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  1. #1
    Senior Member iND's Avatar
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    Bias

    I am not sure how I feel about Scott Kelby's announcement that he swtichec from Nikon to Cannon, especially after it came when

    Canon signed on a a tour sponsor.

    http://scottkelby.com/2014/why-i-switched-to-canon/

    Maybe the same way I felt when I realized Zack Arias was sponsored by Fuji.

    I am finding it hard to fully trust reviews when I suspect there are underlying sponsored relationships.

    With that in mind I realize that I use TDP for equipment and technology advice, as TDP is not heavy on artistic technique.

    Realize I am also a Canon man and have no plans to switch.

    But I am have the sense that the equipment and technology advice I receive here is heavily Canon biased with an occasional bone

    slipped to Nikon or other. What I need to strike a balance in my professional career to get the best products for my customers.

    Perhaps if we had some disclosures from our major contributors we could make our own conclusions.

    Additionally I am noticing a decline in posting and wondering if we don't refresh and expand that TDP interest will run out.

    No plans to leave, just a comment for quality improvement.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    I think the decline in posts on this site relates to the camera market in general. There was a boom in digital camera sales a few years ago. When digital started getting close to the quality of film, as well people realized that they didn't have to pay the high cost of film development camera sales boomed. It was similar to the computer and internet boom of the 90's.

    Fewer new people now means fewer people looking to figure out the difference in one piece of equipment versus another. The market changed and there are fewer people that do not know the difference between crop cameras and full frame for instance.

    Caution, troll example;
    The 7d's massive mega pixel density is superior to the 1d X's sparse pixel density. Four years ago (well if the 1d X had existed) I could have trolled that comment and we would have had 40 pages of heated debate. Not today, no one bites.

    This site started out as Canon. Most of the people that have been posting on the site for more than a few years are Canon users. Nikon was added not long ago. So yes the answers you get here will be bias toward Canon.

  3. #3
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    TDP intended on publishing full-fledged Nikon reviews, but those plans fell through. It might be something we investigate at a further date, but other things became more important to tend to (like our slipping Google search results).

    When you mention "...a decline in posting and wondering if we don't refresh and expand that TDP interest will run out," do you mean specifically the Community posts or to the TDP site itself?

    As far as bias goes, both Bryan and I are Canon users. We don't use Nikon gear (Bryan only runs standardized testing on them). I think Bryan does a good job of remaining objective when it comes to third-party lenses/gear that can be used with the Canon system he's most familiar with.

    We still report Nikon news because we still have things of value to offer Nikon shooters (like the standardized testing). And again, if we should start doing full-fledged Nikon reviews in the future, it'll be a seamless transition for the news section.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iND's Avatar
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    If markers of site activity are down, and if assumptions can be made on why.
    Then perhaps we could adjust the mission of the site to expand to areas of more intense current interest.
    Not venturing to guess what those areas are I would only be able to state what my needs are.
    And yes I don't have the same equipment issues that I had 3+ years ago, but there are new areas that I have question and if we are tight to Canon and if Canon is not in that area will we be able to come here and get independent direction.
    Would be refreshing to have a site that discusses equipment, technology, technique, and artistry without a bias to branding.

    The NEWS sections are fantastic, and the REVIEWS are very thorough, but the postings are not (at least for me at my stage of development)

    Perhaps a survey of what current active posters need.

    Just trying to help.
    Last edited by iND; 03-03-2014 at 02:48 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    I think the forum topics can be whatever anyone wants them to be. So, please, post away. Even if I don't participate, I tend to get a lot out of different discussions that take place, gear related or not.

    I've been around long enough to know that it gets slower this time of year and likely will start picking up around April. I absolutely agree that the lack of new gear from Canon is part of it, so there is much less gear to discuss. There also could have been a wave of those jumping from P&S/film to dSLR. But I still get a lot of inpiration from this site and enjoy the general positive demeaner of the other people that frequent here.

  6. #6
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    Regarding the bias I'm sure all of us used to the site are aware of it and read reviews with a grain of salt. Don't misunderstand me - I really appreciate the valuable reviews - but if it says something like "absolutely fantastic" I rather read it like "very good". I don't really see it as a problem, but anyone believing the reviews are completely independent may be misled. The TDP reviews are very useful for making decisions between different pieces of reviewed gear, but (of course) less useful for comparisons with gear not reviewed here.

    I have no idea about the overall site popularity, but it's obvious that the forum intensity has gone down (not only over the winter). A few years ago there could be pages of unread posts daily, but nowadays there can be days with hardly any new posts. I'm not sure why, but one of the reasons may be the heavy bias towards gear and tech stuff. Assuming that many have already acquired a set of gear they're happy with and are now trying to improve using it (i.e. trying to improve their artistic skills), the TDP forum is currently not the best place to go. Maybe some more focus towards creating images rather than the gear used for it would increase the interest. (An indicator of the rather low image creation interest is the assignment activity. Nowadays there are very few contributions both to the original assignment threads and to the weekly threads.)

