In the comments in a previous post I was prompted to think further about something I’ve often found baffling.
That is, why, on so many sites that review cameras (and this is going back years as most cameras I research are a decade old), are the test shots they feature are so incredibly dull?
If I wanted to encourage someone to buy (or at least try out) a certain camera that I enjoyed myself, I would try to make the most inspiring and impressive photographs I could.
Images that would make someone think “Wow, I’m really impressed at what this camera can do, I want to get me a piece of those possibilities! Right now!”
I understand that a camera review needs a certain objectivity and to perhaps consider how this particular model stacks up against others.
But is there anything more excruciatingly dull than looking at 100% crop comparison photos of the corner of a photo that wasn’t of any interest when viewed in its entirety?
Not for me!
This is why I guess I have found Flickr so valuable over the years.
I’ve searched tags (especially for film cameras) to find what certain cameras I’ve come across can do in capable hands, or flipped the other way around, I’ve found images I’ve liked not knowing the camera, then checked out the description and Exif data and tags to see which it was.
Photographers like Christos managed to achieve an incredible consistency whichever camera they pick up, year in, year out.
With digital cameras the first step above is more likely to be done directly using Flickr’s camera finder feature, which I wrote about previously.
If I can’t find any remotely interesting images, I usually don’t go any further with my pursuit of the camera – unless it’s so obscure that hardly anyone has used it!
What do you think – do you prefer seeing photographs made with a camera you’re interested in that are so impressive you actually want to buy it? Or are you happy to browse dull as dishwater test shots of boring subjects?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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