The marketing gurus at the major camera manufacturers are obsessed with social media personalities.
It’s time they started rewarding the written word again and quality journalism.
Social media influencers will one day go out of fashion. The only constant is written information. There are books over 2000 years old that are huge influencers today, whereas influential TV shows go back a few years at best. DPReview is the equivalent of the Bible for digital cameras. Why does everything have to be dumbed down to the level of TV?
DPReview is our loss, but also the camera industry’s loss. It has the potential to do huge damage. It’s a major hub for the community, especially photography. As the Kazuto Yamaki of Sigma said in his final interview with DPReview just now, 2023 is looking like a difficult year for the camera industry. The last thing we need is to damage the community online.
Yamaki-san is a true camera enthusiast who understands the need to engage their customers at a deeper level than a hard sales pitch on Amazon or Facebook. Sigma have an in-house magazine (Sigma Sein) and blog, their own content and in-depth testimonials from engineers. Imagine if every book shelf and every magazine stand and every search engine just had a load of adverts? People would absolutely switch off.
The camera industry faces so many different threats. Smartphones, AI, you name it. Nobody wants to see the camera market shrink any more than it already has done. That’s why we need proper communities and resources online, to popularise photography and filmmaking with mirrorless cameras.
Unfortunately we are not being taken care of. The internet is in a terrible state. I have always felt that there’s no loyalty either – you can be dropped at any moment by the marketing department of a camera giant. I have never had financial support from the camera industry, which makes it so difficult to grow or expand EOSHD. For my support of them perhaps I should have had. It’s tough even to get an honest interview out of a company like Sony or Fuji, let alone those companies being pro-active on their side, in taking care of important sites and making sure they’re economically OK. I have done my best to support this site and the mirrorless camera community around it. I have bought so much camera gear I’ve quite honestly lost count. It’s taken an enormous financial toll on me. The moment a company like Sony has finished using you, you never hear from anyone again. They will pick you up, butter you up, and then just leave you for dead as soon as someone more popular comes along.
Rewind back to 2003 and I am buying my first DSLR. If it were not for the internet and the review sites online at the time – DPReview, Imaging Resource and Steve’s Digicams, there’s no way I would have spent as much money or had the same enthusiasm for gear and technology.
The internet is a huge catalyst and accelerant when it comes to consumer spending. In recent years, the zeitgeist has been with the bullshitters, clickweasals and hype artists on social media. They have a knack of converting views into sales compared to the written word. Well trust me it won’t last. These things go in and out of fashion like flannel shirts on Instagram. The written article is a constant bedrock of information and real world experience. The majority of us are already tired of social media personalities and most of us see through the hype. What’s ALWAYS needed is trustworthy factual journalism and real creative inspiration. It’s the bedrock of camera marketing and sales, and has always been since the 1970s.
I don’t think the camera industry realises how important this is. DPReview have been going for 25 years, longer than nearly all the major tech blogs and FAR longer than any social media influencer. I don’t think the camera industry knows how positive it is to encourage these sites and people like me to expand what I do and invest in it. I really do think that companies like Sony and Canon are completely indifferent and out of the loop. They are obsessed with trends and short lived fashions. There’s always going to be some grifter willing to shill for them, it doesn’t seem to matter to the corporate men in expensive big city real estate what sort of culture there is around an industry, for them it’s all about short term monetary gains and promotions. It doesn’t seem to matter what sort of online ecosystem there is or what sort of community there is to encourage new photographers and new filmmakers into the industry.
The professional community also leans heavily on the internet for knowledge and recommendations. If you look at the height of the DSLR video revolution how many pros bought a 5D Mark II? Well it was enthusiasts and blogs that started that.
In fact there are quite a few professionals who are far less tech savvy than your average advanced enthusiast.
In recent years I’ve come to realise myself how valuable the written factual side of cameras is. It doesn’t matter who you are, be it a first time customers, student, artist, pro or enthusiast, you need to be inspired, interested and educated in gear to have any interest in laying down big money for it. Otherwise, you may as well go and pick up a Canon 5D Mark II for £200 on eBay with a 50mm F1.8 and get shooting.
I can only hope that the death of DPReview is a wake-up call for the entire camera industry.
Stop pandering to transient short-lived popular social media influencers!!
Support the REAL backbone of your industry… blogs like this one, sites like DPReview, forums and enthusiasts!
Without us, you’re gone next.