I never know how much truth lies in any Ken Rockwell review, but his latest D600 post sounds exactly like sell, sell sell. He says: " the D600 (is) a better, faster, lighter version of the old D800 and D800E ... Except for testing lenses, I have no idea why I would keep my D800E anymore."
Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8 Tamron 90mm Macro
Rockwell is a strange bird. He seems to have a strong technical background but leans toward simplicity. He raves about the technical aspects of the high end cameras but always seems to recomend the entry level camera. The D40 and its iterations were his camera of choice for a long time despite more proficent cameras. He claims to shoot jpg most of the time with in camera settings rather than a lot of PP. I suspect that is because a lot of his viewers are entry level camera people where his approach is probably helpful.
I find him interesting when taken with a grain of salt.
One thing that he has been absolutely consistent about is smaller and lighter gear. Given two cameras with similar specs, he will always recommend the smaller, lighter one. Some of his rants, such as those against the slower flash speed sync are right on the money for many users, especially fill-flash users.
But as usual, I take his comments with a HUGE grain of salt. Since he does leave his info up forever, it has been VERY helpful when I wanted to buy some older cameras and see the specs, photos, and so forth. And his lens reviews have certainly been helpful.
>He raves about the technical aspects of the high end cameras but >always seems trecommendnd the entry level camera. The D40 and its >iterations were his camera of choice for a long time despite >mproficientcent cameras.
>I suspect that is because a lot of his viewers are entry level >camera people where his approach is probably helpful.
Ken is laughing all the way to the bank! For every D800 or D4 sold there are at least 10 or more D3100's sold. Most people that buy higher level bodies already have a very good understanding of what their needs and wants are. Therefore they roll every times everytime KR outrageous outragious statement to draw more traffic to his site. Again by those that know better, everything Ken writes is taken with a grain of salt.
The entry level buyers don't know any better and when they do their research take Ken's words as Gospel. They are also much more likely to buy through the links provided on KR's site. Even if he gets a small percentage of entry level buyers to purchase though his links he makes money. This is how KR feeds his family.
Instead of referring to the "old" D800/E as if it was somehow out of date technology, he could have made a decent argument by saying something like "If you want a lightweight travel camera with all the capability you are likely to need, the D600 is a better choice then the D800." One can certainly make a good argument for that.
But then maybe my D800 really is old and dirty and worn out and I do need a new toy !
Well - some people do not like the way Rockwell makes his comments - it is the way it is. However, after reading all his new evaluations on the D600 plus the charts comparing the D600 to most good DSLR from all brand - on thing is real. He is the only one , so far supplying this kind of information.
And for this alone he will be read by many Nikon owners. Jacques G
>However, after reading all his new evaluations on the D600 >plus the charts comparing the D600 to most good DSLR from all >brand - on thing is real. He is the only one , so far >supplying this kind of information.
I'm not sure how he can "evaluate" a camera he has not yet seen. In fact, he can't - his article is mostly re-gurgitating the specs and includes uninformative guesses like "the D600 ought to be extraordinary".
He may be "first to market", but I'll be waiting for reviews from those I know I can rely on.
By the way, we do have our own Nikonians DSLR comparison chart, which can be found here. You'll see that it includes the D600 as well as all other Nikon DSLR's, past and current (though not those from rival brands). Why not bookmark it for future reference?
>He may be "first to market", but I'll be waiting for >reviews from those I know I can rely on. > >By the way, we do have our own Nikonians DSLR comparison >chart, which can be found >here. > You'll see that it includes the D600 as well as all other >Nikon DSLR's, past and current (though not those from rival >brands). Why not bookmark it for future reference?
Brian - Thanks for the Info for the chart. BTW when I heard about the coming out of the D600, from BH, I immediately searched Nikonians for more info. I found nothing except the discussion about Rockwell. So far Rockwell - Masurov - Thom and others are all making comments without having the actual camera. I know that I will have to wait for the actual reviews, in a month or two, to get accurate info. In the meantime I enjoy what I read from all reviewers. Some info is usefull and other info is not. I respect all reviewers. Jacques G
I didn't realize how bad this guy is until I was doing my research before purchasing a tripod, and checked out his advice.
