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Author Topic: The State of Reviews  (Read 8296 times)
Slaughter
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2008, 04:13:02 AM »
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Michel, it's hard to find much of anything about "reviews" in your post.
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No? I just meant to mention that there are quite many people biased (or paid?) by some huge companies just for giving good reviews. I am far from being the only person to think about it. I can even give you reports of consumer associations in some countries that agree with me.
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As for the rest it seems that you are happy with your Epson but still angry at HP. You go on to claim things about a printer you don't have upon which you are quick to throw stones at engineering problems which you are assuming are a continued conspiracy that is somehow a carry over problem from the Photosmart you had 4 years ago.
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Come on! Are you blind or completely affiliated to HP? Why are you so pro-HP? Personally, I am not affiliated with any brand. I don't mind with the brand. I just want a tool that do the job as expected with the requirements/specifications provided by the manufacturer. If there is a failure with their specs, then the problem is theirs, _not_ mine. I don't identify myself with my printers, nor do I with my car (too many people does).

Please read this thread in the forum "z3100 current status of roller marks?, any updates or real fixes re?". HP was really reluctant admitting there _is_ a problem. And now, they provide a new mechanical design. I don't need to own this printer to understand the problem. And I really thank a lot the people that has reported this problem in the forum. For me, that's what I am expecting from reviews.

Also, are you an engineer? I am, and I am confident with my technical knowledge. I have more than 24 years of experience. You say "conspiracy"? Are you paranoid? When I mentioned the problem with HP, it is _not_ a "conspiracy" but simply an issue related to money, "$$$". I just mentioned facts. I did not invent anything. Dot.

Producing a new product costs some amount of money. A failure, especially with technical issues, is hard to admit for big companies because there are so many money involved (research, quality test, production, etc). When Mercedes had to call back many of its A100 (If I am right about the model) in the past, this was merely because of the pressure of their customers and several public tests performed by some consumer magazines. I think that your vision of the world is quite naive in the sense that you think that big companies are leaded by philanthropical mindset. Come on! If you think that HP or Epson are producing printers just for bringing you some "pleasures", I think that you are really subdued by marketing campaigns.
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Michel, it's hard to find much of anything about "reviews" in your post.
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I don't agree with your statement. The thread concerns the "state of reviews" in general. jpgentry wrote: "I just wish the reviews had more factual, usable info these days. I'll leave it at that...". I entirely agree with him/her. What I mentioned concerning HP is just fact. Pure fact. What people reported concerning HP in the aforementioned thread is also facts. It's a fact that the new problem with Z3100 is similar to the problem I encountered with some HP printers in the past. There is _nothing_ subjective. If it's hard to admit for you, then you are entirely subdued by HP marketing ideas and you identify yourself to this company. If you work for HP or are affiliated with, you ought to write it down and admit you are biased. Otherwize, you entirely agree with what I said when I wrote that many reviews now are spoiled by reviewers being highly biased (for whatever reasons of their own) and hiding it (=not admitting it).

_michel moreaux
Switzerland.
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neil snape
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2008, 04:38:18 AM »
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Actually pal, I am an engineer. Yet I chose photography to be the more interesting route to follow.
I don't want to reply to your other flames. If you don't have anything to say here or if it is crap like the stuff you wrote above and before, then why post at all. If you do,  ignoring you and your posts would be best.
 
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Slaughter
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2008, 08:33:49 AM »
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Actually pal, I am an engineer. Yet I chose photography to be the more interesting route to follow.
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That's right. According to you bio, soon after you finished a degree in engineering, you turned into photography. That makes you an engineer. For sure! Concerning myself, for 24 years, each day, my professional job was to engineer systems to deliver to our clients (projects around several million CHF).

Dear M. Neil, you should learn to lower your arrogance when speaking about domains in which you cannot claim any experience. Personally, I will not pretend I know anything concerning the problems of professional photographers because I am not one of them: I don't do any business with photography.
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I don't want to reply to your other flames. If you don't have anything to say here or if it is crap like the stuff you wrote above and before, then why post at all. If you do,  ignoring you and your posts would be best.
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From your statement, I understand that correctly arguing and being refined is not part of your personality. You apparently also prefer direct personal attacks using some kind of puerile mockery: calling me "pal", using "crap", etc. About your so-called "flames", that's you!, M. Neil that started to attack me personally.

