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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Galbraith posts his Canon 1D-IV AF review
Matt Barton, Photographer
Lexington | KY | USA | Posted: 1:12 PM on 02.11.10
->> http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-10048-10484
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John Todd, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | usa | Posted: 1:35 PM on 02.11.10
->> Boy,

Guess this sums it up for me from the review.

"Canon has lost their autofocus mojo."

Too bad, we had some high hopes.................................
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:49 PM on 02.11.10
->> Funny he's the first person to really have anything bad to say about the camera. I wonder if he got a bad copy.
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 2:07 PM on 02.11.10
->> Even if that's true, Michael, we're back to the days of the Mark III, where guys like Chuck Liddy were seeing great performance with some units and others were tearing their hair out and getting stonewalled by Canon.

I have a huge investment in Canon gear, but my lenses are getting older all the time, and I've never been happy with Canon's flash inconsistency. At some point, how can I not switch to something like the D3, which is almost 100% beloved, when it comes time to get new glass? And how long should I wait when the value of the glass I already have keeps going down as Canon keeps having these quality control issues?
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Jeff Moffett, Photographer
Overland Park | KS | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 02.11.10
->> I don't think you can chalk it up to a bad copy. The article states that 5 different bodies were used in the tests. Reading his results was a real bummer for me. I've been waiting for Galbraith's opinion before I pulled the trigger on one. Now I'm left wondering what to do. It does seem strange to me that there have been so many Mark IV rave reviews. Why is Galbraith the only one reporting AF issues? Is he just being overly critical?
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Anantachai Brown, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | | Posted: 2:37 PM on 02.11.10
->> hmmmmmmm, that is the kind of news I didn't want to see. I agree with you Jeff, I've already sold 2 of my Canon lens. I wouldn't mind taking a hit if I can switch to gear I can TRUST.
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Travis Haughton, Photographer
Crystal Lake | IL | USA | Posted: 2:43 PM on 02.11.10
->> I'm surprised Canon didn't offer him some cash to stay quiet. His review of the Mark III had to cost them millions.

If so many papers weren't totally locked in by switching costs, the very high end Canon market would be much worse.
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Andrew Nelles, Photographer
Chicago | IL | usa | Posted: 2:52 PM on 02.11.10
->> I gotta say, I'm still loving mine. The AF has been perfect even under some very challenging circumstances.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 3:09 PM on 02.11.10
->> A perception question for those both in the media and those not in the media:

-Does the presence of advertising for Nikon on that page in any way make you feel differently about the editorial content?

For those in media:

-Does your newspaper, magazine, and/or website, have a defined policy about aligning advertising with editorial content in either a negative or a positive way?
-Would your paper sell A9 to McHamburgers if A8 was a full-page spread on a local Reggie McHamburgers House fun-run?
-Would your paper sell A9 to McHamburgers if A8 was an expose on Board of Health violations at a competing chain?
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Michael Ip, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 3:11 PM on 02.11.10
->> Jeff, you're right. When I switched to digital a few years ago I made a huge investment into Canon glass. I shoot mostly primes - and now that Nikon is coming out with fast primes, it's getting me thinking about a switch. I too have been terribly unhappy with Canon's flash systems. I've had my 580s fail on me three times during assignments.

The investment to switch is just not very cost effective for me right now, but as my gear breaks and my lens slowly under-perform, I'll have to make the reassessment.

