About Gordon Laing
Camera Labs is a one-man operation run by Gordon Laing - that's me! On this page I'll tell you a little bit about myself and what makes my work different from the other photography publications out there.
But first the numbers! Camera Labs has grown steadily since launch in 2005 and currently serves over 3 million pages to over 750,000 unique visitors a month; industry standard web auditor Alexa ranks Cameralabs in the top 24,000 of all sites worldwide. I host video reviews on YouTube which have been watched over 29 million times and I have a strong following on the leading social networks with over 4,100 subscribers on Twitter, 228,000 Followers on FaceBook, 770,000 on Google+ and 78,000 on YouTube. (Figures correct as of November 2013).
As for me, I've been into photography since early childhood, and always loved finding out how cameras, computers and other devices worked. I pursued the science behind them at the University of Kent, graduating with a degree in Physics, before taking my first job as a staff writer on Personal Computer World, the longest-running PC magazine in the UK in 1992.
During seven years at PCW I specialized in imaging hardware and graphics software, reviewing digital cameras from their birth with the 0.3 Megapixel Apple QuickTake 100 along with early versions of Adobe Photoshop. I later become the Editor of the magazine before kicking-off a six year freelance career, regularly contributing to Digital SLR User, Professional Photographer, MacUser, PC Pro, Computeractive, T3, The Times Educational Supplement, The London Evening Standard and The Register. During this time I was also the co-host of a weekly technology chat show on London's LBC radio, a regular guest on Sky gadget TV shows, and an author after Ilex Press / Sybex published my first book, Digital Retro, an illustrated history of home computers in the 80s.
After 13 years of writing for technology and photography magazines in the UK I launched Camera Labs. I was frustrated by the lack of detail in typical magazine and web reviews and loved the idea of being entirely responsible for my content along with its marketing and presentation. Today my reviews are some the most detailed out there, typically running to over 20,000 words each.
I'd also become tired of technical charts being used to evaluate cameras, so shortly after launching Camera Labs I swapped them for real-life tests which revealed how they'd actually perform under natural conditions. A six year relocation to Queenstown, New Zealand, followed by a life as a full-time traveller ensured I was never short of spectacular views for test shots. So instead of photographing test charts and still-life scenes at close range under artificial light, I prefer to test cameras by photographing real landscape views, outdoors in natural light with lenses focused to infinity, or the interiors of detailed and interesting buildings in low light. The results from these images better reflect how many of us use our cameras and I think are more relevant - not to mention more atractive - than a studio shot.
I also thoroughly test a camera's continuous shooting and autofocusing capabilities in real-life action and sporting environments, and I've always embraced new technologies, providing in-depth reports on Live View, movie modes and computer-based remote control since they were first introduced. I'm not one of those guys who thinks cameras were better in the old days without Wifi, movies, Live View, AF or even auto exposure.
Some time ago I realized written reviews could only go so far in describing certain features or performance, so in 2006 I started supplementing my reports with filmed video demonstrations, hosted on YouTube. These days video reports on gear have become commonplace but back in 2006 I was one of the first to publish them, and some of my most popular videos now have over one million views each.
I've also really thrown myself into social networking and instead of just pushing automated links to my content, I personally write all my posts and actively engage with followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to answer questions and debate new technologies. I've also used the hangout capabilities of Google+ to directly engage with readers of Camera Labs along with presenting shows with other photographers around the world.
I hope you'll agree it's the combination all of these things which make Camera Labs unique in the world of photography publications.
Today Camera Labs also remains almost entirely a one-man operation. Since each of my reviews can run to over 20,000 words across several pages I can only manage to cover the most important models myself, although I've increased the coverage of products by commissioning a handful of freelance contributors. Most notably Ken McMahon, a former colleague on PCW magazine, now writes most of the point-and-shoot reviews, while Camera Labs' forum moderator Thomas delivers regular in-depth reviews of Nikkor lenses.
None of this would be possible without your support, and Camera Labs is entirely funded by commission from sales at partner stores, sales of eBooks and coffee donations! So if you've found any of my reviews useful, please do check out my page of partner stores as clicking through to any of them before ordering anything will mean they pay me a small commission fee. Alternatively check out my selection of photography ebooks or simply consider shouting me a cup of coffee at my favourite café via PayPal - see picture opposite!
Another great way to support Camera Labs is to tell your friends, family and colleagues about the site. If you like an article, then please do click the Twitter, Facebook and or G+ buttons to share it with your friends - it really does help! And don't forget to follow me on your favourite social networks as I'm always up for a chat about my loves of photography, technology, science, food and travel!
Thanks and see you online!
Gordon Laing, Editor, Camera Labs and DSLR Tips. Follow me on Twitter, FaceBook and Google+
Several websites have been kind enough to link to my reviews. I greatly appreciate
Many thanks to you all, and of course anyone I haven't mentioned!
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