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Andrew Reid

Why the camera press need to grow a pair of balls

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eos-r-camera-reviewer.jpg

Publish and be damned?

In the run up to IBC, I was put on mailing lists by PR agencies against my will, working for various camera-related brands. I received invite after invite to meet, to talk, to build bridges and make friends. Meanwhile DJI was spamming my forum via a fake user, advertising the Mavic 2.

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9 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

They say they’ve been invited to Maui, Hawaii with many other content providers. That is how Canon see them – content providers – not journalists. Canon has covered their expenses. The camera launch was at a glittering Tuesday evening event. They get to spend the next two days with an EOS R in the Hawaiian sun. After that, they get to return home with the very same camera. They claim this is a first for any camera company and very welcome. They say that as a participant, Canon’s marketing team have given them their undivided attention! Plus lots of sushi! Not only the marketing team in fact, but the design and support team as well.


It does seem like a waaaaaaaaay over the top expensive by Canon to me, when anywhere on Continental America would've been cheaper to do! (it would have been even cheaper to run two events simultaneously, East Cost and West Cost, to save flying people over from one side of the USA to the other)

But of course Canon is company about making a profit, thus they must have figured out that these "journalists" would give back to Canon more value than it costs to fly them to Hawaii. 

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3 minutes ago, IronFilm said:


It does seem like a waaaaaaaaay over the top expensive by Canon to me, when anywhere on Continental America would've been cheaper to do! (it would have been even cheaper to run two events simultaneously, East Cost and West Cost, to save flying people over from one side of the USA to the other)

But of course Canon is company about making a profit, thus they must have figured out that these "journalists" would give back to Canon more value than it costs to fly them to Hawaii. 

Hell if a review sells 2 new cameras it is a Win Win for Canon, Nikon. Those 2 cameras probably pay for the one they get for free, and the trip and food.

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@Andrew Reid That was precisely the feeling I got watching Chris and Rishi in their hotel room - like they were almost afraid to be perfectly candid. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but that could also be why Jordan decided not to give his impressions of the video performance.

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31 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

eos-r-camera-reviewer.jpg

Publish and be damned?

In the run up to IBC, I was put on mailing lists by PR agencies against my will, working for various camera-related brands. I received invite after invite to meet, to talk, to build bridges and make friends. Meanwhile DJI was spamming my forum via a fake user, advertising the Mavic 2.

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I am not cutting them any slack, but they are giving their opinion to Anyone, Everyone that could potentially buy this camera. And I doubt a Soccer Mom is going to give much of a crap about a 4K crop, and no 10 bit in camera. But no IBIS, I would think they might about that. So sure to us it sort of sucks, but to the average person, well Hot Damn, a Mirrorless FF camera from Canon, and I can maybe even afford to buy it thingy. And they will sell the hell out of it.

But yeah to me it does look like a they can do no wrong thing, because if you get on their Shit List, goodbye free trip, free food, free camera stints pretty much forever LoL. So you are right. They Have to be influenced to some degree to not tell it like it is.

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I saw that interview with Chris and had to force myself to see most of it, borderline embarrassing.  It was always enjoyable to watch him do reviews before, now the company has him by the balls, or maybe gone.

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Very true. I have experience in the the high tech media industry and the travel industry, I would add:

1. Don't review gears from a company if you are some kind of brand ambassador or sponsored by this company. Seems obvious but I see it a lot...

2. Refuse all these stupid trips, this is plain and simple bribery.

3. Sometime the system can be insidious. Two examples. In the travel industry, bloggers (Instagramer now,  people are too lazy to read...) or influencers I should say are invited by agencies. Sure, there is no obligation to write a nice review after a trip or a meal but if you trash the place in your review you can say goodbye to your relation with the agency which owns the market in a city or region. So yeah, these influencers might be independent from the companies but they are deep inside with the agencies.
Let's also talk about the NDA. In the PC world, it's becoming a great marketing tool. Some brands like GPU manufacturers like make deal with media. They sign a NDA about a product and then the media can access the product early, but wait, there is more. The multi-stage NDA where the specs are announced over a certain period of time (X specs on july 15, then Y specs on July 30, etc.) so the company secure cheap coverage over an extended period of time.

I'm writing for a photo website and we can get gears from a big retailers. It's much better because the retailers doesn't care what we write about it. We just have to put a link of the product in the article directing toward the retailers website..

Finally, the problem goes beyond press. The online influencers are much worst and I see so many people who try to "build an audience" just to get freebees (free trip, free gears, etc) so imagine what they would to for cash... And of course, they never disclose anything.

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I’m agree in some of what you said but you need to remember Luminous Landscape is a Photographic Website. I think you wishes for a Camera are similar than my but seems Canon mayor market for these still photography (At least they are very stupids) or maybe they can’t compete or are not interested. I think we should always look after Manufacturers like Panasonic  that major market is video Profesionals.

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And this is why I read eoshd.com.

I also for 10 years wrote regularly on my own tech blog (I managed to get 3 million views a month), an indeed many big companies invited me to their launches, until I wrote non-so-favorable things about them and I was suddenly (and still are, proudly) on their black list.

I think government entities should regulate these events, which in the end are unspoken bribery. Journalists and bloggers and whatnot should NOT accept these invitations to all-expense paid trips to enjoy themselves instead of doing a professional job.

