A review is not just a review, part two

Continued from part one.

Are you paid by the camera companies to write good things?
No. I wish, because it would reduce the amount of hostile email and messages I get. If anything, my relationships with most camera companies are quite strained because it seems that they expect you to write good things about their cameras if you’re given the ‘privilege’ of a loaner. This is one of the reasons I prefer to buy my own equipment as I can remain as objective as possible; regardless, I’ll do so anyway, even though it means that there are probably marketing/ sales people at every camera company here who don’t like me. What they don’t seem realize is that in the long run, a lack of objectivity means that nobody will believe what you say anyway. Since writing the last article on this subject, it seems general degradation in the business side of things has meant increased sales aggression, and frankly, a degree of hostility towards objective reviews at a time when perhaps the companies need it most; this is incredibly shortsighted on their part (and perhaps indicative of a fear that your product is really crap), but then again, if you can’t see past your next year end bonus anyway, who cares?

I read your review of XYZ, but would like to get some more thoughts. What do you think of XYZ?
This is perhaps the most stupid and annoying question that I get asked on a regular basis. I’m not going to have anything more to say than I’ve already written in the review, which was a carefully written, considered and very time consuming exercise. Perhaps attending some English language classes might help: re-read the question you just asked me…

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A review is not just a review, part one

If it seems slightly odd that I have to write an article like this in the first place, that’s because I’ve been noticing several trends in my email inbox lately:

  1. Why don’t I review XYZ camera, or if I can review XYZ camera?
  2. Why didn’t I test for a particular feature?
  3. Why didn’t I test a particular combination of body and lens or some other accessory/ add-on?
  4. Why didn’t I post full size files, or raw files?
  5. Why do I postprocess the files/ test JPEG output?
  6. Are you paid by the camera companies to write good things?
  7. I read your review of XYZ, but would like to get some more thoughts. What do you think of XYZ?
  8. And of course the usual…”Should I buy X or Y?”

I’m going to add a few to this list myself:

  1. What’s the difference between my reviews and others?
  2. Why do I only review certain cameras?
  3. In the unlikely event I’m given or loaned a piece of equipment to review, then what?

I’m going to address these once and for all, and then return to the business of making images with the occasional detour into the equipment.

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