I would like to review the new 12.1-megapixel full-frame Nikon D3 and the 21.1-megapixel Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III (together with the Canon EOS 1D Mark III I already own). So would everyone else. But by “review” I mean the huge effort (shooting, reviewing images, analyzing, writing) it takes to do one of my Pro Reviews, rather different from an offhand wish to try out cool equipment. But such equipment costs kilobucks, making the ROI (return on investment) questionable. And so perhaps I’m better off focusing on articles that don’t require such a major investment, or perhaps (as one reader suggested), I’ll have to buy and then sell the cameras—but that makes it hard to have ongoing insights.
Diglloyd.com is a business. The Pro Reviews have been the source of 99% of the revenue of this site, and I greatly appreciate the support of those readers who have supported diglloyd.com by buying the reviews. But after nearly 3 years, I need to figure out how to grow revenue such that I can justify it as the part-time job it has become (a job that I greatly enjoy, but working for free tires even diehards like Bjørn Rørslett out!).
Moving forward, I’m considering other business models including:
- Advertisements—I’m loathe to do this, because it raises the issue of impartiality. But it does keep content “free” which is what many people seem to prefer.
- Subscriptions. A free blog is nice, but it takes a huge amount of time to create quality content. There is a dividing line somewhere between free and paid.
- Pro Reviews—a subscription model requires a moderate price, one which would preclude the huge amount of effort put into reviews like D2x vs EOS and Guide to Digital Infrared. Such things would continue to be paid extras.
On a related topic, I recently refused a very generous discount from Zeiss on the ZF lenses, with the net result that I could afford several fewer of the lenses than with the discount. I refused the discount because I feel that objective reviewers cannot accept manufacturer rebates or special favors, even when such things are clearly and repeatedly disclosed. Reader thoughts on this topic are appreciated, but I know that I would be skeptical of a reviewer’s objectivity knowing that a discount was accepted. Can “full disclosure” of a discount be acceptable? I’m quite skeptical that it can be. What if the review is paid vs free? What if the cost without a discount precludes a review from happening at all? Ask the editor at your favorite web site(s) what their policy is, and see if you get an honest and unambiguous answer!
Please contact me via email with your thoughts on any or all of these issue—thank you.