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August 26, 2012

Engadget gets roasted by own fans for P&S-style review of the Canon 1D X

While tech and gadget blogs have graduated from the unboxing and dorkying-around type of camera reviews, they still have a lot of learnings to do when it comes to reviewing more advanced and professional digital cameras. Case in point, Engadget posted a P&S-style review of the Canon 1D X earlier this week. The review sparked a mini e-riot in the comments section of the review at Engadget - the complaints coming from their loyal fans and readers.

This is one of the things a number of review websites and blogs (including photography websites) don't seem to get. You can't review a professional DSLR the same way you review an entry-level mirrorless camera or a fixed-lens superzoom camera. They are different beasts with completely different target audiences. While you may be able to get away with walking-around-town style reviews for general-purpose consumer cameras, people buying a professional DSLR, for example a high-speed/sports-DSLR like the 1Dx/D4, expect to see reviews that test the camera's core capabilities, the features and options that make it the $specialty$ camera that it is.

Adding insult to injury, Engadget calls it a "field review". If you are going to "field review" a professional sports DSLR, the "field" is perhaps sports or fast-moving targets. You don't need a professional high-speed DSLR to shoot walkers, sitters, buildings, and mathletes ;-)

This is not to nit-pick specifically on Engadget. This happening simply triggered this pent-up mini-rant. Other websites/blogs do similar things.

Not to excuse the above, but perhaps this type of a thing may be partially caused by the flood-the-market strategy our beloved camera manufacturers have adopted. With hundreds of new cameras per year (and new camera systems coming out every few weeks), and the same number of reviewers and hours per day, just about every review-website/blog is getting squeezed with more and more new camera models waiting to be reviewed and readers demanding reviews ASAP.

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