Monday, January 17, 2005

My "Review" of "Reading Reviews"

Chin Fei's Minolta Dimage Z3 with a backdrop of my enthusiastic expression.

I remember that I bought my first and only digital camera in year 2003. By that time, digital camera was just about to boom in Malaysia market, so the promotion and the choices were not as wide as today.

As the saying goes, "when in trouble, always Google". So there went my first voyage into online research of camera reviews site and also the sprouting of my keen interest in photography. After googling for some time, I stumbled upon many websites, among others were Digital Photography Review, Steve's Digicam and so on. At that time I was still rather amateurish, so when I read through the reviews, I couldn't figure out most of the contents. Duh, who cares about aperture priority and manual focus, right? (although I do care a lot about them now)

Then there I went and I perused pages after pages, and almost every camera was GOOD. I mean, all those reviews, they either RECOMMEND it or HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. No real helps, actually. So I turned to user reviews.

You see, the situation became worse. In this ungoverned territory, there are countless gazillions of unknown street pundits from around the world who thronge these forums to voice their opinions, tryint to sound "professional". Hell knows who they are or whether they are speaking the truth. So all these pundits aren't as good as they intend to be perceived. Most of them simply shout out freakishly, "Wow, it is the best camera i have ever had!! I love it so much" or other equivalent sentences. Nahh, every camera is a favourite camera, how was I going to choose?

Thoroughly confused, I decided to take an alternative measure. Instead of counting the accolades, I decided to read ONLY the criticisms. Well, from my brief scan of the review sites, I noticed that Powershot A70 (which was quite new at that time) received relatively fewer criticisms, and what more all of them were minor ones. Therefore I went for it and it turned out to be superb. Or in other words, a steal for its price.

Therefore the lesson is that all cameras (or other stuff in online reviews) are good if you only look at the glorious exclamation by the fans. Count the disapprobations, only then you would get the real and clearer picture. With that I sign off.


Woody said...

Thanks for stopping by my Blog. I liked your description of your camera buying adventure. I bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 because it was being sold at a discount. It takes good pictures and makes me look like I am a much better photographer than I really am.

youngyew said...

woody: Hope you enjoy your camera!

Ai Ling said...

err...ok..though this sounds a bit too long to comment on a 2005 post..but...HEY! I KNOW THAT CAMERA!! :p and i'm missing that camera more nice pics (of myself) liaw..haha..but hmmm..missing the owner more.. :P

youngyew said...

Haha this gotta be the most random comment thread in my blogging history! Woody posted a comment first, I replied one year later, then you posted another comment another year later. Haha it would have been even better if I reply only after one year, but then you wouldn't see the comment by that time... :P

Takziah to you and Chin Fei for losing that camera... I guess it is time to move on to an even better camera?