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Canon sponsored content on DPReview


Andrew Reid

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1 hour ago, mat33 said:

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.

Luminous Landscapes tends to lean towards Medium Format cameras, and I can see why, but since they do they have a reasonable amount of video reviews with the people that are the CEO's of those company's  I see no real way you can really pin them down and say this sucks or that sucks and expect them to ever come back LoL.

I guess you have to be sort of a Whore, like it or not, to get a lot of hits and make a ton of money doing it. I think DPR has grown too big to be able to be really "fair". Too many cooks in the kitchen thingy.

But they used to do some crazy long reviews which was good, now they seem to be 40% of what they used to do these days. And yes, Andrew did add a lot to the video side of things. They really don't have anyone on there that is great with the video part of it. Barney seems to be trying, but not a lot of past experience. SO not bad, not great.

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Thanks for the support. If people don't agree with me on this, then I will at some point also cave in and do a run of big advertisements splashed on the site and regular sponsored articles. But i

When I worked for them I had my suspicions they would try and suppress the strident tone of my reviews when it came to Canon's shortcomings in video. Now it's plain for all to see what is going o

I see some people - bigfoot, mercer, viet bach, don't understand what's at stake This isn't me being a communist and bemoaning another site making money from advertising. Viet Bach, you say

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So we can't trust DPReview anymore to give honest feedback on camera's, so what, now that we know we don't have to visit their site anymore. In fact, who can you actually trust on the internet, I recall reading an article on this site about the Canon xc10, a camera I was planning to buy, and Andrew trashing it but then later on when he actually had the camera completely changed his mind, it went from "the camera has a IQ that's a bit better then a gopro to it reminds me of a Super 16 version of the C300 Mark II", Eventhough this is not the same as what DPReview has done it has the same effect on me as a reader, to me writing a heavily opinionated article will misinform your readers in exactly the same way as writing a article that is sponsored by the manufacturer.

I personally like to read Gordon Laings articles on cameralabs as he conducts his tests for every camera in the exact same way and he just leaves it up to his readers to form an opinion and I like to watch the Camera Store TV guys videos just because they are entertaining as well, Philip Bloom falls in that same category. I actually value the actual users opinions most as they will report problems with a camera after months of use, they will give you information most reviewers won't be able to because they use the camera just once for the review before returning it to whoever lend it to them. And even then you need to be careful as sometimes reported problems are user error.

If you want to buy a camera it's best to wait a few months after it has been released, read up as much as possible you can about it so you can separate fact from fiction and make a more informed decision.

 

 

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Dpreview will always be a very good site for camera research, since most of their ISO, DR etc, claims are supported with a few image examples. Anyone can decide if the examples support their claims. They even have tracking AF videos, so you don't have to believe what they write and check it out yourselves. Is there any other site offering standardized ISO samples for most cameras with a handy comparison tool? Take their words with a grain of salt (and compare them to other reviews) and you are good to go. Likewise, it would be insane to trust Andrew as your only source info when researching a camera.

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At least the content is clearly marked as being sponsored so you can identify it.  All camera reviews should be taken in context, as everyone has some inherent biases.  Even those who buy their own cameras will have the initial purchase buzz and the 'review' is actually be more of an initial impression which may not be updated once the 'reality' of a camera downsides or upsides become evident.  It would be good if all camera reviews specified how long and in what context the camera was used i.e I have used the camera for 2 hours to shoot a street run&gun montage etc.

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I noticed that one of the writers on DPReview did something similar a few months ago.

Canon also sponsored that video and was, not strangely enough, about the 80D.

It features some kayak building.

https://***URL removed***/videos/0287044739/canon-eos-80d-field-test-barney-builds-a-boat

At least this time the "Sponsored" tag was clearly visible.

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The interest about reviews is mostly which is the drawback of a new product. Years ago cameras where simpler and it was easier to choose a camera, mostly pointing to IQ. Nowadays with factors as heating, codec, color rendition, battery life, memory type, etc. There are so many factors, most cameras are good in some aspects and worse in others. But as Andrew say, you must read 20 pages of marketing blablabla to (not) find the answers we need. Integrity is not easy. That's why we have to support those who at least aim at it!

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5 hours ago, eric said:

DPR is not holding back their critique of products because of brand money. ...and have created firewalls ... to preserve their editorial integrity.

