Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1       2              4       5       end
  

Archive 2022 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer

  
 
1bwana1
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer



jwolfe wrote:
Nikon isn’t selling Z9’s because of influencers. They’re selling them because it’s the first legit Nikon mirrorless camera that can take on Sony.


I agree that the Z9 is a fantastic camera that stands on it's merits against any offering from any competitor. But that doesn't mean that it sells without managed sales channels and promotion.

However Nikon is using the same marketing tactics as Sony and the others. Holding events, sending out review copies, and paying influencers in various ways for placement on YouTube channels and websites. This includes affiliate link commissions. It is required these days. Nikon is not special in this regard. They do it too.

Just look at all the regular websites and YouTube channels that had advance copies of the Z9 so they could release reviews on announcement day and harvest affiliate money just as Huff said. Also notice that a few well known reviewers who had been critical of Nikon recently didn't get copies. Reward and punishment just as Huff outlined in the video.

Nikon is using these same tactics because they work and result in sales. If practiced properly, there is nothing unethical about it.



Sep 17, 2022 at 12:18 PM
BSPhotog
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer




Alistair1 wrote:
Steve Huff has many strings to his bow.
https://huffparanormal.com/about-me/


I remember seeing this crap the first time. Truly illustrates the kind of con man we are dealing with. SMH.



Sep 17, 2022 at 02:56 PM
tzhang4284
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


jwolfe wrote:
Nikon isn’t selling Z9’s because of influencers. They’re selling them because it’s the first legit Nikon mirrorless camera that can take on Sony.



Funny that's exactly the message that Nikon wanted to get its influencers to say. Without the marketing machine, perception could've been "Almost as good as a Sony A1 but bigger and slightly cheaper" vs "Nikon is still in the game and can make great cameras and lenses still."

It might not have influenced you as a diehard Nikon fan but marketing around the Z9 has really helped change the perception of Nikon as an also-run. There's a lot of downstream impact too to someone considering whether they should buy Sony vs. take a risk buying Nikon. Ironically, the opposite was true 10 years ago to take a risk buying Sony mirrorless over Canon or Nikon but that shows what good products and strong marketing produces.



Sep 17, 2022 at 07:30 PM
Alistair1
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


This is the closest I have seen to impartial review method:



I would like for them to have done more in-flight and difficult situations. But just seeing the feed from the VF with no commentary is what I find the most useful thing in assessing AF performance.



Sep 18, 2022 at 12:19 AM
1bwana1
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


Reviews are one area where camera companies use a reward/punishment approach to get favorable results. But there are also more direct ways where the companies use payments to reward influenceers. When someone goes into a camera store or calls one looking for a reccomendation on which system to buy, camera companies are making direct payments of money to camera store staff to encourage them to reccomended their products to customers. These are called "spiffs". Sales people often reccomended products based on who is paying the highest spiffs that day rather than what is best for the customer.

Direct bribes like this have been the norm for as long as there have been camera stores. Way before web and YouTube reviewers.

It is about the money. Always has been, always will be.



Sep 18, 2022 at 02:01 AM
NikonClio64
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


I'm not qualified to comment on other brands. With no plans to switch ever, I have and do upgrade or extend my Nikon gear cupboard. So what matters is to find out how a new Nikon product or lens differs from the existing options. Nikon Imaging usually publishes the technical data timeously on a new product

However over the past year or 2, Nikon UK has used a rather neat tactic to publish youtube videos of high reliability on release of their new Z System products. AS other posters have noted, Nikon has to participate in the rush for information about new technical products.

They enable one of their local trainers here in Nikon UK (based in London) to get sufficient time with a pre-release copy, to get up to date with it. It must help his education courses as well, obviously. He had a Z9 for about 1 month prior to its official launch. His videos were ready to publish on the day. This is Ricci Chera - Riccitalks. Many new / prospective Z9 owners found his Z9 videos useful - including budgeting for CF Express cards and the menus etc etc.

This sets a higher standard on reported specifications and useful advice compared to so many influencers who are rushing for first out, and clicks etc. I ignore them. At least one knows although Ricci is officially Nikon, he is honest. He has also done useful overviews of the recent Z9 Firmware updates on day of release.

Although the guy is under NDA as to how much he can but cannot say, it seems Nikon has used his videos to advertise planned features. So we heard in January about the planned additions of RAWVideo, the Custom Area autofocus modes etc.

