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

Total: 6382, showing: 121 – 140
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On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 review (836 comments in total)
In reply to:

raztec: If you haven't figured it out by now, but every manufacturer leaves out features and purposely handicaps many of its cameras so that consumers continue to clamour for more.

A better EVF, weather sealing and microphone jack would have made this almost perfect, but you'll never get such things all in one camera. They simply want you to keep upgrading to the next camera.

It's all marketing and never engineering that makes these decisions.

But similarly, do you risk not making a competitive product now (when one of your rivals does), just in the hope of selling more cameras to the same people?

Yes, you want to make sure that those people who want the best features buy your most expensive camera (that's just capitalism, I'm afraid), but do you hold back something today and risk a would-be customer becoming committed to another system?

Link | Posted on Aug 21, 2018 at 01:26 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 review (836 comments in total)
In reply to:

SkiHound: I think Panasonic's naming nomenclature killed this camera. For people wanting and expecting a true GX8 successor, it's a big fail. No environmental sealing, no audio input and output jacks, no fully articulated LCD, an EVF that takes a step back. It also hits the market at a lower price than the GX8 at introduction. Folks forget that many complained that the GX8 was too big, didn't have a flip LCD, and basically was not a true successor to the GX7. Evaluated for what it is, it's a dang good camera. I do little video, and no serious video. I wanted a relatively small, light body for street, travel, and as a a daily companion. And the GX9 fills that role really well. But, it's a camera that makes compromises and it's simply not the right tool for many jobs.

The difference being that the 5D series is already established at certain point in the market. That's not the case here. The GX9 is entirely consistent with the GX7. It's the GX8 that was the anomaly, not this newer model.

Panasonic clearly felt the GX7 audience was actually two audiences: a price-sensitive crowd who wanted a smaller camera (GX80/85) and a group that wanted a larger, no expense spared flagship model (GX8).

For whatever reason (low sales or competition with the G9-level model) they've decided that isn't the case, and have reverted to the previous strategy.

This happens every few years (Canon going to a smaller, plastic body with the EOS 60D to make room for the 7D. Nikon abandoning the D300S part of the market, and leaving the D7*x*00 series at the top of its APS-C line for many years). Newer cameras don't always offer a clear upgrade over their immediate predecessors.

Link | Posted on Aug 21, 2018 at 00:25 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 review (836 comments in total)
In reply to:

raztec: If you haven't figured it out by now, but every manufacturer leaves out features and purposely handicaps many of its cameras so that consumers continue to clamour for more.

A better EVF, weather sealing and microphone jack would have made this almost perfect, but you'll never get such things all in one camera. They simply want you to keep upgrading to the next camera.

It's all marketing and never engineering that makes these decisions.

Sorry to quote myself, but:

"[Product development isn’t about virtuous engineers who create lovely things and evil marketing people who take them away](https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/6810156214/marketing-isn-t-a-dirty-word-but-camera-companies-are-not-your-friends). It’s usually a back-and-forth to create models that suit a specific audience without overwhelming them with tools and features they don’t necessarily want or producing cameras they can’t afford."

Link | Posted on Aug 20, 2018 at 22:38 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 review (836 comments in total)
In reply to:

P10004K: No external battery charger in the box a con in 2018 ? Really ? Go on Amazon and get it with a few batteries for like $20. The cameras that don't have built-in USB charging is the big con today, ask any youtuber.

We consider USB charging to be a pro but we also consider leaving out a charger to be a Con.

As always, these are things that may or may not matter to you (not every Pro will benefit every photographer and not every 'Con' will be significant to everyone). They're things you may wish to be aware of.

Link | Posted on Aug 20, 2018 at 21:48 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 review (836 comments in total)
In reply to:

Karroly: DPR,
Comparison table in the "What's new and how it compares" chapter :
The GX8 and GX85 feature CDAF with DFD and no hybrid AF.

Yup, sorry about that. I've corrected it.

Link | Posted on Aug 20, 2018 at 21:45 UTC
In reply to:

Old Cameras: So you’re saying it’s a blend...
No thanks.

BlackSpy: at the risk of being even more pedantic: single malts aren't necessarily casks of the same age. Any age statement must refer to the youngest whisky included in the expression, not all the whiskies used.

