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Andrew Reid

Why the camera press need to grow a pair of balls

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Andrew, your point that PR events can soften criticism is forcefully made.

I will add that such PR events do not necessarily soften criticism.

While we are still at the point of digesting specs and little has yet been shot or written, Kevin Raber pointedly says that there are hits and misses with this new camera.

It remains to be seen if Luminous Landscape is invited to future Canon events.

Chris 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
11 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

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

Yup. They are influencers, which is also a job. But its not journalism.

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Well put, Andrew. Thank you.

As one person put it, it is us, the consumers, that end up footing the bill for these events and the nauseating, sugar-coated reviews we get from it later. The extra $300 on the EOS-R body covers the cost of this dishonest extravaganza. 

Need to put pressure on the "journalists" and unsubscribe from their channels...

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2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

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.

The sorts of people who buy FF cameras are exactly those who DO give a crap about those things.

18 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. 

It is part of the marketing budget. Essentially it is low cost advertising. You get some guy (or girl) to market for you and in return they get a dinner and a hotel room for a few days. If you had to actually pay them to perform this service for you it would cost 10 times as much. You spend $2,000 or so to get a large chunk of marketing done by someone who has credibility with consumers. Or you can spend $20,000 to get a similar marketing package done by someone the consumer has never heard of and has no credibility. From Canon's point of view this is awesome because these people will work for them for peanuts and be super happy about it.

26 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

 Nikon and Canon jumping into the fray.

 

Nikon seem to do a pretty crappy job at it though. The prime offenders appear to be Canon and Sony, both of them exploit the free labor to the max.

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23 minutes ago, Mokara said:

The sorts of people who buy FF cameras are exactly those who DO give a crap about those things.

This is an entry level one. No big time pro is going to buy this thing and shoot Weddings with it. They will get one sure just to get into the system, but it is gimped to hell every way you look at it video and stills, They will wait for the 5D mk IV body or the 1Dx mk II body. This is a camera you throw in the Minivan and go to the park. This is not a camera you are going to make a living with.

The vast majority of people that buy this camera are clueless about most of the specs. They will buy it because it is a Canon with DPAF. This thing doesn't even have continuous shooting in silent shutter. This thing will not be worth a shit at weddings like I said or anything like plays etc.. It is a beginners camera. If you give a crap about stills and video you are Not going to buy this particular model. It is their first effort, and it sure as hell looks it.

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

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

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

A classic episode of one of the UK's favourite comedy series is called "To Hull And Back"

To be fair, I do have a fair amount of affection for the place as I've set sail from and returned there on many continental adventures over the years. 

On 364 days of the year its a decent place to test a camera's weather sealing as well.

What the YouTube reviewing glitterati would make of the local delicacy - the Hull Pattie - is a different story.

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16 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

This is an entry level one. No big time pro is going to buy this thing and shoot Weddings with it. They will get one sure just to get into the system, but it is gimped to hell every way you look at it video and stills, They will wait for the 5D mk IV body or the 1Dx mk II body. This is a camera you throw in the Minivan and go to the park. This is not a camera you are going to make a living with.

The vast majority of people that buy this camera are clueless about most of the specs. They will buy it because it is a Canon with DPAF. This thing doesn't even have continuous shooting in silent shutter. This thing will not be worth a shit at weddings like I said or anything like plays etc.. It is a beginners camera. If you give a crap about stills and video you are Not going to buy this particular model. It is their first effort, and it sure as hell looks it.

Soccer mom is not going to go and buy it either. That market is much more likely to buy a Rebel/M camera. Because they do the same job and are considerably smaller and easier on the hands of that demographic. Soccer mom wants more dof, not less, so is likely to think that FF cameras are kind of crappy when they look at the results it produces.

Soccer mom will have no clue what DPAF is btw, nor will he/she care. It will not be a real marketing point. It is something that is important to YOU, but Soccer mom won't give a shit about that or understand what it is.

The people who buy FF cameras that are "entry level" generally are people who DO care about specs, but can't otherwise afford to spend the money that the high end products cost.

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Some great posts in this thread!

2 hours ago, Elias said:

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.

I feel sorry for the superior products (Blackmagic, Panasonic) being outspent on marketing dollars by Canikon. All this bribery costs money.

