Don't Take my Word for it.......

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Okay. I just started my 28th year here at B&H and for the first 12 of those years I was a telephone sales associate. I've spoken with thousands of customers over the years and have become friends with many of them. To this day, many still call and ask for my advice or opinion on products they are interested in; and they basically purchase whatever I recommend to them. To me this was fine years ago when we carried fewer products, and I was experienced with many of the products.

Now that I've "retired" from sports photography and moved to the marketing department and from there to Social Media, I consider myself far from being an expert.   Even so I discovered a while ago a quick way of acquiring valuable expertise. It's our website reviews.  Let me give you an example. I had a customer call me a few days ago asking what lens I thought was better, a 500 f4 or 600 f4. I said I'm sure both are excellent considering they sell for over $6,000 and $8,000 respectively. But lets see if there are any reviews from customers who purchased them and what they have to say about the lenses. To my amazement the 500mm lens had 50 reviews and the 600mm had 10. True the reviewers confirmed what I had said about the lenses, but they also added their own details as to what they were shooting and how they used the lenses. Depending on the popularity of the item you are looking for there could be zero reviews to well into the hundreds on particular cameras and lenses. So if you are interested in  a sensor cleaning option for your DSLR, a particular camera bag, flat screen TV or anything at all, go to that item on our website and see what your peers have to say about it.  Its plentiful, valuable, and free. That's a great combination.

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I read them, but with the more expensive gear I often wonder if the reviewers actually own them or just want to feel important or something.

Yes, I always look and read customer reviews. They do give you some idea what the product is like. There would be times before buying something and not too sure about it. I read them plus I ask for opinions on various yahoo groups that I belong to. Besides finding out about a product, you also find out about the retailer. A lot of times, people not only review the product but also how well the retailer is or isn't. The one most agree with is right here at B&H. You are just always the first one people recommend to go to, myself included. I always tell others to come to your site.

Robert

I always read the reviews, even if some may be misleading. If there are at least 15 you can normally be sure that you can get a good overview of the product from a number of perspectives.

 New to site, hope this is right place for this question.

My son expects to enter the Peace Corp soon and will probably be assigned to sub-Saharan Africa, Chad, Niger, etc., and wants a camera. He travels light, wants something rugged and easy to carry/handle, but with good performance. Think combat photojournalist. Any suggestions?

The Olympus Stylus Tough-8010 ($354.95) is a compact 14-Megapixel digital camera with a 28mm 5x optical zoom lens designed for people with an active lifestyle. The camera is waterproof to 33' (10.06m), shockproof to 6.6' (2.01m), crushproof to 220 lbs of pressure, and freezeproof to 14°f (-10°c). This makes the camera perfect for beach going, swimming, skiing, climbing, hiking or any other outdoor activity, or tough environment.

 
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673671-REG/Olympus_227655_Stylus_Tough_8010_Digital_Camera.html#features
 
 
The Pentax Optio W90 Compact Digital Camera ($ 273.95)  is ideal for the adventurous photographer as it allows shooting in extreme environmental conditions. It is waterproof to up to 20' (6.1 m), great for snorkeling, boating or shooting in the rain or snow. It is also dustproof so you don't have to worry about ruined images due to external factors...so go ahead and shoot in a dust storm.
 
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/675814-REG/Pentax_16411_Optio_W90_Compact_Digital.html#features
 
 
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2  ($339.95) is a compact 14.1-Megapixel digital camera with a 28mm 4.6x optical zoom lens designed for people with an active lifestyle. The camera is waterproof to 33' (10m), shockproof to 6.6' (2m), freezeproof to 14°f (-10°c), and dustproof. This makes the camera perfect for beach going, swimming, skiing, climbing, hiking or any other outdoor activity, or tough environment.
 
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist.jsp&A=cart&Q=add&sku=673703&is=REG&addedTroughType=8612&q=1
 
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