camera review sites

There are so many digital camera review sites.

It can be very confusing to know which site is the best camera review site and what to do once you get there.  It's like trying to pick a box of cereal from the breakfast aisle.

Overload of Digital Camera Review SitesWhich camera review site should you use?

I'm guessing you don't need to look at the technical charts on shutter accuracy, the graphs on raw dynamic range, or the ISO invariance results.

You want to get practical advice on the best camera or accessory and you don't want a specific product jammed down your throat.

Fortunately, there is an alternative way to make a judgment if a certain camera is the right one. You don't want to waste a ton of time investigating camera equipment, but you don't want to jump in blindly either.

Before you go to a review site, it will be helpful to briefly answer these two important questions:

1. Do you have a budget on how much you can spend on your new camera?

Some sites primarily deal with point and shoot cameras while others focus on the high-end digital slr cameras.

If you can't invest $1000 on a new digital camera, then you shouldn't waste time on a camera review site that specializes in reviewing pricey DSLR cameras.

2. What size camera are you willing to carry around with you? There are literally dozens of manufacturers and thousands of camera to consider. You can save some time in your search if you know how big of a camera you will want to carry around.

Canon Powershot - Point and shoot CameraFits anywhere

Mid-range digital cameraStores in a medium pocket
Full-frame DSLRHeavy, Full-featured
Pro DSLR Camera

Answering these two questions are essential before you try to pick a camera. that will save you time by eliminating  wading through reviews on cameras that don't meet your needs.

Not always the case, but generally, the bigger the camera means a bigger price and more features.

Technology has made the quality issue less important than every before. You can now get great digital photographs with very affordable and small cameras. Even the sensors on cell phones are big enough to get high quality, pictures to look good when printed in snapshot sizes.

But How Can You Actually Use Camera Review Sites?

You don't have enough time to visit them all and even if you just visit a few, which ones are the best camera review sites to spend your time on?

As part of the research for the Better Digital Photography Tips web site, I spend a ton of time on reviews sites. I use these three websites frequently:


Before I buy a new camera, DPreview is the first camera review site I visit. I like all of the technical stuff, the extensive testing, and the camera comparisons.

The Digital Picture

Like my site, TheDigitalPicture is run by just one guy. Bryan Carnathan does very in-depth lens reviews. Bryan is very knowledgable and does scientific lens testing more than anything else. It may be too technical and detailed for many photographers to get through.


Most of my equipment is Canon, so I get a chance to read and write a lot about Canon cameras, lenses and accessories. Several Canon specific sites are used for resources to get background information and are combined with practical experience.

Stay away from the Quick Camera Comparison Sites

I am not going to name names. You should avoid the camera review sites that do a superficial comparison of every camera imaginable just to get ranked highly in the search engines (like Google Yahoo and Bing).

You'll get tempted to look at sites that have any and all "Camera A vs. Camera B"  comparisons as good resources. But here's the deal on those sites. 

Camera A  vs  Camera B

They just list a couple of the differences in specs, like price, megapixels, size, weight, and frames per second. They ignore the most important comparison of all: what photographers have actually experienced by using the cameras.

alternative to traditional camera review sites

Rather than read the professional reviews, you have another valuable option.  Why not read the reviews from a variety of buyers, all in one place? Amazon is a wealth of information written by consumers who have spent their money and written the reviews.

Digital Camera Reviews on Amazon

Of course, you don't have to buy from Amazon. You can just read the authentic reviews of photographers who have already purchased the camera that you are considering.

Amazon is a JD Powers 2012 Customer Service Champion.

Amazon has been rated #1 in the National Retail Federation Customers' Choice Awards.

Amazon was awarded the top spot in the MSN Money Customer Service Hall of Fame three consecutive years.

But there's a catch...sort of.  If you did happen to venture over to Amazon's site after clicking a link from the Digital Photography Tips web site, I get a little financial thank you.

It costs you nothing. You get the regular Amazon discount, but it helps me keep this site going.

Read the digital camera reviews now.......

In addition, Amazon recently scored a top score of 86 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index and an 89 on the ForeSee customer satisfaction survey.

That is the ultimate highest score achieved by a retail business. The Kindle customer service team has received a 97.1% satisfaction rate from customers who bought Kindle readers.

Steve's Digicams and dpReview are extremely thorough and give you technical breakdowns. Reading their "conclusion" section is a big time saver for you.

Amazon gives you consumer opinions that are very useful. Read the one star negatives first. See if their comments are relative to what you want when buying.

Read the 5 star comments next. See if their remarks talk about the features you are looking for. You'll find out what people have already experienced while using the camera you are considering.

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