Richard Butler

Richard Butler

DPReview Administrator
Lives in United Kingdom Seattle, United Kingdom
Works as a Technical Editor
Joined on Nov 7, 2007
About me:

Richard graduated as a scientist but had a lot more fun writing and shooting for his university magazine. A number of years spent variously as a reporter, writer and editor on science and engineering titles combined his knowledge of science with his interest in images and words. But it was spotting the connections between emission spectra, white balance and all the nonsense he'd taught himself playing around in Photoshop that helped kindle an interest in digital photography. Searching for a camera led to him discovering DPReview and Richard was recruited by Phil Askey in 2007. He's been combining his love of photography, communication and attention to detail (pedantry?) ever since.

He has unusually strong opinions about lenses for the APS-C format.

Comments

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On article Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 In-Depth Review (11 comments in total)
In reply to:

Carl bcn: I still remember when this review was posted. It stroke me as odd that such an engineering breakthrough in the compact market at the time, only got a 78% and a silver award. The RX100 was meant to change the rules of a particular camera segment, or so it seemed at the time.

Six years later I think it's safe to say it did change the rules, so my disagreement with some aspects of this review is stronger. As much as the original RX100 was not perfect, it was a game changer at many levels and AFAIK, it was the first of a new type of compact cameras. Yes, the menus were not great, and there were some omissions, but no camera is perfect. I even ended up owning one (for a few years), and I was blown away.
This is not meant as a criticism to dpreview as a whole, I'd say 99% of the time I agree with the reviews or at the very least, I find them extremely well-argued. But 6 years later, I still think this one (at least the rating/award thing) was a bit unfair. Of course this is just my opinion.

Hi Carl, thanks for your feedback. It's certainly interesting to look back at what the passing of time reveals to be significant products.

The key thing is that we review cameras primarily for would-be buyers. We also hope other people will find our reviews interesting but it's people thinking about spending their own, hard-earned money that are front-of-mind when we're writing. We don't want them to make a purchase they regret, based on what we've said.

That's at the heart of our awards. It's telling, perhaps, that the previous version of the awards were called "Recommended" and "Highly Recommended."

The RX100 is a great test-case of this. It was a breakthrough and I agree it changed the rules. I hope the conclusion of the review makes clear that we recognised that.

The problem is that the knowledge that your camera is *significant* doesn't make it any better to use. And, compared with the enthusiast compacts of the day, its handling and operation was primitive...

Link | Posted on Jul 23, 2018 at 18:07 UTC
In reply to:

M H S: thank you for this timely article...

it had been nearly half a week since the last time DPR pimped this new offering.

I would love a dedicated all-Sony version of the web site... but kind of like the light /dark theme choice you offer.

I can certainly credit Phil and DPR with me discovering, embracing and learning about digital photography too, so please don't think I'm in any way trying to downplay what the site achieved.

It's certainly not just about the numbers. We want our reviews to be just as informative as the old ones were, while also being easier for more people to understand. On top of that, we want to make content for a broader audience *as well as* the dedicated, knowledgeable readers we already have.

M H S - I certainly hope we'll be bringing you some of those things in the not-too-distant future, as well as the reviews on which our reputation is based. I say this in part because there are several tech/science pieces I want to write!

A lot of work is currently being put into ways to re-establish lens reviews, for instance. As we approach the site's 20th anniversary, we want to make sure that we offer more and better things than we ever have.

I hope you both stay tuned.

Link | Posted on Jul 22, 2018 at 00:41 UTC
In reply to:

M H S: thank you for this timely article...

it had been nearly half a week since the last time DPR pimped this new offering.

I would love a dedicated all-Sony version of the web site... but kind of like the light /dark theme choice you offer.

That's the first time I've ever heard of Phil having a column.

I was a reader/forum member at DPR for several years before joining the staff. Not wanting to speak for Phil but one of the main benefits to the site was supposed to be that the investment would allow the expansion of content (taking on Andy Westlake to develop a lens testing protocol, for instance).

We clearly have very different memories of what the site was like. I remember it, as a reader and later as a new employee, as being almost solely camera focused.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2018 at 19:28 UTC
In reply to:

Frank Z C: I won't buy it because it's still without the timelapse , and with that kind of price.