I personally have wanted to buy the mkIV, but at $5,000 I've been looking towards a used mkIII more. I paid $4000 for my mkIII when I bought it and it's been very reliable for me, granted I don't shoot much sports. $5k is a lot of money for a camera with so many said flaws (according to RG). I guess I'll just sit tight and see what happens when this camera is readily available.
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Matt Barton, Photographer
Lexington | KY | USA | Posted: 3:12 PM on 02.11.10
->> Thankfully I only shoot athletes running straight towards the camera in broad daylight so my gear is still good.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 3:34 PM on 02.11.10
->> Received a bad camera? I would hope not. I would think after the Mark III reviews, that Canon made sure to get him the most tested and finest cameras that the entire company has ever produced, and they still came up short.
If he got a couple of bad bodies those Canon reps responsible need to lose their jobs for not making sure they were the best they had.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 6:30 PM on 02.11.10
->> Judging by the sea of black lenses here at the AT&T golf tournament, Nikon has all the mojo right now (and then some)...
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 6:33 PM on 02.11.10
->> Since Galbraith is the only one giving the camera bad reviews you have to start wondering about him. When he still had his forums he started banning people who ripped his advertisers. He created a lot of bad will. Then he sold his forums maybe he had a falling out with canon. I do not know . When I met him at a workshop he seemed to only to have time for the big name photographers. I do not pretend to know what is up. But everyone else seems to love this camera.
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Mitch Stringer, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 7:01 PM on 02.11.10
->> I have had the Mark IV since the first were delivered and it has been terrific. Fast and accurate AF and very nice files. I felt, as many have expressed, that Canon would not dare miss on the new release. Recently I updated my firmware with the new release but even before found no AF issues. Just my two pennies on the subject. As Jack points out there could be an ethical question about Galbraith's perspective when he has Nikon as a sponsor. The same could be said of Peter Read Miller's stellar review of the Mark IV here on Sportsshooter who has in the past been sponsored by Canon. I am not questioning either man's talent or ethics in any way. The broader conceptual question raised is about accepting advertising revenues or compensation from a company and then serving as an unbiased reviewer in a formal or informal manner without clearly disclosing the fees/revenue received from that company. As an aside, the new Canon 7D I purchased does have AF issues from my perspective and hopefully a firmware fix will be forthcoming. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not sponsored by Canon, Nikon, Tamron, Leica, or anyone else but I'm always open to it :)
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 7:17 PM on 02.11.10
->> He is the ONLY person so far that I have ready anywhere to give this camera a bad review.

Does anyone else find this suspicious?
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Louis Feldman, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 7:17 PM on 02.11.10
->> all i can say is i have be partial because i love nikon and canon but i disagree with mr galbraith the 1dmark1v is best camera that canon has ever come out with they rock.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 7:18 PM on 02.11.10
->> Yeah, if accurate, this is pretty disappointing, but I'll withhold my purchasing decision until reports start coming back from the Olympics.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 7:54 PM on 02.11.10
->> There are over 900 downloadable images shot during the test on page two...pretty hard to fake those in order to fit an agenda. I think the fact that Rob and Mike Sturk both have shot Nikon and Canon pro bodies/glass side-by-side for this test, and are very familiar with both systems, carries a lot of credibility. Just because Rob switched to the Nikon system after the Mark III debacle (and has Nikon as a advertiser) doesn't mean that the test is rigged. Please.

The Mark IV may well be Canon's "best" camera ever. There's no question the D3S and D3X are the most powerful tools Nikon has ever made. All of these cameras can make great images in the right hands, and the Mark IV is a vast improvement over its predecessor, I don't think anyone would dispute that.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 7:56 PM on 02.11.10
->> HI Michael
You can disrupt the autofocus very easily .
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Matthew Sauk, Photographer
Sandy | UT | United States | Posted: 8:10 PM on 02.11.10
->> Michael,

But you have to agree it is kinda weird that he is the only one so far that said anything bad about the autofocus.

I looked online and have not seen any from any working media or gwc. I might have missed something of course.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 8:29 PM on 02.11.10
->> Actually, I *can't* disrupt the AF easily on my D3S. ;o) (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I don't think it's weird at all...in fact, I think he's a better position than most to assess the performance on the Mark IV. From everything I know about him, he is *very* fluent with both systems. And the tests are *exhaustive*.

Or do you think his review of the Mark III was inaccurate, too?

The glowing reports about the Mark IV could be attributable to the fact that it is indeed *enormously* better than the Mark III. I'd expect full-time Canon shooters that pick up this camera will generally love it...it's a great camera. The image files look gorgeous...and sharp.

I agree with the comment above that the Olympics will be the best possible test of the two systems. Looking forward to seeing great images from all these cameras!
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:43 PM on 02.11.10
->> Matthew,

There's lots of complaints at Naturescapes. I'm not saying the folks at Naturescapes are 100% right, but there's some that are not happy with the MKIV. BTW, the folks at naturescapes were the first ones that complained about the MKIII's AF!!

FWIW, I don't have an opinion either way, I have never tested the MKIV!!!

