What digital camera review site that you trust?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. aniramca

    aniramca Guest

    There are practically hundreds or more sites that provide reviews for
    digital cameras - steve digicam, dpreview, dcviews, image-resource,
    dcrecource, photography.com, pcworld, pcmag, etc. What camera review
    site(s) that you frequently visit and trust?
    Who paid for these reviews?
    Do they own a camera shop?
    Are they a dealer of a certain brand of camera?
    Do the camera companies deliver free cameras for them to test and
    review?
    or do they lend them the cameras?
    or do they buy the cameras on their own, test and review them?
    Are they owned by a camera manufacturer?
     
    aniramca, Feb 23, 2007
    #1
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  2. aniramca

    Eric Babula Guest

    wrote in

    I most frequently use dpreview. But, I also have used dcresource,
    steves-digicams, image-resource, and dcviews (in that order), just to
    double-check my options and the reviews of the various cameras I was
    interested in. Never hurts to get more than one opinion on a camera.

    Sorry, I can't answer all the other questions you have about who paid
    for the reviews, etc. I have no clue.
     
    Eric Babula, Feb 23, 2007
    #2
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  3. aniramca

    bluezfolk Guest

    To throw another into the mix, I sort of like the reviews
    available at megapixel.net


    Eric
     
    bluezfolk, Feb 23, 2007
    #3
  4. aniramca

    Rich Guest

    Two things militate against getting a good review on those sites:
    1. The tester's competence and how scientific the review is. (Is most
    of it "opinion" or other subjective B.S.?)
    2. How much money the site makes off advertising of various brands.
     
    Rich, Feb 23, 2007
    #4
  5. I can answer some of this, having edited a number of photo mags, written
    for others and now publishing my own site.

    No one pays for reviews to appear. Mags (I include print and online
    because my experience has been that there is no difference in the way
    they are run) do reviews for two reasons: to attract readers and to keep
    advertisers happy with coverage of their products.

    Mostly the cameras are on loan. I know of some people who generally get
    to keep the cameras sent to them but for most of us they are loans. The
    companies have a number of loan units and these move from mag to mag on
    a priority list or on the basis of the order that requests for review
    units come in. Camera companies differ in how they handle this, and some
    have more units and some less. I don't know of any mag that buys the
    cameras they test. No one has the budget to do that. I know I sometimes
    buy gear for myself and then review it (I did this with my 400D, for
    example) but that is rare because no one can afford to do that for
    everything they review.

    Now I guess I better address influence, because that seems to be the
    underflow in your questions. I've never worked on a mag where I had to
    pull my critical comments of a product because of an advertiser. My
    experience has been that most (I said most) companies understand that
    reviews may be critical and I have often found that when I have ripped
    into a product over the years the people at the company have been cool
    about it because they have known the issues themselves. At the end of
    the day most people understand that if the reviews are not honest you
    will loose readers and that will loose you advertisers and then you shut
    down. That said, I know of some magazines and sites where I do not feel
    the reviews are often critical enough, certainly of some companies
    products. This could be advertiser pressure but it could also equally
    just be the natural biases that individual reviewers have. I've never
    expected readers to just take my reviews as gospel, but rather I expect
    them to read around and make up their own minds. That's why now I have
    the online site that I put RAW files up so readers can download and make
    up their own minds.

    The thing is, all reviewing is subjective. Yes all. Even the
    quantitative measurements of lens resolution, etc have so many variables
    in practice that the reviewer can influence the result. Plus people
    rarely want the raw numbers, they like those little writeups of the
    results and people interpret numbers in their own ways.

    When you get to something like a camera review, rather than a lens test,
    you get really subjective. I've known of reviewers so incompetent that
    they needed help from another journalist to find the power switch on a
    camera. Yet they have been around for a long time and writing reviews
    people have made purchasing decisions on. I know others whose judgments
    I would trust my life to. People are people, whether they are reviewers
    or not. I think most reviewers are trying to do the best they can based
    on their experience. Unfortunately some magazines hire the cheapest
    person they can, which usually means little real experience.

    I know I am very conscious of the fact that people make real purchasing
    decisions on what I may say. I would hope that they do their own
    homework as well, and compare multiple reviews, but I am aware of this
    responsibility. Frankly that means I hold off doing some types of
    reviews until I can be sure that I have a test method that I am happy with.

