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Author Topic: M8 review  (Read 256266 times)
Stephen Scharf
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« Reply #160 on: November 11, 2006, 04:59:27 PM »
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I'm surprised people aren't having a serious problem with the quality of  Michael Reichmann's review.  For someone who has become fairly well known on the internet, and even has a column in American Photo now, to flub a review so badly is startling.  I doubt Phil Askey over at DP review would have missed the serious image issues that have cropped up with the Leica.  What makes it even more significant is that Figure 11 in his review certainly looks a lot like the magenta issues that has exploded all over the place in the last few days, and he comments on the strangeness of the white balance problem he was having, and then dismisses it summarily.

Michael apologizes for sounding like a fanboy in his review; it';s too bad he didn't try to sound more objective, as had he sounded less partisan, this review might be easier to excuse.  The fact that he looks like a shill, singing praises to high heaven, managed to post a picture with serious color problems but not delve into it all, and then to have problems with the cameras quickly picked up by users on the internet is not good for his credibility.  I for one will be taking any future reviews or activities he posts or sponsors with a large grain of salt.
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I couldn't agree with you more. The biggest concern that I had when I read about the very real image quality problems with the Leica M8 is that the fact that neither Michael nor Sean Reid were truthful with their readers in their reviews. Moreover, their reviews were SO favorable so as to be construed as "gushing" to some reader's minds, which to my mind exacerbates the problem.  

The biggest area of concern I have about this is that Michael Reichmann observed these quality problems, but did not report them in his review, but rather "suppressed" them at the request of Leica (nor did Sean Reid in Reid's Reviews). This has created, understandably, a big issue of credibility with many readers, including myself. My personal opinion is that Reichmann and Reid have seriously damaged their credibility with me as an objective journalists.....letting the mfrs. effectively edit your reviews creates a conflict of interest that completely repudiates credibility.  For a professisonal scientist  and semi-pro photographer like myself, who is driven by facts and data, this suppression of information and facts is a behavior that is unpardonable.

MR is not alone in this approach to journalism....I also ride motorcycles and have realized for a long time that motorcycle reviews in North American magazines are bought and sold by thier advertisers. The same appears to be the case with Reid and Reichmann. I must admit that I am very disappointed. I hope these two "journalists" have now learned that honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 05:03:47 PM by Stephen Scharf » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #161 on: November 11, 2006, 07:08:48 PM »
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So Michael made a mistake (in not telling us that he was withholding some information, giving Leica a chance to correct it.) Unlike most other reviewers he has owned up to the mistake.

I think the freeloaders who use Michaels forum (yes, we are all freeloaders here) should cut him some slack occasionally. If either of you (Osprey or Stephen Scharf) bought an M8 based only on Michael's initial favorable review, then that was not very smart shopping. If you didn't, quit complaining, and at least read what Michael had to say about how his mistake happened.

If you are going to flame anyone, Leica seems to me a more appropriate target. Michael held off commenting on the bad stuff at their request, expecting (quite reasonably, in my view) that they would tell him promptly about what they were doing to correct the issue. They didn't, so Michael got burned for being courteous to them.

And he still pays for this forum so you guys can lambaste him.

I, for one, will be taking anything either of you guys post with a grain of salt.

Eric
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« Reply #162 on: November 11, 2006, 07:51:01 PM »
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I, for one, will be taking anything either of you guys post with a grain of salt.
As is reasonable, for posters who create their accounts only for the apparent purpose of flaming.

(These posters are, I hope, free to post again to disprove this appearance.)
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Jan
Stephen Scharf
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« Reply #163 on: November 11, 2006, 08:05:04 PM »
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So Michael made a mistake (in not telling us that he was withholding some information, giving Leica a chance to correct it.) Unlike most other reviewers he has owned up to the mistake.

I think the freeloaders who use Michaels forum (yes, we are all freeloaders here) should cut him some slack occasionally. If either of you (Osprey or Stephen Scharf) bought an M8 based only on Michael's initial favorable review, then that was not very smart shopping. If you didn't, quit complaining, and at least read what Michael had to say about how his mistake happened.

Eric
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No one is flaming here. A forum is intended to be a place of open and honest discussion. This was the meaning of the word from the Latin, and we are all free to post our thoughts, ideas and opinions if the true spirit of a forum really exists here.

