Our editor takes a look at the websites that specialise in camera and photographic equipment reviews.
A no-nonsense website, DC views has a very basic, text-heavy layout. The only images on the front page are their hotshot of the day, a product picture and their ads. Much of the news content on DC Views appears to be sourced from manufacturers’ websites but there are a few original reviews of the latest cameras as well. For the most part though, this is essentially a portal style collection of content and links from other photography sites.
Digital Photography Review is one of the web’s highest traffic photography sites. At least one site ranking service (Alexa) claims dpreview broke into the top 1000 of all sites during 2007 – not bad for such a techy looking and non-mainstream offering. And boy is the focus on the technology. The reviews are incredibly detailed and exhaustive. Indeed, it’s not unusual for a DSLR write-up to run to 25 (or more!) sections. But there’s also a very active and extensive forum which is divided into dozens of sub-categories, and there are many other useful resources for photographers. Definitely one for the bookmark list.
Digital Camera Tracker takes a line out of the likes of DCviews.com, but instead of mostly linking to reviews on other sites, it consolidates a few summary remarks from each of the reviews for a particular camera. It also graphically represents each of the reviewers’ overall response to the gear by assigning what it calls a ‘review temperature value’; an interesting concept that sort of works.
Mark Goldstein, founder of the UK-based photographyblog is a professional photographer who decided to set up his site five years ago in order to report and comment on photographic matters – technical and otherwise. These days the content seems to be more derivative than original so the primary value Mr Goldstein brings to the site on a day-to-day basis is in his choice of featured products – not blogging in the generally accepted sense of the word, but mildly interesting.
Mash those reviews
‘Digital camera reviews and photography tips’ is the motto at dphotojournal.com. And there are summaries – but the actual reviews are posted on other sites. Hmmm… where have we seen that before? To its credit, Dphotojournal has a reasonably active looking community section which sets itself up to be a social networking site for photographers (it even has its own domain, called myshutterspace).
I, robot reviewer
It would appear that smartratings.com is an entirely automated technology review site. Photo equipment reviews are a subset of this and are limited to the latest cameras and camcorders (ie, there aren’t reviews of lenses or peripherals). Smartratings ranks cameras on the basis of the average of all ratings they’ve scored from actual reviewers. To their credit, the site designers make the process reasonably transparent, but it also has to be said that the methodology is fairly crude. Could be much better.
All of the sites mentioned here feature numerous links to, and ads for, online photo equipment retailers. Australian readers contemplating buying something from overseas sites would be strongly advised first to read Keith Shipton’s article on such operations. Click here to read the article.