This year it took a couple of months - at minimum - for the detailed Z9 reviews to follow by reliable Nikon experts - notably Thom Hogan, as he also does for new lenses. In summary, with 3 exceptions I don't ever bother with any youtube influencer.

The one is Morten Hilmer this about his field tactics, so not about new products. Ricci Chera is unique for the reasons stated. Wildlife photographer and educator Steve Perry is the only other. Otherwise I wait for the reviews by Thom Hogan's reports and Photography Life. Fortunately Hogan and the latter actually publish written reviews.

Tripods are also simple to find reliable information. We have the Centre Column with all the independent quantified data. This is if one really needs a new tripod, usually from damage or loss; as the high quality. Shuttermuse is also useful, that is if they do get to a tripod you need to check up on, and it's the same for backpacks. Dan Carr, in particular, writes detailed reviews.



Sep 18, 2022 at 05:52 AM
bs kite
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


NikonClio64 wrote:
I'm not qualified to comment on other brands. With no plans to switch ever, I have and do upgrade or extend my Nikon gear cupboard. So what matters is to find out how a new Nikon product or lens differs from the existing options. Nikon Imaging usually publishes the technical data timeously on a new product

However over the past year or 2, Nikon UK has used a rather neat tactic to publish youtube videos of high reliability on release of their new Z System products. AS other posters have noted, Nikon has to participate in the rush for information about
...Show more

Except for the last needless paragraph (imo), I agree 100% with everything you said.

I feel the exact same way about the same people you mentioned.... and maybe a few more who do not come to mind now.

I too trust Ricci, even though I know he works for Nikon. And Morten Hilmer is most interesting to me.

Now, I'll give you all one that is an absolute piece of crap: There is one Matt Granger You Tube video in which the theme is the Z9 (or is it the 100-400 S?... not sure). His attempt to gain AF is so absurd to be maddening. In retrospect it finally dawned on (duh!) that he did not care if the video had any quality to it. He was simply/only after clicks, translation = Subscriptions.

I am slow to catch on. It took me a long time to become suspicious of the intent of YT channels. You Tube has made it all about $$$.

Advice = Do not click Subscribe until you are absolutely certain that you like the YT video. I love to give credit where it is due. People who really know me, know this to be true.

There is a channel called "AZ Animals". It angers me because so much of it is made up... fiction.... lies. I know because I have nearly 50 years in the wildlife field. So what do I do? I occasionally go on there and comment on a video if it is BS.

I do not care what marketing says or dictates. I do not like marketing anyway. You cannot even view an internet page anymore without the page being covered with ads. And yes, some are worse than others. Like everyone else, I have likes and dislikes. So I decided to voice a few here.

Robert





Sep 18, 2022 at 10:09 AM
Ross Martin
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


1bwana1 wrote:
Reviews are one area where camera companies use a reward/punishment approach to get favorable results. But there are also more direct ways where the companies use payments to reward influenceers. When someone goes into a camera store or calls one looking for a reccomendation on which system to buy, camera companies are making direct payments of money to camera store staff to encourage them to reccomended their products to customers. These are called "spiffs". Sales people often reccomended products based on who is paying the highest spiffs that day rather than what is best for the customer.

Direct bribes like this
...Show more

I can attest to this. When I left my photojournalism career in the mid-90’s I worked for a couple years at the old Camera World of Oregon mail-order division. We were competing as hard as we could with B&H in a fast-paced, stressful environment. Canon had great spiffs on their cameras, plus a system where sales people earned points redeemable at year’s end for cash or goods - it was possible to add several thousand dollars per year to your income if you ‘influenced’ your customer toward Canon. An easy guess which brand became the most popular among the sales crew...




Sep 18, 2022 at 12:06 PM
Jan Brittenson
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


I don't see how this is any different from how it has always been. In the print days, if you reviewed a Minolta camera in positive terms in print, they'd buy a full-spread $100k ad in today's money in the same issue. Just because someone says something doesn't mean you should believe them.



Sep 18, 2022 at 01:32 PM
philip_pj
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


I agree with Huff that it is not 'the way it has always been', apart from the sheer venality and lack of integrity of the chain of people involved, of course. Why?