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2018 at 21:43 UTC
In reply to:

MrALLCAPS: Nice to see DPR cater to the Olympus fanboys by having the EP1 as the cover pic, when it really should be the G1. The GF1 was also better RF styled camera.

The dislike for Lumix cameras over here, continues...

If you'd come to the site yesterday, the image used was of a G1. Similarly, the image used for the news story is of a Panasonic.

You're trying to read *far more* into this than makes sense.

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2018 at 21:35 UTC
In reply to:

racin06: What's laughable is how some FF shooters talk from both sides of their mouths...first saying there isn't much difference in terms of image quality between FF vs MF, while also stating that the FF far exceeds the image quality of APS-C. Seriously, I just have to laugh.

I don't think the difference is anything like as cut-and-dried as you imply. Depending on what properties you're looking for from a lens and which lenses you're looking at, I wouldn't state outright that the Hasselblad lenses are automatically better (even without factoring in whether they're better in proportion to their price).

I don't think it's misleading to think that "they can buy a FF Nikon system, and that it will compete with a Hasselblad MF for final IQ, as a system."

Link | Posted on Aug 14, 2018 at 21:22 UTC
In reply to:

Zvonimir Tosic: What attracted me to the m4/3 is that
• it can be small and casual,
• it can be robust and dedicatedly professional
• 4:3 format is optically more efficient than 3:2 formats
• lenses are smaller but optically less compromised than 3:2 counterparts
• lenses need less glass surface, which means better price; thinner elements, which means better colour reproduction, better micro-contrast, less weight, faster AF.
• magnification this system offers is sufficient for 99.5% of all enlargements.
• future m4/3 sensors will only be better, but FF lenses will never be smaller, better or more affordable than their best m4/3 counterparts.
• in terms of quality, m4/3 always gives more for the same money.
In short, the m4/3 is the smartest digital camera system. Thank you Olympus and Panasonic.

Apparently the 16:9 aspect ratio is the most efficient shape to make a television if it's going to show both the 4:3 shape used for SD-era TV and the ~2.33:1 aspect ratios used for cinema.

16:9 is the ratio born of compromise.

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 22:07 UTC
In reply to:

racin06: What's laughable is how some FF shooters talk from both sides of their mouths...first saying there isn't much difference in terms of image quality between FF vs MF, while also stating that the FF far exceeds the image quality of APS-C. Seriously, I just have to laugh.

I quite agree that lenses are part of the bigger picture. In [Rishi's full article](https://www.dpreview.com/opinion/2341704755/thinking-about-buying-medium-format-read-this-first) it acknowledges that it's easier to build a lens that can out-resolve 50MP if you're building for a larger sensor.

Similarly, the lenses for this Hasselblad cost *a lot* more than, say, one of the Sigma Art series, which should be good news in terms of factors such as alignment and consistency.

The review only says that the D850 as a camera body, should be able to be competitive in terms of IQ rather than saying it was *as good*, intentionally leaving room to consider the impact of lens choices.

However, my comment above is purely highlighting why it isn't a double-standard to point out that FF can have advantages over APS-C and yet can also be competitive with 44 x 33mm Medium Format.

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 18:50 UTC
In reply to:

Cocktail Time: The moire in the Studio Scene image is significant. Though I don't see any in the sample galleries I would be very hesitant to use the camera for product photography.

It can definitely appear in [real world photos](https://www.dpreview.com/sample-galleries/4234210046/hasselblad-x1d-sample-gallery/0126791254).

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 15:58 UTC
In reply to:

racin06: What's laughable is how some FF shooters talk from both sides of their mouths...first saying there isn't much difference in terms of image quality between FF vs MF, while also stating that the FF far exceeds the image quality of APS-C. Seriously, I just have to laugh.

There's a potential 1 1/3 EV light gathering advantage to FF over APS-C, which is twice the difference as between FF and 44 x 33mm Medium Format.

Also, most of the 44 x 33mm systems currently don't have many lenses that are as bright (in equivalent terms) as those for full frame, which eliminates that gap in certain circumstances.

If you then have a FF camera with a base ISO 2/3EV lower than the larger sensor cameras, the difference essentially disappears.

