Snapsort compares camera specs to find the best camera for you
With so many sources of information and so many cameras on the market, it can be a daunting task to sort through it all and choose the one perfect camera for you. The folks at a new startup called Snapsort want to make the process easier.
There are plenty of digital camera sites and services out there -- with a huge amount of info ranging from product news and reviews to user forums and comparison tools -- all trying to help you find the best camera to suit your needs (our own site included, of course). But with so many sources of information and so many cameras on the market, it can be a daunting task to sort through it all and choose the one perfect camera for you. The folks at a new startup called Snapsort want to make the process easier.
Launched a little over a week ago, the site lets you pick any two digital cameras to compare, and delivers a short summary of important differences and similarities between the two before declaring one the "winner" and one the "loser" and listing pros and cons and basic specs for each camera. It's a cool idea and fun to watch in action (it's great about auto completing/auto suggesting models as you type in any part of the name, and generates comparisons in seconds) but as with any database/technology-driven analysis, it has its flaws. For example, when I compared the $1,699 Canon EOS 7D to the $4,999 Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, the 7D came up as the winner simply because it has a built-in flash as far as I can tell. The comparison engine doesn't seem to take things like image quality or price into account, and though the site's tagline is "find the best camera for you," it's a straight specs comparison and can't take into account what features are actually important to you (though a personalized camera recommendation engine is in the works). Furthermore, the "random" button, which generates a comparison of two randomly selected cameras is all but useless: In two attempts, it pitted a Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR (a $300 compact point-and-shoot) against the Pentax K200D (a $600 dSLR) and then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX40 (known as the FX48 in the U.S.) against the Sony Alpha DSLR-A500, another odd compact vs. dSLR comparison. In both cases, the dSLR won, but it certainly wouldn't have been the "best camera for you" if my mother had been the one pushing the button.
But while this first tool from Snapshot does not live up to the founders' dream of eliminating the time and complexity of reading reviews and trolling user forums, blogs, and the like as you research cameras, it is a useful service when you just want to compare specs of two cameras on your shortlist. Add it to your arsenal of bookmarks for the research process, but you'll still need legwork and analysis from real human beings to truly find the best camera for you.