How do you decide whether or not to buy a new camera? Lets assume you're interested in a particular model, and you would like to find out more about it. Lets also assume you don't know anybody who has one and will let you do a fairly extensive test with it. Advertisement There are review sites everywhere and lots of user experiences out there. Which one do you give more credibility to? Or neither or both? In the light of a rather forthright discussion on DxO in another forum, do results like that have an effect on your decision? I was interested in this, when after writing a piece about it on my blog, a photographer said that he was getting comments from his friends about his GH2's DxO "score". He said that this sites conclusions, made him feel that he could be using "something better". So are peer group pressures or lab tests a factor in your choices? In the days before the internet, I used magazines, opinions from friends and colleagues and whatever I could persuade my local store to let me shoot. But now its more difficult. My local stores, those that still remain, seem to be carrying an ever decreasing choice. There are also cameras that are quite difficult to find. I bought my first Leica for example, an M8, without ever having handled one. Fortunately I loved it. But I've had the opposite experience. I've looked at samples, read all the reviews, checked out everything I can and still been completely underwhelmed when the camera arrived and I actually used it. People often complain about the lack of the local photo store and the ability to strike up a relationship which can be helpful in these situations. But if we all buy our cameras from discount box-shifters its not surprising there are less and less of those about. If I'm honest, I most trust the user experience of those who I think are similar in terms of camera use to me. For me Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape shoots pretty much what I shoot and I respect both his photography and his opinions. Whereas other similar reviewers have the opposite effect on my choices. Basically if they like it, I'm not going near it with a bargepole!! So, who do you trust? Who do you regard as the most reliable? What finally makes up your mind to part with that hard-earned cash?