Highly Recommended (Just)??!!

Started Dec 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,054
Think logically. Why should it matter?

Every time a camera is reviewed some folks don't like the rating it gets.

And invariably we will see posts in the forums claimint that Dpreview is influenced by their big advertisers, or that Dpreview is pushing certain brands at the behest of their masters at Amazon.com.

Well none of this makes any logical sense.

Amazon.com earns profits from every cameras they sell. Why should they care one whit if you buy a Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus or Sony? They will make money on everything they sell, as long as you buy it from them.

Perhaps this could be vaguely plausable if the most popular cameras had the highest profit margins. Then Dpreview might want to push the brands that give them the greatest profit percentages? Well, I doubt it. In every other business the exact opposite is true.

They highest rated and most popular products command the smallest margins. Because the manufacturer and distributor can as a higher price for things in high demand. This will effectively shrink the margin between the wholesale price and the MSRP. Conversely, when products are hard to sell, beacause they aren't of good quality, or they simply have been on the shelf too long and demand has fallen, then the deep discounting begins. Manufacturers frequently offer incentives to move these cameras, resulting in higher margins for the retailer.

OK, so now someone will say that Dpreview has so much influence that they can create demand for a specific product, and that they might make sure that product was one from one of their big advertisers.

Well, again, the logic is all backwards here. Nikon and Canon don't sell a lot of cameras because Dpreview rates them highly, they sell a lot of cameras because they make good cameras. The buyers demand their goods. And while Dpreview may hold some sway with some buyers, but there are NOT the only people writing reviews. They are forced to do an objective job, even if they didn't want to, for fear of being so far out of step with the other dozen review sites that they will look foolish.

Think about this. Dpreview came from nowhere to become a valuable website that was sold to a huge corporation for a large sum of money in less than a decade. Exactly what did they have worth buying? They have their reputation. Which is their most valuable asset. Would they devalue this by slanting reviews? I doubt it.

The evidence is abundant that the reviewers here REALLY DO test the cameras and try to be objective as possible. You can see this by the way the ratings shift as a maker improves their products. Panasonic used to get slammed for "too much noise" is ever single review here. But then they did something to fix the problem, and now you see reviews where it isn't even a factor. In fact you see Nikons and Canon P&S cameras slammed for too much noise in shadow areas now!

While every human being has preferences and biases, and camera reviewers are humans too, I think they do a pretty good job of being objective. They don't just make vague statements about how they feel about a camera (like some other review sites might do) they always provide hard data to back up their findings. These DSLR review now run 30 webpages or more. Usually more. And they are chock full of charts, graphs, and crops that have to match the findings, or else 10,000 "forum editors" would pop up to correct their math!

Reviewing cameras is not an exact science, so there always is something we can squabble about. But if ANYONE ELSE did a better job... then you would be on that website right now reading their reviews and critiqing them rather than being here.

Having said all that... I am still upset about Dpreview giving the Olympus E520 a (just) after calling the camera "highly recommended" over a year ago. I assume the check from Olympus was a little short. Or perhaps Nikon paid someone off. I hope Phil corrects this error soon.

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