He states: "Tripods are no longer required, and actually often degrade sharpness, because shutter speeds have climbed and IS and VR lenses reduced the need for slower speeds." And, "Sadly many people still look like idiots using tripods with digital cameras in daylight. These guys are throwbacks to the 1950s, or the early 2000s."
Absolutely unbelievable. After reading this garbage, I will not be going back to his site again for anything.
And, idiot that I must be, I promptly went and bought a Gitzo GT3542XLS and a Markins Q20, based on the very sound advice I got from Nikonians, and love them both!!!
Ken is a quite "colorful" person when it comes to photographic reviews. You might say that he is rather opinionated. He has been very successful at garnering a lot of attention among professional and serious photographers. I don't know of any other reviewer that has drawn as much attention as Ken.
I do read his reviews, but, in conjunction with other reviews. And, as has already been said, I take his reviews with the grain of salt.
>He has been very successful at garnering a lot of >attention among professional and serious photographers.
I don't have access to his website traffic stats (obviously), but I would have to take issue with that statement. To me, his pronouncements are aimed at those who are just starting out and don't know any better. I don't know ANY serious photographers who prefer his reviews to those of people like Mansurovs and Thom Hogan.
I agree, Brian, but Rockwell does one very good thing almost no other blogger does: he tells beginners that equipment isn't what makes good photographs. Equipment sites like Nikonians often overlook or ignore that fact.
Sat 15-Sep-12 04:14 PM | edited Sat 15-Sep-12 04:18 PM by MotoMannequin
>Rockwell does one very good thing almost no other blogger does: he tells beginners that equipment isn't what makes good photographs.
...but then he follows it up with a site based not on how to take better photos, but almost completely on equipment. That kind of disingenuity pervades all of his writing. Once you realize he has a fair amount of contempt for his readers, his site starts to make sense.
Let me add, I've seen a few comments recently, in some Nikonians equipment forums, that this site is too focused on equipment and not enough on photos. We do, however, have a number of photo posting forums where you will find extensive discussion of photos and photography.
>>...but then he follows it up with a site based not on how >to >>take better photos, but almost completely on equipment. > >Of course he does, Larry. What else can he do? Have you ever >looked at his pictures?
LOL Russ - so true my friend. Let me buy you a beer if we're ever in the same neck of the woods
> But this is the first time he's come right out and said that >the D800 has too much resolution.
Not so. Rockwell has said at different times that more than 12 megapixels is unnecessary and a waste of money and ALSO that the D800 has too much resolution to be useful and ALSO that his fave camera for landscape and serious work is the D800E. I never know what he means and when he means it. He's sometimes informative, often confusing and he always urges the reader to order something new ... with the order channeled thorough his website.
Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8 Tamron 90mm Macro
He taylors his reviews to first time buyers or inexperienced users that don't know any better and are more likely to buy gear via the links on his site. Resulting in more income for Ken. Sell, Sell, Sell. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
>>He has been very successful at garnering a lot of >>attention among professional and serious photographers. > >I don't have access to his website traffic stats (obviously), >but I would have to take issue with that statement.
He is not garnering a lot of attention??? Just look at all this chatter in this thread about what Ken says! I'm not saying that Pros are making decisions based upon Ken's reviews! But, he does garner a lot of attention.
Brian, his hits and page views are way too high which proves how dangerous the internet can be in propagating propaganda.
His site has a Alexa rating of 4988 in the US, meaning the there are only 4988 sites for US residents which have more impact or visits His world wide ranking is 7,998. What is driving his income is 4.9% of all visitors click on a link to shop at Adorama and 3.8% click to go to shop at Amazon. All in all, his site has a 7 day average of .00061% of all web pages viewed it the world. Sadly, he gets 9 times the page views than Nikonians.org With click throughs like he has he is making hundreds of thousands of dollars in affiliate payments a year. Equally sad is that visitors to his site stay on the site for just .2 minutes on average less than on Nikonians.org. Yesterday alone he got a 17% boost in hits by having people report controversial comments on forums. By repeating his outlandish destructive comments and opinions, we are increasing his income. The best way to deal with him is to ignore him and caution others to do the same. Every time he makes a stupid post, his income increases. There was a big spike when he was praising the D800 and another larger one when he blasted it and endorsed the 5DIII.