Mike FL - The latest generation of Sony cameras: a9, RX10 VI, a7R III, a7 III, RX100 VI and RX100 V(A) are no longer compatible with PlayMemories Camera Apps.

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2018 at 06:09 UTC
In reply to:

M H S: thank you for this timely article...

it had been nearly half a week since the last time DPR pimped this new offering.

I would love a dedicated all-Sony version of the web site... but kind of like the light /dark theme choice you offer.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by Phil's "Professional Photographer" days.

We are actively trying to re-expand our coverage at present (though we've not reviewed scanners or lighting equipment in the nearly eleven years I've worked here, which included the last three years of Phil's time at the site).

Link | Posted on Jul 21, 2018 at 01:26 UTC
In reply to:

M H S: thank you for this timely article...

it had been nearly half a week since the last time DPR pimped this new offering.

I would love a dedicated all-Sony version of the web site... but kind of like the light /dark theme choice you offer.

Richard in UK: One of the things we have been doing in recent months is expanding the coverage of accessories and lenses. But many more people read our camera content than any other subject matter, so it will always have more total coverage. Of our last fifteen sample galleries only two have been Sony, but it's the proportion of camera coverage that I think people are complaining about, and which should improve when other brands launch more stuff.

As I believe is also said in the UK: "let's be fair."

Richard - dpreview.com

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 23:26 UTC
In reply to:

mcleanwalt: YOUR REVIEWS TAKE WAY TOO LONG -- Your reviews take so long to complete that by the time they are out the camera is almost out of date.

You're welcome to complain. We don't think we get everything right.

We've worked very hard to reduce the average time to review but there will occasionally be a camera that takes longer than we'd like to get to the front of the review queue.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 21:58 UTC
In reply to:

M H S: thank you for this timely article...

it had been nearly half a week since the last time DPR pimped this new offering.

I would love a dedicated all-Sony version of the web site... but kind of like the light /dark theme choice you offer.

When Phil Askey ran the site, Canon was pretty much the only maker using CMOS. Their cameras had pretty well-worked out ergonomics and better low light performance than their rivals.

Sony, for all its innovation, isn't getting more coverage because it's got a major advantage at present. It's because nobody else is releasing cameras.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 21:22 UTC
In reply to:

kungpaogao: What lens do you use for this test?

No need to guess: that information is listed under the [ i ] button (or is it a cog button these days?) next to every image.

The article linked at the top of this page also makes this clear.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 20:59 UTC
On article Spoilt for choice: which Sony RX100 is right for you? (577 comments in total)
In reply to:

Photoman: Where is the Hasselblad version?!

I'm afraid that joke is [three years out-of-date](https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0836495084/hasselblad-interview-ceo-perry-oosting).

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 19:17 UTC
On article Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 VI review (464 comments in total)
In reply to:

Photos Of Our Planet: Where the heck are all the technical specs? It's been about a year since I've been here, because I haven't needed a new camera or got the itch to read some good reviews. Usually there was a big chart with all the specs comparing this model and previous models on the first or second page of the review. I looked through the review twice and could not find it anywhere. Reviews are useless without a complete list of all the specifications. It is the first thing that I look for when comparing a camera. Have you guys decided just to dumb down the reviews with a bunch of opinions and pictures? If it's somewhere in the review and I missed it, my bad. If someone can point it out that would be helpful. Otherwise reviews from this site no longer hold value to me.

The "big chart with all the specs comparing this model and previous models on the first or second page of the review" is on the second page of the review.

Overlooking the possibility that, at their core, **all** reviews are just a bunch of opinions and pictures, I simply forgot to include a specs page. You can find it as page 10. Sorry about that oversight.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:38 UTC
In reply to:

cdembrey: Travel camera? Why do you need a special camera for travel. The Rebel or D5000 you already own is a good camera for traveling. So is a Leica M10 or a M4/3. A smart-phone doesn't need any extra gear purchases for traveling.

Add the travel camera to the long list of nonsense invented to separate the gullible from their limited funds. Meh!

