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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:50 pm 
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My progression in photographic equipment went from film in the 60's through to the 90's to the Minolta A2 as my first digital which actually got any use, and more recently on to a plethora of different digital cameras with ยต4/3 being one of my favorite platforms. When Nikon released the D1 in 1999 their 1st digital camera, I was still thinking (perhaps correctly) that DSLRs weren't really up to spec falling short of my expectations. Since then of course there have been constant improvements and many technological contributions from various manufacturers! We're to the point now where manufacturers can begin to explore a variety of form factors, mix and match new and old tech, and still always produce cameras which are to or above my expectations as a film shooter from the 60's.

As digital camera specs progressed and (usually) increased Cameralabs.com was one of my main stop off points to see who was doing what, where it was at, and what I could expect in an almost round by round basis every year or so. I'd head straight to the Videos and watch all these new cameras being shown and used. Gordon's signature "Here it is, The _____" was a welcome and endearing predicate to the juicy details I knew I was in for.

But a few years ago he slowed way down and it seems as if he's now almost completely stopped. Over the past years I've really missed his video introductions for cameras like Panasonic's GH2, GX1, Sony's NEX line now with a very usable Nex7, Ricoh's revisit to the world of modularity, Olympus's progression to a very decent semi-pro body in the OM-D E-M5, Fujifilm's resurrection of the affordable rangefinder, and many good DSLRs from Nikon and Canon. Some of these are of course reviewed in text like the excellent write-up on the Oly OM-D but where are the video introductions and overviews I dig so much? I have really missed them and I wonder if I might petition him now to continue with these little gems?

Thanks for reading and don't be shy. If you feel the same way or know of some information I might be missing out on feel free to reply. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:44 am 
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Absolutely agree! The video reviews are what made Camera Labs so unique and attracted a much wider audience (myself included). On a slightly different note - might just be me, but lately it seems the forum activity has gone down a lil' over the past few months? :(

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:36 pm 
+1 - Gordon's abilities to present the functions of a device in very adequate detail, and "get across" its abilities, while using easily understood plain English, are greatly appreciated by we less techy folk, while still including the information the more advanced folk need.

A presentation video at that quality level is a lot of work - and time - so, while we'd certainly like one for every new device released - we should realise that isn't yet feasible.

Regards, Dave.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:05 am 
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I couldn't agree more, actually I found CameraLabs.com by watching Gordon's videos on YouTube and now that he's practically stopped doing them I'm quite sad, even if his written reviews are great and very clear.
Also I think that the forums are actually less active than before as pointed out by eVolution.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:41 pm 
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I agree 100%; I was initially attracted to CL by the D5000 video review, which I found to be informative and straight to the point. While DRTV is entertaining, Gordon's reviews are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of overall information presented.

I also concur about the point regarding forum activity, it seems to have decreased substantially. We used to get 3+ pages of On Assignment entries, and now we're lucky to get 5 photos!

I realize that the video reviews take time, but if it was made on of CL's top priorities, it would no doubt increase site traffic and forum activity. YT is where quite a few people go to get info and reviews, and with the current CL videos aging, they're getting less views, therefor less traffic to cameralabs.com.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Yep, besides web-crawling and search-result order (very manipulatable!) I guess YT would be a fairly big traffic generator.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:39 pm 
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Hi everyone, and in particular to Tesselator for starting this thread!

For a while I made a video review to go with every camera I tested, but I stopped for several reasons:

1: It was becoming hard to get hold of many brands in my home base of New Zealand, including Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and others. In fact today I can only get hold of Canon, Nikon and Panasonic in NZ.

2: The video reviews hardly generated any money at all. The thing you have to realise is this is pretty much a one-man operation and it's also my full time job which supports my family. As such I have to be really careful how I spend my time, and as much as I'd like to do video reviews for everything, they were like working for nothing for about a week at a time. I simply can't afford to do that. Most of the viewers also watched them on YouTube, then never visited cameralabs and complained when I suggested they might want to.

3: The time saved by not doing video reviews has been ploughed into doing more written reviews. So previously I was publishing one or two reviews a month, whereas now I'm publishing about four a month, or even more when I have contributors submitting material at the same time.

This in turn has resulted in more visitors to the site, better search rankings and greater revenue.

I should also add I don't miss the regular comments by haters on YouTube which was really putting me off from uploading anything else. I was also finding many viewers seemed to prefer the irreverent style of DigitalREV and others to my somewhat dry presentations. I was beginning to feel I was doing the wrong thing for that market.

But I'm still fond of the video format and appreciate it was something which made cameralabs different.

I also appreciate again that it drew lots of really great people to the site.

So I would really like to start doing them again, but I have to do it in a way that works for the business, and that's what i'm currently figuring out,

In the meantime, i have actually made a series of new videos you might enjoy which document the first few weeks of an extended trip i'm currently taking around the world. You can find them at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Working_holiday/

Cheers!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Awe, :(

Well, I guess the money thing makes it nearly impossible but a couple of things I think might be worth commenting on anyway:

1: "It was becoming hard to get hold of many brands in my home base of New Zealand"...

I live in Japan, have a good reputation and record for dealing with others over equipment sales and so on and would be willing to act as a go between.



