Destroying equipment live on camera: Right or wrong?
If you haven’t already seen this insane review of full-frame 24-70 f/2.8 zooms, be warned- This video is not for the weak-stomached equipment nerd. It involves a baseball bat and the freshly reviewed lenses.
My question is, WHY? Why destroy a perfectly good piece of equipment that could serve any number of purposes, maybe even donated to a charity or something.
Of course the answer is obvious- shock value, ratings, and reputation. There will always be “shock jockeys” out there, everywhere. (Not just on radio!) The bottom line is that destruction sells. (Just like the adage “sex sells”, which they also attempt to utilize in the video.) I can understand why society feeds off it, even though I don’t agree with it. I’m sure there are plenty of aspiring-yet-broke photographers out there, who would die to have~$4,000 to spend on lenses, who can’t stand to watch gear go to waste either.
While the review is actually technically sound and I did appreciate the comparisons for things like sharpness and vignetting, I still feel like the ending is a cop-out. It doesn’t add credibility to the reviewer, or the results. It simply makes the review stick in your mind. Basically, they just spent ~$4,000 on generating traffic. I would love to say they “wasted” the money, but that’s not true- They certainly generate traffic!
Personally, I just think there are many other ways to achieve ratings, build a reputation, and prove your point. Sites like DigitalRev has proven that reviews can be fun and engaging, without taking a baseball bat to your product after the review. Heck, even their over-the-top torture test of the Canon 7D is is still infinitely more realistic and even useful proof of a camera’s everyday durability.
Or, if you have that much money to spend on generating traffic, why not do something like we do here at SLR Lounge from time to time, and just raffle off the gear? I can guarantee that would generate just as much traffic, if not more.
Who knows, maybe they’re actually just smashing lens mugs, and the joke is on me! :-P Even if the lenses are fake or defective, the visual results have the same initial impact on viewers, whether it be positive or negative. Personally, (real or not) I just don’t care for the overall mentality of destruction. Maybe because when I was a kid some neighbor took a hammer to my favorite Tonka Truck? (True story!)
So, now I’m ready (and very curious) to hear YOUR thoughts…
Until next time,