The implication isn't that everyone needs a travel camera. It's that some people want to buy a camera and their primary interest is to have a camera to go travelling with.

Our use-case-based recommendations aren't that everyone should buy a landscape camera and a travel camera and a sports and wildlife camera... They're guides for people for whom that's their primary interest. And, in addition to our main recommendations, we also have the details of other potential choices and links to our full reviews so that people can make the most informed choice possible.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:30 UTC
On article Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 VI review (464 comments in total)
In reply to:

iae aa eia: I didn't like the video sample. It doesn't look smooth. Considering video as an essential part of a digital camera today, I don't agree with DPReview this is the best choice for a travel camera.

That's why the review repeatedly criticises the camera for its lack of built-in ND filter, since it means the video will usually look choppy, unless you're willing to glue a filter mount onto the front of a $1200 camera.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:20 UTC
In reply to:

Aleks7: please no more.
or rename yourself to SONY dpreview if you plan to continue this one brand focus

girlperson1 - you may believe that but you're wrong.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:16 UTC
In reply to:

pwilly: Very nice for a fixed lens however who would spend 2X instead of this?
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1398407-REG/panasonic_dmc_gx85wk_lumix_dmc_gx85_mirrorless_micro.html?sts=pi
Bigger sensor, better lenses, and with the 12-32 just as pocketable.

pwilly - The GX85 is a lovely camera. It got a very positive review and is currently one of our recommendations in the '[Best camera for video Buying Guide](https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/buying-guide-best-cameras-for-video)'.

However, it's currently selling for less than half its launch price which, along with the launch of a plausible replacement, usually hints at discontinuation. We can't sensibly check the price of every camera to see which ones are being sold off (and in which countries should we check?) and then update our Buying Guides to take advantage of short-term bargains.

Equally, a twin-lens kit is *substantially* larger than a pocket compact and much less travel friendly.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:08 UTC
In reply to:

ozturert: Change the name to SReview (Sony review) please

We can only talk about what's actually being released.

When a camera is reviewed, we look at our Buying Guide recommendations to see whether the new camera deserves to feature as one of our selections. This is the process for all brands. We just need them to announce some cameras!

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 18:03 UTC
In reply to:

telefunk: Is it really asking too much to have DPR shoot the studio scene with the standard kitzoom, like all major european sites? This gives a much more realistic image of the combo performance, knowing full well most people (myself included) never need more than the 24-70 range...
C'mon DPR you can do it, one half hour more!

"One half hour more" - if only.

The test scene is primarily designed to show how the *camera* performs. Kit lenses are highly variable, between focal lengths and between copies. It would take a huge time commitment to find the optimal focal length to shoot at, only to immediately be told "my copy is better than that."

The [article linked at the top of this page](https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4553555371/introducing-the-test-scene) explains the logic behind the way we shoot the scene.

Link | Posted on Jul 20, 2018 at 17:47 UTC
On article Fujifilm's XF10 is a small, wide-angle APS-C compact (790 comments in total)
In reply to:

marc petzold: Billy form the FujiGuys says, it does feature 35 & 50mm equivalent focal range Cropmode built into.

See the vid here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzjd0PxY8Uw

Sounds like it's JPEG only, so I didn't mention it in our write-up, but there seems to be a reasonable amount of chatter about it, so I'll try to remember to try it once we get hold of a camera.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2018 at 19:53 UTC
On article Fujifilm's XF10 is a small, wide-angle APS-C compact (790 comments in total)
In reply to:

marc petzold: Billy form the FujiGuys says, it does feature 35 & 50mm equivalent focal range Cropmode built into.

See the vid here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzjd0PxY8Uw

So does the press release: "With the Digital Teleconverter function, the camera is capable of taking photos with equivalent focal lengths of 35mm and 50mm on a 35mm format."

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2018 at 19:49 UTC
On article Fujifilm's XF10 is a small, wide-angle APS-C compact (790 comments in total)
In reply to:

JackM: AA filter?

Not specified.

24MP is around the point on APS-C where some companies try removing the AA filter. Whether that's a good idea is likely to depend on how sharp the lens is.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2018 at 19:47 UTC
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