A quick search leads you to oodles and oodles of camera review sites. Which ones are the best? As camera geeks, we’ve been consulting review sites for years, and have settled on a few of the best ones on the web. These are indispensable while shopping for new gear, helping you get a better idea of what your potential purchases are worth and how they perform.
DPReview sets the standard for camera review sites, and the bar is rather high. It’s the most popular review site on the web, and with good reason. Acquired by Amazon several years ago, their team has become stronger while adding many new features and retaining impartiality. You won’t find reviews anywhere else as technical or comprehensive as you will here. A vibrant discussion forum, photo challenges, camera database, and of course the reviews are some of the things we really like. Although now with more funding, you’d think they could produce more reviews, more frequently. But if you’re scratching your head over which camera to get, this should be your first stop. If you are overwhelmed by all the data in the reviews, skip straight to the last page and read the conclusion.
#2: Fred Miranda
Fred Miranda is a not a review site per se, but through its community, it has become the top spot to see user-generated reviews on the net. Started by a model-turned-photographer who takes stunning photos, the website features a robust review section in which users rate their gear, list pros and cons, and make specific comments. All too often, community generated reviews don’t take off, but here it has. If you’re interested in what people with real life experience have to say about their cameras and lenses, this is the place to go. It’s also worth teaking
The Digital Picture is one of our favorite sites because it takes a very down to earth approach to reviewing lenses and cameras, as the reviewer often speaks in a personal voice. We like the side-by=side lens comparisons and and accessory reviews (flashes, tripods, bags, etc). You won’t find technical charts here, but you will find detailed commentary and recommendations which speak directly to those who might not be sure what exactly to get. The only downside: this site is for Canon users only.
This is another site popular with and frequently cited by photographers. The interactive graphs and charts are easy to use and understand, and the reviews are also written in a no nonsense manner, straight to the point. One thing setting this site apart are the user comments on each review. These help augment the official word from the official authors. We also like the alternatives listed, so you can see direct comparisons of other similar gear that might interest you. The user reviews of various photography accessories are also helpful.
Photozone is run by a single guy in Germany, and he does a fine job of reviewing all the latest gear across the brand spectrum. A few of the things we like are the distortion and MTF charts. It’s a very technical approach, perhaps a bit too complex for the average user. But when you really care about your gear, it helps to know as much as possible, and this site fills in the gaps that others miss. They have also done a good job retesting lenses for newer cameras with more megapixels.
Through solid review procedures, these sites have achieved their status as the best of the best. You’ll find high quality reviews which will make your camera shopping experience that much easier.
Honorable Mention: Imaging Resource (useful “comparometer”), Ken Rockwell (quirky and controversial voice), The Luminous Landscape (in-depth user experience), CNet Reviews (addressing mainstream concerns)