The subject of this thread was about "facts in reviews" and the "states in reviews" generally speaking. I presented facts concerning past problems with HP printers and just noticed the similarities with current wheel problems on the Z6100. Dear M. Neil, these are _facts_. From your site, I noticed that you apparently only use HP printers...

Ah, also excuse me, M. Neil, but I am not your "pal".

_michel moreaux
Ph. D Research and Development Manager
Dartfish Ltd.
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Slaughter
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2008, 10:17:34 AM »
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Ooops, I forgot to mention, Dear M. Neil, that you are also strongly affiliated with HP, as many testimonials on HP US official site certifies. In some ways, that rules out any objectivity from your reviews, and let them wide opened to the field of subjectivity.

_michel moreaux
Ph. D Research and Development Manager
Dartfish Ltd.
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jpgentry
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2008, 10:20:43 AM »
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...all that being said, I'm still not happy with reviews
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2008, 10:52:58 AM »
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This is too valuable a thread to degenerate into a slanging match. Please cool it or I will start to delete

Chris S
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Christopher Sanderson
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michael
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2008, 01:30:31 PM »
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I'm currently on vacation, and have no real inclination to drive into the debate or reply in detail to any of the accusations.

But, I will make a blanket statement, and let it stand on its own for now, with more to come in the form of an essay on the subject when I'm back in mid-March.

The digital photography industry is now reaching a level of maturity in certain areas (cameras and printers being the two prominent ones) where image and print quality differences between major equipment maker's devices are so close as to almost be a quibble. As I wrote in my iPF6100 review and the 11880 comments, when comparing prints on the same paper with custom made profiles, the actual visible differences are so small as to almost defy differentiation.

The same typically applies to cameras of comparable sensor size and resolution. Yes, there are a few stand-outs. The Nikon D3 has high ISO capabilities beyond anything else currently available, and the Canon 1Ds MKIII has resolution bested only by MF backs costing three times as much.

Much more important, in my view, are the differences in features and handling, and in printers features and support and operational differences.

A gamut plot comparison was requested by this thread's original poster. In fact I did one between all five printers that I currently have at my studio, and planned on including it. The problem was that in the end, after comparing standard test prints on a viewing box, and having other knowledgable viewers do a double blind comparison, the minor plot differences didn't correlate well enough with the visible tiny differences to make the exercise worthwhile. People would see one plot being bigger than another in one part if the spectrum and likely draw the conclusion that images would therefore reproduce significantly differently. This is not necessarily the case and so I though that showing these plots would be misleading, and they were therefore omitted.

The demand for nitty gritty image and print quality differentiation when reading a review is understandable. But I can't pander to people's needs when the differences in the real world simply aren't significant enough to warrant more than a quibbling differentiation.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a chaise lounge by the pool in Maui.

Michael
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 04:05:54 PM by Chrissand » Logged
Jim Cole
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2008, 02:49:34 PM »
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Well said Michael!

Have an umbrella drink for me.

Jim
www.jimcolephoto.com
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2008, 04:36:46 PM »
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A gamut plot comparison was requested by this thread's original poster. In fact I did one between all five printers that I currently have at my studio, and planned on including it. The problem was that in the end, after comparing standard test prints on a viewing box, and having other knowledgable viewers do a double blind comparison, the minor plot differences didn't correlate well enough with the visible tiny differences to make the exercise worthwhile.

Some are blowing way out of proportion what these plots say (not much). There was a time in recent history most photographers didn't even know what the heck they were looking at. Now folks seem to think its an indication of print quality (not by a long shot). Further, if you can't spin multiple plots in 3D, just showing a 2D plot is almost not even worthwhile to a color geek.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2008, 10:02:32 PM »
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Hey guys.  Everyone's efforts are very appreciated (especially Michael who came up with this great site articles, reviews, etc.)  I think I heard it said one time that being a good teacher is helping others appreciate how to differentiate one thing from another.

Yes gamut and print quality are a quibble on glossy and satin photo papers and most photographs look great from all the printers these days (due to the fact that much of what you find in the world falls in gamut.)  That said most photographers these days are pushing their images beyond what is in the real world and testing the limites of displays, printers, etc.

