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June 20, 2009

Pentax K7 review FAIL: WDC review gets torn to shreds in forums for poorly conducted review

For those of you who don't follow the camera-review-cycle closely, here is some background information: When a hot new digital camera comes out, all the second-tier and third-tier camera-review and tech sites scramble to be among the first to post a "full review". The earlier they post, the more interest they are likely to get for their review. Because if their review is posted after dpreview, Imaging Resource, DC Resource et al post their reviews, a lot less people will read it.

When you try to rush an incomplete or poorly conducted review with an average P&S digital camera, you may be able to get away with it.

However, when you do this with one of the most discussed cameras of the year, the review is going to be heavily scrutinized, from start to finish. Thousands of veteran photographers of multiple brand persuasions are eager to learn how the hot new camera actually performed. Every sentence, every piece of EXIF data, everything in the review will be analyzed and scrutinized.

And WDC (What Digital Camera) fell right into this trap, as their review of the Pentax K7 gets torn to shreds (and I'm being polite here) in the Pentax SLR Talk forums and the PentaxForums forums.

It is true that the waves and waves of new cameras are putting more pressure on the various digital camera review sites to produce more reviews and impatient photographers demand that reviews be posted faster. However, neither is an excuse or a legitimate reason for producing incomplete or poorly-conducted reviews.

So this should be a lesson for any other camera review sites that may be thinking of rushing a Pentax K7 or Olympus E-P1 review out without actually doing an in-depth review. You can't get away with it. Try the Canon A480 or the GE A735 instead - no one will complain about those reviews. You could even post some poetry and no one will complain :)

Update Monday June 22
What Digital Camera has posted a response on their website to some of the criticisms of their K7 review.

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