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Canon sponsored content on DPReview


Andrew Reid
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2 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

But it's tacky and actually not even so subtle in many ways...

But that makes it easier to spot so it's preferable in a way.  Before these paid articles you might have had a slight doubt, now there is none. Can I at least trust their standardised test ? Who knows... 

Now does it really make a difference? Not really. The majority of consumers won't give a shit. They buy stuff to feel good and live the goddamnamericandream. Now they can buy an 80D and feel like they are filmmakers. 

Did anyone really have the illusion that capitalism will find its way towards morality? 

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Andrew I applaud your article. One of the reasons I've followed this blog/forum nearly daily for the past year or two is your style. In a way, you seem to be the Anthony Bourdain of the camera world (I mean that as a compliment). You aren't afraid to tell manufacturers here is why your camera sucks and what it needs. That constructive criticism is exactly what is needed in this industry. I applaud you sir.

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I used to spend hours at a time on DPR, now I only spend minutes a day unless it is some article about something I might want to buy. I spend NO time just browsing or talking on the forums. It is a cesspool of stupid putdowns and "Oh he must be a Troll " responses anymore. They have REALLY went downhill as of late. Total waste of time now.

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I'm not the biggest fan of sponsored content. But it's the age we live in, unfortunately. Instagram and facebook for example have sponsored content all over the newfeeds, like ALL OVER. The video of the 80d is uploaded by Canon USA on youtube. They pay their publicity like everyone else and target the right mass. I don't see why they are so evil about it.

 

Nofilmschool had this one with DJI a few days ago : http://nofilmschool.com/2016/11/introducing-dji-x5s 

 

I'm not a big fan but I will still follow nofilmschool once in a while. 

As a business owner myself, there's not a thousands road ahead... Eventually; you make you're own publicity and you sell your own salad. 

 

At least they put it out clearly, sponsorised post without ANY mention is much worse of a plague to my concern. 

 

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Yeah, everyone can list specs and provide news. Big whoppin' deal. The whole internet is slowly turning into CNET Buzzfeed TMZ type crap places just to want your quick click and cash in. Well. At some point you just don't feel like coming back there anymore. Not going to waste my time with that. If I want specs I'll go to the manufacturer's site. I don't need some endorsement from a flippin' hand puppet. I appreciate uncensored unbiased opinions from people who actually break down strengths and weaknesses of something and doesn't sugarcoat it when something's not all that great. I do end up buying a lot of stuff, just to see for myself, not only because people have their own agendas, but they also just have other priorities, wishes and needs and might draw different conclusions based on that. That's still the best way to get some insight, not by reading news articles and stuff, but just by using it yourself. Unfortunately that's not always possible, so it is of utmost importance that there are still a few honest places left where people dare to share their actual experiences. I appreciate what Andrew is doing for the EOSHD community, I also always take into consideration what Chris and Jordan from TheCameraStoreTV and Mathieu at MirrorLessons have to say for example, as I feel there's a great dose of objectivity involved whenever they talk about a certain piece of gear looking at both up- and downsides of something.

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I totally agree with Andrew: as guitar player I worked for 10 years in one of the best selling guitar magazine from Italy, AXE Magazine.
Our Editor always wanted the truth about the guitar's and gear's performance. No space for sponsored articles or "nice" reviews.
We had advertising but clearly visible like 1 page or half page or 1/4 page. No matter if Gibson or Fender could be offended by a sentence.
People and companies trusted us because we always try to test the guitars in their price tag and for the performances. Rarely we had problems, because if you separate the "professional" opinion from the relationship - that should be good exactly for that reason- it is always better for all.

 

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The most seductive and largely useless information about equipment (or perhaps anything that gets touted) is the hyped up apparently 'good' stuff that makes us want to buy, buy buy. But the most meaningful and useful to the end user is more likely to be the realistic appraisal of limitations and failings.

Few want to hear about the bad stuff (advertisers, readers etc) and so advertisers and sites looking to get people excited and spending money (including via affiliate links) are more likely to include hyperactive fluff.

But it's probably the well considered 'bad' stuff that is most relevant to prospective buyers. A careful appraisal of limitations might make you decide to keep your own gear, or pick another product, the limitations of which are more acceptable.

Advertising will corrupt the ability to deliver that careful appraisal, because it runs counter to the preferred narrative of the advertisers and changes the business model to one which is dependent on receiving the revenue of vested interests. Their interests become your interests. There is no skirting this impact, even at a subtle level.

Over time, it is the continued delivery of good quality information that is actually helpful to the prospective purchaser that will engender trust. It is that trust which will become the distinguishing feature and which will become the foundation of a possible business model. Hence, it must be fiercely defended and clearly articulated. Advertising will necessarily corrode that trust, thereby undermining the whole foundation upon which this particular enterprise is built.

It isn't all about ideology. Trust is hard won, but essential for any business. Pretty much all corporations and businesses rely on developing trust with their consumers. However much of that trust is not well deserved, and a lot of businesses go to great extremes to obfuscate and hide how their apparently trustworthy viewpoints are in fact sullied by vested interests. Their great saviour is a sufficient lack of scepticism and attention to detail by the receiving public, and frequently a public who would prefer to get excited or angry rather than to expend the time and energy to think things through.

