How can we improve the SONY DSLR Forum?
One of the things that seems to be lacking is a larger participation in the forum.
I often point to the major threads we have concerning lenses and cameras, because they cover a much longer period of time and larger base of information than trying to quickly answer some the deeply involved aspect to the techniques and technologies involved. No one should think of this kind of response as some kind of dodge ... but, hopefully, a much better review of the background necessary to appreciate a more focused response to the question.
Let's face it, 're-inventing the wheel' is a real time killer ... and there is a significant bit of ground to cover when it comes to new folks and photography. Happily, SONY looks to have added informational and instructive features to the upcoming intro-DSLRs (A230, A330, A380). Hopefully, this will reduce the rudimentary questions that seem to continually get repeated and we can concentrate on the real problems that we all see to share at one time or another.
I know there have to be a lot of questions out there, that have not been covered by the several major instructive posts in this forum. Fortunately, we can thank Jeff Keller for keeping the SONY DSLR Forum (as well as others) in ready, "on-line" fashion, so that if you need to "access the past" exchanges, you actually can. It is not just what came in over the past two months, this forum goes back to when the α100 first was released. I mean, how cool is that?
It has been fun trying to look with some serious interest into the improvement of the craft, with all the various equipment suggestions and ways to avoid getting financially wiped-out while still preserving the "quality" of the imaging. Yes, I know there are those who are original manufacturer fan-boys ... who cannot see anything but what the camera manufacturer makes as being viable, but as we all have learned from experience, this is not necessarily the case. There are serious things SONY has not made available for the camera ... and third-party has been the only source for this.
Sure, we all enjoy talking-up the positive aspects of the in-the-body image stabilization and the compatibility with older Minolta lenses and parts, but SONY sure could augment and produce a much broader range of supporting parts. I find it hard to believe they LOST the "Minolta playbook" along the way. I suggest some people reread it and find a way to quickly fill in the blanks that exist in the current line-up. Call it "an investment in the future" and leave it at that. You can get away with tossing a P&S camera to people and say, "Here, use this ..." but, that can not be said with a modern DSLR. There are a whole lot more pieces to the serious photography puzzle that DSLRs represent and the picture is not very pretty with a bunch of "holes" in it.
The time of "manufacturer forgiveness" is rapidly coming to an end. I believe SONY needs to have the DSLR Camera Division completed by 2010 ... or the "interested people" that gave them their chance ... will simple walk. SONY needs a fully dedicated support structure and all the specialized parts that come with SONY/Minolta proprietary options. If you are not going to source these routine items or at least license someone to source them, then return the camera system to conventional options ("standard hot shoe flash" and various release cables). SONY has the buying public waiting ... and they WANT to take pictures! Enough of this "stalling" them off.
Obviously, the true blessing of this forum is that it is based on experience, because it is very rare that SONY ever lets the "cat out of the bag" in regards to their equipment. In fact, you might say this forum operates in spite of SONY's apparent "anti-public" interests, yet they directly benefit from the enthusiastic support the users occasionally or routinely provide. A lot can be said for cooperative communication and I truly believe that it is a core problem in SONY's lack of DSLR marketshare. People are just not willing to "not know" anymore. Blame it on the Internet or what have you, but day by day ... it sinks further and further in mistrust and a lack of understanding.
Speaking of the Internet ... for instance, when you type in "SONY DSLR forum" in a Google search engine ... DCRP shows up around twelfth (on the second page, no less) in the list that falls out and only because of a specific posting title. Type "DonSchap" and it comes up FOURTH. What's with that? Heck, they have got sites reporting that I have posted nothing on their location. Excuse me! :eek: LOL
Anyway, as others might, I would like to see DCResource.com come up FIRST, because it is a dedicated SONY DSLR Forum. I'm not sure how the search engine can improve upon that, but it might be a lot nicer if it could. If people know where to go to get answers, right off the bat ... I figure we all can assist each other and the better at this we all will get. I hate to think people found the DCRP "by accident."
I am not sure if there are any professionals among the group, except for couple of spot appearances ... but, participation is key to the livelihood of the forum. For me, I appreciate the great information exchange this forum provides. I have sincerely enjoyed the "heads-up" when we can get from each other and tireless work that everyone is putting forth in an effort to create and develop their art.
So ... pause for a moment and ask ... "What can we do to make it better, yet?"
(Personally, I just hope this kind of makes sense to people.)