Real Photographers don't do KR Stan St Petersburg Russia
Tue 25-Sep-12 02:12 PM | edited Wed 26-Sep-12 11:49 AM by briantilley
I can understand that you can find statistical info on his site performance but how do you know what his income is? I and many others go on his site to have a BIG LAUGH but that is it. I would NEVER click through his links to buy something.
Income based on click through rates and normal conversions of the affiliate programs. Due to high volume, he likely was able to negotiate a favorite rate higher than the dealer's affiliate contract. That many page views and that many click throughs generate a lot of income. Stan St Petersburg Russia
>Income based on click through rates and normal conversions of >the affiliate programs. Due to high volume, he likely was able >to negotiate a favorite rate higher than the dealer's >affiliate contract. >That many page views and that many click throughs generate a >lot of income. >Stan
Are you saying that if I click on one of the links but not buy something Ken gets paid?
>out and don't know any better. I don't know ANY serious >photographers who prefer his reviews to those of people like >Mansurovs and Thom Hogan.
I agree these two are the some of the best reviewers on the web.
I would think when you are considering a camera like the D800, you are not necessarily looking for a weekend camera for photos of family activities, but a tool for a more discerning photographer. Therefore I would not necessarily expect to use the same review criteria.
The Mansurovs review of the D800 and D700 and comparisons were very helpful for me. I found his comprehensive and objective reviews to be quite valuable in my decision process. I would expect his comparison reviews for the 800 and 600 to be worth reading as well if making a decision between these two cameras.
Sat 15-Sep-12 03:36 PM | edited Sat 15-Sep-12 03:41 PM by Robman3
Rockwell's not exactly honest, he admits to as much.
Hyperbole and questionable (I only shoot Vivid?) technique (No tripods allowed) and jumping from the D800 to the MK3 to the D600, one would surmise he's driving traffic and controversy is how he gets click through.
Albeit guised as technically expert on a certain level, he's carved a niche and it's a good bet, not much will change.
No telling how many people are coaxed by his kids pictures to "contribute", but as grey area scams go on the internet, he's established his well enough.
When I search say Nikkor AI, the majority of hits are HIS on page one.
Ken does have some sensible stuff to say, however having read his latest post about not needing more than 6mp I have to wonder. Mind you he said some years ago that the 35mm format was dead and no one needed it! Now he says that full game is the way to go. I do after with him on that, but to say that you don't need more than 6mp is absolute rubbish. Especially when he made other comments when the d800 came out. He is right in that most people do not need anything like the number of mp that camera sensors have now. In fact I would say that most people and by that I mean the average photographer doesn't needed more than probably 10mp. Most people, and I'm not talking about enthusiasts like us, never print bigger than 5D800 with maybe the occasional 8D800 anyway and 6MP is plenty for that! I shot with a d200 Professionally for 6 years and had no problem selling big Prints off them. But the d800 produces a much better image and is so much more advanced. I am sure the d600 would be great for me but having got a D800 the only reason I would but one is as a back up and even then I'm not sure I wouldn't but another D800. I also find Kens comments about the change in af switch on the D800 and how he doesn't like it strange. Personally I find it much better to work with. Although i do look at Ken's site sometimes now, I personally find Thom Hogans site more use and what he says more consistent. Sure he is straight to the point but I like that. Also the amount of information he has gathered is incredible. If you haven't had a look go to bythom.com .
Sun 16-Sep-12 02:34 AM | edited Sun 16-Sep-12 02:37 AM by JCY88
One needs to read his comments with a mindset that he is a struggling photographer wanting to make a living for his family like everybody else. Readers really need to make their last judgement based on reading of many different points of view. I know most of us already do that. If we want to help him more then you mention his opinion here. It will serve the readers better to express your own impression based on multiple sources.
Ken is not a struggling photographer except as photography relates to his web site.
A couple of quotes from his web site -
"Today (2010), I support my family from what this website brings in. Strange, but true. We're frugal, and I'm a hard worker, so it all works out."