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Am also with Andrew on this one. It is simple, you don't critique your business partner (in a bad way) in public. You would not tell a director his movie is shit while you still expect to keep working for the movie. Either you shout your mouth and take the money or stand up for your opinion.

I prefer this site stays open and opininated as is. There will always be people doing whatever they are passionate about and there will always be people thinking they are in need of selling out.

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8 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

 If we are not ready to pay for their independence, we must endure the plague of advertorials and sponsorship. As simple as that.

And not just adverts. Modern internet content is based on emotional "click-bait" articles. You need views to generate revenue.

As Charlie Stross summarised:

"If your business model relies on ads for income, you require eyeballs. Easiest way to get them is to generate outrage/emotional kick. Hence clickbait news sites. Hence internet rumours. Hence paranoia. Outrage draws eyeballs to ads, it’s as simple as that.

The ad networks don’t care about truth, honesty, accuracy in reporting, public discourse, or democracy. Just eyeballs and CPM. Trying to build a business on ad revenue is like building on quicksand. FB and Twitter are huge; have to keep growing or die. So FB/Twitter are driven to escalate, become more addictive, push the dopamine reward button harder all the time, to keep selling ads.

Traditional TV/newspaper news didn’t continually escalate emotional engagement because ad space was a rivalrous resource; barriers to entry were steep. New media know they can be killed and eaten in months by upstarts. So the competition to be the most addictive is fierce."

In a funny turn of events, Andrews article is actually making people visit Dpreview, so they'll just see traffic going up.

Though I am kinda wondering why is Andrew singling out Dpreview and leaving out...basically every other site out of the equation? Who isn't doing sponsored content nowadays? If they are not in the "sponsored by" business, then they are in the "let's make clickbait and emotional reviews" net.

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I think that DPR is past the clickbait thing leaving that to petapixel and fstoppers (amon others). DPR is known for its extensive camera review. Now the question remains, would you pay a monthly fee to maintain their independence ? Money doesn't fall from the sky and if we want a comprehensive Photo/video review media with regular and in depth coverage we must pay for it.  EOSHD is great but Andrew post when he can.

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8 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

It's troubling for sure but DPR also needs a source of revenue, no one works for free. They have full time people, in depth reviews take time and hosting a website with thousand of visitors cost money.
The question is about the business model and I'll move the subject to us, the readers. We always want things for free but bitch against advertising. Are we not the problem ? How many people here would pay $5 or $10 per month to get access to a sponsor/ads free DPR ? If we are not ready to pay for their independence, we must endure the plague of advertorials and sponsorship. As simple as that.

I agree with both Andrew and you.

Andrew you post a post per 15 days. So it is "doable"  to not have a lot of ads.

But when you have a huge website that reviews ALL cameras, and all news with multiple full time employee. How do you pay them if not with money earned through ads?

I am fine with ads and affiliate links. But I agree with Andrew that non honest reviews and "fake" sponsored articles are disgusting. 

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I had a mate that used to write for a camera mag. Panasonic used to take them hither and thither and wine & dine them.  I'm sure they would've got corporate blowjobs if it was de rigueur.  I'm pretty sure that journalists would need to declare such things, but blog writers?  Youtubers?  Keep doing what you do Andrew, its extremely rare and refreshing. ANd the od add or affiliate link on here would not phase me in the least.  

BTW same mate applied for a writer's job at DPREVIEW. He was editor of a camera mag. The job in question was unpaid.  Unpaid! Classy.

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It is a very slippery slope for sure. I see why they do it, ergo for the money, but no way they can really call a Spade a Spade without blow back form the people that "Pay the Bills".

Canon has dragged their feet for years on worthy upgrades and most sites see them as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Sure they make great stuff if you want to wait 5 years for a upgrade, a half ass one at that.

These Chinese company's are going to start handing Canon's, Nikon's asses to them soon you watch. Nikon is just about in the grave as far as I can see. I know they will come out with a lot of new stuff next year, but it will be small upgrades to the same old stuff. That is not cutting it in this day and age anymore. They need a lot of home runs, and a lot of it video wise to survive. I don't see it happening.

This is not your fathers camera company stuff anymore. Fast paced world we live in now. Innovate quick or die nowadays. These 4k cameras we would kill for today will be old news 4 years from now, and we will want the sort of older 8k stuff we really can't afford then also LoL. Never ends.

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Its the big problem with the internet in that most people don't want to pay for information to be created.  So we see sources that should be unbiased or impartial (or at least be biased towards providing for and protecting their readers) having a higher level conflict of interest in that while their readers are important long-term, in the short term they aren't the ones keeping the lights on.

The video the DPreview article mentioned is actually old news -was released by Canon in August.  ScottDW has done canon PR videos in the past -he did a pretty good one using the XC10, and this was another canon sponsored video.  Most of his non-PR stuff is shot on a RED, and I'm pretty sure he is not ditching his RED for an 80D.

I am not a subscriber but there are ReidReviews and Luminous Landscapes which have a subscription model for quite in-depth and supposedly unbiased still camera reviews.  Not sure if there is anything for cinema.

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