There’s no lack of commentary on the internet, including my humble attempts here. I got a chuckle last night when a blogger I follow ripped into a posting by another blogger I follow. Both are professional photographers with a considerable following. That got me thinking about something I was meaning to write for a while.
Whenever you hear an opinion, it’s really useful to know the person behind it. The same goes for camera reviews. There’s a lot of “free” advice out there but is it any good? Here are some tips for judging the validity of camera reviews.
1. Does the reviewer post real world photographs? Shooting test charts and brick walls do not a photographer make. Most modern cameras have great image quality. What’s more important is how a camera feels and how they work for your type of photography. Only a real photographer (pro or amateur) that actually uses the camera, in the real world, can make these type of assessments. Test results derived from a lab environment are only theoretical considerations. Reality has a strange way of upending theory.
2. Do they take the kind of pictures you want to take? There is no point in getting sports camera recommendations from a wedding photographer. A studio only portrait photographer does not understand the handling considerations of an optimal street photography camera. A daytime landscape shooter on tripod is not going to know much about high ISO photography at night.
3. Do they show you their photographs? Beware of blogs and forum posters that don’t show their photographs. I find it amusing when photography sites and posters talk a good game about photography and equipment but you never see their handiwork. Until you see their work, it’s all theory and mostly likely, bluster.
I’ve done my share of camera reviews on this site. You may or may not like my photography but I’m clear about the things I shoot, which are usually street and travel photographs, urban landscapes often, though not exclusively, at night. I post plenty of real world examples, so you know where I’m coming from, when I review a camera.
Keep that in mind the next time you read reviews or opinions out there in internet land.
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