Y
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 02.11.10
->> There's a huge discussion going on at http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/866541
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 10:40 PM on 02.11.10
->> Actually, the FM thread is more like a food fight. But there's a great link that came out of it that leads to a Canon document about the AF system on the 1DIV.

http://tiny.cc/mFEqp
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Bryan Hulse, Photographer
Nashville | Tn | USA | Posted: 11:11 PM on 02.11.10
->> Russ: That link goes to a web hosting page?
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David Welker, Photographer, Student/Intern
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 11:25 PM on 02.11.10
->> Now I know that this really doesn't mean much because of the size but I just updated my page and many of the shots are with the mkIV. I personally have not had any problems with mine and I have been using it since early January. I shot a concert in a black hole and the AF focused flawlessly. Here are just a few of the shots from that concert for you all to take a look at and figure your own conclusions. For those of you who like to know details, the EXIF is intact.

http://s955.photobucket.com/albums/ae38/turfimages/Berch-%20Outland/
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David Welker, Photographer, Student/Intern
Springfield | MO | USA | Posted: 11:26 PM on 02.11.10
->> EDIT:

I meant to add that there is no NR done on the shots as well, and many of them were shot at 12800.
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Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 11:34 PM on 02.11.10
->> When the reviewer and his advertisers become the story what does that say. Here is a side by side review of the IV and D3s.
http://uniquephoto.blogspot.com/2010/01/unique-photo-shootout-featuring-dav...
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 11:54 PM on 02.11.10
->> As much as I appreciate the work by Galbraith and all other reviewers, I will not judge the camera until I have one in my hands. The MkIII was panned, mine has worked flawlessly since the day I got it...this is just another example why you shouldn't jump on a camera until a few firmwares have been released and the camera has been thoroughly tested.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 12:11 AM on 02.12.10
->> Bryan: Yeah. You can click on the "Free user" button under the left speedomoter to download the Canon pdf document.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 2:22 AM on 02.12.10
->> Funny he's the first person to really have anything bad to say about the camera. I wonder if he got a bad copy.

It's a typical pattern. Lots of people thought the MkIII was perfect, right out of the box, for several months after wide release. In the Nikon world, the first two months of reviews on the D2H were nothing but stellar. Only after a couple of months of wide release and real-world testing did people start saying, hey, something might be wrong here.

Never, EVER, believe reviews - good or bad - close to the release date. They are irrelevant.

Never, EVER wait list for a new camera (or any piece of gear, for that matter). Wait two months and see. Your money will still be good in two months, and it gives time for the fog to dissipate.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:17 AM on 02.12.10
->> From the Canon 1D Mark IV White Paper (introduction page).....

"Canon understands that the EOS-1D Mark IV has to be prepared to answer all questions,vanquish all competitors and appeal strongly to any and all who would use it to make their living."

Webster dictionary...

vanquish (verb) Come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
-------

I'm glad Canon understands what my thoughts, concerns, and expectations are.
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Monty Rand, Photographer
Bangor | ME | USA | Posted: 6:28 AM on 02.12.10
->> Well, I'll give you my review.........This camera flat out rocks!!!!

I've shot under some tough conditions lately and the breast stroke in swimming is one of them. Nothing to focus on but water until the person pops out of the water and this thing nails it every time. I've shot numerous hockey and basketball games and I'm impressed every time. I just can't wait to get the camera outside for some baseball, lacrosse and softball this spring.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:48 AM on 02.12.10
->> From the Canon 1D Mark IV White Paper (page 14)

The 1D Mark III, highly responsive by design, consequently has a lower probability of accurately focusing on fast-moving subjects that are hard to keep within the AF frame.
With the new 1D Mark IV AI Servo II AF algorithm, stability, reliability and AF precision have all been improved without a sacrifice in responsiveness. Predictive AF is more intelligent and avoids over-response, and difficult lighting — both low contrast and very bright
conditions — is handled better.

