2.19.2018

OT: NSFSP. Sometimes a hat is just a hat. But not always....

The disheveled cotton candy of the linear mind. 

I wrote a piece a couple of days ago that was, on the surface, a critique of the latest Fuji camera. It was, of course, a tongue-in-cheek critique of the current photographic press, many of whom are making an entire career of endless junketeering tours, hosted by the makers and marketers of the cameras about which they write. That content being the "product" they use to lure readers and advertisers to their sites. The new generation of professional reviewers are just like the writers of columns about automobiles who are often flown to wonderful locations, housed for a while in five star hotels, and feted like princes and dukes, who get to drive the latest cars on wonderful winding roads and then, ostensibly, write unbiased reviews for their hosts.

And we now have a coterie of likable, affable and effusive video bloggers, review sites and old fashion typed-blog site writers who live anchored to the nurturing breasts of the camera makers' P.R. teams in much the same way as their car loving cousins. I find it amusing (and depressing) that we've gone from having online sites where an expert, deeply involved in his or her preferred camera system, wrote from hard-won experience,  about nuts and bolts of the system they knew, with the benefit of long experience and laser like focus, and we have now moved to a frenzied and unregulated market place where the process of reviewing extends to the products and models of any and all systems makers who are willing and ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to extend "courtesies" including: air fare to fun locations, copious alcohol, shooting opportunities and prime lodging to our industry's blogger celebs so those writers can be spoon fed tailored "experiences" that form the homogenous bedrock of hundreds of near simultaneous and transparently similar camera "reviews". Even the images (since they were all generated at the same event) are interchangeable. All just so positive and sparkly. 

A few of my readers didn't seem to get the "inside joke"; that I was using the Fuji marque as nothing but a foil of my (obvious) target, the ersatz press sales process. Several denounced my "hatred" of Fuji or my fanboy attack on Fuji. In the past I would gloss over all of this but it's been a tough quarter so far and I'm loathe to accommodate painfully literal thinking and obtuseness, and even less inclined to give it power or public voice. 


19 comments:

Bassman said...

It never occurred to me that you doing anything other than poking at the photo gear blogosphere. The new Fuji is undoubtably a nice camera, as is virtually every other camera made today.

Gato said...

You forgot to mention the hot models. I guess these guys still get to shoot hot models.

Overall the level of writing about cameras on the web has never been very high and it seems to be sinking steadily. I pity people new to photography trying to navigate through the minefield of misinformation out there. I kick myself for not being quick enough to get in on the gravy train.

George Bishop said...

I do so admire your erudition, and only wish that I could emulate your prose. Seriously I do so enjoy your sparkling wit and razor sharp intellect.

I can almost hear reviewers contesting whether it is more convenient to have the lens release on the left or on the right; or maybe they quarrel over breaking their eggs at the small end or the large???

May you live all the days of your life.

Bill Bresler said...

My late father-in-law frequently declared that "90% of people are idiots!" I replied that he was a cynic and it wasn't true. I was wrong. He was right.

Colin said...

The only reviews I take seriously are those by genuine pros who make a living by taking (and selling) actual photographs. If I see a review by a wedding photographer, sports photographer, photojournalist etc. after they've used the item for several months for paid work, that carries some weight for me. If someone is flown to Iceland, Hawaii, the Moon or wherever on an all-expenses paid junket, then use the camera in a controlled environment for half an hour and gush about it you'll never convince me that they are offering unbiased views. They are all lovely photogenic, engaging people but would I spend thousands on a piece of gear on their recommendations when they clearly have a financial incentive not to bite the hand that feeds them? I think not. I do wonder if the whole professional reviewer thing might be peaking - how many identikit reviews does anybody need?

Raymond Charette said...

A funny thing about humour, some people just don't get it! A serious situation indeed!

Ananda Sim said...

When they can't get that line about the camera should be thinner than one's wallet, they have don't hava sense of humour.

30 years ago I wrote this article about how one could look at a brand and stereotype the owner ..

Bill Pearce said...

We should all read the now thing on Mike Johnston's blog about video vs. print reviews.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we have entered the "Offended and Victim" millenium, For Sure!

Rob Morris

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bresler's father-in-law was an optimist- the actual % is much higher :)

Rick

Charles "Rain" Black said...

I've long been perplexed by the effusiveness of reviews (both "professional" and user) of Fujifilm cameras. It reminds me of a man I encountered at a photo expo many years ago when I'd just gotten started using a 35mm slr. This gentleman was very loud about declaring his favored Petri system to be superior to any other 35mm slr system available (this was in 1979 to put it in perspective). Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta...all other makes failed to grasp the importance of having the shutter button on the front ot the body!

Don't get me wrong: I know Perti produced some fine cameras. But this guy insisted his subjective preference was an inherent superiority.

I see that expressed about Fujifilm cameras more than it seems about any other brand lately.

Thomas F said...

I found it pretty obvious that it was a parody of the camera reviewers, not an attack of Fuji.

However, I think it struck a nerve because Fuji is particularly adept at this kind of marketing and seems to attract a lot of fans who don't have much rational argument to defend their choice of camera brand.

Paul said...

I'm thinking of offering Artificial Intelligence written reviews, the cost will be fixed to 50% of the amount they spend on other reviewers. I'm sure if I feed in information like size, weight, sensor size and a few other specs I can generate a quality review worth a few clicks. Of course anything with a sensor less than 8" x 10" will be marked down because it's obviously a cropped sensor.

Richard Sandor said...

Of video reviewers: I am a particular fan of those who have a click bait title and then reveal one or two minutes into their spiel that they've never even held the camera, but will regale you by reading from the spec sheet.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what does "NSFSP" stand for? I looked it up on Google and couldn't find a match. Help?

-Rick

Kirk Tuck said...

Not Safe For Stupid People....

Dave Jenkins said...

A propos of a few secondary points raised --

1. Hot models: Jim Madden, probably the best commercial photographer in my city and a man who photographed quite a few "hot models" once told me "If you can't take them home with you after the shoot, what's to get excited about?"

2. Fuji cameras: Thomas F. said "Fuji. . .seems to attract a lot of fans who don't have much rational argument to defend their choice of camera brand."

The thing is, you either don't care much for Fuji cameras, or you fall in love with them. I realize this is irrational, but there's something that's just loveable about Fuji X-series cameras, most especially the X-Pro cameras, that makes some of us just want to cuddle them. And this is not specific to me alone -- I've read the same thought multiple times on the Fuji fora.

Eric Rose said...

All I can say is, Kirk don't get side tracked by fanboys and haters. Do your own thing, don't apologize, have a great cup of coffee with Studio Dog and/or your sweetie. If Studio Dog's tail is waging after you read your latest blog out load, all is well, nothing else matters. If you need to chill come up to Calgary, it's -20C right now. However just think of the wonderful snow covered mountains just waiting to be immortalized by your GH5 and wonderful lenses. I bet Belinda would love the vacation.

David said...

Sorry, you got the push back. Us long term readers got it. But just because I know you still love the Olympus E3 as the perfect camera.😛

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