I don't have an issue with cutting a reviewer some slack occasionally....we all know of the geeks that inhabit other forums that are looking for any little technical glitch to create a big stir about. But this situation goes beyond that. Michael Reichmann and Sean Reid basically said that in many respects, this was the finest digital camera they had ever used, and to in effect, "run, do not walk to your nearest dealer to get one..."  I am sure that in many respects the M8 is a very fine camera, and that MR and Sean Reid still hold that viewpoint about it. But that is not the point.  Many people bought this camera on MR's and SR's reviews, and are now very disappointed to find that the camera has very real image quality problems that Leica is scrambling to fix; and now MR and SR are admitting that they knew about these problems all along and made an active decision not to disclose them. As a result,  a not insiginificant number of customers are returning the camera and requesting their money back. For me, the fact that both reviewers compromised their journalistic integrity by suppressing these facts from their readers did themselves, and more importantly, their readers and Leica M8 customers a serious dis-service. The problem with what Leica and the reviewers have done is to make their customers feel cheated by 1) Leica requesting that this information be suppressed, and 2) the reviewer's agreeing to do it. What this does is to discredit the specification of value that customers place in their respective products.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 08:10:33 PM by Stephen Scharf » Logged
macgyver
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« Reply #164 on: November 11, 2006, 08:23:29 PM »
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I hate to say it, but to an exent I agree.  A simple "there were a few problems that concered me, however, Leica has already said they are working on it and asked reviewers to not overly concentrate on these things until they can assess them" would have been more than sufficient.  Or something like that, anyway.

I enjoy the reviews here, and I think MR is a good reviewer, however, in this case a bit more candor would have been appropriate.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 08:24:41 PM by macgyver » Logged
hcubell
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« Reply #165 on: November 11, 2006, 09:12:44 PM »
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I would be very sympathetic if MR had acknowledged a serious lapse of judgment on his part. We are all prone to such lapses. However, I am quite astonished that MR has said he would do the same thing all over again under the circumstances. I find that far worse than the original lapse of judjment.  He justifies his actions on the basis  "that potential owners needed to know what I had learned in my testing, without delay. And, I would have held back again on the issues that I was requested to because that's the proper way to deal with manufacturers, who one assumes will take their responsibilities to journalists seriously."
1. Potential owners do need to know everything, but both the good and the bad. There should be no question but that a reviewer should feel obliged to share everything with his audience. Henry Wilhelm, for example, does not determine whether to publish his findings with the public, that is up  to the manufacturer, but if the results ARE published, no punches are pulled.
2. It is inexcusable to ignore serious problems with a product based upon a manufacturer's assurance that they will in the future fix any problems that have been uncovered by the reviewer.
I would think that this was not a debateable point.
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Stephen Scharf
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« Reply #166 on: November 11, 2006, 10:04:17 PM »
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I would be very sympathetic if MR had acknowledged a serious lapse of judgment on his part. We are all prone to such lapses. However, I am quite astonished that MR has said he would do the same thing all over again under the circumstances. I find that far worse than the original lapse of judjment.  He justifies his actions on the basis  "that potential owners needed to know what I had learned in my testing, without delay. And, I would have held back again on the issues that I was requested to because that's the proper way to deal with manufacturers, who one assumes will take their responsibilities to journalists seriously."
1. Potential owners do need to know everything, but both the good and the bad. There should be no question but that a reviewer should feel obliged to share everything with his audience. Henry Wilhelm, for example, does not determine whether to publish his findings with the public, that is up  to the manufacturer, but if the results ARE published, no punches are pulled.
2. It is inexcusable to ignore serious problems with a product based upon a manufacturer's assurance that they will in the future fix any problems that have been uncovered by the reviewer.
I would think that this was not a debateable point.
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I couldn't agree with you more. The statement that MR would do the same thing all over again reinforces my concerns about the credibility of the journalistic integrity of these reviews. The foundaton of journalistic integrity is an unbiased and objective presentation of the facts.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 10:06:36 PM by Stephen Scharf » Logged
Stephen Best
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« Reply #167 on: November 11, 2006, 10:25:37 PM »
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I couldn't agree with you more. The statement that MR would do the same thing all over again reinforces my concerns about the credibility of the journalistic integrity of these reviews. The foundaton of journalistic integrity is an unbiased and objective presentation of the facts.
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I doubt that Michael is bound by any media code of ethics. It's just information ... use it as you will. The real stuff-up is Leica trying too hard and misjudging their market, but I'm sure they'll bounce back.
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Stephen Scharf
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« Reply #168 on: November 11, 2006, 10:37:02 PM »
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I doubt that Michael is bound by any media code of ethics. It's just information ... use it as you will. The real stuff-up is Leica trying too hard and misjudging their market, but I'm sure they'll bounce back.
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The real issue here is the lack of information.
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med007
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« Reply #169 on: November 12, 2006, 02:25:54 AM »
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now MR and SR are admitting that they knew about these problems all along and made an active decision not to disclose them. As a result,  a not insiginificant number of customers are returning the camera and requesting their money back. For me, the fact that both reviewers compromised their journalistic integrity by suppressing these facts from their readers did themselves, and more importantly, their readers and Leica M8 customers a serious dis-service. T
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MR has disclosed how he works and his reputation in my mind is fine.