2 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

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

 

Haha. Shooting restricted to Hull city centre. Pay your own taxi. Let's see what DPR Jordan thinks of the EOS R video mode then!!

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Are yall really this naive? This has been going on for decades, if not centuries.

I worked at a tech press agency in the early 00's and we got invited all over europe for product releases.. Sony, Nokia, Apple..

Open bars, buffets, gift bags...etc.. The first iPod, we all got to take one home..

I get this may shock people, and I can't say i condone such practices but like it or not it's pretty standard within the industry.

I also don't get why Canon is being singled-out here. Nikon flew the same guys out to NYC 2 weeks ago, gave them helicopter tours.

Sony flew them to Las Vegas for A73 launch, had them on dune buggies etc.. i didn't hear any outrage over that and the outcoming reviews.

Finally i didn't find DPreview or Jared Polins after-launch videos to be in any way apologetic towards the product?

If anything they all seemed very jet-lagged & tired out, so maybe Hawai wasn't even that brilliant of an idea. Just my $0.2

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What I got in this thread is that most of the EOSHD user with a degree in journalism are working in marketing - which show the decline of journalism around the world...

(I'm not a journalist, but most of my friends are, and I'm married to one that - you guessed it - is transitioning to marketing :) )

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35 minutes ago, Django said:

I worked at a tech press agency in the early 00's and we got invited all over europe for product releases.. Sony, Nokia, Apple..

Open bars, buffets, gift bags...etc.. The first iPod, we all got to take one home..

I think the salient point here, though, is that you were attending in the capacity of an employee of a bona fide media organisation.

The events you were covering were a part of a job you were already being paid to do regardless and the success of the specific product in question had no direct impact on your income.

Direct affiliate links to the product being "reviewed" and ad traffic generated by the hype around them is actually directly linked to the income of many - but not all -of these individuals on YouTube.

If they don't go to the event, generate some heat for the product and see it sell then they don't earn from that week or that month's new product cycle.

When you have that sort of direct correlation to an individual's income then its a completely different dynamic to a salaried journalist covering an event.

The real problem is how blurred the lines have become between the two.

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Indeed that is a very good point BTM, before the internet dominance, PR jaunts used to be aimed at organisations with salaried employees and a few editors, now they are aimed at individual people, "influencers", bloggers and YouTubers. Big difference. The dynamic is very different when you are dealing one-to-one with these corporations, it's very hard to look a gift horse in the face again and again. It's also far easier for a camera company who doesn't like a particular site or blog, to absolutely crush them.

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That is a good point.. but what are these youtube/blog guys supposed to do then? refuse invites to gear they cover? Set limits to what's acceptable? Or start a strike towards ambitious out of town launch events? Serious question. I know some of these guys have said (i think it was Tony & Chelsea) they've been banned from product launches from certain companies they've critiqued in the past. If true now that's seriously messed up. 

But I don't think any of these guys are on a payola system or anything,  even though they get called shills all the time by various angry fanboys. They get flown around for PR events, does that pump them up a bit? maybe, didn't seem the case today here again. Are they losing their independance? Perhaps, if they're bad journalists/reviewers. In the end, a lot of it is subjective opinion by mainly photographers that know little about video,  and if anything i've found critiquing gear (extensively) seems to be the trend. Maybe it generates more clicks i dunno. I try and weed out the crap and form my own opinion anyways.

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34 minutes ago, Django said:

That is a good point.. but what are these youtube/blog guys supposed to do then? refuse invites to gear they cover? Set limits to what's acceptable? Or start a strike towards ambitious out of town launch events? Serious question. I know some of these guys have said (i think it was Tony & Chelsea) they've been banned from product launches from certain companies they've critiqued in the past. If true now that's seriously messed up. 

Ideally, you'd say they should start a real magazine but that ship has sailed.

I think the Patreon route and a generic affiliate link to a retailer (i.e. not one directly linked to specific products) is a way forward.

I'd venture that the cost of sending the cameras to all the reviewers (including the depreciation cost of selling them as B stock) is way cheaper than flying them all to a venue and putting them up for the night so there's no economic argument to have the events.

Giving them a two or three week window to thoroughly test it with a publishing embargo to a launch date is a better solution for the reviewers to give it a more thoughtful and considered conclusion.

This is exactly how real product reviews in real magazines have worked for years so why does it have to be different now, particularly when you factor in the additional time it takes to create and upload the review piece itself ?