3a: "comments by haters on YouTube"...

I think youtube is a place where posters should do I&I (insert and ignore) and should not interact or even read the comments unless they're idea of fun is writing one-line zingers and mud slinging. There's a way to disable comments too I think and this should probably be exercised by anyone not into that. Likewise all PM and mail updating serves should be blocked and/or turned off. Once one learns never to scroll below Like/Unlike stats YouTube becomes a fairly useful tool for the dissemination of information. The reputation and results one gains from posting videos such as yours are acquired gradually too I think. As people search and land on your videos repeatedly the reputation points (such as accuracy, common sense, eloquence, and etc.) are reinforced in the viewers minds and they become fans. I think this kind of fan is more loyal and thus more apt to join and recommend this site - thus generating traffic - (which you say generates income?).



3b: "So I would really like to start doing them again, but I have to do it in a way that works for the business, and that's what i'm currently figuring out,"...

How about sponsoring? That's how DigitalRev is doing it in large part. It takes a bit of canvasing and some time to build the database of contacts but they also grow automatically as channel views and subscribers increase - and I think logarithmically in scale. The mention of "Please Subscribe" and youtube-to-subscriber mailings help build and keep that growing as well. In any case I certainly wouldn't mind a commercial message scroll at the end of your videos or whatever format you're comfortable with. The socialized presence (links at right of the DigitalRev channel - or on your own channel) is also a wonderful toolset for unmanned self-propulsion!


3c: And finally I'll be looking forward to watching your Working Holiday feature series! Thanks for that!!!


Thanks for taking the time to reply and explain too! Much appreciated!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:05 am 
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A couple of tips for you on the road:

Some black construction paper, 6 large paperclips as stays, and some velcro (magic tape) makes an almost free light hood for your laptop which makes viewing in sunlight possible and even pleasant!

Using a dynamic mic instead of a condenser will eliminate most BG noises on the street - even most trucks and motorcycles. In home studios as well! For home studio recording nothing beats the Heil PR-40 for about $150 to $200 street price until you get up near or a little past the $1k range. Bob is the master at designing dynamic mics for use in voice recording! Using a dynamic mic designed for vocal ranges is simply the very best way to cut BG noises out of the recording - errr, by not ever recording them in the first place. :) Audio shop employees and many/most college students will mostly tell you that Voice-mic equals condenser-mic and in a sound-proof audio booth or a well mixed over-miced stage arrangement this is correct but on the street or even in a normal house near a street this is a mistake. The problem with many dynamic mic designs is proximity and direction. Most cheap ones have a narrow semi-spherical almost conical sensitivity profile out to about only one meter or so. They also don't work well with AGC as BG ambiance is almost completely dead and flat which is actually what you want for voice and interviews - if you can control proximity well like I see you doing in your road videos - but which will send AGC through the roof searching for a level. For street interviews and outdoor inner-city voice recording I'd probably tape a Heil PR 31BW or the HM-Pro + up to something like the Oly LS-100 or the Zoom H4 or H4n and switch off (or mix down) their built-in condenser mics. The later even doubles as USB audio interface so you could ditch your dedicated one, add the dynamic mic, and still not gain weight or add to the number of items you're currently carrying. :) A 6 inch XLR cable would be the only extra and that would probably fit in the same case as the mic - if you were to fold it in half.


BTW, does your Zoom H2n accept XLR inputs? If it does then ya might wanna try it out with a Heil dynamic mic or any other dynamic vocal mic really... Maybe an audio shop will allow you to plug in their floor demo model if they carry them - If they will the first thing you should notice is that all the clammer of the shop and outside traffic drop out just about completely. :)
.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
I was also finding many viewers seemed to prefer the irreverent style of DigitalREV and others to my somewhat dry presentations. I was beginning to feel I was doing the wrong thing for that market.

But I'm still fond of the video format and appreciate it was something which made cameralabs different.

I also appreciate again that it drew lots of really great people to the site.

So I would really like to start doing them again, but I have to do it in a way that works for the business, and that's what i'm currently figuring out,

In the meantime, i have actually made a series of new videos you might enjoy which document the first few weeks of an extended trip i'm currently taking around the world. You can find them at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/Working_holiday/

Cheers!

Gordon


I for one, certainly benefited by your reviews on youtube Gordon, that's why I registered here! As for, as you called it "dry presentations" give me your brilliantly informative reviews over DigitalREV's anytime!! I still watch them and am at the moment trying to decide which purchase to make, I know you'll point me in the right direction! :lol:
Look forward to your video Working _holiday. Thanks again for your help and advice
Kind regards.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:31 am 
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Thanks for the tips Tesselator, audio can be a real challenge, but so far I'm really impressed by the H2n - no XLR inputs sadly, that's one of the differences with the H4n, but so long as I can get it close to me, the quality is generally pretty good,

primrosegirl thanks for your support!

I definitely plan to do more videos in the future, once I settle down after my big trip away.

PS - a quick note about digitalREV - it's an online shop with a youtube channel for promotion, so the shop pays for the videos.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Ah, so that's what he meant be "sponsored" ... I see.

Thanks!


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