As for holding back damaging information in a claimed "impartial" test report? That's unethical when a product is already being sold and has certainly raised some credibility questions. Better to hold back the review for a short time and report on the manufacturer's response than to put out a positive review. In the past, we have been given pre-production samples to analyze, and give our first impressions of these in our "First Look" or "Hands On" reviews. Under those circumstances, we may give feedback to the manufacturer regarding problems or flaws and hope they rectify them by the time the product is released. Once a product ships or the manufacturer supplies us with a final production sample, we will test key features including (but not limited to) image quality, AF performance, speed, burst rate, and viewfinder magnification and accuracy and report our findings, whether positive or negative. After all, our loyalty is to our readers, not the manufacturer.
Discuss this PopPhoto special report here in our Forums.