Better than the Mark III or does it "vanguish all competitors?" I hope to personally find that answer over the next couple of months.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 9:42 AM on 02.12.10
->> As for calling out Galbraith's impartialness...
He has built a very strong reputation over time within the photographic industry, and has become one of the go to resources that many people refer to daily to see what new equipment is coming out, find out about some cool new photo galleries and stories, and the latest news releases from many accessory manufacturers.
I'm not saying that it has never happened before (remember the Payola scandal), but I somehow highly doubt Galbraith has sold himself out to Nikon for a few extra bucks knowing he wouldn't get away with flubbing the review of the MkIV.
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Dan Powers, Photographer
Appleton | WI | USA | Posted: 9:52 AM on 02.12.10
->> To date I have been able to shoot with two different Mark IV's. The first time was in December and the firmware version was 1.0.6 which I believe is the current version. I shot hockey and prep basketball, with both being low-lit situations. I also shot a variety of daily assignments too. The second time was this past Sunday during the Super Bowl when I received a loaner and again it was a lower lit situation. Both of the cameras I used performed flawlessly. I mean this camera is the finest I have ever used. The focus was dead on and the file quality was wonderful. The custom function settings I had were given to me by someone from the Indianapolis Star who said he got them on recommendation from someone from Sports Illustrated. I didn't have any of the problems that were discussed on Rob Galbraith's site. Going from a Mark IIn to a Mark IV is like trading in your Ford for a Ferrari. No complaints here...Dan.
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Michael L. Palmieri, Photographer
Barnegat | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:08 AM on 02.12.10
->> I shot Nikon for years and after some major D2h and NPS issues I switched to Canon. I am shooting the Mark IIn as mine still works like a champ and most everything I now shoot is outdoors.

I believe that there is no perfect camera system and that is proving to be far more evident with D-SLR bodies than it was with top-end SLR film bodies (both my F5 and my EOS 1V were razor sharp in just about every AF situation). I haven't shot with a Mark III or the new Mark IV; likewise, I haven't shot with the D3/D3s either. I have however, seen plenty of images from all of these bodies and have my own beliefs about each system.

That said, I have never met Rob Galbraith, but have been looking at his website and books for nearly 10 years. It is extremely disappointing to see so many "journalists" casting stones -- stones big enough to be rocks -- in suggesting that his review of the Mark IV is tainted. This isn't just some Nikon v Canon banter -- it is an attack on someone's integrity.

Suggesting that a respected member of the greater photographic community allowed his judgments to be swayed by advertising is not only bold but foolish -- especially since Rob is not a member here and thus cannot "defend" himself.

Again, I don't know Mr. Galbraith personally. I am neither an expert on Nikon's nor Canon's digital photographic systems. But I am disappointed that members here are making damning accusations without justification.
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Sean Burges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ottawa | ON | Canada | Posted: 10:39 AM on 02.12.10
->> There is a lot of discussion about the Mark IV's performance in low light, conditions that I found were just fine with the Mark III. What I am worried about, and what is stopping me from buying one at the moment, is what happens in bright sunlight, particular harsh backlighting and very strong frontlighting. Shooting track and field in the noon-day sun was where I had problems with the Mark III, conditions where my Mark I and II didn't miss. So far the people raving about the Mark IV seem to be shooting indoors, except for the birders on FM who are trying to shoot bird-in-flight in bright sunshine -- they don't seem to be so happy.

So, for me, the worrying thing about RG's review were the questions he raised about bright sunlit conditions.
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Rick Osentoski, Photographer
Martin | OH | United States | Posted: 11:19 AM on 02.12.10
->> Sean,
Brad Mangin did a review of the IV that was football in bright sunlight:
http://manginphotography.net/2009/12/finally-canon-gets-it-right-with-mark-.../
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 4:43 PM on 02.12.10
->> +1 Michael!!

Accusing Galbraith of any wrongdoing is ridiculous!! I expect this kid of behavior from DPR (they are already doing it) but not from Professionals like us!!

Over at DPR they are accusing Rob of Bias because he takes Advertising form Nikon. But he also takes Advertising from Think Tank and other vendors!! What is the man going to do to get revenue to continue his work??? Not take advertising?? This is so incredibly ridiculous!!

He didn't like the MKIV in some situations, but he loved it in others, he felt the same way about the D3s!! What's the big problem???

Like it was stated before, lots of shooters were in love with the MKIII when it first came out, the some shooters at Naturescapes started to complain, then Rob came out with his first report and it all fell apart.

Why don't we just wait until after the Winters Olympics, when the big bulk of the MKIV Production Cameras are going to be tested, in the real world but us, the most picky of users. If the shooters that used it in Vancouver are happy, there is nothing to worry about. But OTOH, I trust Galbraith that he tested the cameras (5 of them) thoroughly and I sincerely doubt that he had any malicious intent in his report and he was nothing but honest in his review and conclusions. Remember, this were his opinions about the product the way he sees it. He is entitles to his opinions and lots of us out there trust his opinions and believe in his methods. Some of us don't, we have a choice. Accusing him is totally unproductive.

