Video Reviews Without Content
A very short rant:
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about doing some podcast type videos and looking into a new walking around camera, the Lumix ZS8 (Some notes here). As part of both projects I’ve watched a countless number of supposedly professional review type videos for point and shoot cameras. One thing has become painfully obvious and that is that the people writing/presenting these video presentations have probably never even heard of let alone used the cameras that they are describing. The information that they give tends to be a combination of spec sheet and statements of the blindingly obvious with little or no insight into the actual model being discussed.
The presenter will give the zoom factor without mentioning the 35mm efl at the wideangle end, obviously not even realizing that without this number the zoom X number is meaningless. A lens may be say 4X but 4X what? a 4X with a lower end of 24mm is a very different beast than one with a lower end of 35mm. For starters the former would give a telephoto end of only 96mm as opposed to the latter’s 140mm. Now multiply this up for a 20x zoom (not uncommon nowadays) and the discrepancy at the top end explodes to over 200mm. Add to this the fact that there is a huge difference in using a camera with an efl of 24mm and 35mm without even taking the zoom factor into account and it becomes obvious that any review that doesn’t mention this base efl number is worse than useless. A review without this critical information is written and presented by someone who doesn’t even possess a rudimentary knowledge about point and shoot cameras.
Another pet peeve is the amount of time devoted to knobs buttons and gimmicks as opposed to the things that matter such as sensor and lens performance. Suspect that this is due to falling under the geek banner along with other tech such as cellphones and games machines. So not only does the presenter not give the all important base efl number, he will probably wax poetically about functions that no one actually uses. Specific examples that I have seen include a presenter damning a camera because of its panorama stitching function and another bemoaning the lack of a firework setting. I kid you not.
The amount of information contained in video reviews is so minimal as to be embarrassing. If you do not believe me do a YouTube search for the Lumix ZS8. You can watch every video and learn no more than you would if you read a well written 150 word or so review.
End of rant.