I don't see anything wrong with paid advertisement reviews when they are disclosed as such. No one has to read them. On the other hand, I agree it's probably for the best that he stop doing comparisons of Olympus and Panasonic gear. His testing methods are not rigorous enough, and it happens that several of his choices worked out in favor of the Olympus lens.I think it's the best outcome, seriously. He made such a mess of it. I don't suppose we will be so lucky that he will stop doing paid-advertisement 'reviews'....
Let's see more of his excellent blog posts on how to shoot the streets...... He is a very cool guy.
Take for example the first f/1.4 vs f/1.8 DOF sample of the man in the yellow shirt, arms crossed. We know from a few paragraphs higher that Robin found the Olympus lens to be slightly wider, meaning that if he were to use a tripod and keep the subject distance fixed, the Oly would have wider framing, and the background would be considerably less blurred than shown. He clearly moved forward for the Olympus shot to approximate the same composition for the two lenses, but he moved in until the background composition was matched instead of moving in until the subject size was matched. Of course getting very close to the subject for the Oly shot is going to blur the background more. The same choices were made for the other DOF comparisons - note the larger subject size in each of the Oly shots with respect to the Panasonic. When I do such comparisons, I try to move in whatever distance is needed for a matched subject size within the composition, which I think is the practical consideration when thinking about how much background blur one will get in a certain application.
The corner sharpness test was particularly poor. One cannot conclude anything based on his methodology and presented data. Maybe the Olympus has better corner sharpness, or maybe it has more field curvature, bringing the foreground within the DOF. With only one corner shown, is decentering at play? Is the focus point the same in each crop? Making the RAW files downloadable, something I try to do in all my comparative reviews, goes a long way towards answering these questions for the curious.
Lastly, let's consider his comments about color fringing:
First of all, yes the Panasonic bodies do better color correction with Panasonic lenses than what he has shown. They have done so since the G1. Second, this is not what Olympus shooters are necessarily going to get with both lenses unless they use one of the most recent Olympus bodies, because unlike Panasonic, Olympus only recently started doing color fringing correction at all in their bodies.Shooting at wide open for Olympus, and stopped down to F1.8 for Panasonic, you can see from the crop above that the Olympus has better control of CA. I think this statement is open for challenge because the Olympus camera may not necessarily correct CA from Panasonic lenses very efficiently. Perhaps the Panasonic lens exhibits less CA when used with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds bodies. However, for Olympus shooters, this is the real result that you will get when using both lenses. And no, I will not use a Panasonic body to do comparisons. By now you should realize that if everyone keeps requesting me to compare one thing to another the list of comparisons will never end. I beg for your understanding.
I've been doing reviews for quite a while, and I know it's hard. I also know that people will always nitpick and criticize, so I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and show appreciation for what they do. However, when a prominent blogger with a lot of traffic sets out to compare a lens made by his employer to a lens made by another company while stating that his purpose is to "highlight my observations as honestly as I can", he ought to expect that his tests are going to undergo close scrutiny. In this case, I think the criticism is justified.