When a review is written critical thinking needs to go into what it is that IS different between two items formost.  I identified some things that I think ARE different and do matter in my personal images.  Some of these are speed of printing, paper handling, gamut especially on matte paper and canvas where gamut is limited and inks will make a difference, etc.

Now gamut plots do say alot on matte paper.  If you print on matte canvas there is alot of a tipical image that may fall out of gamut especially in the darker tones.  Inks on the HP, Epson and Canon can make or break an image on this limited gamut media.

Anyway, critical thinking needs to go into exactly what situations DO make the difference between two printers as someone may find themselves needing the very thing that they didn't know the competition did better.




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Some are blowing way out of proportion what these plots say (not much). There was a time in recent history most photographers didn't even know what the heck they were looking at. Now folks seem to think its an indication of print quality (not by a long shot). Further, if you can't spin multiple plots in 3D, just showing a 2D plot is almost not even worthwhile to a color geek.
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neil snape
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« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2008, 12:08:00 AM »
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When a review is written critical thinking needs to go into what it is that IS different between two items formost.  I identified some things that I think ARE different and do matter in my personal images.  Some of these are speed of printing, paper handling, gamut especially on matte paper and canvas where gamut is limited and inks will make a difference, etc.

Now gamut plots do say alot on matte paper.  If you print on matte canvas there is alot of a tipical image that may fall out of gamut especially in the darker tones.  Inks on the HP, Epson and Canon can make or break an image on this limited gamut media.

Anyway, critical thinking needs to go into exactly what situations DO make the difference between two printers as someone may find themselves needing the very thing that they didn't know the competition did better.
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Of course gamut matters. No question there. Gamut plots are always a mapping with some ambiguity included. There is an interesting thread going on right now on Apple Colorsync forum about gamut boundary extrapolation for processing the limitations of the data in the profile. None are perfect. As Andrew said , without a 3D movie of the plots there is little valuable info in a 2D plot. MR said correctly that this would or could be misinterpreted. So while it is interesting and something we do look at very closely, it's relevance to most in reviews is not that high up on the list, although can be a good indicator of other points.
As far as gamut plots on on matte go, the plots themselves are not going to simulate what your eyes are going to see in proportion to the same type of plots on photo paper. The differences between plots, soft proofing return tables and the actual prints are too important to base potential image quality on those details compared to the actual prints. I think that is what MR is saying. Who is to judge image quality better than your own eyes? How one can write that into a review, is something that doesn't take a PhD, but an understanding of the photographic potential of the devices tested. Even then, photographs and artwork printed have such an array of styles and content that it is not conceivable to define every output intent by any single reviewer.

If you have a 3D viewer , perhaps you can find profiles for all the printers you want and compare the plots yourself. On Apple, there is a basic viewer in the Colorsync utility, yet Gamut Works, Colorthink, and others are much more adept at doing this.
Gamut volume is a recent addition to the geeking specs. There too it has only limited relevance outside hard core pixel peeping. It is good for comparing changes in print settings though and similar paper types on the same printer.
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neil snape
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2008, 12:24:03 AM »
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That's right. According to you bio, soon after you finished a degree in engineering, you turned into photography. That makes you an engineer. For sure! Concerning myself, for 24 years, each day, my professional job was to engineer systems to deliver to our clients (projects around several million CHF).


The subject of this thread was about "facts in reviews" and the "states in reviews" generally speaking. I presented facts concerning past problems with HP printers and just noticed the similarities with current wheel problems on the Z6100. Dear M. Neil, these are _facts_. From your site, I noticed that you apparently only use HP printers...



_michel moreaux
Ph. D Research and Development Manager
Dartfish Ltd.
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I don't qualify who you are nor care, where you are from, who you are or pretend to be.  Best you leave flaming off this forum. Now I use HP at this time. It wasn't that long ago that photographers had no choice but to use Epson. A rare few have enough space and time to have more than one LFP which most of us would love to do. Don't see your point about using HP printers as adding anything of value.
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jpgentry
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2008, 01:07:33 AM »
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When I make a profile the first thing I do is look at the gamut plot in comparison to previous plots using gamutvision.  I print the same images over and over.  I know where the problem areas are for many of the most popular images that I print for my artist.  Most of the images I print will always have parts out of gamut.  The blues/purples are one problem area in particular.