It's easy to assert that brand money doesn't influence critique, rather more difficult to substantiate. As a media consumer looking for unbiased information how would you convince me that I can trust what is said in a canon 80D review that appears alongside the 80D infomercial rather than a fluff piece that will make sure that canon sends another cheque with the next advertisement? What are these firewalls you speak of? I'm genuinely interested.

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2 hours ago, Richard Bugg said:

As a media consumer looking for unbiased information how would you convince me that I can trust what is said in a canon 80D review that appears alongside the 80D infomercial rather than a fluff piece that will make sure that canon sends another cheque with the next advertisement?

How can you trust any reviews? Take the gaming community and gaming websites. They get revenue from... advertising from game companies. Does that make it easy to review games as the people who fund your site are kinda paying for it? The other option is to get ad revenue from getting eyeballs to the site which just causes these "let's make a horrible review of a game to get mad people clicking on our site". Then next week redact the review with another one from a different reviewer. Clicks clicks clicks, gotta be smart in the game ;)

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7 hours ago, eric said:

Andrew - If you can't tell the difference between an ad and clearly labeled sponsored content, its on you. DPR is not holding back their critique of products because of brand money. They are literally working hard every day to figure out how to create free content for people in an incredibly difficult market, and have created firewalls you have no clue about to preserve their editorial integrity. Furthermore: cameras are fucking amazing today. You could literally buy the shittiest camera and guess what...its going to shoot amazing photos! And probably video too! It blows my mind that people get drowned in their own nerd juice to the point that they forget how incredible the tools are. Say what you want about the 80D, but the facts are 1) Barney built a fucking boat (and it floated), and 2) alongside a talented group of people, made a great video with just the 80D and hard work, aaaaand 120k people have watched the video, many of them calling it inspirational.  You call yourself a filmmaker, but do you tell stories? Or, deep down, do you know that you simply make videos with sample footage and fear that that's all you've got?    

Someone had some bitter vengeance cereal last night ! 

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10 hours ago, eric said:

Andrew - If you can't tell the difference between an ad and clearly labeled sponsored content, its on you. DPR is not holding back their critique of products because of brand money. They are literally working hard every day to figure out how to create free content for people in an incredibly difficult market, and have created firewalls you have no clue about to preserve their editorial integrity. Furthermore: cameras are fucking amazing today. You could literally buy the shittiest camera and guess what...its going to shoot amazing photos! And probably video too! It blows my mind that people get drowned in their own nerd juice to the point that they forget how incredible the tools are. Say what you want about the 80D, but the facts are 1) Barney built a fucking boat (and it floated), and 2) alongside a talented group of people, made a great video with just the 80D and hard work, aaaaand 120k people have watched the video, many of them calling it inspirational.  You call yourself a filmmaker, but do you tell stories? Or, deep down, do you know that you simply make videos with sample footage and fear that that's all you've got?    

Well I will let Andrew defend Andrew. I come on DPR everyday. Have for years. But the big thing I am into now and made a living at it for a few years, is Video stuff since great stuff is available to the masses now. I like Barney, seems ok, but I don't care how much you brag about DPR they suck ass skills wise, experience wise, on the Video aspect of it. And Video features on cameras are exploding right now. It might be the only thing that saves a few company's ass from going bankrupt if they integrate it well in their products.

And here you have a website, granted a popular one,  by no means up to speed on video history, specs skills, etc. At least when Andrew jumped in there he knew his ass from a hole in the ground about what he was talking about...Video, yeah the thing that will save DPR's ass in the long run like it or not. So now that  he is "Banned" you guys look like a bunch of clueless want to be's on there. There has to be a person in one of the forums that knows more about video than the people you have reviewing the cameras, which I will give them credit they are good at that aspect.

Don't come on here and act like you know shit. I am sure you do not with your grade school tirade. This is not kinder garden on here, there is some scary good talent on here. Not people that are a little skilled at it. A lot are Pros. Hire someone on there who knows shit, not just talks shit. Video is not learned in 2 weeks, 2 years, it takes time and a lot of skill to do it well, and it takes tons of all of it to be able to review shit without looking like a idiot doing it.

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9 hours ago, eric said:

Andrew - If you can't tell the difference between an ad and clearly labeled sponsored content, its on you. DPR is not holding back their critique of products because of brand money.

