Making purchases for electronic products or other technology has become a much more difficult task with the advent of the net. It generally used to be be a fairly simple process by comparing features and quality for a given pricepoint. Unfortunately it’s not that easy anymore. I usually start my hunt and narrow down to ~ 3 products before making a purchasing decision. I will then read multiple reviews of each product on various sites. I then begin to read about user experiences. That’s when things can get a bit complicated because you need to be careful and weed out quite a bit of nonesense to find quality experinces people have had with the product. I usually can make my purchasing decision after that process, and of course finding the right place to buy it is another online adventure.
In any case, sometimes making a tech purchase simply on the overall impressions and testimony of the community at large may not necessarily be the way to go. There are areas of technology that can be subjective and more open to personal taste. Case in point would be audio speakers. Some people like the brilliance of high’s, some rather have good midrange, whilst others really want the boom of the bass.
I just came accross the same scenario in a recent purchase of a digital camera. I was the owner of an Olympus camera for several years and decided it was time to upgrade. My primary concern in making my purchase was image quality. Through research and strong recommendations I was steered to purchase a Canon camera. The advice was pretty overwhelming and I went with it. It was after a few weeks of usage, and viewing many images I had taken, that I quickly realized that were was something about the images from my older Olympus that were more pleasing to me. It wasn’t an issue about image quality being better, or true image reproduction. I couldn’t pinpoint it, but there’s something about the images on my old camera I liked better. I am no expert and haven’t bothered to do the research to pinpoint the phenomenon. I’m guessing it’s the difference in lenses and compression algorithyms between the two, but what do I know. Bottom line is that I just like the images on one versus the other. This is totally just personal taste and has nothing to do with the technical merits of one over the other.
The moral to the story…well there is none except that you should always keep in mind that technology can often be very subjective and you should ignore the brand evangelists that are out there.
Anyways, needless to say, today I received a newer model Olympus I purchased on Ebay. I plan to A/B the images taken from this one against the Canon in battle to the death. Only one camera will survive. We’ll see what happens.