Being a digital photographer, I upload my photographs to places online and I also use the internet to help with purchasing decisions. Being a tech-junkie, I also like to see what the field has to offer. For the purposes of this post, I will break down the sites I normally go to.
http://www.dyxum.com – Dyxum, in my opinion, has the best community-driven site for Sony/Minolta mount-specific cameras, lenses, flashes and so on. The forum is productive, active, and well-moderated. The lens database is very powerful and contains thousands of reviews on an easy-to-sort scale taking camera bodies and sensors into consideration. It also contains a wealth of information about third party lenses, discontinued lenses, and so on. Dyxum is a must-see site before making a purchasing decision. You can also get a good, fair criticism from the forum at Dyxum.
http://www.mhohner.de – Michael Hohner’s site is the standard for Sony or Minolta equipment. It focuses on A and E-mount equipment made by Sony or Minolta only. His database is as complete as any, and it is easy to read and sort through.
http://www.sonyalpharumors.com – Sony Alpha Rumors is the site I go to for future-looking speculation. The articles have comment fields which leave a bit to be desired as there are a lot of people who put unproductive posts in there, but most are productive and reasonable. I’d venture to say Sony Alpha Rumors is more than 50% accurate on the “SR5” rumors and any leaks are either posted at SAR first or they are the first English-typing site to have them.
http://kurtmunger.com/sony_minolta_af_lens_price_guideid221.html – Kurt Munger’s site is very underutilized by me, except for the Lens Price guide. He does a really good job of tracking trends in used lens prices.
Camera /Lens Testers
http://www.dpreview.com – DPreview does a pretty good job of previewing and testing the latest cameras and bodies and they provide side-by-side comparisons of up to 20 cameras and lenses. Their preview and reviews are very in-depth and have a lot of information in them.
http://www.dxomark.com – DXO Mark performs camera sensor testing and lens quality testing and allows side-by-side test information for 3 items, however unlike DPreview, items can be compared with the same item on a different camera body. So I can see how the 85mm f/1.4 lens tested on a A900 or an A700.
Show and Tell Sites
http://www.500px.com – 500px is a community of photographers uploading images and has a social follow/friend-based model, with a “like” and “favorite” button for each photo, where the photo is given a rating based on the likes, favorites, views, and the amount of time the photo has been available for viewing. I have received some good criticism on 500px. 500px offers some purchasing options for viewers, and encourages members to post only their very best photographs. My page is http://500px.com/joestealthmode
http://www.flickr.com – Flickr is a lot like 500px, but has a lot more users and people tend to dump entire sets onto Flickr, rather than one at a time. Flickr also has groups and forums for discussions which I have not participated in as much as I should. Mostly, I use Flickr to post samples for this blog and others as my Blog writer software has a Flickr-add on. My page is http://flickr.com/joestealthmode
http://www.smugmug.com – Smug Mug is another show and tell site, but it is aimed more toward professionals or semi-professionals trying to make money. I’m giving them a shot for their storage and organization. Professionals can set prices on prints, downloads, coffee mugs, and a whole plethora of other things you can sell through the site. I probably underutilize SmugMug as well.
http://www.ronmartblog.com – Ron Martinsen is a guy who works at the same company I do and is very active in the Photography DL’s we have. The dude has either figured out the 32 hour day or he works around the clock. I read his stuff because he writes well, he gets to play with the latest stuff, and he has real-world shooting experience which is applicable to some of the things I like to shoot.
http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html – Online Depth of Field Calculator. There are many like it but this one I use.
I am sure there are others, and I can always come back and add more. I am also sure there are some I go to more often than I would admit.