"I have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself), as well as to inform and to educate. I occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting."
"I have the energy and sense of humor of a three-year old, so remember, this is a personal website, and never presented as fact. I enjoy making things up for fun, as does The Onion, and I publish them here — even on this page. "
Sun 16-Sep-12 04:50 AM | edited Sun 16-Sep-12 05:11 AM by Hawk Eyes
Well I am glad he has a sense of humor. Because his BS makes me laugh. Many people need to follow something in order to feel alive in life. With photography you are your own creator, and it is all about you and your own vision.
That is why I love photos so much. I like to take, and learn from some of the masters of the photo craft. But the people I choose to learn from, do not need to brag about who they are, or what camera you should shoot. They just shoot great photos and move on.......
"Anyone can learn to talk technical in the photography world"........ But not many have a good eye or learn to use light and shoot great photos..... I just laugh and shoot more photos. Good times !
Yes! KR is always selling to his audience. Given it's price point, there will be significantly more D600's sold than D800's. More potential buyers = more income for Ken. It is all Dollars and Cents. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
We can poke fun at KR. He makes fun of Nikonians all the time; without saying the name - but we all know who he is talking about.
He's a myopic engineer whose primary belief appears to be: smaller and lighter is better than bigger and heavier. Like most nerds, he lacks a few social skills and tends to annoy others with his frankness. Sounds like many photographers I know - at least the good ones.
Most of us are ridiculed when we act in a similar fashion. KR has turned this behavior into a successful website. Good for him.
I find the information KR provides to be on par with advice I get here, or on sites like Thom Hogan's. The blending of artistry and technology that has always defined photography means there are many right answers. KR is about as right as any other experienced photographer - which is to say: he's not as right as he thinks he is.
>not sure why people get all worked up anymore about his >postings.
I don't get worked up about his postings - what he posts has no relevance for me - but I do get mildly annoyed when people recommend him without caveat as a reliable source of information, in case inexperienced members here are misled.
>>not sure why people get all worked up anymore about his >>postings. > >I don't get worked up about his postings - what he posts has >no relevance for me - but I do get mildly annoyed when people >recommend him without caveat as a reliable source of >information, in case inexperienced members here are misled.
He just said he is moving out of California because of the new Internet tax law. I don't know if it on his site but it was in one of the interviews. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah-Idiot free California, I am all for it.
Ming is the first reviewer I have encountered to freely admit that Photoshop is a natural part of an intelligent workflow. Bravo! His goal is to get the best image and not the best image "directly as shot from the camera".
Ming runs a daily blog - always interesting, though not always Nikon-related. He is a prof. watch photographer - many, many major credits, and also does food photography and a lot of street work. His insights are always refreshing and I trust his judgment in most things. Glad you had a look. D.
>Perhaps true, but the fact that they are owned by Amazon, >which has a vested interest in selling cameras, means that any >or all reviews might be tainted. > >Jon Kandel >A New York City Nikonian and Team Member >Please visit my website and critique the >images!
Agreed. They rarely have critical comments. You often have to read between the lines to spot the euphemisms for 'bad'.
>Perhaps true, but the fact that they are owned by Amazon, >which has a vested interest in selling cameras, means that any >or all reviews might be tainted.
I can say just about any reviewer that they will defend their purchase. Dpreview maybe owned by Amazon but Amazon sells all of the cameras regardless if good or bad. Besides, when Amazon purchased Dpreview it was clear and announced that Amazon will have no say how Dpreview runs. I actually had personal experience in that matter which is OT and too long to describe but trust me Amazon can do absolutely nothing about Dpreview.
>I abandoned dear old Ken long ago, now I get all my >information (and inspiration) from Mansurovs, Thom and >Nikonians. > >Richard Yes Richard, I do the same with one exception, I also read Rockwell at times. Masurovs - Thom and Nikonians are more my style of photography. But I also want to know what other styles of photographers do and think. We learn from all - we only need to select what is usefull for our style.
