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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:14 pm 
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A frequently asked question on the forum is what camera do I personally use. The simple answer is the one I'm testing right now!

In order to maximise my time with a new camera and be able to write a detailed review, I have to use it day-in day-out, so there's literally no time to use anything else.

As for preferred brands, I don't have any of those either. As a product tester, I have to remain unbiased, which is actually relatively easy when you're constantly trying so many different models. You get to see the pros and cons of each system, and hopefully that should come across in the reviews. Biased reporting only really becomes an issue with people who are familiar with just one or two systems - since these are the ones they know best, the others inevitably feel confusing and inferior.

I've been professionally testing products for over 17 years, so have seen a fair amount of varied kit during that time!

Which leads me to the final question - what cameras do I actually own?

Truth be told, I've actually owned cameras by all the major manufacturers over the years, along with some smaller ones too. I also buy a number of key models which will be used for multiple comparisons. This is because manufacturers get fed up with my constant requests to get popular cameras back in again and again for our repeat tests.

So apologies to anyone who hoped I'd side with a particular brand or even a particular model, but that's the truth!

Gordon Laing, Editor, Cameralabs.com


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:30 am 
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Do you ever field yourself in a situation where the only thing you have is a point&shoot, but you'd love to have a DSLR instead because of a particular scene you'd get a superb shot of? I've been in quite some situations where I could only get the shot right because I had a DSLR.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Thanks for the writeup Gordon!
Bjorn: I can imagine, I've experienced it many times, in particular when walking about with only my cell pone on me.
But hey, the best camera is the camera you use. If I sit at home with a D3X, and someone wins the pullitzer prize with a shot from a cheap P&S, that, at that moment, is the best camera, because it got him/her the shot :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Hi Bjorn, personally speaking, there's rarely a time when I don't have a DSLR with me - but not always through choice!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:41 am 
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Is there any particular reason why you don't test the high-end Canon or Nikon bodies? I'm talking models like the D3 or the 1Ds mark III...

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:21 am 
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jsiszero wrote:
Is there any particular reason why you don't test the high-end Canon or Nikon bodies? I'm talking models like the D3 or the 1Ds mark III...

Because the ones interested to buy the camera are:
- a small group, so the review will have a small targer group
- professionals, they don't really need (or have time) to read reviews, they just buy what's best.

I too would love a D3(x) review, but for most of us, it's just for the fun of reading it. Not because we're interested in buying one.

This is another question I've seen Gordon answering before.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:46 am 
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wow, that is quite an investment. Do you need to have some kind of company to request gears for review? or you can get it as individual?

Also do u consider renting? I think it is quite cool especially for lenses.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:34 pm 
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jsiszero wrote:
I'm talking models like the D3 or the 1Ds mark III...

You might be interested to read this:
http://photo.net/equipment/nikon/D3/D3-review

Now, let's get back on topic. :)

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Hi Enche, not sure if you were referring to me, but if you're a recognised journalist working for a known publication, then most companies will lend you kit to test. But believe me, there are big queues to borrow items.

That's not to say anyone can just start a website and expect to borrow stuff though. Remember I've been doing this for 17 years, including seven as a full time member of staff (culminating as the Editor) on the UK's oldest technology title, so I'm fairly well-known by most of the companies!

As for reviews of pro cameras, Bjorn is right in that there's little commerical demand for them here. I could review them, but if no-one responds to the ads, then it simply makes no money - it's like offering to work for free for two weeks.

But as an enthusiast, I am interested in seeing how they compare, so you will see some top-end cameras used in some comparisons. For instance, my Sony A900 review includes comparisons with the Canon 1Ds Mark III here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_ ... ults.shtml

And as it happens, I've been testing the D3x recently. This will be for some more comparisons...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:43 pm 
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I bet there's lot of users around here who'd be happy to spend two weeks working on a D3x review, but there's two problems: 1) the won't write reviews as good as yours, Gordon, and 2) the manufacturers would rather not send the cameras to them, I guess...

An alternative is to request fellow forum users to review their pro-spec camera in the User Review section...

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:58 am 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
Hi Enche, not sure if you were referring to me, but if you're a recognised journalist working for a known publication, then most companies will lend you kit to test. But believe me, there are big queues to borrow items.

That's not to say anyone can just start a website and expect to borrow stuff though. Remember I've been doing this for 17 years, including seven as a full time member of staff (culminating as the Editor) on the UK's oldest technology title, so I'm fairly well-known by most of the companies!

As for reviews of pro cameras, Bjorn is right in that there's little commerical demand for them here. I could review them, but if no-one responds to the ads, then it simply makes no money - it's like offering to work for free for two weeks.

But as an enthusiast, I am interested in seeing how they compare, so you will see some top-end cameras used in some comparisons. For instance, my Sony A900 review includes comparisons with the Canon 1Ds Mark III here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_ ... ults.shtml

And as it happens, I've been testing the D3x recently. This will be for some more comparisons...


thanks for the explanations. you're probably right about the high end dslr camera. Even Ken Rockwell won't buy D3X hehe..

about reviewing gears, at first probably it is a fun job, but after a while it is might become time consuming and annoying routine.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:03 am 
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Gordon, it's a wee bit off topic, probably been answered some where else, but is CL like your job? It seems really cool to think about running a site and doing reviews for work. (I know it's not as easy as that but I don't know if I'd call it the worlds most difficult, not quite running a country or anything--is it?)

Sorry to be so nosey. Now you're brand unbiased, how about level? do you prefer a consumer v. prosumer v. pro?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:32 am 
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Hi Jake, yes, Cameralabs is now my full-time job, and I work almost every single day on it.

When I first launched the site, it was a part-time job because I was still writing a lot for various UK technology and camera magazines. As time went on though, I reduced my magazine work, until it was just my monthly columns in PCW magazine. Then when PCW was closed a couple of months ago, I effectively went full-time here.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:16 am 
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Wow, I think thats really neat you've gone full time at this Gordon. Its nice to have an experienced pro to throw questions at, as most professionals keep to them selves in fear of creating competition. You're an inspiration to us all. You're a role model to me and many of the younger CL forum members. My favorite thing about Camera Labs is you, you make this place what it is. Thank you for creating this wonderful website!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:26 am 
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Thanks Tomis! I think it's you guys that really make the site - the dedicated members who help each other develop their skills, encourage new members, and of course defuse any arguments!


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