It is widely known that a companies advertised specs for most anything including camera gear, stereo equipment and a wide variety of other devices do not always, and frequently do not, meet the actual performance of said equipment. That is why reviewers review a product. In some cases, the performance actually does better than advertised specs, but often it is the other way around.
We always tell beginners to do their research and learn, learn, learn before they actually buy anything. This means learning from a variety of sources and yes, sometimes a reviewer can misinterpret something.
When I write reviews, I always send a preview URL of the article to the company before publication to be sure there are no errors of this kind. Sometimes I do get a correction which I am always happy to make as it only makes the article more accurate and helpful.
Unfortunately, most print reviews are not to be taken too seriously as they rarely point out deficiencies and usually only praise the product. I believe this is because these same companies take out expensive magazine advertisements and the mags do not want to lose this financial source. Fortunately, for me, I can be critical but, even then, I try to do so diplomatically. It is rare, but it has happened that I have been sent a product for review that was so bad that I refused to write it up. Rather than trash the company, I just don't provide that gear or software the publicity.
There is no 1 expert. Everyone can bring something to the table which the individual can sort out for themselves. In fact, this brings to mind a discussion I had back in 92 with Wayne Hanson on the Okeanos Aggressor. Wayne was then the sole owner of the Aggressor Fleet. They hand out applications to all divers and ask them to check whether they are beginners, intermediates, advanced or experts. He said that anyone who checks themselves as an 'Expert' is the one who they watch most closely as they are the most likely to get themselves in trouble. Glad I just listed myself as an 'advanced' diver, but what he said stuck with me and I believe it applies to a great many other situations and people.
Edited by Steve Douglas, 01 September 2012 - 08:24 AM.