29th Jan 2006

Digital Camera Ratings

Checking out the various digital camera review ratings sites, before you buy a digital camera, lets you have the opportunity to get the opinions of hundreds of people without having to buy them all a beer. As we all know, opinions are, well, opinions, and you may not agree with them. The purpose of this article is to give you some basic guidelines to help you get the best out of the digital camera review sites that are all over the Internet.

Types of Review Sites

Essentially there are three types of digital camera review ratings sites. The amateur sites contain reviews by other users of the camera and generally depict their real-life experiences. Because these reviews are written by just plain folk, like you and me, the quality of the reviews range from: “Great camera, I really like it.”, to never-ending dissertations that would give Shakespeare a run for his money.

Next we have professional review sites that are usually sponsored by photo-related magazines, or, more rarely, a professional photographer with time on his or her hands. These sites usually contain in-depth reviews from photographers that know their way around the industry. Fraught with technical specifications, and 50 cent words, these types of digital camera review ratings can often be dry but are usually chock full of good information.

The final type of review site is the retailer-sponsored site. These sites usually either sell the cameras that are being reviewed, or have links to sites that do sell these cameras and the reviewing site gets a commission from each camera that is sold through that link. Usually, these sites are the least reliable, in my opinion, because you never know if the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is being told. Money has a strange way of reforming someone’s opinion.

What to Look For in a Review Site

Well, not to be Dr. Obvious or anything, but the first thing you might want to do is actually locate some digital camera review ratings sites. Fortunately, that’s the easiest part. Simple Google the phrase “Digital Camera Review Ratings” (use the quotes when you enter the phrase), and jump back in amazement as all sorts of sites show up in the results panel. You can also go to some of the tried and true sites to check out their digital camera review ratings. These sites include PC Magazine , CNET , Popular Photography , and others.

Once you find some sites, keep the following in mind as you read the various digital camera review ratings:

  • Look for fair and balanced reviews. No camera is 100% perfect without any downsides.
  • Avoid sites with obvious financial motives. You want reviews not sales presentations.
  • Make sure that the site is current. Some sites are abandoned and have old reviews.
  • Keep in mind that these are OPINIONS. Your actual experience may vary!

As helpful as good digital camera review ratings are, they are no substitute for actually holding the camera in your hands. Once you have selected an acceptable candidate, try to get to a reseller and actually hold the camera in your hand even if you intend to make the final purchase on the Internet. A good digital camera review rating, combined with the actual touchy-feely experience, will go a long way towards ensuring your being happy with your brand new digital camera!

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