Snapsort.com is live – Compare cameras

Yesterday we released our first feature up at http://snapsort.com. Using the site you can compare any two digital cameras and get a concise summary of the differences and similarities, and see which camera snapsort.com thinks is better overall.

For example, my brother is looking for a new camera, he’s looking for a camera with a lot of zoom (since he finds his current camera’s zoom rather inadequate). I recommended two cameras to him, each with different strengths, so I sent him a link comparing the Panasonic DMC-ZS3 vs the Canon SX20 IS. You can see a number of major differences. The SX20’s major advantage is that it has 20x zoom compared to the ZS3’s 12x zoom, but the ZS3 is much smaller (good for travelling), and has a better screen, faster continuous shooting, etc.

I also suggested he might compare the SX20 IS to the Panasonic DMC-FZ28, the FZ28 has almost as much zoom, but faster continuous shooting, is lighter, and has better low light capabilities.

So, the great thing about this is, you can compare any two cameras on snapsort.com, and quickly see the differences. For example, you might wonder what are the differences between the Canon SX10 IS and the newer Canon SX 20 IS which I compared above.

You can even compare older cameras. Years ago I bought the Canon S1 IS, for its great zoom and movie capabilities. Its now been replaced by the SX 20 IS, snapsort.com can quickly identify whats changed between the Canon S1 IS and the newer Canon SX 20 IS. Its interesting, the SX20 is better on almost every feature, except for continuous shooting speed, even though its 4 years newer. The SX20’s bigger brother the SX1 IS is faster than the S1 IS though. Unfortunately we don’t yet have pictures of the older cameras.

We’d love to hear any ideas and/or feedback you have, and we’ll keep you posted as we add more to snapsort.com in the future.

Introducing Snapsort

What the Heck is Snapsort
Let’s get the first big question out of the way: what the heck is Snapsort? We’re a group of four passionate engineers and comp sci guys who like photography (one of us is a pro the rest of us are amateurs) and want to solve a problem that is always popping up for us.

Knowing what camera and camera equipment to buy is a pain. Consequently, people who want to take good pictures are having a hard time.

Too Much Choice – Too Much Effort
Yes there are review sites, and sales people, wikis, forums and answer sites, but for some reason most people still spend way too much time researching and still end up buying the wrong camera.

Our conclusion is that currently its too difficult for people (even geeks) to know what to buy. You have to become a domain and terminology expert, learn about upcoming products, understand new features, boil down the marketing speak, read reviews, compensate for biases and relevancy and finally distill it all into a relevant decision for your needs.  No wonder people place themselves at the mercy of a 15yr old salesperson at their local big box (shudder).

It Should be Easy!
We think what people really want is to have some goals in mind and to get a list of cameras that best meet those goals and to be told why.

Imagine a user that needs a camera that they can travel with and that they can capture their son’s soccer games with; we’re going to build a website that will let the user instantly understand what products meet those goals and help them understand why. Always up to date and always focused on the user’s exact needs.

Ambitious? We think so, but but we left our day jobs to work on something we’re passionate about; something both fun and challenging.

We’ll Need Feedback
One final thought, we’re most certainly not in stealth mode. If we’re quiet its simply because we’re working hard to get something we can show people. We really want feedback and to iterate quickly so that we build something the community will love and trust.

We look forward to working with the photography community so that we can all send our friends and family to a place where they’ll get good advice without us having to do all the work.