Saturday Shout: Previews, Reviews and First Impressions

March 11, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Saturday Shout | 10 Comments | |

Saturday ShoutEarlier this week 3 digital camera review websites (DCResource, DPReview and Imaging Resource) decided to share with the world their definitions of the terms Preview, Hands-on Preview and Review. In this week’s Saturday Shout I’m interested to find out if their definitions of those terms match what you expect them to be, and if you actually care about what the definitions are? Do you get confused by what different publications call things, or are you just interested in the raw information, regardless of what it is called? Shout out now…

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#1 m gottlieb

First, previews most of the time are nothing more than a press release regurgitation, and only confuse the public. Get rid of them entirely.

Hands-on? Why bother? "I tried the camera, it felt nice, it was well balanced, the few shots I took looked nice, and it could end up this week's front runner." Am I exaggerating?

The reason that previews and hands-on are even entertained by magazines and sites, is simply publish or perish - and the public should ignore them. And the writers should find something better to fill up their pages, like this: : "Photographing Homeless Banned."

9:35 pm - Saturday, March 11, 2006

#2 nichoas

Whatever happened to 'Pre-production' and 'Production'??????

I suspect the three webs sites were acting in response to some/several manufacturer's request on 'properly' handling their camera announcements.

No big deal. We are still way ahead of where we would be with only photography magazines (pre-www).

Regards, Nicholas

5:31 am - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#3 Bruce McL

I wish Steve's Digicams would step up and use this standard. Instead we click on a "review" and get this:
"This review is currently in First Look status, please check back later for the conclusion and sample photos."
That's not right.

6:48 am - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#4 nick in japan

Any review must contain the following; images of the product, specs, as many as possible, facts, and finally, opinions based on facts, and facts only. Competition to get out information as quickly as possible usually reflects a lack of what we really want to know, which is what exactly are the advantages over current models.
Every site has points that are educational in their own way, I especially like this site, as Mark and Gary seem to be as unbiased as any person could be. I also love comparison charts in reguards to noise and sharpness.

9:56 am - Sunday, March 12, 2006


When I am in the hunt for a camera, the more information I can read
about it the better. I really don't care whether they call it a Preview, a
Hands-On Preview, or a Review, and I do not mind reading the same
information three times over (four if you count the Press Release).

Another type of coverage I like is Mark's release of his sample photos
about a week before the actual review. This was not addressed in the
collaboration effort, which is not surprising, because neither was Mark.

Shame on you Phil, Jeff and Dave, for being so cliquish.

12:31 pm - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#6 nick in japan

I can't wait for a press release to say something like.."here it is all you dopes, another clone, with the same old mini sensor that we are so overstocked with that you will probably won't see an improvement for at least two to three years. We made a few cosmetic changes and a bigger LED screen for you, but cut the pixel count to compensate. We have revamped our advertising department so our hype will reflect more and updated ambigious wording to reflect our dedication to continue with marginal products. With the cooperation to keep compact digital cameras at a level of ASA 800-1600 of film cameras by other manufacturers, we feel confident that you will stay delighted with minor changes, for a long time to come"

1:34 pm - Sunday, March 12, 2006


Nick, you've got a real attitude problem. I like that. :)

You should submit an article to the PhotographyBLOG "The Peoples'
Voice". Seriously.

8:19 pm - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#8 nick in japan

Thank you for your support Gary, but, I respect this site too much to vent some real deep feelings. Mark makes a percentage of his income from the commercial aspects, as do you, I suspect. I feel a kinship here and like the way it is "Taking-Care-Of-Business". A bit of tongue-in-cheek is OK, but, as you already know, my suspicions of misleading advertising practices and the fooding of the market with clones is paramount to "dumping". Biting the hand that feeds you would be a concern for me.
Keep up the great work! I look foward to your hard work, every day! I believe I may speak for millions!
Semper Fi!

10:48 pm - Sunday, March 12, 2006

#9 me

Paging Ken Rockwell....

10:06 am - Monday, March 13, 2006


Nick, you should reconsider. I cannot speak for Mark, but purely from
my own observation, he does not appear to be the type that would let
a dollar get in the way of the truth.

11:23 am - Monday, March 13, 2006