Y
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August Miller, Photo Editor
Farmington | UT | USA | Posted: 4:55 PM on 02.12.10
->> This thread reminds me of some of the people who comment at the end of newspaper stories that they obviously didn't read all the way through. Galbraith review is the only one I have seen so far that is detailed and takes the "emotion" of a new piece of equipment out of the equation. He also has tons of photos that he has offered up for people to look at and make their own conclusions. If you read the entire piece you will note that he also found some fault with the Nikon cameras as well, and plans to post a more detailed review of the D3s at a later date.

We have more than 12 Mark III's at our newspaper and all of them have been sent to Canon multiple times for fixes, updates, etc. and we still continue to have problems with them. We have one Mark IV that we are testing thoroughly before we purchase any additional cameras. So far it has tested out good, but not great. it does have a few autofocus quirks that line up pretty closely to what Rob Galbraith has noted in his review. It is great in low light and quality of the image, but like I said. It still has some pre-focus issues and other odd autofocus quirks that need to be addressed by Canon.

I for one appreciate having a very detailed review so we can more accurately evaluate the Mark IV as we use it.
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Jean Levac, Photographer
ottawa | on | canada | Posted: 6:15 PM on 02.12.10
->> The camera is great so far. Picked up ski jumpers in whistler today with no issues. Picked up lugers and skiiers last few days with no issues. Believe me I hated the mark 3, costs me some great hockey shots over the last few years. Used to be 3-4 out of ten were sharp, not the issue anymore. I would say it's 8-9 out of 10 are sharp with most being tack sharp.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 6:33 PM on 02.12.10
->> Actually as I noted before Galbraith's rep is not impeccable. This is a man who banned people from his forums for knocking products that advertised on his site. Then he sold the forums and a lot of headaches.
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Scott A. Schneider, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | USA | Posted: 7:27 PM on 02.12.10
->> First, let me be clear -- I am not questioning the validity or motives for Rob Galbraith's review of the Mark IV. But the fact that Nikon is a sponsor of his site is going to raise questions for some readers. Ideally, he wouldn't have camera or camera product sponsors, thereby minimizing suspicions and the ire of conspiracy theorists. But, of course, he needs to make money somehow. (One of my favorite aphorisms: Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.)

An ethics statement might help; Walt Mossberg has one on his tech review site:
http://allthingsd.com/about/walt-mossberg/ethics/
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Chris Large, Photographer
Okotoks | AB | Canada | Posted: 7:36 PM on 02.12.10
->> I've know Rob for a long time and I can't think for a second that his reviews/opinions are anything other than totally objective. It's an insult to think anything else in my humble opinion.

Chris
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 7:57 PM on 02.12.10
->> When I get in my girlfriend's car (manual VW), I can drive the hell out of it, it feels great to me. When I get in my own car (manual Honda), even after many years, I occasionally stall it at lights, while she never has a problem with the clutch, etc. . .

I'd almost chalk this disparity to simple user differences. When asked for advice, I tell young/amateur photographers all the time to go to the photo store, put a Canon and Nikon camera in your hands. Fiddle with the controls, shoot some frames, then buy the one that "feels" better to you.

A little out there I know, but Galbraith may simply be a Nikon guy. The way it feels and works, including the AF, may just be more tuned to his body and natural motions. This may be simply be the way it is with him, and explain why he seems to get more out of Nikons, while others prefer Canon.

Everyone should consult the pros, then make THEIR OWN decisions when buying.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 10:24 PM on 02.12.10
->> I have always thought of Mr. Galbraith's reviews and opinions to be forthcoming and well thought out.
I never felt he was partial to any product he reviewed.
For those posting to even imply that he is skewing his reviews because Nikon is a sponsor of his sight is plain BS.

How about giving a respected professional in our industry the benefit of the doubt? Especially after all his thorough testing and reviews of products over all these years.
Canon never would have acknowledged their was ever a problem with the AF system on the Mark III's if not for Mr. Galbraith.

Keep up the Outstanding work.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 5:16 AM on 02.13.10
->> You may not agree with Rob's final findings on the Canon Mark III or IV. But you cannot disparage Rob's integrity, motivation, sincerity, service to our profession, thoroughness and testing methods. Those of us that have known Rob professionally and personally for years would all say he is above reproach (as many have above).

