Saturday, August 25, 2007

Review #3: Digital Photographer (USA) August 2007

This review was delayed by the onslaught of new Canon and Nikon digital cameras this past week. This review is for the August 2007 edition of Digital Photographer, published in USA by Miller. There are at least two other magazines with the same name, one in the Philippines and another in the UK.

Items of interest

  • A round-up of "new" digital cameras (mostly CES and PMA models), because magazines are usually 2-3 months behind real time, plus this is a bi-monthly magazine. A nice table of all these cameras with their basic specs along with pictures of some of the mdoels will please gearheads! Nice!
  • The Digital Insider article has a round-up of the latest related new technologies. Again, these are tape-delayed as explained above, but it is nice. The "Beyond Instant Gratification" article is a round-up of some of the latest trends. This was a nice block of tech-talk from pages 16 to 29 .
  • A good set of how-to and tips articles in these areas: Travel photos, getting kids interested in photography, auction photos, preserving your photos (computer storage) and dealing with shiny media (cds and dvds), and resizing before printing. (Don't expect these articles to cover everything or be a step by step, think of them as a starting point)
  • Nice: A three-page segment looking at some of the latest camera and photography books.
  • Last but not least, six pages of pictures submitted by magazine readers, including the page right before the inside back cover page.

    Reviewing the Reviews
  • Please note that the intended audience for these reviews appears to be the mythical average consumer. They are not intended to be in-depth technical reviews. Infact you can compare these with the in-depth technical reviews at dpreview. All three cameras were reviewed by dpreview!
  • All reviews include pictures of the camera and pictures from the camera, and they are 4-5 pages long (without any ads).
  • Panasonic TZ3: This was the best overall review of the three. A good overall look at the TZ3 from the same reviewed who reviewed the TZ1. But a proof-reader would have been nice: Under the Performance paragraph it says "0filled", instead of " filled". This is the typo of thing you would expect to find in a 0blog (like this one), not a magazine. Granted I am one who considers proof-reading a luxury, but then again, I am not printing a magazine :) An editor would have probably noticed that "sporadic" was probably not the right word to use in that paragraph either.
  • Olympus SP-550: This review was strange. The author seemed obsessed with ISO 5000. Now if this the Canon 1D Mk III or the Nikon D3 I would understand it, but spending a big chunk of the review at ISO 5000 of a 1/2.5" sensor was an overkill (to put it kindly). Complaining that ISO 5000 was noisy in the negatives under the review summary was funny (again to put it nicely). Instead that space should have been used to talk more about the 18x superzoom lens.
  • Samsung NV10: The reviewer did a good job of trying to explain to the users the Smart Touch interface. What would have helped even more is if they included a picture of the back of the camera, to illustrate the button alignment the reviewer was talking about.
  • Non-camera reviews: The Digital Foci 8" digital photo frame and the Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Suite.

    Ad-tracker
  • Only one camera was advertised in this issue, the Sanyo Xacti E1, the waterproof hybrid camera/camcorder. The ad was the inside front cover.
  • Great (low) Ad-Ratio: Unlike Popular Photography that is more than 50% ads, Digital Photographer has a very low ratio of ads: Only 15 pages out of a total of 92 are ads. The rest is magazine content!

    Opinion/Conclusions
  • This was not a review copy of the magazine. It was obtained through standard channels. This was done to ensure that the magazine was not running any special firmware to enchance it for review purposes ;-)
  • This is a good magazine if you are interested in digital-only and want a technology-friendly magazine.
  • For the camera amateurs or enthusiasts, the reviews should be seen as short introductions of the cameras, rather than in-depth reviews. The target audience of the reviews appears to be the mythical average consumer.
  • I'm not is those grammeur police but a prynt magasines shoult naught have 0things like "0filled" (this is not the first one I've seen from this magazine).
  • Conclusion: Recommended magazine overall, especially if you are interested in digital only or if you are annoyed by magazines with ads in every other page.

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