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Old August 13th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #1
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"reviews" versus "previews" !

With some time on my hands and waiting for more info to trickle in , and probably starting a thread in the wrong place , so it will probably , at some point be moved to another , less accesible location, I'll throw out this concept:

- they're are no camcorder " reviews" on the internet !

when I was in the market for a digital slr , I read many reviews at www.dpreview.com . Now that's a review ! twenty to twenty-five pages with 20 or 30 images to download discussing every feature.

That's what I'd like to have ,for camcorders , now that I'm in the market ! The best there is is here and mainly, no criticism of the inhabitants intended , it's all heresay and difficult to filter thru to the grain of the matter.

The 2 reviews of the gs400 that have sofar been posted on the "other" camcorder review sites are paltry examples meant for a father who , inbetween 45 hour work weeks and taking care of 2 point 3 kids , wants to buy a camcorder to capture those fleeting moments of joy.

So I restate my point - all of the reviews of camcorders I've read on the net should , instead be titled " previews " , just like at dpreview, when they only have preliminary information , they call it a "preview " !
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Old August 14th, 2004, 07:11 AM   #2
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That's very true and I'm not sure why this is happening. Anyone
has an idea why this might be the case?
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Old August 14th, 2004, 07:40 AM   #3
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The equipment needed to do "reviews" is beyond of the means of almost all reviewers. If you want features (camera specs) repeated, then go to the manufactures website. Does it really do any good to read "reviews?"

One of the most influential photographers of the last 100 years, Alfred Eisenstadt, didn't use other photographers test. His reasoning was he should do all the testing because he was the only one who could test the equipment the way he would use it. So, he tested all his own cameras and lenses by shooting with them. If he liked them he kept them and used them. If he didn't like their performance, he sold them. He tested them in real world conditions, what could be better?

If we spent more time shooting and less time reading reviews I suspect the quality of our work would improve far faster than it would by purchasing a marginally sharper lens or a camera with slightly better low light performance.
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Old August 14th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #4
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Jeff -maybe you haven't visited dpreview but I think nearly every still photographer who uses digital equipment has used Phils' reviews to make buying decisions and he seems to always have access to the cameras for extended periods, sufficiently to REVIEW them.I believe they're provided by the manufacturers free of charge just so he'll put his seal ,or lack of , on their products. Have you looked at panasonics' gs400 spec sheet? Do you think that tells me anything?It doesn't even mention 16:9. and the other manufacturers aren't any better. When I spend upwards of a 1000 bucks , I always research my potential products and to think I would have to make decisions based on " the other " camcorder review sites just makes me ill ! And by the way Alfred died in 1995 before the digital revolution !When he was buying cameras there were probably only 5 or 6 available.
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Old August 14th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #5
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Kurth, I first started going to DPReview in 1998. I'm very familiar with Phil's site and his "reviews." My statements regarding the cost of adequately "reviewing" video equipment stands. The cost of doing objective "reviews" of video equipment is beyond the means of almost all reviewers. Phil's subjective "reviews" do not require expensive test equipment. Posting several high resolution still files is easy compared to posting minutes of full resolution SD video (let alone HD). A few screen grabs are useless in comparing video.

When Eisenstadt was very actively photographing in the '50's, '60's and '70's there were many more brands of cameras and lenses than there are today.
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Old August 14th, 2004, 05:56 PM   #6
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Not to flame an argument, but I am inclined to agree with Jeff's original statement. I find it helpful to get some basic input from others, but I still never know if I will like a piece of equipment until I use it.
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Old August 14th, 2004, 11:34 PM   #7
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previews are interesting because most of time they compare the data of new equipement with what is availalable on the market, while data sheet at best is an incomplete list of feature.
Nice to have A/V input and output, but better to mention they are badly located on the camcorder.
Nice to have a 20x zoom, but better to know that is slower than the previous model.
I think previews are more feelings of peope that are handling lots of equipment during all the year, and that has already a value for the consumer.
sometime, when looking for a specific equipment , these little warnings where enough for me to add or remove equipement from a selection.
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