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Why do photography review videos and podcasts suck?

  |   Article, Articles and reviews, Personal views, Site information   |   3 Comments

Why are so many videos and podcasts on web sites a waste of your time

Do they have to be so awful?

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith ...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles.


Why is so much video on web sites a waste of time

Lots of photography sites include review videos and podcasts as content. All too often it’s badly made and wastes visitors time. Does it have to be like this?

People often ask about adding video content and podcasts to the Northlight Images site. Why hasn’t it happened?

Well, apart from having a face for radio and a voice for mime, I just don’t have the desire to take up a chunk of my audience’s time for them to find that there was nothing in the video of interest, or that couldn’t have been written in half a dozen paragraphs with a few good pictures.  Putting something on video just because decent writing takes some time and effort, is not happening anytime soon round here…

Take a long article (and yes, there are quite a few on the site), You can scan the entire thing quite quickly, or just jump to the conclusions or summary.  Try doing that with a video, or even worse an audio recording (aka ‘podcast’).  My wife assures me that my technical monologues would be a good sleep aid though :-)

I’ve sat through several so called ‘video reviews’ of products and felt that the useful bits could have been written in a Tweet, All too often I feel that I should demand back the 12 minutes just lost.  OK it was free, but that doesn’t mean it should be worth exactly what I paid for it.

Too much dross!  I resist the urge to point to some of the more annoying examples, just because I feel they have sucked enough élan already.

Don’t get me wrong, there are topics that are extremely well suited to video and audio media. it’s just that to do a good job takes equipment and skills I lack.

Times may change

BUT… If you do see content on the site that you think could genuinely benefit from audio/visual treatment, then please feel free to let me know. I might just give it a go ;-)

Update 2017: The site has been re-written and redesigned, and still we resist video – it’s a lot of work to do well and I’d rather spend the time elsewhere. Yes, we might yet give it a go.
Update 2020: I relented, and made a short video overview of the Canon PRO-300 printer to support the full review

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Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith ...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles.


3 Comments
  • beierli | May 27, 2010 at 7:49 am

    beierli ugg I don’t have anything better to do (or am too lazy.) When I need information, efficiency is the keyword. Unless the recommendation comes from a highly respected source I don’t watch videos to find information for exactly the reason you state.

  • Stephen_Mc | May 25, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Most video reviews aren’t that hot. Text is much more concise.

  • Adrian von Bidder | May 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Keith, thanks a *lot* for this. I occasionally enjoy spending some hours on Youtube, but mostly (only?) for amusement when I don’t have anything better to do (or am too lazy.) When I need information, efficiency is the keyword. Unless the recommendation comes from a highly respected source I don’t watch videos to find information for exactly the reason you state.

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