All formats are a compromise, all are a personal choice of size/price/IQ but without faster lenses or some way to match the Nikon ISO 64 mode, this camera risks offering more size but with comparable IQ.

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 15:53 UTC
In reply to:

cgarrard: "And in doing so, prompted us to use the term 'mirrorless' for the first time."

Actually you didn't call it mirrorless just yet, it was some time before a common term was to be used. I coined the term Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera "MILC" was the acronym. But mirrorless was much more simple and ended up sticking.

I think we'll get to the point that 'mirrorless' becomes redundant before we reach any sort of agreement on what to call them.

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 03:09 UTC
In reply to:

cgarrard: "And in doing so, prompted us to use the term 'mirrorless' for the first time."

Actually you didn't call it mirrorless just yet, it was some time before a common term was to be used. I coined the term Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera "MILC" was the acronym. But mirrorless was much more simple and ended up sticking.

Er, I've linked to the story from the day of launch where we called it mirrorless.

I agree we didn't use MILC until later. But I'm pretty sure that's the first time we'd needed the term 'mirrorless.'

Link | Posted on Aug 13, 2018 at 01:06 UTC
In reply to:

Class A: If Canon and Nikon are "the two companies most committed to their DSLR legacies", what does that make Pentax?

The brand that is "mostest committed to its DSLR legacy"?

Ah, that sentence has lost something along the way: it originally tried to imply that those two have the largest user bases and largest array of DSLR mount lenses, which leave them most committed/constrained. I see I've edited that nuance out.

Link | Posted on Aug 12, 2018 at 15:16 UTC
In reply to:

LFPCPH: About the first illustration. Those red lines does not show how the light passes through a lens and fall onto a sensor. If it is possible at all to illustrate how the light passes through a lens, surely the lines must cross in the middle of the lens and then spread out to fall all over the sensor. Not converge to its center.

Who made that illustration and what is the point ? (Other than to illustrate that there is no mirror in this design).

I did, and [in its full form](https://www.dpreview.com/files/p/articles/5959690352/MicroFourThirdsDiag.jpeg), the effect of removing the mirror is *precisely* what it illustrates.

I'm aware that I messed up the light rays but am not going to retroactively try to cover-up my mistake. We had an important story to publish and no official diagrams (which started to appear several hours after the announcement), so the error didn't get spotted until after publication.

Link | Posted on Aug 12, 2018 at 14:58 UTC
In reply to:

nail33: Richard Butler wrote:

"With hindsight we can see that Panasonic and Olympus were heralding the start of the mirrorless era."

I always thought most cameras before SLR's were mirrorless. :)

Per [slide 8](https://www.dpreview.com/articles/5959690352/10-years-of-micro-four-thirds-10-years-of-mirrorless?slide=8):

*Nobody really used the term 'mirrorless' before the G1 so no, your smartphone, 20-year-old compact or fifty-year-old rangefinder can't be [retconned](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroactive_continuity) to count as 'mirrorless.'*

Link | Posted on Aug 12, 2018 at 14:45 UTC
In reply to:

technotic: Should not the title be "Looking back on 10 years of Micro Four Thirds"?

Probably. Or perhaps: 10 years of Micro Four Thirds and the birth of mirrorless. Something like that.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2018 at 19:38 UTC
In reply to:

HowaboutRAW: "We stuck with 'Mirrorless' as shorthand for 'Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera,'"

As short for Auto Focus Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera.

The Epson RD-1 predates the Panasonic. (Yes I saw the line about a "50 year old [film] rangefinder not qualifying.)

So you took that statement to be an exhaustive list, then added your own assumption that I was excluding digital (presumably I was referring solely to film-based smartphones)? Fair enough.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2018 at 19:24 UTC
In reply to:

anticipation_of: Odd that there's no mention of Sony's FF mirrorless system here. Those are the cameras that truly compete directly with the top-end DSLRs. Without them, there probably would be no FF mirrorless coming from Nikon.

The original idea was: "Ten years of Micro Four Thirds: ten years of Mirrorless." It's really looking back to ten years ago and that the aparent adoption of mirrorless by at least one of the big two (in a way that's likely to compete with its bread-and-butter DSLRs) shows the significance of what Panasonic and Olympus did.

Link | Posted on Aug 11, 2018 at 18:49 UTC
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