The medium is the message! Everyone knew when you plonked down your few bucks for the latest edition of the photo mags that Canon et al were pumping up their gear for their marks. It was self-contained in a sense.

Moreover, you could turn the page and see Nikon's similar effort there. The better pubs often featured comparisons, but how many do you see in today's YT videos? Almost never, so there is another huge difference right there. And in the store, you could pick up and gauge each brand of camera and lenses and see for yourself what suited you best.

And if you walked into a store and did not know who you could trust, most quickly figured out how it went down because with face-to-face it's much easier to gauge dishonesty and 'steering' and lack of attention to the customer's needs. Very easy to close the mag or walk out of the store.

The web is a hugely immediate medium for hucksters like Huff and his ilk to work their magic in dulcet tones. People are accustomed to trusting the well-spoken, funny, charismatic and seemingly trustworthy identity who appears on a screen in their living room. Worse still, users feel in control because they chose to watch their favourite guy. He would never mislead them..would he? Who could be so low as to do that?

The web videos emulate TV, where millions trust the carefully scripted lines delivered to them each evening in the velvet tones of the well-dressed celebrity newsreader. Like radio, magazines are 'cool' media, with perceptual distance between propagandist and victim. But like TV, web video is as hot as it gets. The message goes in and it stays in. Huff et al are delivering small movies, in essence.



Sep 18, 2022 at 10:51 PM
amci4
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


jwolfe wrote:
There are some truly independent reviewers out there. Most of the "influencers" are paid stooges by Sony. Give them credit, it works.


I guarantee you Tony is bought and paid for.



Sep 18, 2022 at 11:34 PM
amci4
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


RoamingScott wrote:
There’s always money to be made by being a sell out. These people are the useful idiots to the giant corporations.


Yeah and when you see people accusing the likes of Tony, Chelsie, Jared, Ken, etc… Their answer is always we aren’t paid by Sony and technically they’re not, they’re paid by the shops that sell the Sony bodies and of course they take the freebies on the side. It’s a complete scam and they’re exactly what people accused them of being in a round about way.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I always wondered how so many people weren’t seeing the green skin tones on many of the Sony bodies and every time I bought one, it was there, but I never experienced this in any of my Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, or Canon bodies. Now I get it!



Sep 19, 2022 at 12:08 AM
RoamingScott
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


amci4 wrote:
Yeah and when you see people accusing the likes of Tony, Chelsie, Jared, Ken, etc… Their answer is always we aren’t paid by Sony and technically they’re not, they’re paid by the shops that sell the Sony bodies and of course they take the freebies on the side. It’s a complete scam and they’re exactly what people accused them of being in a round about way.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I always wondered how so many people weren’t seeing the green skin tones on many of the Sony bodies and every time I bought one, it was
...Show more

I've shot a number of modern Sony bodies, and green skin tones has never been a thing on those for me. Always tended way too far into magenta.



Sep 19, 2022 at 08:08 AM
2of9
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


I'm not "there" yet to have the chance to play with the latest and greatest cameras but telling new photographers about why (camera brand/body) is the best there is and the best there ever will be is a huge selling point to anyone new to photography. There is SO much information that goes into investing in a camera and if you tell someone (new to the photography world) that this (camera) can give you these "professional shots", then they're sold on it...it all comes back to "sell-sell-sell", especially if you're a partner with a certain brand...but this is just me speculating.

At the end of the day, these brands pay these 'reviewers' to sell their latest cameras. Why would you bash on your own product? Plus, we don't know what kind of NDA's the reviewers signed. And, for the reviewers that are signed with certain brands, I believe the reviewer HAS to let people/viewers know that they are affiliated with certain brands (depending on what country you're in?)...so, its like a "mini-commercial" for that camera.

Youtube videos are interesting and there's a handful of photographers/artists I follow for entertainment, knowledge, education and inspiration. It is very obvious who is getting paid to promote (brand) over (brand)...literally, it can be as simple as the reviewer saying "I prefer (brand) over (brand) because (a, b, c).

At the end of the day...Nikon is the best . But really, it's going to be near impossible to tell what images were shot with a brand of camera with an 85 1.8. I'm more for educating and helping photographers grow their art but there are those out there that are all about reading the tech specs.



