Soon, several other reviews will be posted. Some will be positive and some negative. The fact they differ seems to suggest that those who are reviewing these new cameras are offering their "opinions" and not performing true technical comparisons of industry standardized measurements. Imatest's software for example would be a very valid comparison.
I've seen movie and restaurant reviews that were overly negative, yet they turned out to be some of my favorites. I'm seriously starting to think that actual user comments are more valuable. Perhaps some web sites that are subsidized by the camera manufacturers intentionally skew their comments. Years ago "Tom's Hardware" was a great page to read reviews on PC mother boards. He got very large and started accepting advertising. Coincidentally, the brands that advertised showed improvements with each subsequent release.
Yes, and I'm grateful for this. The images I make with my GF1 are far better than the ones I made with my 7D, because there's so much more to a camera than the stuff you can measure. It's kinda nice to have DPReview and DxOMark around when I want to drive myself insane staring at numbers, but the most useful camera reviews for me are the ones that deal with real-world use with a personal slant. I approach them the same way I'd approach a movie or music review: I read enough sites until I find a few reviewers whose tastes seem to have a lot of crossover with my own, and I pay special credence to what those people say.
I think you may have misunderstood me. Opinions are good, but many people who look to such sites don't realize they are opinions. I've seen so many comments where a person decided no to buy a camera because of some negative comments on one site.
These opinions do give us things to evaluate for ourselves.
Very valid points and another reason that one has to really do a good deal of research and read a myriad of sources and reviews before the whole picture emerges. Much of the community on this site as well as others, in many cases, have as much expertise as some of the so called reviewers on the "major" sites". Part of the issue is that people type into Google their search perimeters and couple them with "review" and most times are taken to the photography based major sites. Many of them go no further and are not active members of any photographic forums or communities so don't have the added exposure in that realm.
I personally am not one for the higher-end technical reviews, although I know they have there place. I agree with your point that opinions are good, and you have to weigh all of the opinions, and then fit the results in with exactly what you are looking for in a camera. As a case in point, I am thinking of jumping up to a GH2 and once again ditching completely my DSLR gear. My one hold back is that I still need to shoot some action sports that my son is involved in. A number of the reviews I have read so far have cited the increased ability to fast focus and the better fps rate, but I have yet to see any concrete examples, so I am waiting a little longer to make my decision. Of course, I say that but in reality, I see your images and others and feel it would be nice to get the GH2 and just see for myself. As Ronald Reagan once said regarding treaties with the old Soviet Union..."trust but verify".
Another factor to consider is that much of the community on this site (as well as other brand focused discussion groups) is already "invested" in the brand (or camera format) in question. Human nature kicks in and we tend to defend the investment we've made - no one likes to admit that perhaps the choice they made was a mistake.
Those using a competitive model (brand) join in and before you know it the discussion has changed into a debate often based on technical assumptions. While we may not always agree on a new camera's features, we cannot dismiss the fact that the manufacturers are making tons of $$$, and that was no accident. Only hindsight is 100% accurate.
The early reviews are often based on early pre-production samples that web sites beg to receive. Despite the disclaimers that usually accompany the evaluation sample, the review critiques such features as picture quality. By the time the final mass produced store delivered units arrive, in many cases the camera has been fined tuned and polished making the "review" less than accurate. But what's been said, has been said and the damage is done.
My biggest annoyance are those who immediately form opinions on a new camera, long before it's been released - long before anyone has even had one in their hands. Criticizing the product (and making statement that "sound factual") based on statements made in a press release is simply irresponsible.
Let us not forget that many photographers who are totally new to the hobby (or looking to upgrade) look to sites like this one for guidance. I like to keep that in mind when offering any response.