What should be done instead? Maybe send a camera to their homes and have them test the equipment in an unbiased way, and stop the stupid practice of creating black lists for people who simply speak the truth. 

These companies should actually be grateful of the people who tell them things right on their face, so that they can improve their products and compete better, instead of getting praise for idiots and low-lifes who do not have the courage and the balls to behave like a true professional.

Kudos for you, you are not alone and that's why so many people like me do free PR for you so more people read your unbiased opinions.

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34 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I'll start believing these are impartial events when they start holding them in Hull instead of Hawaii.

 

Well this verse probably had an influence on them not coming there!

"From Hell, Hull and Halifax, good Lord deliver us"

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Dear Andrew,

first time I actually comment on your forum. I really wanted to mention that I appreciate you being truthful to yourself and outspoken. As mostly a consumer of news/hobby videographer I am only interested in a critical view at new developments (both positive and negative). Ultimately, what works for one person  with any given camera does not necessarily work for another and vice versa. So please do not change that approach and keep on with your journalistic approach.  

Being myself a Head of Marketing in the B2B world (instead of B2C) I can only underline your statement, Andrew, that nobody can really stay 100% objective after having been nicely treated at a wonderfully orchestrated event. If that were so, why would marketers literally pour tremendous amounts of money into such events if „theoretically“ good marketing claims could speak for themselves? Such events serve but one goal: Paint the newly launched product in the best possible light and create a fan basis for it subliminally. Who better to try to influence than multipliers? In many corporations codes of conduct (especially in purchasing departments) were developed over the past thirty years to try to reduce this kind of influencing from suppliers by not accepting any gift whatsoever from them.

Being on the marketing side I also ethically feel much better creating marketing stories/events for newly launched products where I know that there is fundamentally good evidence that this product will excel in at least one or better even in many categories/features vs competitor products. But when faced with a bad product to be newly launched it can be a tough job for any marketer. All the more reason to focus on the soft factors in marketing via nice events.

Last but not least: What is objectivity, anyway? How do you measure that? An honest opinion (negatives and positives) will always be biased but at least honest and not pretending to be non-biased. 

 

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I am a journalist by degree. And I used to be one by profession (work in marketing now).
Ive never reviewed a camera that I haven't bought for my own money. The only exception is the LS300 which I borrowed from JVC, but by the time of publishing the review I already had my own in transit, paid for by my own money.

In my reviews I tell it like I see it. I like to stay positive so I only review the stuff I like. Ive owned several cameras from various brands that might even appear on my channel but never gets reviewed. Thats because I didn't like them enough for what I use them for.

But with all that said, I never see myself as a "journalist" when I make my videos. And I would never describe any of the guys in hotel rooms as journalists. They are welcome to call themselves that, Im totally fine with that. But they would never get the recognition as being one from me or my colleagues at work whom also have a background in journalism. The same goes for former colleagues and class mates from the university. The way I view it, they are part of the marketing machine. They are brand ambassadors.

But its ok.
I really want to emphasize that Im fine with it. They aren't doing anything wrong. Im actually thankful that they do all the work, the traveling, etc just to provide me with useful, interesting and entertaining content. For free. Its a job like any other.

So to all of you there in Hawaii. Fro, Tony, Philip or who ever you are, Thank you :)

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4 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

 

But its ok.
I really want to emphasize that Im fine with it. They aren't doing anything wrong. Im actually thankful that they do all the work, the traveling, etc just to provide me with useful, interesting and entertaining content. For free. Its a job like any other.

So to all of you there in Hawaii. Fro, Tony, Philip or who ever you are, Thank you :)

Well they get paid from YouTube too and through affiliate links so not for free in a sense.

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I think one thing some ignore is the fact that most of the people writing and blogging about cameras simply aren't journalists. My degree is in journalism and I now work in marketing as well. There's a difference between a news story with both sides of the story and the five W's, and someone talking about a camera, because the camera talk is all subjective. Its not a story about using taxpayer money to fund a new school, its gear talk. But for some reason many now lump opinion pieces into journalism and then call out writers for being biased. I see the same thing with sports, people read a piece then bash the writer for shoddy journalism or bias.

I'm not trying to defend them in any way for not being forthright about the shortcomings of cameras at these junkets, we've seen a number of times where its made people look real bad for glossing over or flat out lying about issues - like the "a6300 doesn't overheat" talk at its launch when it turned out that camera had rampant overheating issues. It goes with the territory and nowadays there are plenty of other sources of information after the corporate sponsored hype subsides. As Mattias said, its just part of the marketing mix in 2018, this is a proven method of bringing a lot of attention to a new release. We're going to see a lot more of these events in the future with Nikon and Canon jumping into the fray.

Chris

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3 minutes ago, Lenscamera said:

My only issue is who it paying for them to be there? I am pretty sure us the consumers are paying for it. I am pretty sure these camera companies factor in that extra cost in the final cost of the camera. 

After tax write offs that amount of money for that event is a drop in the bucket.

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22 minutes ago, ntblowz said:

Well they get paid from YouTube too and through affiliate links so not for free in a sense.

Yes but you know exactly what mean :)

In case someone doesn't, I don't have to pay a subscription fee to view the videos or rad the articles.

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