Sep 19, 2022 at 08:37 AM
jwolfe
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


amci4 wrote:
Yeah and when you see people accusing the likes of Tony, Chelsie, Jared, Ken, etc… Their answer is always we aren’t paid by Sony and technically they’re not, they’re paid by the shops that sell the Sony bodies and of course they take the freebies on the side. It’s a complete scam and they’re exactly what people accused them of being in a round about way.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I always wondered how so many people weren’t seeing the green skin tones on many of the Sony bodies and every time I bought one, it was
...Show more

I still have a feeling there's comp from Sony itself. Otherwise PRM would be on welfare. But for Jared Polin etc, yeah they make their money from YouTube and affiliate links to B&H etc. But if you are making money from links, it's not usually brand specific. Every time you review a camera or lens you post a link. And again using Jared as an example, he also sells his own products. I'm less bothered by someone who reviews everything that comes out over someone who's just a Sony stooge. Obviously everyone has bias to what they like.




Sep 19, 2022 at 10:44 AM
1bwana1
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


amci4 wrote:
Yeah and when you see people accusing the likes of Tony, Chelsie, Jared, Ken, etc… Their answer is always we aren’t paid by Sony and technically they’re not, they’re paid by the shops that sell the Sony bodies and of course they take the freebies on the side. It’s a complete scam and they’re exactly what people accused them of being in a round about way.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I always wondered how so many people weren’t seeing the green skin tones on many of the Sony bodies and every time I bought one, it was
...Show more

I am always amused by people who assign malfeasance to behaviors of those whose opinions they disagree with, but not those they agree with who are practicing that very same behavior. Affiliate links are being used by almost every content creator these days. Reviewers often cited as reliable sources included. As examples only because they were cited here in this thread as reliable and unbiased, Thom Hogan prominently requests that readers use his affiliate links to B&H on his home page, and notes that he puts a large banner add link at the bottom of every page to make it easy. Steve Perry also asks that supporters buy through his affiliate links to Amazon. Photography Life puts a "where to buy" section in its reviews with affiliate links. I could find no instance of affiliate links from them. Exceptions are Ricci and Morton Hilmer. But both of these are paid directly by Nikon so are in a different capacity, and possibly restricted from doing so.

My point is not that those mentioned are somehow corrupt. In fact the opposite. I don't think you can corelate using affiliate links to generate revenue with being dishonest, or promoting products you don't believe in.

I won't argue anyone's preference in color, or which camera most closely matches that preference. That is a personal thing. You see how you see. However, I will say that using one's own personal preferences for color to prove affiliate link corruption is also not valid. The highest authority in the color industry today is Pantone/X-Rite. If color standards are set it is usually them that is referenced. Image Engineering did a color accuracy test of the major camera models. You may be surprised at the results. Fuji and Sony did very well filling the majority of the top spots. Canon in the middle and Nikon not showing very well. To me that doesn't mean that Nikon cameras are making images with poor color. In fact the color biases in the cameras my produce very pleasing colors. But to say cameras that produce very accurate colors are proof of reviewer corruption just doesn't hold up to even the most cursory examination.



Edited on Sep 19, 2022 at 11:17 AM · View previous versions



Sep 19, 2022 at 10:47 AM
1bwana1
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


jwolfe wrote:
I still have a feeling there's comp from Sony itself. Otherwise PRM would be on welfare. But for Jared Polin etc, yeah they make their money from YouTube and affiliate links to B&H etc. But if you are making money from links, it's not usually brand specific. Every time you review a camera or lens you post a link. And again using Jared as an example, he also sells his own products. I'm less bothered by someone who reviews everything that comes out over someone who's just a Sony stooge. Obviously everyone has bias to what they like.



It is a good thing that truth isn't determined by "feelings", rather than evidence.

Josh, since it relates to your profession directly, I will give you some fodder in the form of actual truth that I do know for a fact. When Sony decided to make a push into PJ and Pro Sports Photography they instituted a program to help recruit professionals in these spaces to use Sony camera gear. One of the programs was to offer very substantial rebates on an invitation only basis. If you were a pro and Sony wanted you, you were invited. You were given a period of time (say 6 months) where any Sony gear you bought, you would get a large cash rebate in the form of a prepaid black Sony credit card. Sony insisted that you bought your gear from an authorized reseller in order to support their dealers (kudos for that). Send in proof of purchase, and get the money back. These rebates were large. In fact large enough that an A1 was below the price of a Z9 (which wasn't yet even announced at the time, so no the program was not in response to the Z9 release). It applied to all lenses, and accessories as well. It was an amazing program that made switching to Sony very low cost, and maybe no cost depending on what you sold your used gear for. I know a number of people/organizations who took advantage of this program, and are shooting Sony these days.