I don't understand how you say that SR held back information. ASFAIK he took pictures of fruit, There's no black cloth nor blown out lights!

How can you possibly say he compromised his integrity? I just don't get it!
.
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michael
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« Reply #170 on: November 12, 2006, 07:56:57 AM »
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What some people are missing is what I tried to clear up with my addendum yeasterday. For those that havn't seen it yet I'll put it here now...

Why did I agree to Leica's request not to publish some of the problems that I saw during my testing?

Of the 500 odd photographs I took during about a week of testing I only saw the magenta cast issue in 2 images and the green blob issue in 1 image. That's well under 1% of the shots take.

I was therefore loath to mention the problems because I felt that they might have been anomalies that others might not encounter, and I didn't have the benefit then of the hindsight in now knowing the nature of the problem. I did identify the low light level white balance issue and also the excessive IR sensitivity and discussed them in the review.

Asking a manufacturer for feedback on a review, particularly with regard to potential factual errors is the norm. Most reputable reviewers do this as a matter of course.

Leica appropriately asked me to hold off on some of the problems that I saw, because, I believed, they wanted to identify whether these were anomalies or systemic. A fair request. I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

In any event, my enthusiasm for the M8 is undiminished and I did end up purchasing one for myself, even knowing what I did. So anyone that feels I deceived them has to accept that I did so without mal intent, since I put my own money where my pen is.


My judgement call at the time was that three problem images was not enough to delay the review. My sending the review to Leica beforehand is the normal thing to do. I was not asking for permission, I was seeking their feedback on factual errors. I do this with all manufacturers as a matter of courtesy.

Leica's request to hold off mentioning the problem images also seemed reasonable on their part because it wasn't clear if these were, as I wrote, anomolies or systemic.

The problem now for Leica, and for me, is that they didn't get back to me, and that they subsequently issued public statements elsewhere, thus effectively blindsiding me. We are now both suffering for this. To be charitable, I can only assume that they did this unintentionally, though I must say that I still havn't heard a word from them on the topic.

As I just wrote in another thread, I wish that I had stated in the initial review that I'd seen a handful of images with problems, that I'd brought them to Leica's attention, and that I was waiting for their analysis. But that in the meantime I was not holding up the rest of the review.

But I didn't, and I accept responsability for the consequences.

Michael
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #171 on: November 12, 2006, 08:55:17 AM »
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Michael:
Enough said: this topic should be laid to rest. We need to move on as a forum.
Ken
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Stephen Scharf
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« Reply #172 on: November 12, 2006, 10:29:06 AM »
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Michael:
Enough said: this topic should be laid to rest. We need to move on as a forum.
Ken
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Agreed.
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f8nbhre
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« Reply #173 on: November 12, 2006, 12:42:55 PM »
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oops
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #174 on: November 12, 2006, 12:59:15 PM »
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Michael,
Here is my problem with your response and this thread.

A very earlier LL poster wondered why in your review you didn't comment on some of the image issues, in particular the magenta cast issue.  He was rather critical in his posting of your review in regards to this matter.  Your immediate response was something to the effect, "I took over 700 [not 500 as you later report] images and see nothing of what you report".  I have looked for his posting and your response, but they have been removed from this thread.  If there has been this sort of censorship, then THAT is even a bigger problem. 

~SNIP~

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To clarify, MR did *not* delete that comment -- it is in the other M8 thread here on LL.  Moreover, the poster was commenting on color-fringing in specular reflections and *not* the IR leak issue when MR replied he had not seen that in his shooting.  Read it here:  [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=12864]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=12864[/url]

Seriously people, we need let this go and move forward with productive discussions.  MR has gone overboard to explain himself and apologise for what happened.

/rant,
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MarkKay
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« Reply #175 on: November 12, 2006, 01:18:10 PM »
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I agree with Jack.  MR clarified the issue, stated  he made a mistake and has apologized.  Have we not all made mistakes?  I suspect bigger ones at that.  We should let it go and move on. Mark


Quote
To clarify, MR did *not* delete that comment -- it is in the other M8 thread here on LL.  Moreover, the poster was commenting on color-fringing in specular reflections and *not* the IR leak issue when MR replied he had not seen that in his shooting.  Read it here:  http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=12864

Seriously people, we need let this go and move forward with productive discussions.  MR has gone overboard to explain himself and apologise for what happened.

/rant,
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Panorama
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« Reply #176 on: November 12, 2006, 03:35:39 PM »
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MR has disclosed how he works and his reputation in my mind is fine.

I don't understand how you say that SR held back information. ASFAIK he took pictures of fruit, There's no black cloth nor blown out lights!

How can you possibly say he compromised his integrity? I just don't get it!
.
Asher
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I certainly don't want to be accused of flaming anyone here or for joining for the sole purpose. I do read posts here frequently and have for many years, but I don't usually jump in; this time is different.