    There are some great reviewers out there, both online and in mags.
    Generally look for those with a track record, a history and a real
    knowledge of what they are reviewing. There are exceptions to this, both
    longtimers I would not listen to and also youngsters who know what they
    are doing. So use your own judgement.

    Cheers,

    Wayne
     
    Wayne J. Cosshall, Feb 23, 2007
    #5
  6. aniramca

    Guest Guest

    Which is why nobody would ever go to RichA-DPreviews.com
     
    Guest, Feb 24, 2007
    #6
  7. aniramca

    JohnR66 Guest

    I like dpreview for their detailed review of advanced cameras and SLRs.
    I like Steves' for testing nearly every camera and has full size examples.
    Image resource seems to be pretty thorough and tests many models.
    John
     
    JohnR66, Feb 24, 2007
    #7
  8. aniramca

    JakeC Guest

    JakeC, Feb 24, 2007
    #8
  9. aniramca

    aniramca Guest

    Thank you for your comprehensive reply!
    Do most review sites run by magazine companies? Or are there sites
    which originally started by an experienced photographer, or an
    ethusiast of photography, in which the site subsequently grew and
    expand?

    Are most of these review sites originated in North America? Where can
    I find review sites from other part of the world, such as from
    Australia, UK, etc?

    As a reviewer, do you have a "sneak" preview of a camera product
    before it goes to the market?

    Thanks again for your info
     
    aniramca, Feb 24, 2007
    #9
  10. Sorry, it was probably more comprehensive than many wanted.

    Most print mags have a supporting web site. But they are usually a
    supplement to the mag only. Most of the review web sites are separate
    publishing businesses. Most would have started as something small and
    grew. And I suspect most were started by someone who was a pro
    photographer or a long time amateur.

    There are review sites from all over the world. There are in fact many
    European ones in the local language, so I can't read them. There are
    many US ones. Mine is hosted in the US but run from Australia, while
    most of my readers are in the US. Do a google search for camera reviews
    and the country you want.

    Yes, with some companies we have non-disclosure agreements and get to
    see products before announcement, sometimes get to feed into the
    development process and sometimes get to play with gear before it is
    released. But not with all companies.

    Cheers,

    Wayne
     
    Wayne J. Cosshall, Feb 24, 2007
    #10
  11. aniramca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    There are several I trust, but note that I only trust them to do what
    they do, which is offer their OPINION. Opinions are, by nature, subject
    to bias, and personal preference, and may be inconsistent from time to
    time. Check for the camera(s) you are interested in on several, and
    take obvious opinion (subjective statements) with a grain of salt.
    Finally, go to a store and HANDLE the camera(s) you are interested in to
    see if they are the right size and shape for your hands, and that you
    really can enjoy holding the camera, and taking pictures with it.
     
    Ron Hunter, Feb 24, 2007
    #11
  12. aniramca

    silvercelt Guest

    dpreview.com is a good one.
     
    silvercelt, Feb 24, 2007
    #12
  13. aniramca

    aniramca Guest

    Before I replied previously, I visited your website briefly and I
    notice about the word PTY, which seems to be corporation in south
    pacific (Australia). However, then I also notice about Austin, TX. So
    I was not sure where was the origin of your site. By the way, what
    unique web address which gives away that it is from Australia? I know
    that .com can comes from everywhere. But for Japan it is co.jp, for
    UK it is co.uk, for Canada, it is .ca. What about australia?

    Do you guys get invited to photo shows like Photokina, etc.? Do
    sponsor companies provide free travel or ticket for the show?
    Just curious!
     
    aniramca, Feb 24, 2007
    #13
  14. You can't trust any one site. You have to read as many reviews as possible.
    Read user reviews like those on Circuit City's web site, Amazon.com,
    Epinions, NextTag, etc. and then decide for yourself if the pluses and
    negatives covered are pluses and negatives for you and then decide for
    yourself which camera is best for you. If you rely on any one single review
    or article you will most times make a bad choice. Educate yourself and you
    educate your purchase.

    ljc
     
    Little Juice Coupe, Feb 24, 2007
    #14
  15. Australia is .com.au

    Well it does happen with people but I haven't scored a free trip to
    Photokina yet.

    Cheers,

    Wayne
     
    Wayne J. Cosshall, Feb 24, 2007
    #15
  16. aniramca

    rboy505 Guest

    I agree, but I wish they'd overhaul the look. Hard on my eyes.
    Sometimes I don't stay long just because I can't look at the yellow
    fonts or the background anymore.
     
    rboy505, Feb 24, 2007
    #16
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