Eric you have no experience of what you're talking about at all because you don't run a camera review blog.

It doesn't seem sensible to campaign against the crippling of video on the 80D if Canon are a paying advertiser on your site.

It doesn't seem like a good strategy to make a big fuss about a shortcoming of a particular Canon DSLR... they might pull further advertising.

British retailer WEX refused me an affiliate commission account because of my criticism of Canon's crippled video features over the years. They were in full agreement with me over this but Canon are their biggest account.

If you've just returned from meeting Canon's people at a PR organised event where you exchanged business cards, I know how difficult it is to then go on to criticise them the in harshest terms these flaws deserve....because I have been in the exact same situation myself after being invited to Sony and Panasonic organised events for filmmakers.

Furthermore, the negative feedback you do give to the company or your readers will be heavily watered down with politeness when it really needs to be shouted urgently and a big fuss made so it forces them to change. Steve Jobs didn't softly prod or dodge around the issues, he took a flame thrower to them. When something is wrong with a product or it lacks innovation you have to do this.

9 hours ago, eric said:

They are literally working hard every day to figure out how to create free content for people in an incredibly difficult market, and have created firewalls you have no clue about to preserve their editorial integrity.

Bullshit.

9 hours ago, eric said:

Furthermore: cameras are fucking amazing today. You could literally buy the shittiest camera and guess what...its going to shoot amazing photos! And probably video too!

Not true, there are huge differences in relative image quality between models of similar positioning and price when it comes to video, also their suitability for a particular job. You wouldn't take a GH1 instead of an A7S to a low light shoot, unless you're an idiot... and your thinking is idiotic Eric, sad to say but it really is.

9 hours ago, eric said:

1) Barney built a fucking boat (and it floated)

Oh ffs. I'm talking mostly about the Canon sponsored video which is the subject of the advert.

When it comes to Barney and his fucking boat I couldn't care less. It's not exactly a Werner Herzog level of filmmaking.

9 hours ago, eric said:

and 2) alongside a talented group of people, made a great video

You may call it a great video.

I call it an easy to film piece of shit with no personality, no emotional investment required at all or life experience, zero challenge for the audience, no thoughts provoked or challenging messages conveyed. On top of that it's not even entertaining.

It's video advertorial.

9 hours ago, eric said:

with just the 80D and hard work, aaaaand 120k people have watched the video, many of them calling it inspirational

Haha.

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16 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The content is shit though.

Tag or no tag.

I agree, it's getting harder for review sites to distance themselves from branded content.

The reality is practically no one clics on the banner ads and companies are trying different ways to market their products.

However, the onus has fallen on news sites (and serious bloggers) to dance around the big money or be regarded as

too commercially attached to that brand and its interests. It's a delicate ballet because the stakes are very high.

I personally hate these "Sponsored" articles and videos appearing alongside true journalistic work. 

It degrades all the years the site invested in building trust with its readers. Arguably, that has to change. Right now it's a win for brands only.

  

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I barely read any articles on "sponsored" blogs due to this very reason. If you're going to spend a lot of money that your job depends on... you need completely unbiased, truthful reviews with authenticity. 

This is why I read EOSHD and actually bother to post. It's unique and honest. 

I dig deep for more independent blogs and reviews, and cut through the shit on Youtube and find the best review of a camera (that only has 40 views). 

 

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17 hours ago, eric said:

Andrew - If you can't tell the difference between an ad and clearly labeled sponsored content, its on you. DPR is not holding back their critique of products because of brand money. They are literally working hard every day to figure out how to create free content for people in an incredibly difficult market, and have created firewalls you have no clue about to preserve their editorial integrity. Furthermore: cameras are fucking amazing today. You could literally buy the shittiest camera and guess what...its going to shoot amazing photos! And probably video too! It blows my mind that people get drowned in their own nerd juice to the point that they forget how incredible the tools are. Say what you want about the 80D, but the facts are 1) Barney built a fucking boat (and it floated), and 2) alongside a talented group of people, made a great video with just the 80D and hard work, aaaaand 120k people have watched the video, many of them calling it inspirational.  You call yourself a filmmaker, but do you tell stories? Or, deep down, do you know that you simply make videos with sample footage and fear that that's all you've got?    

Who are you?

