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'Hands on' double page a waste of precious space.

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by rjbell, Nov 22, 2011.


'Hands on' double page.

  1. Waste of time until we have test results.

    6 vote(s)
  2. I like the use of the 2 pages

    16 vote(s)
  1. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I brought this up in another thread but thought i would start it's own. The 'hand on' double page is a terrible waste of precious space. By all means cover a up in coming model in the news section but to devote a double page spread on a camera without any test results is a waste of time especially when a month later it will be tested and take another 2 pages explaining the same features again. Can you please just leave it until the test results come in? Please use the weekly 2 pages more wisely. For example APOY shortlists at the moment there just tiny thumbnails.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    This is an editorial choice that makes a lot of sense.
    The AP is in competition with many other Titles, for news of new equipment...early reviews (even hands on ones) attract many readers, and keep our favourite magazine on the shelves.

    If I only bought a magazine that included only100% new stuff. or things that were one of my special interests. Then I would not buy many magazines.
    This week was something of a special edition for me as Just about everything was interesting.
    But that is not a criteria I expect to be met every week.

    When the AP come out, and it seem rather dull to me, I would expect there to be thousands of other readers out there, who will love it.... it is the luck of the draw.

    Fortunately the Editors come up with a pretty good mix, and overtime we all get our fair share.....
  3. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Pasted from another thread

    I too think the "hands on" pages are a waste of space; one week we have the announcement of a new camera, and if it is a significant one, this takes up a page; then we have "hands on" the camera, which takes up another two pages; then we have the "test", which can take up to 7 or 8 pages; then lo and behold, a few weeks later we have the comparison test with one of the camera's competitors.

    I really do not need to read the same stuff about a camera week after week; why not just announce it (half a page) and test it (7 or 8 pages)- the rest is just in-fill.

    And while we are at it, do we really have to have big whole page adverts in the editorial section of the magazine? Why cannot all adverts be at the back, along with the Classifieds?

    Otherwise, I think AP is a great magazine, and do not begrudge paying the cover price. Its content is far more illuminating than any other photography/camera magazine on the shelves, most of which seem to print the same (or similar) articles this year as they printed last year. At least AP comes up with bright new ideas now and again.
  4. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I shocked Roy it look like its just us 2 who thinks its a waste of space!
  5. Bawbee

    Bawbee Well-Known Member

    There is room in the cave for both of you :)
  6. Richard Sibley

    Richard Sibley AP Deputy Editor

    Any news story about a new camera is just that - a news article reporting the facts.

    A First Look is designed to be far more detailed, going in to more depth on the standout features and offering our initial thoughts. The reason we do this is because the news is the last thing in the magazine to go to the printers. This helps us to keep the news as up to date and as current as possible. Although most are, not every new camera is announced to us beforehand. Sometimes the news goes to the printers the very day a new camera is announced, causing Mr Cheesman a frantic scramble writing up the announcement.

    Sometimes, as is the case with the Canon EOS 1D X, the announcement was made before anybody in the UK press was able to get their hands on a camera. We announced the camera in the news, and then, once we had seen the camera first hand, examined what we could of the new features, been through the menus, got a 'feel' for it and, of course, had the chance to grill Canon's technical team, we then report these findings back as First Look. We hope that the majority of people will be interested knowing a little bit more about the camera than merely what is written on the specification sheet.

    We do try and space out News, First Look and Review (which is never more than 6 pages. Cameras that are quite straightforward updates of a previous camera generally will only receive a 3 page review) so that they aren't in back to back issues. If we have a full production version of the camera then we would obviously go straight to a full test rather than a first look. Similarly if we only have a News story and haven't used the camera, then one of the team will usually make an editorial comment on the camera alongside the news story.

    As for Twin tests, we have recently made a conscious decision to move away from Head to head, X vs Y, tests. With most photographers tied in to a camera system it is more interesting to know how a camera compares to a camera in the same product line-up. Where we do conduct a test between cameras by different manufacturers, we like to pick a specific angle - for example is the AF and Shooting Rate of the Sony Alpha 55 a match to the Canon EOS 1D Mk IV. We hope that even if you don't have an affinity with either of these cameras or systems, that it will be interesting to find out about the technology and how it compares.
  7. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    I would feel cheated it it was not there. When significant new products are launched its essential for AP to report all the facts that they can (there are plenty of poorly informed rumours on the internet). The hands on press events do allow the team to go one step beyond the regurgitation of the press release.

  8. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    ^^^^WHS^^^^^^ (with my emphasis)

    I commented on this subject in the other thread before I realised this one had been started but I think that I should add my weight here too

  9. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    ^^^^ WTSWGBBKO* ^^^^

    *What they said with great big brass knobs on.
  10. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    I suggested this to ITV. :)

    While some advertisers delight at wallowing in back of the magazine with all the other advertising, many prefer a stand-out position for their 'display' ads. To a certain extent we have to provide what is wanted. If we tried to force all the ads to the back, some companies would decide not to buy. When other magazines are selling pages at a tiny fraction of the AP price, we have be especially conscious of our clients' requirements.

    At the same time, single page ads help to break up the magazine. Where a feature finishes, or starts, on a single page it is better to run an ad facing that page, rather than the beginning or end of another feature. They are a form of punctuation, that help to define the starting and stopping points of the editorial section.

    On a separate note, the editorial team has no control over what ads do and don't go in the magazine. All we see is a blank ad page on the plan of the magazine. We can negotiate to move pages within a section, but it is the ad department that decides how many pages they have and what goes on them. It is only if an ad is offensive or I disapprove of the advertiser, or what they are advertising, that I interfere.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The first time I really remember this sort of use was for the Prakica B200; being skint, it was a camera that really excited me, so I eagerly mopped up every word in what was the only source that gave me any little tidbit - AP. These days, I have so many sources open to me, but still the hands-on gives me something I can't get from a spec list - the beginnings of an opinion from reviewers I respect. (Incidentally, I also read the ones that former AP staff write for their new jobs...). For me, the bit in the mag that's superfluous in the process is the printed news story, but only because I've read it online first; as that doesn't apply to all readers, I appreciate that it has to be in the mag.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I would rather ad pages top and tail any section I want to cut out and keep...
    Ads in AP have never bothered me, except by there not being enough of them. Not keen on them in the middle of an article, which is how the stapled-in inserts end up being.
  13. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    All photo mags (some more than others) go through periods of 'emphasis' or 'revival of spirit' or 'obsession' or 'priority' or 'loss of direction' or 'tone' or 'renewed focus' and AP is no different. :)

    It currently has a bit of an over-emphasis on equipment in my view. But it's so easy to be sucked in that direction, especially with the current enthusiasm for manufacturers to do new different things. ;)
  14. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Well it was good to do a poll and get to see other peoples view. I guess i'm in the minority. I nether saw it as important attention grabber for the cover but this does make sense. But anyone who is not familiar with the mag will be disappointed when opening it that there is not test.
  15. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Point taken though. We do try to make the preview/hands on something different that contains information that you wouldn't have got in the news story and details that might not be relevant in the test. Quite often there is an element of an interview with an engineer or designer. I'll continue to look at how we can make these more exciting and interesting for everyone.

    Suggestions and desires always welcome.
  16. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Hello Damian while your online i'll ask you. Do you print a supplement at the end of the APOY with al the winners? I'm new to the mag so wasn't around last year. I know Digital Camera mag does with there annual comp.
  17. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    No we don't, but they can all be found on-line in our APOY gallery. We show the top 30 each month, and have galleries from 2009 loaded.

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