You've only got to look at the Northup's EOS-R video from today where the poor woman is literally falling asleep by the end of it to understand why the pressure to publish an instant reaction is in no one's best interests. 

It could actually work in the camera manufacturer's favour too, particularly when you have outbreaks of hysteria over battery life, card slots, AF compatibility and so on that could actually be quelled or at least better contextualised with a longer time to review its performance in real world situations.

The interesting contrast currently for me is between how BlackMagic are drip feeding more considered footage from the Pocket4K and the more positive impact that is having on the perceived quality of that camera's output versus what the "Here's an hour with a camera, you've got another hour after that to get it on the internet before everyone else in this room does" approach from these recent frenzied launches has had on the perception of the image quality of those cameras.

BlackMagic have actually created more genuine excitement and certainty about buying a product that barely anyone has had in their hands by showing what it can do in the right hands rather than just everyone's hands.

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The manufacturer have one job. Make a good camera! Good cameras have a tendency to sell!

Their job isn't to brainwash the camera press.

Or at least it shouldn't be.

All a reviewer needs to do a review, is the camera on his desk and a wherewithal to shoot with it.

When a manufacturer is spending millions to jazz up the content provider's output with photos of Hawaii and Iceland we have advertorial.

When they leave it up to the reviewer to do his own shoots, we see what he's capable of in the plain light of day and see what the camera is capable of in the same warts 'n all real-world.

The way it is going, is that tech journalism is becoming like a glossy lifestyle magazine.

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16 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Ideally, you'd say they should start a real magazine but that ship has sailed.

I think the Patreon route and a generic affiliate link to a retailer (i.e. not one directly linked to specific products) is a way forward.

I'd venture that the cost of sending the cameras to all the reviewers (including the depreciation cost of selling them as B stock) is way cheaper than flying them all to a venue and putting them up for the night so there's no economic argument to have the events.

Giving them a two or three week window to thoroughly test it with a publishing embargo to a launch date is a better solution for the reviewers to give it a more thoughtful and considered conclusion.

This is exactly how real product reviews in real magazines have worked for years so why does it have to be different now, particularly when you factor in the additional time it takes to create and upload the review piece itself ?

You've only got to look at the Northup's EOS-R video from today where the poor woman is literally falling asleep by the end of it to understand why the pressure to publish an instant reaction is in no one's best interests. 

It could actually work in the camera manufacturer's favour too, particularly when you have outbreaks of hysteria over battery life, card slots, AF compatibility and so on that could actually be quelled or at least better contextualised with a longer time to review its performance in real world situations.

The interesting contrast currently for me is between how BlackMagic are drip feeding more considered footage from the Pocket4K and the more positive impact that is having on the perceived quality of that camera's output versus what the "Here's an hour with a camera, you've got another hour after that to get it on the internet before everyone else in this room does" approach from these recent frenzied launches has had on the perception of the image quality of those cameras.

 

Oh i agree with you.. most of these YT "reviews" shouldn't at all be called "reviews". Some have the decency of calling it a preview or hands-on. 

Of course the companies doing these big group launch events are counting on the press to make simultanuous buzz over their secret product reveal to echo the hype.

Pretty sure Apple invented or at least mastered the art of what is known as the keynote event, with a big stage introduction & then quick hands-on for attendees.

So again nothing really new here.. and then you got the "teasers" and the "leaks" which have internet forums going crazy over wild speculation (of course we're all victims here of it). At least Canon didn't do the whole countdown thing with endless teaser vids. what a relief.

 

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4 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

This is an entry level one. No big time pro is going to buy this thing and shoot Weddings with it. They will get one sure just to get into the system, but it is gimped to hell every way you look at it video and stills, They will wait for the 5D mk IV body or the 1Dx mk II body. This is a camera you throw in the Minivan and go to the park. This is not a camera you are going to make a living with.

The vast majority of people that buy this camera are clueless about most of the specs. They will buy it because it is a Canon with DPAF. This thing doesn't even have continuous shooting in silent shutter. This thing will not be worth a shit at weddings like I said or anything like plays etc.. It is a beginners camera. If you give a crap about stills and video you are Not going to buy this particular model. It is their first effort, and it sure as hell looks it.

Most consumers don't understand the difference been APS-C and Full Frame either. 

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