PDA

View Full Version : Should camera manufacturers be able to see reviews ahead of time?



Jeff Keller
10-14-2005, 10:57 AM
Recently a camera manufacturer requested to see my review of their camera before it was posted. I have never done this before. My rules were simple: factual corrections are fine, but trying to sway my opinion is not.

What do you think about this?

sherlock
10-14-2005, 12:33 PM
Recently a camera manufacturer requested to see my review of their camera before it was posted. I have never done this before. My rules were simple: factual corrections are fine, but trying to sway my opinion is not.

What do you think about this?

Hey Jeff,

I dont think there would be anything wrong with letting the manufacturer see the review as long as it didnt sway your opinion at all as you said. Its good because if the manufacturer sees something that is blatantley wrong with the review they can change it before everyone here at the DCRP sees it. Just my .02

Drew S.

eastbluffs
10-14-2005, 01:26 PM
Actually, my answer is yes and no.

Yes if it keeps you out of liability trouble.

No if it means they can stack the deck. Honest and unpartial review is of course a plus for us.

D Thompson
10-14-2005, 03:13 PM
Actually, my answer is yes and no.

Yes if it keeps you out of liability trouble.

No if it means they can stack the deck. Honest and unpartial review is of course a plus for us.
Ditto!!!!!!!

Norm in Fujino
10-14-2005, 07:25 PM
I voted NO, but on reflection, I think the "factual errors" business may be a good thing to consider. If you show a harsh review to the mfr and they correctly point out how you were misusing the camera in some way, or weren't implementing the instructions correctly, it might be a good thing. And the feedback could be positive.

twin
10-15-2005, 02:42 PM
Recently a camera manufacturer requested to see my review of their camera before it was posted. I have never done this before. My rules were simple: factual corrections are fine, but trying to sway my opinion is not.

What do you think about this?
Jeff,

I don't think it's a good ideia to let a camera manufacturer see your review of their camera. Once you make it the first time you'll do it for the rest of your days, and have to do it for everyone else.

If they don't feel confortable on your reviews they have an option: don't send you their cameras. Of course you can always arrange with an local store to get them so it really isn't a big issue.

On the other hand, it might be difficult for you to keep doing your new stuff previews, so take it carefully...

But even with that risk my opinion stands. Good luck with your decision.

Twin

Balrog
10-15-2005, 03:14 PM
I think it'd be ok to let them see it beforehand, as long they understand it's just a courtesy, not that you're submitting it to them for their approval. After all, final control over what goes into the review is still totally yours - it's not like they can force you to put a positive spin on anything. And it could be useful in terms of factual errors, as you said. My only concern is that dealing with any issues they might have with your reviews would increase your workload / possibly delay the reviews themselves...

And if they try anything nasty like not giving you the camera to review if they can't see the review beforehand, you can just put that right up on the front page so we know which manufacturer to boycott :D

StanInNY
10-16-2005, 08:54 AM
Jeff,

Showing drafts of your reviews to the camera manufacturers will invariably lead some of them to pressure you - if not now then later. This opens the door to an unpleasant situation that is liable to hurt everyone except the manufacturer with something to hide or hype. In addition, such a policy may give the appearance that a manufacturer may have swayed you, a situation to be avoided.

However, you should be able to contact manufacturers with any question you may have, without showing what you plan to write. Although the question itself may point to something negative about the product, in such a case asking for clarification is the best route.

Of course, once a review has been published anyone (including manufacturers) can point out any errors that need correction - as is already the case since you edit reviews after they've been put online (including once after I contacted you).

P.S. I'll add my 2 cents to some of the foregoing opinions: I don't think boycotting a manufacturer who behaves badly toward you will amount to much, nor do I think that you are likely to incur liability charges if you do not show manufacturers pre-publication drafts of reviews.

Rhys
10-16-2005, 09:03 AM
I'd say to the manufacturer that as soon as a review is completed it's published. I'd also say that you have so many cameras to review from so many manufacturers that you just don't have enough time to spare to show them reviews before publication. I'm sure it would lead to a nightarish situation whereby the manufacturers demanded a week to review each review before it was published. That woud lead to an interesting workflow situation.

chaks
10-16-2005, 01:53 PM
My rules were simple: factual corrections are fine, but trying to sway my opinion is not.


Hi Jeff
You can do one thing which can save you from a yes..no situation.
You can send them your pre-production model previewso that they can make changes in their final outcome. That will be of great benefit to both the company and the consumers.
But for the post-production model reviews just No..No... because as I think as a consumer I should know the most honest and unbiased view of the expert. And also when your name and credibility is at stake.
This is just my personal opinion.
chaks

JTL
10-16-2005, 04:36 PM
It's the slippery slope and once you start down it, there's no turning back. If they want to add factual corrections, let them do it after the review is published...much in the way newspapers print corrections...after the fact.

It is ceding some control; some power; it is acquiescence...no matter how you look at it...simply because you said yes...

Don't do it.

stevage
10-18-2005, 06:39 AM
Hi Jeff,
Here's a simple alternative: Let them see the review, on the understanding that all dialogue from them will be posted along with the original review. That way, users of the site can both benefit from factual corrections, as well as judging for themselves whether the manufacturer is up to anything dodgy.

