Expert reviewers at PCA?

  Kemistri 00:58 05 Jan 2008

I was browsing through the Photo Advisor part of this website and found the review of Canon 40D, a body which I own. I was bemused by the following comment:

"Our biggest gripe: the image we saw through the viewfinder didn't quite match up to what the sensor captured. Using the 28mm to 135mm lens that came with the Canon EOS 40D, we repeatedly found that we would get just a bit more around the edges of our image than what we saw through the viewfinder."

Did the review check the spec sheet? Because this is perfectly normal. Nearly all non-professional SLRs have always had finders that provide approx 90-96% FOV. 100% finders are quite rare because such precise alignment comes at a price. The D300 is the cheapest body that I can think of that provides 100% FOV. The 1D series are the only Canons that provide it. The 40D has a 95% FOV.

I have to question the wisdom of a PC magazine reviewing an SLR, unless it gives the task to someone who is used to using and reviewing them.

  Forum Editor 08:13 05 Jan 2008

that the vast majority of the people who read the magazine are not expert photographers, and although a camera like the 40D would probably appeal to the more advanced amateur the reviewer has to keep in mind that lots of less photographically-advanced advanced people will read what he/she writes. The reviewer specifically said 'our biggest gripe' because that's what it was, and readers would probably want to know that.

It's a difficult line to walk, and inevitably there has to be some compromise involved.

  laurie53 08:18 05 Jan 2008

I have said in a previous post that if I wanted a new computer I would not read the reviews in a camera magazine, and the reverse also applies.

The cobbler should stick to his last!

  Stuartli 11:10 05 Jan 2008

Kemistri is correct about the slightly reduced viewfinder image of the actual scene - it applies to every SLR I've owned over many years, including Nikon and Ashai Pentax models.

But I wouldn't support the comment that this fact "was our biggest gripe" - I'll lay a pound to a penny that 99 per cent of owners would never even notice the tiny percentage of missing viewfinder image.

  Stuartli 11:13 05 Jan 2008

Would you have us believe that an experienced camera reviewer is incapable of the same task with a computer and vice-versa?

People have many talents at their fingertips....:-)

  anskyber 11:17 05 Jan 2008

If it was their biggest gripe then it must be one very fine camera indeed.

I tend to agree with the FE that not everyone will realise the "limitations" of Digital SLRs, perhaps instead it's just an example of sloppy writing rather than stating the obvious. Gripe after all is a strong word.

  Forum Editor 11:30 05 Jan 2008

Well yes, the reviewer did think it a fine camera - she said as much, and awarded it four and a half stars out of five. It received a PCA Gold award.

  Forum Editor 11:38 05 Jan 2008

You'fre right - Melissa J Perenson is Senior Associate Editor of our sister magazine, PC World, and she's written many articles on cameras - both still and video.

  Kemistri 12:51 05 Jan 2008

If she has written "many articles" about cameras, that makes it even more surprising. If you wanted to inform complete novices about a common characteristic, you should really describe it as such, rather than give the impression that it is a deficiency and an unusual thing.

FE: I have not missed the point at all. The 40D is not intended for anyone who has never used an SLR before, and anyone who has used SLRs knows (or should know) about viewfinder characteristics.

My point was to wonder aloud who exactly this review was really aimed at: the complete novice, who would not be buying this camera anyway? They might now think this is unusual and have a small shock if they upgrade from their P&S.

  Forum Editor 12:57 05 Jan 2008

over this, and I don't really see the point. If it helps you for me to concede something I'll happily do it.

I didn't say that we " wanted to inform complete novices about a common characteristic" at all - you've decided that. I said that "the reviewer has to keep in mind that lots of less photographically-advanced advanced people will read what he/she writes." which is a bit different.

Let's agree that you see it one way and we see it another - quite frankly life's too short to spend any more time splitting this hair.

  Kemistri 13:05 05 Jan 2008

I wasn't aware that anyone was splitting hairs. I thought we were just having a civil discussion about the review, about whether the gripe was really appropriate, and what the target audience was.

I'm genuinely sorry if that has annoyed you in some way, which you last post certainly seems to suggest. I don't think any of your first paragraph was really warranted.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Best phone camera 2017

Stunning new film posters by Hattie Stewart, Joe Cruz & more

iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) review

28 astuces pour profiter au mieux de votre iPhone