A gamut plot for me says a whole lot but I can see why as a printer for an artist who prints a more limited number of images, I am not in the same boat as someone who is printing so many different images as in the case of a photographer.  I think this is why I seem to be speaking a different language on this board.  There just isn't a fine art board that seems to have the fresh info on all the printers so I enjoy reading and posting here.

Anyway I think if you look at the plots long enough and you are familiar enough with the images you are printing and the media you can "see" what's going to happen.  You know where you're going to have issues.

This is no pixel peeping matter.  This means color transitions that are jagged and other major issues with the final print.

Again, when you have a much smaller bucket of color to work with as is the case when you are printing on matte canvas, you appreciate whatever little extra you can get and you do see the difference in the final print.




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Of course gamut matters. No question there. Gamut plots are always a mapping with some ambiguity included. There is an interesting thread going on right now on Apple Colorsync forum about gamut boundary extrapolation for processing the limitations of the data in the profile. None are perfect. As Andrew said , without a 3D movie of the plots there is little valuable info in a 2D plot. MR said correctly that this would or could be misinterpreted. So while it is interesting and something we do look at very closely, it's relevance to most in reviews is not that high up on the list, although can be a good indicator of other points.
As far as gamut plots on on matte go, the plots themselves are not going to simulate what your eyes are going to see in proportion to the same type of plots on photo paper. The differences between plots, soft proofing return tables and the actual prints are too important to base potential image quality on those details compared to the actual prints. I think that is what MR is saying. Who is to judge image quality better than your own eyes? How one can write that into a review, is something that doesn't take a PhD, but an understanding of the photographic potential of the devices tested. Even then, photographs and artwork printed have such an array of styles and content that it is not conceivable to define every output intent by any single reviewer.

If you have a 3D viewer , perhaps you can find profiles for all the printers you want and compare the plots yourself. On Apple, there is a basic viewer in the Colorsync utility, yet Gamut Works, Colorthink, and others are much more adept at doing this.
Gamut volume is a recent addition to the geeking specs. There too it has only limited relevance outside hard core pixel peeping. It is good for comparing changes in print settings though and similar paper types on the same printer.
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neil snape
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2008, 02:05:19 AM »
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A gamut plot for me says a whole lot but I can see why as a printer for an artist who prints a more limited number of images, I am not in the same boat as someone who is printing so many different images as in the case of a photographer.  I think this is why I seem to be speaking a different language on this board.  There just isn't a fine art board that seems to have the fresh info on all the printers so I enjoy reading and posting here.

Anyway I think if you look at the plots long enough and you are familiar enough with the images you are printing and the media you can "see" what's going to happen.  You know where you're going to have issues.

This is no pixel peeping matter.  This means color transitions that are jagged and other major issues with the final print.

Again, when you have a much smaller bucket of color to work with as is the case when you are printing on matte canvas, you appreciate whatever little extra you can get and you do see the difference in the final print.
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Yes I agree in most part. That's why I said no single point of view /review can cover all the types of output intent out there. Art work is a very interesting field, one that is extremely technical , yet fewer forum or reviews specifically for art repro exist as this one does.

Again if you do as most of us do, look into the gamut mapping, things are going to paint a clearer picture of what can be done, and it's potential problems/defiances , agreed as well.
Yet it is still pixel peeping, nothing at all wrong with that BTW. Where the gamut maps, and profile tables etc all indicate the potential output, the real deal is in the print. Many reasons why this is so, the main one is all the data passes through many manipulations and conversions  before making the print. How much smoothing, profile creation application special math, grid precision and so forth can all create an impression that is not aligned with the actual output.

As time moves on we see the gamut of source capture increasing and the output doing quite well too. The day when we'll see spectral matching will be a long way off if ever. I have seen some advanced work in this already though and for out of gamut (destination) art work and spectrally tweaked source show surprisingly convincing realism that just cannot be done in the current ICC structure.

Just to make it clear, I am all for gamut maps and other in depth testing results. It is even so much better when someone else does it as it takes up so much time. For specific uses it would be very valuable, but in most cases it could easily be misconstrued.
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