Some will say that this means Sony bought it's way into the PJ and Sports Pro segment. I guess maybe this is true in some ways. I don't know if any other brands have, or have had such programs in the past. From a businessman's perspective it seems like smart investment spending to me. I assign no malfeasance to such a program. It was (is?) a real program so frame it how you please.

Although I was privy to this program, I never heard of it being offered to any reviewers, YouTubers, or other influencers. Doesn't mean it was or wasn't, but not sure it matters.




Sep 19, 2022 at 11:15 AM
jwolfe
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


1bwana1 wrote:
It is a good thing that truth isn't determined by "feelings", rather than evidence.

Josh, since it relates to your profession directly, I will give you some fodder in the form of actual truth that I do know for a fact. When Sony decided to make a push into PJ and Pro Sports Photography they instituted a program to help recruit professionals in these spaces to use Sony camera gear. One of the programs was to offer very substantial rebates on an invitation only basis. If you were a pro and Sony wanted you, you were invited. You were given a
...Show more


Oh they did way more than offer discounts. They bought the AP contract. And they've given away a lot of gear to get going. Now mind you, I don't care as long as it's all above board. But in a lot of cases, it was not. Again, Sony is very different from the other camera companies since they are enormous. They could lose money in that division for 10 years and it wouldn't matter. Plus it's a way to show off their sensor tech. I have no ill-will towards them.

At the end of the day, with modern internet marketing, so much of it is opaque that it's impossible to know who is in who's pocket. Which is sad. And why I don't pay attention to most of it.




Sep 19, 2022 at 01:52 PM
amci4
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


RoamingScott wrote:
I've shot a number of modern Sony bodies, and green skin tones has never been a thing on those for me. Always tended way too far into magenta.


My A7 III and A7R2 both had horrible green tinting in the mid-tones. It was almost as though the camera was messing up the color profiles in the metadata.



Sep 19, 2022 at 03:10 PM
1bwana1
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · The Confessions of a 14-Year YouTube Gear Reviewer


jwolfe wrote:
They bought the AP contract.



I am not sure what you mean by " bought" . Have never seen any reports on the terms regarding the AP contract except that Sony said it was worth millions of revenue for them.

Sony has openly said that there were support and service agreements. Probably meaningful discounts. This is standard practice and probably what other companies had done in the past.

Here is a quote from Derl McCrudden of AP regarding the cost and size of the contract with Sony. Notice that AP is paying Sony, not the other way around.

“This is the biggest investment in cameras we have ever made,” he explains. “It's a really clear statement of intent about where AP sees the future of visual storytelling, both in terms of photography and video. "

That is a pretty straight forward and strong statement.

The simple fact is that no other camera company but Sony has both the still, video, broadcast, phone camera capability that Sony has. All of these formats share a single lens mount and many other accessories and communication capabilities. Strictly from a product and technology perspective Sony is the right partner for AP. Now add all the distribution assets Sony also owns and it is easy to see why AP would make such a choice. Sony doesn't need to pay for such a contract.

Do you have any credible references that show that Sony paid money? Everything I have seen says the money flowed towards Sony from AP.

jwolfe wrote:
Sony is very different from the other camera companies since they are enormous. They could lose money in that division for 10 years and it wouldn't matter. Plus it's a way to show off their sensor tech.



Yes, compared to other camera companies Sony is at another level when it comes to financial and technological capabilities. The whole of the ICL camera business wouldn't have much of a bottom line impact on them. They seem to have deployed these resources intelligently and effectively in making themselves number one in imaging Worldwide. You have to respect that just from a business sense.

Just take a look at this acquisition list, and compare it to the other companies in the camera industry. Note the heavy concentration in content creation, content ownership, and distribution. Sony has a vision to be dominant in content from the hardware all the way through distribution.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Sony



Sep 19, 2022 at 03:11 PM
1       2              4       5       end




FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1       2              4       5       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username       Or Reset password



This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.