Dear friend,

A secret I wanna share with you — don’t trust no photo blogger (especially not me).

I. ERIC KIM wants more money and fame and influence

First of all, us photo bloggers (myself included) are all self-interested. Whenever we blog about anything — we have some hidden self-interest at stake.

For example, my (hidden) motivation is that if you read more of these articles, download ebooks, watch YouTube videos — you will end up attending an Eric Kim workshop, buy Haptic Industries products, and will enrich Eric Kim. And Eric Kim wants more money, because he is afraid of going broke (because he grew up poor), and he wants to use that money to support his family.

When Eric Kim writes a blog post about cameras or gear— he secretly knows that he will get more clicks and page views. Therefore, it is in his best interest to maximize his clicks, and the use of Amazon Affiliate links— so if you click on an Amazon product page, he gets a 3% kick-back.

Not only that, but Eric Kim wants to help you. He however, is just imposing his own opinion on you. He doesn’t know you, but he thinks he knows what is best for you.

Eric has good intentions. But it is just his opinion— remember.

II. Don’t trust nobody (including me)

I have a rule: if you want to read a really true review on any camera, gear, or gadget— make sure it doesn’t have any ‘affiliate links’ (which means if you click a link and buy something, they make some money off it).

Also, make sure that the photographer has no paid affiliation, or sponsored, or ‘support’ from any camera brand. If someone is a Leica or Fujifilm or Sony or Canon/Nikon ‘ambassador’ — do not trust their opinion. Because they will try their best to be ‘unbiased’ but of course— they will be.

I know for myself, when I started to collaborate with Leica (I had a Canon 5D at the time) — I was pressured into buying a Leica M9 (or else they wouldn’t ‘support’ me anymore).

When I was working with Fujifilm, I got free cameras. I had a hidden interest— a fear that if I said anything (really bad) about Fujifilm cameras, I would stop getting free gear.

When I was sponsored by Samsung, I got free smartphones. I was afraid if I switched— I would have to (gasp) start paying for my own phones!

III. Test out the cameras for yourself (return if you don’t like it)

So what is the solution?

Only trust yourself. I’d recommend buying cameras, gear, and equipment on Amazon or BhPhoto and testing them out. If you don’t like it, you can always return it 30 days for your money back.

The problem with trusting online reviews is that they aren’t you. They don’t know how big your hands are. They don’t know your preferences, or your daily living routine. They don’t know your aesthetic taste.

Also, consider the time you waste by reading camera reviews online. If your time is worth $20 an hour, researching a camera for 10 hours will cost you $200. Easier to just order the camera on your credit card, play around with it, and return it if you don’t like it.

Better yet, just go to a camera store, play with the cameras in person, and put it back on the shelf— because you will realize that all cameras are more similar than dissimilar.

And remember you can make good photos on a shitty camera.

So in photography and life — just learn for yourself. Don’t trust no blogger or folks on the internet.

Be strong,

Learn more: EQUIPMENT >