    Of course I understand that the contents of the forum is created by us that hang around here, and that any focus shift (yeah...) of the contents must be made by us. But maybe the site management could somehow encourage/stimulate increased interest in the resulting photographs. I believe that could be valuable not only for the forum, but for the entire site. I don't have any solution, and I don't even know if I'm on the right track with my speculations - these are only my thoughts on what could increase the interest in the site/forum.

    PS. Being non-native English speaker makes me unaware of language nuances. That may make my way of expressing myself weird and even offensive to some. If so, it's absolutely not my intention - please read my English with a few grains of salt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dave Throgmartin's Avatar
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    I think this is one place that people may find tough to start out because the average user that posts here has made a significant investment ($) into photography equipment. Once someone does post I think they find that the people here are very nice and also knowledgeable. I mainly frequent this forum, FM, and DPR for various things.

    Personally, I'm looking to scale back some of my photography costs. I've splurged on some nice things, but have found that the main joy I get is from the activity itself. I like going out with the wife and taking pictures. My father-in-law is also big into photography and goes with us fairly often. I like the results too, but don't want to get into the trap of pixel peeping. Maybe this is my long winded way of saying that I've found where "good enough is good enough" equipment wise for what I like to do.

    I should try posting in some of the weekly images more often and participate more often.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jayson's Avatar
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    I came to TDP a long time ago and have been active on here ever since. I don't consider myself anything special when it comes to photography, but I enjoy sharing my photos with anyone that will take a look. I initially found this site while researching different equipment to supplement my obsessive gear hobby at the time. I understood from the beginning that the site was mostly going to be a Canon site and I was fine with that. I grew up in a Canon family and my photography friends all shoot Canon, so that is what I decided to do. I filter through many different forums like FM, POTN, DPR, CR, and sometimes participate in a thread or two. I am not a gear nut and just enjoy taking pictures. It seems like most of those sites really like to focus on what gear your using to take the picture and not so much enjoying the craft. Another reason I post mainly here is the friendly atmosphere of the community. You will get the great shot more than not, but if you have a question, ask for critique, or want to debate something, the people on here are civilized in their discussions. You'll get honest answers about your questions and not be belittled because you have a different opinion. I have also noticed that another thing that drives forums seems to be gear speculation. This community really doesn't worry to much about that and I like that part of it.

    I have noticed that there is a decline in the amount people post on the forum, but hopefully it will increase as the weather gets nicer. I think the forum is on the right track by starting to add assignments and weekly photo threads because it gets people out to shoot. Maybe this will draw more people to the forum and maybe not, but it's a start.

    One thing I always thought would help the forum is a different format to the way it has the individual threads. I really like the way they are set up at FM with the pure picture threads having their own sections i.e. Landscapes, Birds, Nature, Macro, Wedding. Then have a section for gear talk and one for monthly and weekly assignments. That way topics are easier to find and you don't have to search through tons of threads looking for what you want. Using the search tool is nice, but a lot of times you can get more traffic by just having an easier, user friendly design.

  9. #9
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    I've been following TDP since my Minolta DSLR was stolen in July '07 and I decided to jump to Canon at the time. I've really valued the reviews, and I've bought stuff through Bryan's links whenever possible (lately I seem to be buying a lot of stuff used). I've been on the forums since their inception, off and on, but make it a daily 'while I wait for coffee to kick in' habit almost every morning.

    Frankly, I miss the days when TDP was Canon only. I felt there was a credibility from someone who "lived with" Canon all the time. When TDP added Nikon, I felt that credibility got undermined a bit, and I feel like it impacted the timeliness of Canon reviews for a while, though lately they're picking back up. I'd prefer the third-party lens reviews get finished before even starting the Nikon reviews.

    The community does seem to be quieter, but I'll take it over the flame-happy world at photography-on-the.net. I forget what happened, but one of the mods decided to hold a pissing contest with me, which got me banned, and my attempts to get a third-party evaluation went nowhere. Oh well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iND View Post
    Perhaps if we had some disclosures from our major contributors we could make our own conclusions.

    Additionally I am noticing a decline in posting and wondering if we don't refresh and expand that TDP interest will run out.

    No plans to leave, just a comment for quality improvement.

    Thank you
    Not sure who you consider to be "major contributors" but .... I decided to go with Canon several years ago because my brother and my 2 son-in-laws were both already using Canon. I used TDP heavily to decide which Canon gear was best for me. I have commented and made recommendations on Canon gear only because that is what I have used and studied. I have no affiliation, sponsorship or financial arrangement with anyone in the photography world. (Wish I did!)

    I was happy when they started the forum section and I read it daily along with BirdPhotographers.net and Naturescapes.net

    This forum is smaller with less posts for sure but it also is more immune to flame wars than the bigger forums. You get good solid advice here and a very friendly atmosphere. Bryan's fantastic in depth reviews are respected far and wide.

    I do get the feeling (without looking at numbers) that the post volume is down, I would have no idea why. There is a core of regular contributors (and a few of those have been inactive in recent months) but not many posts from newbies. There may be thousands of lurkers.

    I am not sure there is truly a real problem with the forums or is it seasonal affective disorder.....so I cannot offer any possible solutions for now.

    I can say that I have never felt that there was severe bias here or that I could not trust the advice given here due to an undisclosed financial relationship. I always thought it was a Canon equipment review site from the beginning.

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