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Hey all, I work at DPReview, so figured I chime in and perhaps dispel a few myths. 

sponsored content and the end of the world as we know it...

Yes, we do sponsored content. Most for-profit publishers do now, as banner ads do not work, and marketers are realizing this and switching gears. But it is not some clandestine operation, a complex web of ethical quagmires. DPReview hires scientists, PHDs, literally, to design our camera tests. We then perform those tests and write about real world usability to create a review, which is a combination of facts and opinions. Whether our camera testers get everything right (with their real world usage opinions) is up for debate, but we strive to ensure our reviews align with the science in such a way that questions about editorial integrity (very common well before we started sponsored content) do not hold weight. Go back to any review we've done and look at the data. You will bore yourself to death looking at test charts before you discover any bias towards a brand. 

Taking a step back, I can speak personally to how the advertising campaigns (including sponsored content) come to fruition because I manage them (I am the product manager). The reality is that camera manufacturers, if they are smart, realize they cannot put lipstick on a pig, no matter how hard they try. So they are resorting to finding ways to actually engage people. It's the early days, so a lot of the sponsored content is still shit. But the vision is that publishers influence brands to actually make content worth looking at, with the goal that the quality of their product, the soul of their brand (if there is one), actually resonates in an honest way. But it will always be, in some way, advertising. Maybe one day they will turn the corner and actually make content people want to watch/read on the regular, but only time will tell.

So when we decided to go down this road, we asked a few basic Qs. What could we make that would be worthwhile? How could we do it in a way that we were able to make videos we wanted to make, but could not afford to do so. And one of the first roads we went down was having pro photographers use cameras in the real world, and make little short films showcasing their experiences. On the whole, I think those videos have worked out well, we have been able to showcase photographer workflows, tell stories about real people and places, have cameras used in real world shooting situations, and on the whole, do all of this with almost zero manufacturer interaction. There is a ton of room for improvement, and I talk with visitors all the time about what else we could try. 

But alas, the topic at hand, we also decided to do "Native Advertising", where we have no role in creation of the content, and simply provide real estate for a brand to promote content they have created. As I mentioned above, the vision is that this type of content will get better over time, but the camera industry is a few years behind the broader CE industry. I remember a good 4-5 years ago Intel sponsored a series of short films telling the story of a handful of creatives that were excellent, beautifully shot, and overall just worthwhile to watch. There is no reason the Camera industry cannot get there, but as I said above, time will tell. 

DPReview staff are photographers, no really, I swear.

We are not winning any World Press Photo awards by any means, that's for sure, but we are enthusiasts just like our visitors for the most part. It's an important point because I think when the topic of editorial integrity, advertising, relationships with the brands, and all of these themes come up, it gets lost. Maybe I'm an optimist, but I like to think that generally people are "good", and difficult to corrupt, and that set of assumption definitely applies to my coworkers at DPReview. Our guys are using cameras every day, shooting photos, and spending a ridiculous # of hours every year thinking about cameras. The last thing they would ever want is to feel like everything they were doing was compromised, without purpose. It would be soul crushing, demotivating, and completely unsustainable. So yeah, I understand the need to be skeptical, critical, and diligent in pushing for transparency in journalism, and we are no different. But aside from the more potent reasons I just mentioned, there are also the legal realities of sponsored content; we are legally required to disclose when a brand is involved with something that goes on our site, and we follow it to a T because, quite frankly, the world of hurt we'd face if we didn't would be far worse than a 3% increase in advertising revenue. 

DPReview hates EOSHD, and had a bitter falling out with Andrew Reid.

Simply put, this is just not the case. We obviously respected EOSHD and Andrew as we tapped him to be involved in our efforts to begin talking more seriously about video capture. The reality of our publishing process is that it involves several layers of editing, and Andrew is not the first writer we've worked with that experienced this process as frustrating, and wont be the last. Hell, I even tried to write a few articles when I first joined DPR and definitely pulled out a few hairs when my words and voice were changed to be in line with DPR's style. But editing is a necessary step in the publishing process, and in the end, even if DPR and Andrew didn't align on how to do this, none of us here view the situation as anything other than a freelancer not working out, it happens ALL THE TIME. There doesn't need to be a villain. Blogging is a much less rigid workflow and half of the writers we work with are much happier in that context. It makes sense. No hard feelings are needed. 

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