“What’s the #1 complaint about point-and-shoot digital cameras?”
That was Bryan Eisenberg’s morning riddle today. It’s a great question, and one I was sure to answer incorrectly — Bryan isn’t known to ask rhetorical questions without punchlines.
Now, before you read my response, close your eyes for a moment and think of three possible answers.
Seriously, stop cheating and humor me…
Eyes back open? Good. It’s easier to read that way.
Just as I’d suspected, each of my guesses was wrong. It turns out that the biggest complaint among automatic digital camera owners is “shutter delay time” — not “shutter speed,” mind you; rather, the response time between clicking the button and the damn thing actually taking a picture.
Yes! Exactly! That’s my least favorite thing about point-and-shoot digitals, too! So, why didn’t I know that?
Am I backpedaling from my previous answers? Absolutely. Would your customers likely do the same thing? Absolutely. Why isn’t “shutter delay time” addressed by most retailers? Let’s stick with threes:
After years of hearing “megapixel”-this and “stabilizer”-that, shopping for digital cameras becomes intimidating for people who just want to take good pictures of the people, places and things they love. Some do a good job overall, but miss the big picture when it comes to shutter delay. Others have pretty decent emotional copy, but it ends up sounding generic. And with each boring, overly-technical description, digital camera retailers are flushing money down the drain. Some don’t say anything; they just list technical specs.
Here’s what camera retailers should know if they’re to fix it:
I have no problem geeking out for a week, digging through review sites like CNet until I stumble across a review like this one where, halfway down the page, a graphic (not the video) introduces the concept of shutter delay. But I’m the exception. I’m the gadget-obsessed 18-35 year-old male who knows megapixels alone aren’t the measure of a camera’s worth — and I still guessed wrong about my own biggest concern about digital cameras. So much for demographics!
Meanwhile, other people may not do the research.
What if my step-mom were in the market? She’s owned her current digital camera for three years. It’s in great shape, but she’d buy a new one today if she knew it would take the shot fast enough to capture those rare moments when my 6 year-old nephew looks directly into the lens — that’s what matters to her, not techno-babble like this description of the Canon PowerShot SD800 on Amazon:
[The DIGIC III Image Processor] takes the performance and speed of DIGIC II to even higher levels of processing power including new face detection function, up to 1600 speed ISO, high-ISO noise reduction, lower power consumption, increased speed for SD media cards, and higher resolution image processing for enhanced LCD viewing.
Um… Parle vous Ingles? Any chance she’d know off-hand that ISO refers to light-sensitivity, or that “noise reduction” means it will reduce graininess of poorly lit images, or that “enhanced LCD viewing” means quickly viewing the pictures on the camera’s screen? What was “DIGIC II”? Why would she care?
Luckily for Amazon, customers have always done the selling for them. So, unless you’re Jeff Bezos, it’s good to invest in persuasive copy of your own.