How review sites have become an extension of camera sales programs

While many reviews provide useful information about camera features and capabilities, behind the scenes, many, if not most, are now motivated by increasing sales revenue of everyone involved.

Youtube camera enthusiast review “channels” are frequently tied to affiliate marketing programs. Watch the review, click on the link to one of the online retailers helpfully included with the review, and the reviewer sees a sales commission if you make a purchase (of any product on the web site, not just the camera).

Further, everyone is caught up with the idea that the next camera model with 20% more pixels will somehow make one a better photographer. Granted, there are some photographers and especially professionals and the semi-professional (wants to be a pro) for whom new features can improve efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and quality. But for the rest of us, the latest and greatest is often for bragging rights and showing off.

DPReview.com emailed a summary of new items on their web site with this interesting wording:

Translation: We only get excited about really expensive cameras!

Everything is oriented towards not only having you salivate over the latest and greatest but to shame you in spending more money. No one wants to be seen in public with a camera for which you have not spent enough money! And geesh, only spending $900 – what sort of photo wimp are you?

Cameras have become the 21st century sports car, generally impractical but certainly a tool to impress others! We need not go far to see people hiking on trails with $10,000 worth of camera gear – the same price as a decent used car.

In the past two weeks I’ve had 2 photos selected and highlighted in the Flickr “Explore” photo collection, receiving thousands of views.

What’s my secret? I used discontinued, cheap Nikon 1 cameras, one of which cost me about US $200 🙂 Because photography isn’t about how much money you’ve spent on your camera!

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