individuals, both on DPR and beyond have poo-pooed this camera because it use the same sensor as its predecessor. That would be a big mistake! Yes, the sensor is always important, but a camera is much, much more than just its sensor. The practical utility of this camera, compared to the A7R II, is exponentially greater - arguably, this camera competes as one of the best all-round bodies in the history of digital cameras!

It does mean, however, that it is probably not the best available for every specific use-case. One needs only to look at the Sony A9 and its incredible capabilities never mind the vast array of brilliant offerings from other manufacturers.

DPR's review system has its limitations for those who are in the market for entry-level equipment. For, those with more insight, because of long years of experience interpreting these reviews is not an issue. Also, in this day-and-age, it is simplicity itself to find a multiple of excellent reviews across the net. Yes, I know that for every good review there are potentially dozens of crap reviews, and, subsequently a whole new degree of insight is required to discern the best reviews and reviewers. It just got back to my first point - the more one knows the easier it is to figure out...

There is an inescapable envelope that governs this process that requires a lot of experience and active learning in order to develop the insight to properly interpret  data in any technical domain...                                                                       Photography is no different.

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