Some photographers always shoot Manual - others use a mix of manual and program mode and others rely only on the camera to take the decisions (scene selection). This is why all 3 modes are available on most cameras as opposed to 2 modes on the higher Pro D.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but at one point the D40 was the best Nikon camera to own, according to him. Then the D300s was bashed for no good reason. Later, the Leica M9 became the best camera in the world. I agree with Brian, it appears to be designed to generate traffic. And to address another post, yes it sometimes seems like a petulant 6-year-old is writing.
Unfortunately, one cannot post to his site, but it would be nice to see the flame wars which would spontaneously ignite.
Well, when I bought my first Nikon a few years back, a D90, I probably did so b/c whenever I searched for "Nikon" on the Internet Rockwell's site came up. And because I was bone-dry ignorant about photography at that time I was drawn in to Rockwell's seemingly plain spoken, no b.s. style. Fortunately, I continued to educate myself so in about 5 or 6 months after the D90 purchase I stopped reading Rockwell's site. I won't say that there's nothing of value in his site b/c there is some value; but once you know enough to start thinking for yourself -- about what you need, want to do with your equipment, how you want to do, and have shot more and more photos under varied circumstances -- you will find Ken Rockwell the equivalent of your soon-to-be-demented great-uncle who one day says the moon is made of cheese but next day says there's no moon at all!
Owning both the D800 and the D600, my fav of the two is the D800 for ergonmics, image quality, better button layout, a bracking system that is more practical, a remote cable that functions easier (esp. with an L Plate on the cameras), focus points that are better distributed and the 1.2 crop which allows better use of the Dx lenses that I did keep.
I have been on a couple of workshops where Ken has been present. He is a great guy and very helpful for newbies, but I have lost respect for his web site advice on more sophisticated equipment. I rarely click on his web site anymore. For a person that wants to shoot jpg and post on facebook or other web site, his advise may be more pertinent.
Sun 30-Sep-12 12:45 PM | edited Sun 30-Sep-12 12:47 PM by Gator Bob
Every time Rockwell writes a rave revew about a new must-have camera he urges the reader to rush to order one --preferably through his website which "feeds my growing family". Often he adds that it will be so popular that buyers will have to pay a premium price for a long time, if they even can find one to buy. His list of must-have new cameras never ends and a new one always comes along to replace his last "perfect" camera. Their shelf life is very short. That adds up a LOT of sales commissions to Rockwell from Adorama, B&H, etc. When California said it will charge sales tax on internet sales he moved his legal residence to a boat offshore. I believe his personal income is the primary if not sole purpose of his column.
Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico D700 & SB800 * D800E October 2nd Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8 Tamron 90mm Macro
Sun 30-Sep-12 01:16 PM | edited Sun 30-Sep-12 01:22 PM by richardd300
<<Every time Rockwell writes a rave revew about a new must-have camera he urges the reader to rush to order one>>
Which maybe is why the D800/E must hold some sort of record for length of release date to first delivery dates. I have always thought that the mass majority of purchasers would be less likely to be members here or on some other forums such as Mansurovs, but gadget friendly "must have the latest" buyers. In other words "too many people with too much money who didn't have a clue"
I've never seen myself as a must have buyer having taken 7 months before I decided to buy a D800, but in my earlier digital days I did frequent KR's site for advice as I didn't know of any others. That changed when I discovered, Thom Hogan, Mansuroves and of course Nikonians.
At the end of the day he's still a good read where more enlightened readers can smile and just enjoy the narrative, then go elsewhere for the serious side of things.
R_______'s (aka HWMNBN) modus operandi (and I'm probably contributing to it too as I post to this thread) is to make a provocative statement full in the knowledge that it will be discussed, derided and argued here on Nikonians, on DPReview, NikonGear and elsewhere. He's absolutely correct. All of that "R_______ this" and "R_______ that" posting helps drive his self-promotion, 'review' and ad-loaded pages to the top of the Google, Yahoo! and Bing search results. He converts a small percentage of that linked traffic in addition to the conversions he makes from direct traffic into product affiliate link clicks. It's a living I guess.
Perrone noted that R_______ never removes a post or review or product listing from his site, so it has become a location for some of us to easily find originally published specs for older Nikon gear (and a few products from other brands too). I agree, and that data is the only reason I ever visit the site.