I personally am disappointed in the review and the cover up. I had actually thought seriously about this camera, but it's off the short list and maybe off for good. I looked at this site as unbiased and a place that was evaluating products with an honest appraisal of their qualities. Apparently, my naivety over powered my usual cynical perspective on reviews. In other words, they're (reviews) usually slanted to make things look better than they are. Guess what? That cynicism is called for in all reviews, even from LL and I will never look at this site the same way.

Everybody that excuses it by saying "that's the way it is" has overlooked a problem, namely, that he admitted doing something that was deceptive at the request of a mfg. When you read a "review" in one of the monthly rags, you know it doesn't tell you the truth because the rags are supported by Canon/Nikon/etc. Even if the mfgs haven't paid for this site and the subsequent reviews  in cash and advertising they have purchased MR's "willingness to hold back the truth when asked" by providing lots of products for him to play with before anyone else.

We all make mistakes, but this one will be remembered for a long time and in my mind, it has now called into question all the other reviews that were "edited" by the mfg.  
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 03:38:49 PM by Panorama » Logged
jani
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« Reply #177 on: November 12, 2006, 05:24:05 PM »
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Everybody that excuses it by saying "that's the way it is" has overlooked a problem, namely, that he admitted doing something that was deceptive at the request of a mfg. When you read a "review" in one of the monthly rags, you know it doesn't tell you the truth because the rags are supported by Canon/Nikon/etc. Even if the mfgs haven't paid for this site and the subsequent reviews  in cash and advertising they have purchased MR's "willingness to hold back the truth when asked" by providing lots of products for him to play with before anyone else.

We all make mistakes, but this one will be remembered for a long time and in my mind, it has now called into question all the other reviews that were "edited" by the mfg. 
No, we haven't overlooked the problem, but it appears that you have, and that you've just had a brutal wake-up call.

Welcome to the real world, where you can't expect perfection, but you'll always have to check, double-check and cross-reference multiple sources, if you want to make an even half-informed decision.

And even then, you need a hands-on test.

Would you buy a car without a test drive?

Would you buy a set of golf clubs based on an enthusiast's review?

Would you buy a house without checking the water and sewage pipes?

I wouldn't.
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Jan
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« Reply #178 on: November 13, 2006, 10:26:37 AM »
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Just my two cents.

1) Michael Reichmann's analysis is a great analysis. It complements Sean Reid's and Erwin Put's points of view nicely.

2) Michael did the right thing. His review was the first freely available in internet. He provided a lot of information and experience as a photographer.

3) I have a M8 now and agree with Reichmann's comments. It is a wonderful camera.

4) I use an external filter for protecting the front element of my lenses. Therefore, an external IR filter and a software tweak is a good solution in my opinion.

5) Leica could offer a hardware solution but: a) it would be costly and the development would be long (start all the software development again from a new sensor); b ) a new filter would affect the performance of the lenses at the borders, and the resolution and contrast out of the axis, because the last element of the lens is very near of the sensor. I prefer to keep the camera untouched and use an external filter.

The IR problem would be unacceptable in a reflex camera, but the M8 is not a reflex camera. The lens is very near of the sensor, and this brings terrible problems into the equation. Moiré, a crop factor in the sensor or IR contamination are the price to pay at this stage of the technological knowledge. In a few years better solutions will be available, but at this moment the M8 is the best thing Leica can do, and it is quite an achievement. An external IR filter is a simple and acceptable  solution for me, if the cost is reasonable.

I strongly recommend this camera.

I would like to thanks MR for his work and dedication.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 10:43:49 AM by Nemo » Logged
dannirr
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« Reply #179 on: November 13, 2006, 11:09:58 AM »
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Michael,

Thank you for explaining why you took the negative aspects out of your review - I respect the fact you made that public, even though I firmly disagree that that was the best course of action.

I note you also say, here and elsewhere on the net, that you still bought the camera. You seem to imply that buying the camera in some way justifies all the positive aspects of your review and minimises the left-out negative aspects.

I must point out, however, that you bought the camera after making a decision based on ALL the information. Readers of your site, like myself and others, were only given SOME of the information, but believed it to be ALL of the information with which to make a decision. We believed that based on our trust in you. Had we had all the information, we may still have chosen to buy the camera like you did - but it would have been a fully informed decision.  We do not have access to loan equipment to try out and then decide. We rely to a large extent on you and others to provide accurate information, unbiased by an allegiance to any manufacturer, to help make our buying decisions.  You state as much on your site about your reviews.

I am sorry that now, as a result of this M8 review, your reviews are in question. You and your site have, and continue, to provide a superb service - please do not underestimate both your value, and the level of trust you need to rebuild amongst your readers.

Danni
« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 11:11:03 AM by dannirr » Logged
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