Obviously there are working photographers out there that are satisfied with their Canon cameras and don't necessarily agree with Rob's results. That's fine.

I grew up a Giants fan. Others grew up Dodger fans. That's fine too...

'Nuff Said.

Mahalo!
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 3:32 PM on 02.13.10
->> Waaaayy back in 2001, I interviewed Rob about digital cameras for digitalFOTO magazine and found him to be very grounded and respectable in his views. To be honest, he was sorely hoping at the time Canon would come out with something good as he was partial to them, so if anything, he might be more disappointed with their shortcomings since at the time, Nikon was ahead of the pack (the Kodak 620X was pretty hot at the time in ISO sensitivity, but he D1 rocked) and Canon was getting prepared with the D30 to hit the market in months.

I don't know if his production model was buggy, or what, or if Canon is sitting on another lemon. But I don't think his judgement is corrupt.

Unless someone proves me wrong, he has always garnered my respect
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 5:04 PM on 02.13.10
->> Public perception and interpretation of a published work ("public" and "published" enter our language from the same root, which is obvious when the words are placed near one another in printed form) is a critical component of the creator/audience interaction. Public perception is arguably more important than the creator's intent.

Media insiders, whether through philosophical contortions, a degree of jadedness, or indifference, oftentimes like to cleanly and crisply define their roles and presence within a certain slice of a consumable product.

However, from both white paper reports and surveys, as well as personal experiences in the newspaper and magazine industry, and from comparing notes with many others in this industry, I can tell you that readership does not take such a faceted, granularized look at the product.

Back in my newspaper days, an older gentleman at a shoot location was bursting at the seams to tell me how our TV listings habitually got a slot wrong on a certain channel. I explained that it wasn't my department, and that those layout folks got their info directly from the channels. But he didn't care about any of that. He told a real-live flesh-and-blood representative of his local newspaper about the problem. And I left a note for the layout folks to double-check with the network about the time slot. Don't know what ever happened in this case...But you see, I wasn't a photographer for the Press that day to that guy, I was THE APP that day.

Editorial can say: "Well, that's advertising and sales, and that's not us. We can sit over here high and mighty and holier-than-thou in our relentless pursuit of our agenda of unbiased reportage for the readership," but the readership does not see that line nearly as crisply, if they see it at all. They see page A1, B7 mixed advert and edit hole, C14 agate, and the comics, and the classifieds, and the pure ad pages, as all part of the same product.

Most newspapers and magazines have an ethics policy for editorial employees, and I've seen many and been required to sign several of these as a staffer and a freelancer. Many have points and passages along these lines, as I'm sure many here have seen from time to time: "Arm's length relationship" "Undue influence" "appearance of impropriety."

Of course now, with blogs and websites, many now wear multiple hats. The editor is often also the publisher, or the photographer is the writer, and editor, and video producer and ad sales and production, and publisher. There is much more control over the final product, but also a greater responsibility of the editor and publisher to maintain a image that does not have an "appearance of impropriety." Recently FTC rules for online media have been updated to reflect this. The current FTC situation isn't perfect, but it does have a kernel of validity in the reasoning behind the rulings.

For those who know Mr. Galbraith personally, his character may be beyond reproach. To that I cannot speak, as I only know him from his online presence. However, his words and findings were not posted exclusively to a small group of personal acquaintances behind a password protected wall.

These were published–made public,to put it another way–and from that point forward, the personal relationship some have with Mr. Galbraith diminishes in significance. The published work takes on a life of its own, in the context in which the editor and publisher chose to present this information to the world. And there is a disparaging editorial report about a product, wrapped with advertising for its primary competitor.

The intent is irrelevant.

It is the perception.

Of the published work in and of itself.

Galbraith may call his business "Little Guy Media" but he is in a position to be taken seriously enough by multinational corporations for them to advertise on his site, because to his niche target market of professional photographers, he has exceptional sway and influence–moreso probably than USA Today, or PopPhoto to randomly name two traditional media outlets.

Whether or not I've talked shop with Galbraith at this trade show or after that event is immaterial to the discussion, as this is centered on the published work in context.

And for many, both in media, and outside media, I reckon this has a tinge of "appearance of impropriety."
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