That seems fair all round.

Steve

Kenyada
10-18-2005, 09:47 AM
I'm against it. I imagine that even Consumer Reports would lose its credibility if it started passing their reviews first through the hands of the manufacturers. What you've managed to do, quite successfully thus far, is maintain an objective, independent trusted source for out-of-the-box information. Stay the course, Jeff.

ale_g
10-18-2005, 12:35 PM
:) I Poll for no. But again after reading it might be valuable for us as customers if the mfr changes for good the product. Anyway as it doubles your work, you can charge them for that. You can be like an external consultant for unpartial reviews.

B. Regards & THKS.

SilverTurtle
10-18-2005, 04:49 PM
I voted yes. If they really want to see it first, let them. Doesn't mean you have to change a thing before you publish it - they may request changes, you may ignore them (obviously technical stuff you'll want to correct).

And make that clear - you are the writer and editor of the reviews, and as such you have the final decision in what is published.

There is also no reason you should have to wait for them to return a review before publishing. Your deadline is just that - a deadline.

I doubt most manufacturers will request it anyways.

timmciglobal
10-19-2005, 03:18 AM
I voted yes but I'd make them sign an agreement in order to get the reviews early that they won't attempt to obtain a restraining order hindering you from posting any or all parts of the review.

Never trust anyone in business.

Tim

Rhys
10-19-2005, 06:47 AM
I'd say sure... look at the webpage. Reviews are published as soon as they're completed. I look at Steve's Digicams webpage and wonder whether he's been asked for review previews because they all seem to be pretty glowing about every camera he reviews.

patrickt
10-21-2005, 09:05 AM
I would certainly let them read it. I'm not infallible, far from it, so correcting errors not just in the review but in how I used the camera would be useful in producing a better review for people to use in making decisions.

They would be free to try and change my opinions, too. They could argue, scream, threaten, stomp their feet, and hold their breath. If I can't deal with that, I shouldn't be doing reviews.

Kuroyume
10-21-2005, 04:56 PM
i say no...

Even if you don't give in to the pressure (because there WILL be pressure) it will make you lose credibility, slow your work, and overall give them an edge on you...

Like someone said, if they see a factual error they can correct it after the review is published... like they would with any other site/newspaper etc...

ReF
11-30-2005, 12:42 AM
i say no because they may ask you to perform some ridiculous or time consuming walk arounds to correct problems, even if those problems are not user related. plus like someone already said, it will give them an edge on you, and they are ALREADY the "big guys." IMO and from what i can see, things are fine the way they are. if saying no means not getting cameras from them, it's still a double edged sword for them. without glowing reviews it will be harder for their cameras to be a hit. i used to work in a large electronics retailer chain and even though the majority of our shoppers are generally uninformed about cameras, a good amount of them still come in looking for particular cameras because they "heard it's good."

Severin
12-02-2005, 11:36 AM
I say No, unless it is a preproduction model. In that case they might need all of the time they can have to tweak their final design before production.

Jake Conner
12-13-2005, 03:34 PM
Absolutely not, under any circumstances. This opens the door not only to pressure to slant things their way (which will happen eventually, probably sooner rather than later), but filing libel suits to keep a review they don't like off the net... sure the suit would be bogus, but do you have the time and energy (and money) to deal with it? As far as a PR move goes, such a thing would work better for the camera company if the public had not already seen the review and seen that there was nothing wrong with it... they can make vague claims about the content and you can't prove otherwise. I don't think such a thing would be likely, but wouldn't it be better to preclude the possibility? Also, allowing review previews would lower your credibility, as it would make it look like something fishy could be going on, even though it wouldn't be.

Jake

PS: Hi again, DCRPers! Haven't been here in quite some time... anyone remember me?

D70FAN
12-13-2005, 04:37 PM
Absolutely not, under any circumstances. This opens the door not only to pressure to slant things their way (which will happen eventually, probably sooner rather than later), but filing libel suits to keep a review they don't like off the net... sure the suit would be bogus, but do you have the time and energy (and money) to deal with it? As far as a PR move goes, such a thing would work better for the camera company if the public had not already seen the review and seen that there was nothing wrong with it... they can make vague claims about the content and you can't prove otherwise. I don't think such a thing would be likely, but wouldn't it be better to preclude the possibility? Also, allowing review previews would lower your credibility, as it would make it look like something fishy could be going on, even though it wouldn't be.

Jake

PS: Hi again, DCRPers! Haven't been here in quite some time... anyone remember me?

Welcome back Jake!

Chamnan
12-18-2005, 09:01 PM
All words from all users are the most value to those camera companies, Those comments may lead them to improve and to develope their new products. If there are errors appear in the reveiw they can inform you later. Writing your opinions without bias is the reason why I come to this website. I note that the new cameras' design always came out in higher and higher pixel with higher price and also with the same problems of noise, unsharp (cheap)lens, bad materials, and too many models, it seems the design concepts are trying to make the most profit on their new products.